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#6

in 2010 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $8,382 - $11,852
Original MSRP: $13,695 - $18,695
MPG: 25 City / 34 Hwy
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2010 Kia Forte Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

In the performance department, the Kia Forte offers what you would expect from an affordable small car. It was designed as a more of a commuter car than a joy-riding machine. 

  • "Forte's performance, road manners, and overall refinement are pleasant, though not as polished as class leaders." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The 2010 Kia Forte isn't exactly a driver's car, even in sport-tuned SX form. There's lots of body roll during enthusiastic cornering, and the steering is rather numb. The ride is comfortable enough, however, and with the exception of intrusive road noise on some surfaces, the Forte is a confident highway cruiser. " -- Edmunds
  • "As a daily driver, the Koup SX is as pleasant and rewarding as anything in its class." -- Motor Trend

Acceleration and Power

Reviewers are conflicted about the power of the Forte's engine regardless of whether the car comes with the standard 2.0 liter, which makes 156 horsepower or the 2.4 liter, which makes 173 horsepower. The Forte can get up to 27/36 mpg city/highway with the automatic transmission and 2.0-liter engine, according to the EPA. While the Forte may not be destined for the drag strip, it seems fair to say it will get the job done for commuters.

  • "We all marveled over the car's zippy acceleration, delivered via the Forte EX's 2-liter, 156-horsepower, inline four-cylinder engine. But we were more impressed with its fuel economy: 25 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway running on regular unleaded gasoline." -- The Washington Post
  • "Clutch take-up is smooth in the six-speed, but the shifter feels imprecise and has a fair amount of play in it. And someone needs to tell Kia that aggressive throttle tip-in does not make a car sporty. It only makes a driver annoyed at the difficulty in being smooth." -- Car and Driver
  • "The 2.4-liter power plant was sluggish to respond to throttle input, and it wheezed and gasped at anything above 3,500 rpm. Surprisingly, the six-speed manual transmission didn't earn our affection either." -- Autoblog

Handling and Braking

While several of the reviewers in the automotive press complain about the noisiness of the car's engine on the highway or bumpy roads, most felt that the Kia Forte provides a ride that isn't exactly sporty but that is very smooth nonetheless. 

  • "The 2010 Kia Forte isn't exactly a driver's car, even in sport-tuned SX form. There's lots of body roll during enthusiastic cornering, and the steering is rather numb. The ride is comfortable enough, however, and with the exception of intrusive road noise on some surfaces, the Forte is a confident highway cruiser." -- Edmunds
  • "It felt somewhat tighter than an EX we drove later, but the sum of all that equipment wasn't something we'd really call sporty. Turn-in was fairly aggressive, which was nice, but the tires and the suspension seemed to give up by midcorner, where the car would begin to plow like it was the start of planting season." -- Car and Driver