KIA FORTE KOUP take on TC, Si and Mazda 3 …
The turning radius is tight with NO under or over-steer, as all my quick lane changes delivered precise movements. The pick-up on this 2.4L 170 hp model was very fast, even from a standstill. A moderate hard shift let me know the car had the guts when I asked for 80 from 65 with a little pressure to the pedal. IMHO, I wouldn’t opt for the Base EX 2.0l 156hp for the minor dollar difference.
The car is reasonably low to the ground but not nearly to the back-breaking stance of the Miata, Corvette Z06 or Crossfire SRT , all of which I have owned and reluctantly given up for aforementioned reasons. Inside the car the seat is soft, yet bolstered enough to hold me in place when taking the turns, which the sport-tuned suspension handled cleanly. Everything along the dash is neat, well organized and ergonomically efficient, including door release handles, radio, cruise and Blue-tooth controls on the steering wheel, Auto-Shifter and cup holders. Lots of cup holders for a 4-seater, and there is room for a 5’6’ person in the backseat. The air-conditioner blows ice cubes, which is crucial in Vegas/Phoenix 110 degree summers and something lacking in all the domestic 4 cyl. and hybrid Honda Civic.
I like the clever MOOD/MUSIC feature carried over from the KIA SOUL, adding a KOOL touch by matching the RED gauges to the floor panel speaker RED lighting , thumping the beat to the stereo bass. The polished aluminum and lacquer touches accent the red stitching of the seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel, bringing the look together nicely on any of the exterior colors; Blue, Black, White, Silver, Red and Dark Grey.
All in all, this is a young persons car, the parentals will approve of. It has the necessary safety features; (anti-locks, dual side airbags, blue-tooth and reinforced safety bars through-out), a well-heeled warranty and respectable price. Prices start at $17k but the SX model I drove was a tad under $20k, packed with features and a 10year/100k power-train warranty. The Kia Forte Koup marks another huge benchmark for the relatively young company and will clearly leave the Toyota Corolla, SCION TC, Mazda 3 and Honda Civic Si looking at twin-tailpipes. Watching the extraordinary success of the Kia Soul and now Kia Forte Koup, I hope KIA can keep enough production on the lots to fulfill the appetite of the still spending Millennial’s.
Click here to watch my Kia Forte Koup TEST DRIVE.————————————————————– Sarah Lee is an automotive executive with 20+ years of experience. She writes about Cars, and is a staunch consumer advocate on car related subjects. Her company: MY CARLADY is a car buyer’s service committed to getting you the best deal on your next new or pre-owned vehicle. You can reach her at www.mycarlady.com
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