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2010 Kia Forte

Overview
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2010 Kia Forte Review

By

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.

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 207 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
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Excelent Buy

By on Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Nearly 100k and not a single problem. It's peppy, it's pretty, it's pleasing, it's problem free, it's perfectly priced."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Enjoyable Drive

By on Monday, August 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable, good highway car"

Cons: "Mediocre gas mileage, a bit too low-slung"

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

"Overall, the 2012 Forte EX is a great car and I've been very pleased with it. In addition to local, around-the-neighborhood driving the car has been on a couple of long distance road trips and it performs beautifully. It's quiet on the highway, comfortable, and has sufficient power to pass slower vehicles easily and get up to speed quickly when entering the highway. Both long trips were in the summer and the a/c works very well and keeps the car comfortable, even in very hot weather. The Sirius radio is a real asset on long, cross-country drives. The only downsides are that the car's gas mileage doesn't seem to be as good as my previous Corolla's, and the front end design is a bit problematic because the hood is raked so steeply that it's impossible to know exactly where the front of the car is when you are trying to park and avoid hitting something in front of you. The car also is lower than my previous Corolla, so when driving into a head-in parking spot the front end often doesn't fully clear the curb and there's a loud "scrape" to remind you that it's a low vehicle! These are relatively minor quibbles but are design flaws that I hope have been fixed in newer models. From a maintenance standpoint the car has been completely trouble-free!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

great value for the price

By on Sunday, August 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Saw this car a year before I bought one. Also looked at Chevy Cruze and Volks. Jetta. Styling was a major reason I chose the Forte Koup. Three years later I still enjoy looking at it. Absolutely no problems; still runs great with good gas mileage. I get enough power and torque to keep me happy. If I was trading now I would go to Kia again."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

I like it, but don't love it. Good car for the $.

By on Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Nice looks, reliable, good mpg. Great audio sys."

Cons: "Touchy throttle."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I bought the "High MPH" option, with low rolling resistance tires. Those tires did yield about 36mpg, but wore out quickly (about 22Kmi) & were terrible in the snow. I now have regular tires on the car & get about 33mpg avg driving. The car rides well & can easily stay with traffic. Love the sound system, although I don't subscribe to the satellite service. The BlueTooth phone interface is nice. I like the rear fold-down seats for hauling long things. A couple of minor driving issues; 1] The initial acceleration from a stop is very aggressive. The car tends to jump with very little pedal push. Makes smooth starts touchy, especially when teaching my son to drive! 2] The electric pwr steering doesn't return to neutral position as reliably as my previous vehicles did. This makes constant steering adjustments necessary to stay on course. I view those issue as minor in relation to the overall reliability & quality of the car."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Decent car especially for the money

By on Monday, July 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Standard features"

Cons: "Ride with the OEM tires was not that great."

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

"Love the standard features on the Forte Koup - shiftable automatic transmission, four-wheel ABS disc, great looks & style, good gas mileage, etc. Car has been very reliable without a single hiccup so far. I do keep maintenance up on the car as I want it to last."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Excellent small vehicle for young people!

By on Friday, July 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "All +++++"

Cons: "Power is good, for Gas savings!"

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

"This is an excellent vehicle for those who have thrift in mind and yet want all the features in more expensive models. Gas economy is excellent, 27.5 in city driving, Highway driving 30 with the air on, can go to 33 without air or even better. Mechanically I have owned it for three years as good as the day I drove it out of the show room. In the city it's good and on the highway it performs well. Ride is good, sensitive steering electric power steering is very responsive. Once you go to Cruise control gas savings go up even with air on. Sound system could be a bit better but it is good. Great car mini limo for less cost. Great for young people as a starter, but you will always appreciate it's cost savings no matter what you own in the future!"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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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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