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2010 Kia Forte

Overview
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2010 Kia Forte Review

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The Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are the co-captains of the compact sedan segment. Refined over several decades and many generations, they've been the two best-selling cars in the category for what seems like forever. But today there are more viable alternatives than ever, and one of the very latest is the 2010 Kia Forte. More than a replacement for the Kia Spectra, the stylish and solid Forte represents a giant leap for Kia as an automaker. The lineup started with a sedan, continued with a coupe and should eventually grow to include a wagon.

You'll Like This Car If...

If stylish, tech-savvy and affordable are among your key compact car wants, give the 2010 Kia Forte a spot on your short list.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Although it has sporty style and class-leading horsepower, the 2010 Kia Forte isn't as engaging as category performance standouts like the MAZDA3 or Mitsubishi Lancer.

What's Significant About This Car?

With the introduction of the 2010 Forte, Kia has moved another chess piece across the threshold of style and perceived quality that typically separates a category's successful veterans from its revolving name-changers.

Driving the Forte

Driving Impressions The 2010 Kia Forte is most impressive on the highway, least impressive when pushed hard and pretty darn good at all points in between. Out on the open road, we've...

found it to be one of the category's quieter and more comfortable cruisers. On tighter, twistier asphalt, the Forte is quick when pushed and corners confidently, but isn't as fun to drive as competitors like the MAZDA3 or VW Jetta. Even in the more powerful, sport-tuned SX version, the Forte's steering, pedal and shifter feel don't really promote or reward enthusiastic driving. We'd also give up some of the SX's class-leading horsepower for a little more low-end torque and off-the-line response. Around town, the Forte simply drives like the solid little compact sedan it is, with our biggest complaint being a larger-than-average blind spot that can make backing out of parking spaces a bit dicey.
Favorite Features

Comprehensive Audio System
Every 2010 Kia Forte boasts a flexible AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat/Aux/USB audio system. When matched with the upgraded speakers, it's among the best sound systems in the segment.

iPod Bin
The 2010 Kia Forte features the same great iPod connection point we first loved on the Kia Soul: An open bin, in plain view and within easy reach, with readily accessible power and connection ports.

2010 Kia Forte Details
2010 Kia Forte photo Interior

Stylish sheetmetal isn't enough: To compete with the best compact sedans today you also must have an interior with contemporary style and an absence of overtly cheap materials. The Forte's impressive passenger compartment goes even further than that, adding the roomiest interior in its class (more room than a Nissan Maxima, in fact) and a bigger trunk than the BMW 7 Series. Seat comfort is improving across the Kia line but continues to be a weak point for some folks of various sizes, so you might want to pay attention there.

Exterior
2010 Kia Forte photo

If you want to play with the big boys, you've got to look the part. Fortunately for Kia, the 2010 Kia Forte is among the most attractive cars in its class. The signature design element is a unique character line that drops down from the side mirror and extends all the way to the rear. We like the Forte's wide, low-profile stance, which adds to the sporty character and helps it stand out in a crowd of ever-taller compact cars. The Forte EX and SX trims sport side mirrors with integrated turn signals - a nice touch - and even the base LX has body-color side mirrors and door handles instead of the black plastic features you'll find on some base-level compact sedans.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Kia is quick to point out that even the cheapest 2010 Kia Forte includes Bluetooth phone connectivity, iPod integration and an impressive suite of safety equipment including six airbags, electronic stability control and a sophisticated brake system. Don't expect to pay base price, though, if you want power windows, remote keyless entry or air conditioning.

Optional Equipment

The 2010 Kia Forte is among the growing number of compact sedans that offers leather seating. Unlike many of its competitors, however, the Forte does not offer a navigation system. Other amenities available for a price include a sunroof, heated seats, cruise control, steering-wheel audio and cruise buttons, upgraded speaker system and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat.

Under the Hood

The front-wheel-drive Forte offers a 156-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that can be matched with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The top-line, sport-tuned SX trim features a 173-horsepower, 2.4-liter four matched with a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic with manual control. The mid-trim EX is also offered with a Fuel Economy Package that includes the five-speed automatic plus Motor Drive Power Steering, a load-managing "smart" alternator, high-silica low-rolling-resistance tires and unique aero enhancements to boost its EPA numbers to 27/36 mpg and deliver class-leading city/highway combined fuel economy of 30 miles per gallon.

2.0-liter in-line 4
156 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
154 horsepower @ 6200 rpm (SULEV)
144 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
138 lb.-ft.of torque @ 4600 rpm (SULEV)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/34 (5-speed manual, 4-speed auto), 27/36 (5-speed auto)

2.4-liter in-line 4 (Forte SX)
173 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
165 horsepower @ 6000 rpm (SULEV)
168 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
161 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm (SULEV)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 (6-speed manual), 23/31 (five-speed auto)

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2010 Kia Forte Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 190 Ratings for the 2010 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Exceeds Expectations and Then Some

By on Tuesday, March 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Price, features, warranty, stylish,"

Cons: "Honestly don't have any complaints"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I sold my Ford Explorer for a more gas efficient car in 2009. I looked at all types of sedans, and settled on the first edition KIA Forte. I was a bit hesitant as some would say that they wouldn't trust KIA. I did a lot of background research and all signs pointed to a revamped, high quality, high value car. Over 4 years in, that is exactly how I feel about it. My brother bought one as well. Neither of us has had any problems with it. It is a terrific value in my opinion and beats other more expensive cars in style and features. Plus I'm 6'1 and it has a lot of leg room. LOVE IT!"

9 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Best Value for first car

By on Monday, January 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fun to Drive, Price, Value"

Cons: "Road Noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car was a great choice for my true "First Car" I am the first owner and very happy with the quality and value of my Kia Forte Koup"

Great little car, very sporty and peppy!

By on Monday, December 30, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have owned this car for a year now, and have driven it to Florida twice in one year. The ride is very comfortable, and it handles great! Seats are comfortable for me but because of low ceiling a taller person may find the car "cramped". Overall this cars quality and value are excellent in my opinion, and you get more bang for the buck with this car. Lots of accessories and technology come with this car. Id buy it again if I had to do it again."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great value

By on Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Affordable, great standard features,"

Cons: "Plastic doors scratch easily on interior"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"You get a lot of bang for your buck with the Forte! It comes standard with Bluetooth, great gas mileage, a great sound system, nice stow away spots for things like sunglasses and 4 cup holders in front (and two in back), with a spacious interior and trunk. It looks great inside and looks like the Audi's did in the late 2000's because the designer from Audi moved over to Kia. It drives very well and is sporty and fun. All around great vehicle and I don't think you can find anything better for the price tag."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Good Car for the money - Kia is still improving

By on Tuesday, December 03, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Fun to drive and looks sporty"

Cons: "Gas mileage is not as rated"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"This was the first Year for this KIA model. Overall its a good car, but have seen too many little issues become apparent over time. I think in the four years since I have owned this model KIA has done many improvements. I would recommend this car as a first time car and would buy another if the price was still below other marketed equivalent models."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Very solid car ...

By on Wednesday, November 06, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"It looks good inside and out, pretty quality materials, roomy, convenient, great reliability. My only knock is I want more power in my engine and a quieter ride (get rid of the road noise). Very efficient fuel wise. I like the Forte now just give me more power and the quieter ride and we are all good."

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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