Last post on Aug 16, 2013 at 1:41 PM
You are in the Kia Forte / Forte Koup
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Kia Forte, Car Buying, Hatchback
#53 of 70 Taking the Plunge for a New Car After 10 Years
Apr 08, 2011 (8:27 am)
I have been driving my 2001 Hyundai Elantra GT for almost 10 years. I've racked up almost 250,000 miles on the most reliable car I have ever owned. I still have the original rear struts, water pump, thermostat, alternator, and MANY other parts. I did have to replace 3 of the 4 wheel bearings, but that was after 200,000 miles. And I am a bit of a spirited driver, too, so I don't exactly take it easy on my cars (except that my cars get great maintenance). I currently get about 33 mpg highway, not bad considering the EPA number is 32 mpg.
I am making a move to a new car because I am just beginning to hear a little manual tramission whinning on cold mornings, I am going to need to replace the valve cover gasket soon, have a crack in the front windshield, recently developed a pesky vacuum line problem (only making engine run slightly rough right now and fuel economy is barely affected), and have some minor clunking noise on front passenger side that no one has been able to figure out (beginning to suspect front strut looseness or damage). I also need new tires soon, so decided it was time to say goodbye to my old friend. I will miss her and her nice leather seats!!
I have decided to replace my beloved Elantra GT with the 2011 Kia Forte 5-Door after reviewing hundreds of pages of car forums on at least 20 different models of compact cars. Here are my reasons:
(1) I wanted a hatchback, preferably one that did not look too much like a wagon. This eliminated the Hyundai Elantra Touring, which looks way too boxy for me; plus it is still using the old engine technology from 2001. The Forte is the best looking compact 5-door on the current market in my opinion, as well as one of the roomiest.
(2) I wanted a a good amount of standard features for a price around $18,000 or less. The Forte seems to be one of the few roomy compacts with a lot of standard features for under $18,000.
I will miss my leather seats, lumbar support adjustment, and audio system the most. My 2001 Elantra's stock audio system still sounds much better than the audio system in the 2011 Forte. I think that is Forte's biggest downfall. Even with the bass and treble boosted, it was pretty mediocre at best. I will also miss the leather-wrapped steering wheel of my Elantra. The steering wheel feel is the Forte's second shortcoming.
However, I used to install car stereos so I can improve the Forte's audio pretty easily. Now I just have to find some way to get the steering wheel wrapped with high-quality (durable) leather (or faux leather).
Hope I like the car for the long haul the same way I have loved my 2001 Elantra GT.
#54 of 70 Re: Taking the Plunge for a New Car After 10 Years [compensate]
Apr 09, 2011 (11:13 am)
It's gratifying to read that you've gotten nearly 250K miles from your "lowly" Hyundai Elantra GT. Perhaps it'll quiet some of the Hyundai bashers out there.
I think you'll be happy with your decision to get a Forte EX 5-door. The 2.0-L engine has plenty of oomph, especially with the manual transmission. In spite of the torsion-beam rear suspension and the lack of a rear anti-sway bar, it handles much better than I expected in spirited driving, although it can be brutal on frost-heaved roads. I, too, had a 2001.5 Elantra GT liftback (with a Tiburon rear anti-sway bar and modified camber settings to mitigate understeer), and it was a very tossable and fun ride. My Forte EX sedan is just as enjoyable to drive, and its acceleration is noticeably quicker than the GT's.
Unfortunately, the 5-door wasn't available for 2010, nor was the 6-speed manual in the EX, otherwise I'd be driving what you'll be buying. The 5-speed manual has a few shortcomings, mainly a flat spot between 2nd and 3rd gears during maximum acceleration, and it forces the engine to turn at 3,000-rpm at 70-mph in 5th; presumably the 6-speed manual's gearing addresses these two deficiencies. But even at sustained highway speeds in the 70 to 75-mph range (with occasional higher bursts), I still get between 33 and 34-mpg. On one 200-mile round trip, mostly at 60-mph, I got over 38-mpg.
I'm not an audiophile, so the Forte's sound system is quite adequate for me, and the access to satellite radio and the ability to use flash drives loaded with thousands of songs is a huge plus--no more lugging around cases of CDs. Although I "suffer" from congenital scoliosis, in a year and a half I've never missed the adjustable lumbar support. I do miss the leather seats, primarily because static shocks when exiting the car were a thing of the past, but I'm now in the habit of grounding myself on the metal door frame with my forearm as I exit.
Since Kia is now on a par with Hyundai's technology and build-quality, you should have no problem getting similar reliability from your new Forte.
#55 of 70 Re: Taking the Plunge for a New Car After 10 Years [jimpimms]
Apr 11, 2011 (9:33 am)
Yes, all of the Hyundai bashers out there should keep quiet! My Hyundai was the most reliable car I have ever owned - even better than a few different Mazdas I owned.
I have to retract my prior words about the steering wheel and audio system. Apparently the automatic Forte 5-door I test drove had a different steering wheel than the 6-speed manual I bought. The steering wheel on the automatic EX was rather hard with many small circular cut-outs in it - was not pleasant to steer! My steering wheel is actually smooth and comfortble - maybe the manual tranny car comes with some different finishing on the interior? The audio system sounds better than I remember from the test drive vehicle, too. I did adjust the bass and treble to boost +9 each and backed-off the midrange to -3, though, to get the sound I liked. Decent bass for no subwoofer, too!
Glad to hear about your gas mileage! I was nervous buying the manual transmission car because the automatic boasted a little higher EPA mileage. I prefer manuals for increased off-the-line acceleration, easier maintenance, and ability to "jump start" it on a hill if the battery goes dead.
So far, I think the handling is better than I expected (some reviews slammed the handliung of the EX), but I have not pushed it too hard since I am still within my break-in period. I am glad I got the EX over the SX because tires are going to be a heck of a lot cheaper (check tire prices on the tires on the SX model - ouch!) and gas mileage should be a lot better.
I do miss the gas mileage calculator that my 2001 Elantra had - you can only get that option on the automatic tranny version of the Forte. I am also going to miss the leather seats, like you said. Leather just feels so "free" where I don't feel stuck to the seat. Plus spills are easily cleaned-up on leather. I may spring for leather seats after a year or so - will cost about $900-1000 here for full leather front and rear seats (local shop will cover existing upholstery with stitched leather covering). By the way, I also ground myself with my forearm when I exit my Forte now - ha ha!
I'm glad to hear that you are doing good without the lumbar adjustment of the Elantra. I always kept my lumbar support at max and worried that I'd get uncomfortable without that adjustment on the Forte. I also miss the seat adjustment of the Elantra, as the Forte only allows for raising or lowering, where the Elantra would allow the front of the seat to be moved upward while the rear of the seat remained low - that was a great setting for driving as it gave great upper leg support. Time will tell!!
Thanks for responding! It was pretty cool to find someone else who went from a 2001.5 Hyundai Elantra to a Kia Forte! Enjoy!
#56 of 70 Radio ID (ESN or SID)???
Apr 17, 2011 (12:12 pm)
Does anyone know how to find the radio ID (ESN or SID) on the 2011 Kia Forte radio? You need this ID to figure out which SiriusXM packages are available. I am considering extending the 3-month trial package ONLY if I am able to purchase the A La Carte package. The rest of the packages are not worth the monthly expense, in my opinion.
#57 of 70 Re: Radio ID (ESN or SID)??? [compensate]
Apr 17, 2011 (2:15 pm)
Nevermind, I figured it out. Simply dial your Satellite to channel 0 (zero) and the number will appear on the screen.
#58 of 70 Cargo volume
Apr 23, 2011 (11:33 am)
Has the total volume, with the seats folded, been announced yet? It looks like 19 with the seats up.
#59 of 70 Re: Cargo volume [gigahz]
Apr 23, 2011 (12:36 pm)
for some reason it doesn't mention it on either the US or Canadian websites, but if you go one page back to #37 entry you will see I put in the measurements when the back seats are in the cargo position. Does this help?
Apr 23, 2011 (2:46 pm)
Also has the GVWR been released? The dimensions help yes.
#61 of 70 Re: GVWR [gigahz]
Apr 23, 2011 (7:32 pm)
I would suggest you go to your local Kia dealer and check out the door tag for the GVWR for that vehicle.
#62 of 70 Impressed by Forte LX
Apr 29, 2011 (3:27 pm)
Just bough (March 1st) a 2010 Kia Forte LX, just for the economy. After all I drive 120 miles a day (Northwest NY) and filling up was getting expensive with my Jeep Wrangler. (Average on dry road = 20-22 miles per Gallon - 15-18 mpg on 4x4).
In the past 2 months, I have tried different "ways" of driving and have averaged, so far 37-39 miles per gallon.(my credit card company is crying as I am not spending as much as before).
This last week, I decided to drive like a Floridian (no insult intended). Change gears at 2000rpm and "upping" from third to fifth (by-passing fourth) and keeping acceleration very slow. Still a little hesitation as the RPM falls to 1,100 RPM but slowly getting to speed (55mph). The result is that I drove 375 miles on 9 gallons (41.50 miles per gallons) Of course it takes the fun out of driving (but wallet feels better). If I do my commute using only Highways (70-75 mph), I still average 36-38 mpg.
Good oomph in second gear and third (with a slight dead timing) but overall, good pick up even in fifth. The manual advises to change oil every 7,500 miles (or 12 months) but I'm kind of weary about this.
Sound system is not Bose but does its job. Bluetooth is annoying with its "transfer complete" female robotic voice., but I kindof got used to it. (I still stall once in a while and the circuits have to "rearm' themselves I guess).
it's a car and for the price and its operation, it should fit a lot of budget conscious drivers.
Very good car with very good mileage per gallon.