2013 Kia Forte Koup Review

Forte Koup

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Trims

EX
Avg. Price: $16,442
SX
Avg. Price: $18,168

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2013 Kia Forte Koup Overview

2013 Kia Forte Koup

Kia's economically sporting 2-door Forte Koup compact carries into 2013 with few changes, but a redesign cresting the horizon. Truth be told, the rumored redesign is late, what with the Koup's presently disappointing ride and features list for a Kia in this range. Sure, its features beat out any other similarly priced competitor, but for Kia, only the 2013 Forte lineup seems to reasonably match up with the company's usually heightened ante.

The sporty top-shelf SX now fetches standard LED daytime running lights, also optional for the base EX, while both trims also get power folding outside mirrors, revised Kia badging throughout, a new 16-inch alloy wheel choice, washer-fluid dummy light and 2 new darker shades of red and bronze to replace last year's brighter hues of the same. While drivers will surely be pleased with these neat new gizmos, their reviews indicate a desire for better interiors, less road noise and a more serene ride overall—all issues rumor says Kia will address in the upcoming overhaul, though we can't be sure how well, given that our only previews are sketches and a Euro-spec release of just the hatch Forte 5-Door under a different name.

In terms of exterior style, the rumored redesign is truly a stellar beauty—or shall I say inter-stellar—with space-age-inspired swooping curves and flared lights made famous by the Hyundai Elantra. The good news is these rumored changes don't seem to be just skin deep with a supposed Elantra suspension and high-powered engine to breathe life into the Forte Koup's new outer shell, possibly as soon as a 2013-and-a-half debut.

While some drivers prefer the Forte Koup's understated style and find the glitz and glam of the incoming model distasteful, the new suspension and power bump could quickly turn those frowns upside down as they discover the Forte Koup they otherwise adore no longer drives like a plank of wood with beach ball tires. For now though, in this early 2013 edition, comfort, road noise and responsiveness stay just as disappointing, but it's not intolerable if you just want a decently safe and reliable new car with competitive fuel economy and useful pep.

Getting up and going is not a big problem for both of the light Koup's 4-cylinder engine choices, ranging from 156 hp for the 2-liter in the EX and 173 hp for the 2.4-liter in the SX. The EX can fetch as good as 27 mpg city/37 highway with an economy option pack over its usual 25/34, the SX getting 23/32 regardless of whether the 6-speed manual or one of the 6-speed automatic transmissions is selected. The Koup is the quickest of the Forte bunch, hitting 60 mph from a standstill in 7.4 seconds. The interior, though tight, boasts well-placed cubbies and compartments with easily read and used gauges.

Updated

Your prototypical "Tom Girl" Patricia got her start digging into Ford engines before she aged into double digits. Gifted with a mechanical mind, her favorite pass-time in the summer is picking up a fixer-up'r at the local public auction and massaging its every ailment until it's primed for a new lover. From dirt bikes to land yachts, every partner offers something truly special in her love affair with the road - just don't tell her husband.

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