2015 Kia Forte Koup Review

Forte Koup

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2015 Kia Forte Koup Overview

In its never-ending quest to distinguish itself from the rest of the pack, Kia has labeled its sporty 2-door Euro-styled Forte the Forte Koup. Redesigned in 2014, the coupe/Koup joins its sedan and hatchback iterations in offering only one notable change for the 2015 model year. That change, believe it or not, is a slight—a very slight, but nonetheless appreciated—drop in MSRP. Of course, this is an effort on Kia’s part to establish the latest Forte trio as the lowest-priced vehicles in their market segment.

But don’t worry, all the sportiness and agility are still there in the 2015 Koup trims, as are the upgraded bells and whistles, winsome looks and peppy powerplants. Again coming in entry-level EX and turbocharged SX iterations, the Forte Koup remains toting only a front-wheel-drive (FWD) configuration, but it boasts a significant stretching and widening of the frame in that 2014 redo that results in even more passenger room, especially for rear-seat denizens, along with some 13.3 cubic feet of trunk space. No, it doesn't have as much hauling area as its sedan and hatchback cohorts, but it’s better than the previous generation’s 12.6 cubic feet.

Power-wise, look for the base Koup EX to tote the traditional 2.0-liter normally aspirated inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine of yore. Mated with either the standard 6-speed manual transmission or the available 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission, this pint-size powerplant puts out a decent 173 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque. Mileage numbers, meantime, remain 24 mpg city/33 highway in stick-shift versions, while automatic-packing iterations boast 25/34.

For more oomph over the asphalt, look for the Koup SX to flaunt a 201-hp turbocharged I4 that combines with either the delivered 6-speed manual or the optional 6-speed shiftable automatic to pound out 195 lb-ft of torque. Mileage numbers in the stick-shift variant remain 22/29, with the automatic-toting version again estimated at 22/30. Oh, and both drivetrains boasting the available automatic transmission sport steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Standard appearance bling and creature comforts in the EX for 2015 continue to impress, with 16-inch alloy wheels and heated power-adjustable mirrors outside and premium cloth upholstery, keyless power door locks and power windows gracing the inside. Further upscale appointments in this base trim include cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and air conditioning, along with the cooled storage bin introduced in 2014. Entertainment, meantime, still consists of a single-CD player with 6 speakers, as well as satellite radio and a USB connection, while standard Bluetooth hands-free calling also returns.

To this, the 2015 Forte Koup SX adds a standard sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED taillights, a rear-view camera, push-button start and Kia’s touted UVO eServices with an integrated information display and Internet-grabbing smartphone apps.

Options for both iterations of the next-gen 2015 Forte Koup include a power sunroof, a navigation system, heated front and rear seats (with power-adjustable driver’s seat), memory for driver's settings and a 4.2-inch vehicle information display. Further options for both trims include dual-zone auto climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with integrated remote garage door opener, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats and leather-trimmed upholstery. Alas, adding any of the above extras to this competent coupe means kissing Kia’s meager-but-nonetheless-appreciated price cut goodbye

Finally, standard safety features in this reborn 2-door include 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags and front side-mounted airbags. LED daytime running lights also come standard on both Koup trims, as do front fog/driving lights and LED turn-signal-integrated mirrors, while each trim remains eligible for available high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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