It’s great to see Kia come so far in the quality department and still offer great pricing. The new high quality builds from Kia now make it tremendous value for your money and the Kia Forte Koup is no different. Although, the first generation Kia Fortes were built on the same platform as the Hyundai Elantra, the completely redesigned 2014 Kia Forte Koup stands alone with a lower, wider and longer stance than its predecessor. It also benefits from some major technology upgrades and features that now come standard.
DRIVE & PERFORMANCE
Although the 2014 Kia Forte Koup has a turbo-charged engine, it can be quite slow and unresponsive at times. At mid-range speeds (20-60km/h), the 2014 Kia Forte is lazy to react and slow to accelerate, however, from a standstill you will experience the full power coming from its 201 hp, 1.6L turbo-charged four cylinder engine – so much so that the tires usually skid out. This amount of power is paired with a 6 speed transmission with choice of manual or automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for manual mode. Even at full power, Kia has done a great job at eliminating torque steer making the overall drive and performance feel quite safe.
Passengers are kept happy with minimal body sway in turns, a smooth ride over bumps and holes, while still feeling the joy of a performance car through the deep rumble of the dual exhaust and the whizzing sound of the turbo in action. The 2014 Kia Forte Koup provides overall satisfaction for the driver and passengers with a great balance between comfort and performance.
Although the 2014 Kia Forte Koup SX runs a mere 1.6L engine, it consumes gas like a car with a much bigger engine. For a smaller car with a performance engine, we would be content with an average fuel economy around 8.0 L/100km. However, our combined city and highway test drive recorded a fuel economy of 9.2 L/100km over 450km. Happily, our test average was well within Kia’s posted mileages of 7.8 L/100km on the highway and 10.6 L/100km in the city.
INTERIOR & EXTERIOR
At first glance, the 2014 Kia Forte Koup exhibits all the traits one might expect from an entry level two door vehicle. Upon further inspection, its true aggressive design comes through from the dual tone black and white exterior highlights, the shark fin antenna and the dual exhaust. It also comes equipped with super bright and wide headlights making night driving a pleasure.
What makes driving the 2014 Kia Forte Koup a pleasure are the vast number of options and technology offered to the driver and passengers. Options such as heated and cooled seats, heated steering wheel, steering resistance adjustment and power folding side mirrors are usually only seen in luxury vehicles, but they come standard or optional on the Forte Koup. The 2014 Kia Forte Koup also does a great job of insulating exterior and engine noise, giving passengers a quiet and relaxing driving experience.
The 2014 Kia Forte Koup is offered with three levels of trim, but all levels come standard with great quality materials, nice detail in the mouldings and lots of functional interior storage. There is a comfortable amount of room for the rear passengers, especially for a two door vehicle. The simple and straightforward controls and touch screen make accessing options a breeze. I would have liked to see an option to add a powerful sound system as the one offered is lacking in the bass department, and has an overall low volume and lack of rich sounds.
With the 2014 Kia Forte Koup starting at $22,295 ($28,295 as tested), it is great value when compared to the competition. Although you may find the performance and fuel economy subpar, the sound and feel of the drive, the many standard options and the smooth and quiet ride may make up for it. It is definitely worth a test drive to provide a good basis for comparison.