A Kia that’s better than a Honda?

February 17th, 2009

Kia Forte

Having just introduced the buzz-worthy Soul, Kia is showing off their all-new compact sedan: the Forte. Designed to compete with the likes of the Honda Civic, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla, the Forte appears to offer a slew of advantages.

Kia says, “The Kia-engineered body achieves high torsional stiffness, giving Forte better handling, smoother ride quality and greater refinement than its competitors.”

While I’ve yet to drive a Kia that is more refined than a Honda, I reserve judgment until I can tell for myself. Maybe the Forte is the one. Hey, stop laughing.

According to Kia:

Forte LX and EX are powered by a 2.0-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine, producing 156 horsepower and 144 pound-feet of torque, that features Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) and multi-port electronic fuel injection, both of which provide for greater performance and fuel economy. The SX features an upgraded 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine, also with CVVT, which delivers 173 horsepower – more than the most powerful versions of the Toyota Corolla or even the 2010 Mazda3.  

Also on the Forte is an optional Fuel Economy Package, available with the 2.0-liter powerplant that will include the five-speed automatic transmission, Motor Drive Power Steering and low-rolling resistance tires with aero enhancements. These improvements result in class-leading fuel economy of 36 mpg on the highway.

forte-insideRumor has it that the Forte will begin around $11K, though the outgoing Spectra that it’s replacing starts at about $13K. Whatever the final numbers are, we’re sure the Forte will be a screaming value; assuming you don’t mind staring at that Kia logo on your steering wheel for the next 5 years.

Would you rather buy an American-made small car like the Chevy Aveo, a foreign car like the Forte, or keep the car you have?

-tgriffith

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  1. Paul
    February 18th, 2009 at 12:24 | #1

    It does look like a Civic and not surprised. Kia and Hyundai are known to copy the looks of its competitors to try and steal some sales. I am no fan of Kia or Hyundai because they are not original and my friend has one of their Tiburans and it is a piece a crap with a V6 of only 172 hp, pathetic. I would definitely keep the car that I have over that Kia above and the Chevy. If you are looking for some compacts and subcompacts in the future look out for Ford.

  2. Randy
    February 18th, 2009 at 10:04 | #2

    “Would you rather buy an American-made small car like the Chevy Aveo, a foreign car like the Forte, or keep the car you have?”

    C’mon Mr. Griffith, if you’re going to be a car guru, you should at least know that the Aveo is made by Daewoo in South Korea.

    Since I already have an Aveo, the question is moot. The Aveo, though, is a design that’s very much out of date, but that might give it a pricing advantage over a new design that must make enough to pay the tooling and startup costs. Is the Kia better than a Honda? Given Honda’s engine-building ability, I’d bet that if you tear down and compare the engines in the Honda and Kia, you’ll want the Honda.

  3. Road Warrior
    February 17th, 2009 at 18:33 | #3

    I’ll tell ya, that thing sure looks like a civic! If I was in the market for a new small car, I’d take a good look at this. As it is now though, I’m holding onto my pickup. Not the best mileage, but it beats having a payment.

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