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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, yes I am a previous KIA 2006 Spec 5 owner. Oh, about year ago, my wife flipped my Spec 5. So that answers that question. Anyways, onto the next thing. I currently drive a 2010 Mazda 3 hatch, and I love it! I did enjoy my Spec 5 as it was my first new car, it wasnt a bad car at all, for the most part. The engine was nice running, suspension was good too. Some minor problems but overall I enjoyed the car for what it could do. It was more of cruiser than a racer. It lacked however in the power department. The 2.0L 4L Motor, aka: Beta from Hyundai, was weak, in fact it was even in the tiburon lower class models. Anyways, being a fan of racing, cars and driving I kept my eye out on KIA to bring up its game. In the past 5 years I would definetly say yes it has, and its about time too.
Im still in Iraq and im getting ready to return home, and I was thinking of buying another car, but it would be for my wife. She is also a car person. She loves the Mazda 3 alot, and yes thoroughly enjoys the 6spd manual that it come with. She used to own a 2000 Civic 2dr coupe EX model. She sold it so we could pay off the rest of the Spec 5 after it was totalled. In all honesty it was both our faults on the loss of the Spec 5, even though she was at the wheel. I kinda feel bad about her loss and also her putting up with deployment bullcrap. Plus we both need our own cars. I was thinking about getting her the Soul but then came the whole aspect of turning away from motorsports once she starts driving the Soul, so I said no to that.
I have been doing alot of research, for the most part people seem to be happy with this car. Is it really what its hyped up to be? So I have some questions. First, is the car really that good of a handler?(true tuners answer this please!) How is the 6 spd shifter? Is it smooth, sloppy? What are your feelings on that? How is the sound system in the car? I hear that its not that great. Are there issues with the Bluetooth? Has everyone enjoyed using the USB adapter cable interface system with the stereo? How has the throttle response been? How is the Gearing? What gear is the strongest? Does it make a good long distance cruiser if need be? Is the mileage good as well, I keep seeing something like 32 mpg on highway, is this true, or found to be close to actual truth? How is the seating? Is it comfortable for long drives? How are the materials in the car? Do they seem cheap or are nice than KIA used to make? I want as much input as possible. Thanks much for all or any help!
 

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I will Answer the ones that I can, I have a SX koup so, 2,4 and 6spd. Audio system is good, not great but with a few cheap upgrades can be, the stock head unit is very clean!

I like the shifter, the clutch is a little light and doesnt have much feel to it. 3rd gear seems to be the strongest.

Now for long distance, I drove from Calgary to toronto, so about 4500kms in 4 days, no isuues at all! the seats are very comfortable! and im a big guy! I was around 30mpg all the way. the EX should be around the 32 mark. I am very happy with the interior, only one complaint, which you will see on this forums a few times, is the seatbelt is making marks on the door panel.

ALL that being said, I LOVE MY KOUP!!!!
 

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I have the Koup SX and I would highly recommend the SX over the EX because you get all the goodies [options]. The car does handle very very well - it turns on a dime - it has a nicely tuned 'sports' suspension. The stereo in my opinion is very good and I think that you will be very happy with it. The USB works perfect as does the bluetooth phone connection. The seats are very comfortable and have a nice red stitiching pattern on them [nice racy touch] and they adjust as needed. The pedals have a nice brushed aluminum finish too...which makes it look very premium. The cup holders are abundant and in the right places. The center console between the seats has two area to store items flip up the first lid for coins and smaller items [flip up the second lid for larger items -IPODS and GPS systems]. The The trunk is a good size and the rear seats flip down! The controls on the nice leather wrapped steering wheel are well placed: cruise control and stereo controls. This car is very 'complete'...nothing is really missing. Even the muffler is finished off nicely. This car is a hit.
 

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I have a Koup SX. Comes equipped with 172 horsepower, six speed transmission, and loaded to the gills. I'd highly recommend it after your safe return from Iraq.

Pro's:

LOADED.
Leather is actually decent quality.
Steering wheel controls.
Good handling w/ very little body roll.
I average 36mpg on the highway.

Con's:

Bluetooth is kinda "meh".
Needs another 25 horsepower.

Driven this car for about 6,500 kilometers now (don't know what that is in miles) and haven't had a problem. Took the car to my winter home in Vegas and had no problems on the cruise. So far, so good!

Stay safe, and give it a test drive when you get home!
 

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Before getting my 2.4L Koup I drove an '04 Spectra. I loved my Spectra and told my husband that I would drive it forever. My mom ended up in a bad spot financially so I decided to give her my car and use that as an excuse to get a new one. I test drove a Forte sedan 2.0L. It felt just like my Spectra.I had no intention of settling for the 2.0 Sedan (the only type my local dealer had on the lot) but seeing the standard bluetooth and USB got me really excited about the Fortes.

I took the next day off of work in a search for a 2.4L Koup. I found one about a hour away. It wasn't the manual that I wanted but it was the 2.4L. I got there and it was the blue color that I had fallen in love with. 37 seconds into the test drive I knew that I was leaving with the car.

It feels much tighter than my Spectra sedan felt. I am not worried about pushing this thing and staying on the road. I am not a tuner but handling wise I would say its comparable to my husband's Acura RSX-S.

I think the bluetooth is great because I have never had that but at times it can be hard for people to hear you with freeway road noise. I don't know how much cell coverage plays into that though.

I have been using the USB port solely for music. I had an aftermarket CD player in my old car that played off a USB and this one is way better. Before I couldn't shuffle the entire drive but this car will allow you to shuffle songs from all the folders on the drive or just the songs within one folder.

Mileage-wise the car's computer says I average 23-24 miles per gallon. I don't normally track gas consumption so that's all I have to go on. I am definitely going through gas a little faster than I did with the 2.0L but I'll pay extra for the fun I have when I am driving.

Interior quality is mixed. I like the leather. I really like the styling of the headunit area. My biggest qualm is with the plastic that makes up the lower portion of the doors. It seems cheaper than what I had in my Spectra; its too easy to ding and dent it (but I went from almost white interior to black so its very likely that I am just seeing the little marks more so).

If its not going to be a surprise have her test drive one. Test drive a few. IMO if you get her an SX and squeeze another few horsepower out of it with intake and exhaust your wife will be very very satisfied.
 

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Ok so I've had my Koup for a few months put about over 3,ooo miles on it.
Some of the miles have been hiway trips of 2 hours 100 miles or better.
I live on a road that is 15 miles of mountain switchbacks.. lots of turns, anyway
This car handles very well thou I find that too really enjoy the cars quick responsive handling you need to turn off the traction control but thats easy with a push of the button!

On the Hiway I'm getting a avarage of 38 mpg at 60 to 65 mph.
in town is around 30 to 28 but if you run it up in the rpms this well drop down alot.
with the 6spd I think this car is great for long trips due to the fact its comfortable and the motor puts out plenty of torque for being a small motor, and with the gears it seems to hum along at 65 mph around 2,ooo rpms all day.

I used to own a dsm and the shifting in that car was foul.. the 240sx had a long throw.. but the koup is quick even in stock form its not sloopy but the clutch is a bit light, and takes some of us a bit of pratice to adjust to, on the other had this car seems to shift better at higher speeds but take offs can be a bit touchy, ie too much gas pedal, or too little.


its quiet, and seems like over all a well built machine I'm glad I bought my koup everyday I look forward to driving the car, so that speaks in higher volumes then anything else I could say.

I'd not be afraid to buy another kia or another koup if given the chance or need.
and yes more Hp would always be welcomed but for a stock car they'll suprise you just like the add saying says...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks

Hey guys, thanks for all the help, I will definetly go test drive one when I get home! My wife keeps telling me she wants a red car, with a sunroof. So I kept asking myself, should I make her happy and get the car in red or the color that looks best in? I dont know, its kinda challenging if I decided to buy one for her. Are there any notable mentionables I should add to the car when buying it?
 

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hey another texas member! :)
i dont personally have much input on the performance part because i own a 2.0L and have a smaller engine but i do have input on other parts...
the stereo system IMO is good for stock. it has the "power bass" option that really kicks up the bass a lot.

the bluetooth is amazingly convenient and ive never had a big problem with it. every now and again the person im talking too might not hear my fully and i have to repeat myself but when does that NOT happen in a phone call.

having a smaller engine, i average 33mpg between highway driving and reg road driving. on my longer trips to Austin, i avg closer to 38 and about 65mph. ultimately youre going to get whatever gas mileage you get because of how hard or not hard you drive it. i drove it harder one week just cuz i had gotten some stuff done to it and i wanted to have fun, and my mpg dropped to like 25.

maybe it was just in my car or maybe its just me, but i had a hard time getting used to the seats. i noticed i couldnt really sit the same way i sat in my previous car. it took me about 2 weeks to get used to the seats and find my comfortable place. granted, i fractured my Lumbar my junior year in high school but like i said, i didnt have that problem in my previous car.

my favorite part to talk about is the handling. now, i dont have the sports package like the sx has but even with whatever is in the ex, i love it! taking turns and not having to worry about losing control cuz the all wheel TCS and then it has 4 disc brakes and all wheel ABS. all in all, i have never been happy with a car like i am with this one and ive owned a mazda6 and a ford focus so far :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
um theres one question plaguing me right now, I financed my first car. So how do I know I can finance a second car. I have a good credit score, I got a 5.2% APR from their sale program, which was better than USAA's 6.4%.
 

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um theres one question plaguing me right now, I financed my first car. So how do I know I can finance a second car. I have a good credit score, I got a 5.2% APR from their sale program, which was better than USAA's 6.4%.
Usually just financing two vehicles won't be much of a problem as long as there aren't any other "black marks" on your record. Right now Kia is offering special financing of 0.0% for 3 years or 2.9% for 5 years plus 1000K rebate on new forte koups. I believe they are looking for a 735+ credit rating for that offer, don't quote me on that though :p.

Even if you don't qualify as 735+ you should still have little issue finding decent financing, especially if you can put down a decent amount. My advice would be just check with your bank and online to get pre-approved (and know your credit score) before you go to the dealership so you'll know whether the financing they offer you is your best deal or not :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
When I bought my 2010 Mazda 3 they offered me the lower APR program through a local bank. I wasnt sure I qualified, so I said it wouldnt hurt to try. All I knew was that I could get a loan through USAA for 6.4%APR at the time, so the ran a credit check and told me I qualified for a lower APR. I was told I had really good credit, so I have no idea what that meant score wise..lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oh yeah, one other thing, I was just talking to my wife and I asked a what if situation. So I said to her, if you had a choice, which car would you buy? A honda Civic Si or a KIA Forte Koup SX? Her answer was a Civic Si, and I was like.. um really I think for the price your getting more with the Koup. She said she wasnt sure about KIA's, its because of the resale value. She actually liked the SOUL when we test drove it. I know the value of KIA has come up, but how is resale these days?
 

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Oh yeah, one other thing, I was just talking to my wife and I asked a what if situation. So I said to her, if you had a choice, which car would you buy? A honda Civic Si or a KIA Forte Koup SX? Her answer was a Civic Si, and I was like.. um really I think for the price your getting more with the Koup. She said she wasnt sure about KIA's, its because of the resale value. She actually liked the SOUL when we test drove it. I know the value of KIA has come up, but how is resale these days?
Piss poor, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Kia has a few years to go before they're at a point reflective of what they're producing now.
 

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So I said to her, if you had a choice, which car would you buy? A honda Civic Si or a KIA Forte Koup SX? Her answer was a Civic Si
Before you get her anything make her test drive it a couple times. I don't know if you have ever had a civic but my dad has a civic and even when it was brand new the seats were incredibly uncomfortable. It was something he didn't realize on a short test drive but when he started using it to commute he regretted getting it. He got his civic the same time I got my Spectra. Both were brand new. At 45,000 miles he had to replace the transmission on his dime. Years later with 101,000 miles on my Spectra I finally had to replace something, the clutch.

If you have a habit of turning over cars every few years then really consider the resale value. If you are looking for something to keep for a long time then I would put more weight into the final sale price and the length of the warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I dont usually flip cars, I like to keep them around for awhile, especially if I really like it. So How is the build quality of the Koup? Externally I would say it looks really good, has anybody noticed cheap paint by chance? I'm gonna go fully loaded when I purchase the car for her, I think she will really like the leather touch, I think it will say, only the best for her!
 

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um theres one question plaguing me right now, I financed my first car. So how do I know I can finance a second car. I have a good credit score, I got a 5.2% APR from their sale program, which was better than USAA's 6.4%.
dont know if kia is still doing it
but 1- at least in june they had a 500 dollar discount for active military
2- they gave me 1,000 factory discount
3- they also have various forms of factory financing you might look into. ( i realize you say you got a 5.2 percent- but go back and see if they have a new one......who knows? perhaps the 2.9 over 5 years i got was a june only deal.....)
in fact- all of the above mentioned discounts might have been june only deals...........
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
They still have the $1000 back program going. The military discount is always in effect. You know what I hate most and the one thing I want taken off from the price is the shipment price.. its so retarded. Tax and interest alone jack up any pirce of a car. Why add that? So thats something Im gonna haggle to get them to take off.
 

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Hey, Welcome xspectra 5! I've my koup sx 6spd for about a month and a half now and I live in the northeast. Even dealing with all the hills (which butchers mpg) I still average around 24 in the city (if i can resist the urge to tromp :rolleyes:) and around 22 when I drive a bit harder. I'm achieving 30-31 on the highway doing between 70-75mph.

As far as build qaulity is concerned, I'm very impressed. A few cheap plastics here and there but nothing you wouldnt see in a civic or mazda 3 nowadays.

I'd say as far as color is concerned, grab a racing red or white koup. They seem to be the sportiest looking.

The only problem I've encountered with just under 2000 miles on my car is the TCS stopped working... it runs fine with it off and luckily we have that 5 year bumper to bumper warranty :D.

Either way it's definitely one of the best buys out there.

Best of luck!
 
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