Kia Forte makes a strong tech showing

It’s got keyless entry and start, puddle lights and automatic folding side mirrors that illuminate and fold out as you approach. The driver’s seat is heated and ventilated with power adjustment and two-position memory; the cabin is bathed in dual-zone automatic climate control. It’s got two LCDs on the dash powered by a fantastic infotainment system.

No, this isn’t a luxury sedan. It is the 2014 Kia Forte EX and it’s come a long way, baby.

Inside and out, fit and finish are quite good all around the Forte. The small sedan manages to be sporty, but not gaudy. The dashboard sports carbon fiber look-alike trim that’s paradoxically fake and plastic, but also tastefully done. I’m still scratching my head about that one. You’ll find no LED speaker grilles, no chintzy fake metal or glossy black plastic in this Kia’s cabin. The Forte is doing its part to show the brand as grown-up.

However, there are places where the cost cutting is evident; where the economy car roots show through. For example, although both front buckets can be heated, only the driver’s seat is ventilated and chilled. Likewise, only the driver’s seat is power-adjustable with memory. And let’s not forget that although the dashboard’s plastic trim looks nice, it’s still just plastic. I get it; sacrifices must be made to keep the price below $ 25K.

Overall, though, my first impression of this 2014 Kia model was a good one.

Uvo eServices infotainment For the first time, you ca… [Read more]


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