2014 Kia Forte Review – A Knockout in the Small Car Segment

2014 kia forte

Kia recently has been showing it's muscle with redesigned cars that not only look better but also have better refinements inside their cars too.  On my short test drive with the 2014 Kia Forte I was impressed by this small car and the work that Kia has done to it make a truly competitive car.

So here's my 2014 Kia Forte Review and I'll start off with the design of the exterior as this is the first thing you see.

Exterior

The Forte’s new design is quite beautiful and pleasing to the eyes.  It feels bold but it doesn't have too much bling or odd lines that distracts the eye and distorts the design (exactly what bean counters are notorious for wrecking).  It's a good blend to appeal to the mass market but still adds styling for those with discerning taste.  I test drove the Kia Forte EX trim line which came with chrome looking trim accents and upgraded wheels which made the car feel a bit more upscale.  What's most noticeable though on the Forte is the front fenders and grille blending in with the bird eye headlamps though.  I like the “derriere” of the Forte as it has nice taillights along with a simple design.

Kia Forte Interior

If there is one place where the Kia Forte delivered the knockout blow it's got to be the interior.  Basically from the moment you get in and slam the door you already can feel the Kia is an all around better and more sturdy car.  Once you are inside and in the driver's the interior stands out from other small cars I've driver in this class.  It's quite pretty and comfortable

On the EX model I drove it was decked out with chrome accents and emblems which added to the overall you are not in “old Kia.”  What's more noticeably than accents are the interesting use of gills in the dashboard on the passenger side which adds some texture and a feeling of motion.  Kia designers also outfitted the door panels with gills giving a sense of refinement you rarely see in this small car segment, even on Japanese competitors.  The infotainment screen is also nicely blended into the dashboard with slick curves and angles but not in a way that makes you uneasy.  Leather seating finishes off the design and comfort.  My first thought in the Kia Forte was, “This cabin is incredible.”

Seating and Trunk Space

Legroom in the front and rear is decent for a small car.  I didn't have a problem anywhere in the Kia Forte.  Although like most cars in this segment tall people will not enjoy sitting in the backseat for long periods, but who can blame them?

Regarding trunk space I felt it was good for small sedan.  Perfect as a grocery-getter or going out to the hardware store for working on the house.

Forte Powertrain

The model I drove was equipped with the 2.0 liter 173-horsepower four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission.  This powertrain setup gives you a very decent 28 mpg (24 city/36 highway) driving.   The Kia Forte gets you to 0-60 mph in roughly 8 seconds.

Driving Impressions

Driving the 2014 Kia Forte for only a short period of time my impression was it's handling is decent for the class.  It is not sporty but I felt the steering was agile and it put the car where I wanted it to go without any fuss.  The powertrain shifts should be fine for daily drivers as it is smooth and I didn't feel like there was any problem revving the engine 173-hp engine and getting power from it when needed.  Basically the engine delivers power when needed and sips fuel nicely when it is not.  The Kia Forte delivers a nice driving experience and is somewhat above par for this class in my opinion.

While cruising down the road I was further impressed with the interior by how silent it is in the cabin.

Would you buy the 2014 Kia Forte?

Being an auto journalist I get asked this question a lot.  Unfortunately I can't answer  with a definitive “Yes” or “No” as I only had about 30 minutes in the 2014 Kia Forte I drove.  This isn't enough time to really assess the functionality of the infotainment system, driving in all road conditions, and other Forte features.  This was a friend's vehicle and not a press loaner from Kia.  I'd be happy to test drive a Kia Forte, or another Kia, for a full week if I was offered though.

Before I'd buy the Kia Forte sedan I'd personally like to drive the Kia Forte hatchback as that adds more trunk space and storage capacity without upgrading to a larger car.  It seems hatchbacks in the US market have become much more popular and I haven't driven the hatchback Forte to compare.

Final Thoughts

Along with better exterior designs that are eye catching, refined engines and transmissions, and improved interiors Kia has come far.  The 2014 Kia Forte shows this on all fronts and with a nice amount of standard features, like all Kias, for the price it's just a small car that delivers a knockout in the segment.  Cars like the Kia Forte must have executives at Japanese and American auto companies on their toes.  It feels like Kia is the fighter that nobody was expecting would deliver any serious blows, but has.  Kia isn't a just a “cheap car brand” but in my opinion provides great value for the money and I'm sure there are a lot of happy 2014 Kia Forte drivers out there.

Unsure if the Kia Forte can pull buyers away from the mighty Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic which are leaders in this small car class, but I wouldn't be surprised if some buyers opted for the Kia.  It adds great contemporary styling with a price tag that suits a lot of wallets.

If you have any questions about the 2014 Kia Forte, please leave them below and I will answer any questions as best as I can.  If you own a Kia Forte and want to leave a comment about what your experience has been like as an owner I'd be happy to hear.

2014 Kia Forte EX Specifications

Powertrain: 2.0 liter 173-horsepower engine with 131 lb-ft of torque, 6-speed automatic

Base Price : $19,400

MSRP (model tested): $25,500 (roughly)

Brazilian Supermodel Adriana Lima encourages Everyone to be Football Fans [VIDEOS]

adriana lima

by Adam Yamada-Hanff

With the 2014 World Cup officially kicking off today Kia has decided to use a smart marketing tactic, a beautiful women.  In this case Adriana Lima, a ridiculously hot Brazilian Supermodel.

Since most supermodels are Made in Brazil, and the World Cup is taking place there this year, Adriana Lima is trying hard to encourage everyone to be football fans for 1 month.  Kia is dubbing the campaign “For One Month, Let’s All be Fútbol Fans.”  The TV spots show the supermodel convincing people, ok just guys, to watch the world's most popular sport instead of what Americans usually watch. Check out the TV spots with the Brazilian Supermodel right here;

Adriana Lima – Football vs. Futbul

One commercial shows the supermodel going to a football practice.  All the guys practicing notice Adriana Lima, since she is Adriana Lima.  She puts a soccer ball on the ground and says, “In my country this is Futbol.”  and kicks it to one of the players.

Adriana Lima Brings Futbul to a Sports Bar

This TV commercial shows the stunning Brazilian Supermodel in a typical American sports bar.  She changes the music to traditional Brazilian music and then changes the channel from NASCAR to “Futbol.”  Definitely a good choice.

Adriana Lima and models Transform a Man Cave

Here we have Adriana Lima transforming a Football and Basebell mancave into a “Futbol” mancave along with two other smoking hot models.  She then changes the channel from Basebell to Futbol.  Something all the guys don't seem to mind.

It should be obvious but “Fútbol” means Football in Portuguese, the language people speak in Brazil, and is what we call Soccer.  Just thought I should mention that in case someone out there wasn't able to figure it out.

While I really like these TV commercials, what was not so smart was that Kia tried to mix in the Kia Optima and Kia Soreto in the TV spots.  Will any man seriously notice those over Adriana Lima?  Still they know that supermodels work in advertising as this is the second time the Korean automaker has used Lima.  “The reaction to Adriana Lima’s appearance in ‘Drive the Dream’ was overwhelming”  said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Kia.  Lima was used in the 2012’s “Drive the Dream” Kia Super Bowl commercial which also featured Motley Crue.  “…with the World Cup being staged in her home country of Brazil and her love for the game it was a natural fit to partner again and add a bit of glamour and humor to our ‘fútbol’ campaign.” continued Sprague.

All the ads will make broadcast debuts when group play officially begins on June 12th.  Kia TV commercials will be airing on various channels carrying the World Cup which includes ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes (Spanish).  Kia is sponsoring the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil which is why they made these TV spots.  Hopefully they will make many more commercials that feature Brazilian Supermodels.

Kia Needs A Different Ad Agency for the Super Bowl [Video]

Kia really had an amazingly bad Super Bowl commercial this year.  I mean I was watching it and just thought “WTF? They think this will make me want to actually buy a Kia Forte?”

Basically the commercial is a geeky guy checking out the 2014 Kia Forte while “Hotbots” stand guard around it.  When he gets too close one of the Hotbots kicks him, give him a wedgie, then throws him across the room.  Then music plays and you see the words “Respect the Tech” across the screen.

Not sure who or what ad and marketing agency came up with this commercial but they certainly need to be fired.  I think for next year's Super Bowl Kia should hire whoever did Hyundai's commercials.

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Kia’s Uses Cute ‘Space Babies’ for Super Bowl Commercial [Video]

Kia has really been drastically improving their vehicle lineup over the last few years (making other automakers do a double-take.  Kia's commercials are stepping up as well.

For their Super Bowl 2013 commercial entitled “Space Babies” a father is forced to explain where babies come from to his young son who inquires.  Instead of actually telling him the truth of how his Mommy and Daddy.. well you know, he makes up an outlandish story about a planet called “Babylandia.”  Not only do human babies come from this planet but all species of animals young come from Babylandia it seems.

While the Kia Super Bowl commercial is funny and cute, will it be remembered?  I think Kia's Super Bowl commercial last year with Adriana Lima was more memorable.  I mean… it had Adriana Lima!  Why not just bring her back?  Nobody minds seeing a Brazilian supermodel again.

The target market for the 2014 Kia Sorrento I guess is different than the Kia Optima which was what the Adriana Lima Super bowl commercial last year was for.  I was sort of hoping they would be able to match that commercial but they didn't.

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