"I purchased the "ad" car that was featured in my local Kia dealer's newspaper ad--it is the base model Forte with manual transmission, manual window, manual locks. It is a basic package, and exactly what I was looking for!
Now with 20,000 miles, I can review with experience. Fuel consumption: worst: 31mpg, best 38 mpg--averaging 33-34.
Interior: lots of plastic, most of it has a soft surface and scratches easily. Left door panel nicked from when I release my seat belt and clasp is drawn over to the left--it slams into the door panel. Seat upholstery stains easily, Carpet, if you can call it that, is very thin.In short, it is an inexpensive car with an inexpensive interior.
Infotainment: I like the Bluetooth enabled audio system. I regularly stream content from my BlackBerry, and the connection is dependably seamless. The microphone however is quite tinny--when I speak on the telephone, the person on the other end frequently has difficulty understanding me.
Mechanical: No dependability issues. I have observed however that when the engine is cold, there is a noticeable "ticking" noise in the upper engine/valvetrain. I have found other Kia/Hyundai owners of cars with the same engine on message boards who observe the same type of sound. Several took their cars to dealers who called it "normal". I choose not to waste my time in this manner, so I will rely on my 100,000 mile warranty on this issue if there is a problem.
Misc: The TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) warning light has falsely reported under inflated tires twice. The light self-corrected within a few days both times.
Serviceability: I do all my own maintenance. The engine bay is spacious and items like the oil and air filters, spark plugs, and drive belts all appear to be easily serviceable. Engine uses no oil between service intervals. Tires are wearing evenly (rotated at 12,000 miles)
Summary: I was looking for an inexpensive, dependable commuter car with good MPG. I found the Kia to be the best value in the segment, and I do not regret my decision."
"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."
Pros: "Fun to drive, comfortable, great gas mileage"
Cons: "gas mileage seems overly sensitive to tire psi"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car is an awesome car for the money.. I looks great have had it for a little over 2.5 years.. I got the Koup in blue, I bought it new in 2010 at the beginning of the year.. I am always getting compliments on the color and the design of the car..I have not had a single problem with car, it runs great, gets great gas mileage, is comfortable to drive, handles very well which makes the car more fun to drive..."
Pros: "Great price, looks good, and is fun to drive."
Cons: "I haven't found anything I don't like about it."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This vehicle is a total pleasure to own! It is quite responsive, very maneuverable, and fun to drive... and gets about 31 mpg in the city! (I thought I'd be a little disappointed going from a large six-cylinder down to a four, but its the loss in power is an easy trade-off with the money I save at the gas pump.)
The craftsmanship is very good. But, what really sold me on the Forte Koup was the fact that it has a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty and comes completely equipped! --From custom floor mats to blue tooth technology... it's all there in the base price.
It's a great little car, and you'd have to pay quite a bit more for a vehicle with similar features and probably wind up with a smaller engine. Oh, yea, and I love the way it looks!"
"This car is a heck of a lot of fun to drive. Mine has the optional sun roof and six speed automatic transmission, both of which I highly recommend.
The SX 5 door has a 2.4 liter engine that has plenty of zip. Gas mileage suffers some (about 25 MPG around town, 30 HWY), but because I derive so much enjoyment driving it, the lesser gas mileage compared to the 2.0 version really doesn't bother me. (I owned a 2010 Forte 2.0 sedan and the thing would hardly get out of its own way. Also, the steering on that vehicle was ghastly on the highway.)
The six speed transmission shifts smooth as silk in full auto. Convert to manual with stick or paddle shifters and it's a bit rough for sure. I very much hate the fact that Kia did not put a 3rd-5th gear lock out used for limiting the transmission to those ranges. I would have preferred that arrangement to the manual stick or paddle shifters they have on the auto transmission. It would have been very nice to keep the car up to only forth gear traveling, say, up to 40 MPH. Instead you must constantly shift manually to limit it. This is the only VERY negative design deficiency I have found in the Forte 5 door in what otherwise is a very well designed vehicle.
The steering on the 2011 SX is smooth and responsive. It makes the car nimble and easy to complete quick agile maneuvers. Brakes are fantastic allowing you to stop on a dime.
As far as styling, I really like the appearance of the 5 door infinitely better than the old lady looking sedan. And as far as the 17" alloy wheels, I feel they are as sleek looking as anything on the road. I'm in my fifties now, but I really feel that the entire styling of this vehicle will appeal to the young as well as the young at heart!
Combine all this fun with a great new car warranty and a very reasonable price tag, and you have a winner here. But don't take my word for it, go see one and drive it for yourself!"