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2013 Kia Forte Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 1 review
We were all excited about a redesign, too, but sorry—the only things redesigned on the 2013 Forte are the Kia badge and wheels options. As a condolence prize, you also get power folding outside mirrors standard for all but the base LX and some LED daytime running lights, if you like, but at earliest U.S. markets might get into that rumored redesign as a half-year debut. Kia tends to spring that sort of thing, so if you like the 2012 style of this 4-door compact better, here's your probably short-lived last chance to catch a fresh batch.
The rumored redesign is a space-age leap by comparison to the present Kia Forte, which sports a more '90s appeal most evident in its bumpers and skirts. Few photos of the Forte's new body have made their way into public hands, but what amounts to sketches at this point indicate a new face much more like that of the present Hyundai Elantra. Sleekly streaming lines replace the '90s-reminiscent beveled belt line, with a raked-in roof and considerably more aggressive cues for a sexily sporting look without being overblown.
If this redesign makes it to U.S. markets as a 2013-and-a-half, the added power folding mirrors and LED light options for this first segment of the 2013 release are likely to stick around. However, if this 2013 should turn out to be a last hurrah before a 2014 debut, don't expect these extra amenities in a redesigned 2014. Kia is known to keep the value going, but it isn't uncommon for makers to exclude pricey specials in the premier of a new edition. That said, these features could then make a comeback for 2015 if you don't mind waiting.
The familiar 3 trims return for 2013, from the base LX to the midlevel EX and top-shelf SX, but whether they will endure as such through the redesign is anyone's guess at this point. All but the Forte LX sedan get power-folding outside mirrors for 2013, without even so much as an option for it in the LX. The top-shelf SX gets new LED running lights standard, and the EX can opt for them, but again the LX is left out of the new stock of gifts entirely.
Although every Forte from LX sedan to 5-Door and Koup now gets a washer-fluid warning light standard, we can only say whoopdeedoo. One less paper towel used at the usual gas station check-up. If you're into the 2013 Kia Forte LX, the only new spice available on that rack is purely cosmetic. Like the EX and SX Forte sedans, the LX likewise gains a new 1-inch-bigger steel wheel option between the standard 15-inch covered steels and optional 16-inch alloys, and the choice of Crimson Red or Metallic Bronze over last year's Spicy Red and Metal Bronze.
Power isn't a problem for the light Forte's 2 engine choices. The SX fetches the bigger 173-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, and lesser trims get the 156-hp 2-liter by default, every one but the SX using either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic, all driving power to the front wheels. The SX uses a 6-speed auto-manual for a 2 mpg loss from the LX's 25 mpg city/34 highway economy with the manual, the EX being most efficient of the bunch at 26/36 with its default basic automatic. Pep is a big plus according to drivers, but it's not exactly the serene ride you would find in, say, other new cars twice the price.
by Patricia Mayo
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