PCM 4125 grey Cerato? nice...here are some reviews: magazine ratings FTW!
2010 Kia Forte SX - Short Take Road Test
Good value, respectable, handsome.
BY ERIK JOHNSON, PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARC URBANO
If the compact-car segment were a baseball lineup, the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic would be the meat of the order, the third and fourth hitters. They boast home-run sales numbers, long lists of features, and nearly peerless reliability. So whereâ€™s the new Kia Forte hitting in this lineup? Any chance it will join these guys at the top of the order? Or does it go immediately to the ninth spot, where its predecessor, the Spectra, languished?
Our top-spec SX test vehicle is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder backed by a so-so five-speed automatic; a six-speed manual is also available. (The Forte LX and EX rely on a 2.0-liter four.) With 173 horses, the SX is more muscular than the larger-displacement Toyota Corolla XRS (158 horsepower) and the Mazda 3 s (167). This makes our recorded zero-to-60 time of 8.6 seconds all the more disappointing; the Kia trails 0.7 second behind the Corolla and 0.9 second behind the Mazda, although both of those cars were equipped with manual gearboxes.
The Forteâ€™s roadholding and 70-to-0-mph braking numbers were much more respectable, at 0.85 g and 173 feet, respectively; its braking is among the best weâ€™ve seen in the current batch of compacts. Using that 2010 Mazda 3 s for comparison, the Kia matched it on the skidpad and actually stopped three feet shorter.
All Fortes, including the $14,390 base LX, have Bluetooth phone connectivity with steering-wheel controls, Sirius radio, USB and auxiliary jacks, four-wheel disc brakes, and stability control. The SX gets larger front brakes, 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, and a telescoping function for the steering wheel. Add heated leather seats ($1000) and a sunroof ($600), and you arrive at our fully loaded tester, which rang in at $20,490.
Equipment-wise, the Kia is very strong, but for enthusiastic driving, itâ€™s not quite there. The SX has firmer springs, retuned shocks, and a larger front anti-roll bar compared with the lower trim levelsâ€™. The sum of that equipment, however, isnâ€™t something weâ€™d really call sporty. Turn-in is fairly aggressive, which is nice, but the car begins to plow by midcorner like itâ€™s the start of planting season. The steering requires correction to maintain a line in curves and stay in your lane on the freeway.
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED: $20,490 (base price: $18,890)
ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, port fuel injection
Displacement: 144 cu in, 2360cc
Power (SAE net): 173 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 168 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 5-speed automatic with manumatic shifting
Wheelbase: 104.3 in Length: 178.3 in Width: 69.9 in Height: 57.5 in
Curb weight: 2960 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 8.6 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 23.6 sec
Street start, 5â€“60 mph: 9.1 sec
Standing Â¼-mile: 16.6 sec @ 85 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 127 mph
Braking, 70â€“0 mph: 173 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.85 g
EPA city/highway driving: 23/31 mpg
C/D observed: 32 mpg
But this segment is about inexpensive, comfortable, roomy, inoffensive, andâ€”increasinglyâ€”stylish cars, and that is exactly what the Forte is. It doesnâ€™t invite aggressive driving, but thatâ€™s all the better to enjoy the well-appointed, airy interior and the relatively supple ride.
So the Forte wonâ€™t be displacing the Honda and Toyota sluggers from the heart of the batting lineup, but we could see it hitting second, the place for solid and trustworthy players. Itâ€™s just too bad the Forte isnâ€™t more fun to drive; a car that can be counted on for singles could have instead been hitting base-clearing doubles.
Highs: Respectable interior materials, handsome styling, good value with lots of standard goodies.
Lows: Steering could use more feel, throttle tip-in is far too aggressive.