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first drive

Review: 2014 Kia Forte EX Road Test

kia Forte EX rear

I had the opportunity to send a contributor to drive the 2014 Kia Forte EX. Yes, I know it’s still early 2013 but you’re going to want to know about the Kia Forte. Debi Cruz was kind enough to take the trip and keep us up to date on what’s new at Kia. 

I had the opportunity last week to drive the 2014 KIA Forte EX. I won’t lie; it takes a lot to impress me in a car. I have my taste and I like what I like. I am not easily swayed and let’s be honest, I get a little more excited about what I’ll be walking around town in than what I will be driving around in. Still, I was excited to test-drive the new 2014 Forte EX.

My first thought was that this car would be the perfect graduation gift to buy for your high school or college graduate who’s going out into the professional world. It’s very sporty looking like a European sedan but at a very reasonable price. It’s sleek looking, it’s modern, it’s safe and it has a driver-oriented and intuitive cockpit. Which was one of my favorite things about the car. I don’t like to be distracted when I am driving so it is nice to know that all the controls are front and center. You’ll never have to worry about your driver being distracted trying to change the channel on the radio, adjust the temperature or load the GPS with their destination.

The Forte is made to drive fast and it definitely handled great hugging the curves of the Arizona dessert but it is also has dramatically improved driving dynamics. I felt safe accelerating around corners. The new rigid body structure has an increased rigidity of 37% and 63% of the body is made of high-tensile strength steel and that means your baby is going to be safe. Let’s face it, our kids no matter their age will always be our babies and it helps to know they are safe on the road. There is also optional rear-camera display and navigation, just to be sure no one accidently backs into a pole or a person walking behind the car.

Your graduate will love it because it is sporty looking, high-tech and has all the bells and whistles they could ever want in a new car including heated and cooled front and rear seats. It’s a really fun car to drive. You will love it because you will feel safe with them driving it.

One of my favorite features, aside from the intuitive cockpit is the UVO by Microsoft system that comes standard in the Forte. It is a hands-free infotainment system that makes sense with great value. It is compatible with your android, blackberry or iPhone and works using your existing data plan. It also has a kick-ass sound system. UVO will undoubtedly get it’s own post shortly.

With UVO the steering-wheel controls controls almost everything: audio, digital dash  and bluetooth. UVO connects to 911 when the airbags deploy (which hopefully no one ever needs, but realistically they do). I like the finer things so power windows and seats are a must and the Forte EX has them but the heated and cooled seats delight me and heated mirrors are fantastic in a cold climate.

This is a compact car and though one of the drivers on this trip was 6’5″ and fit in there fine it’s not quite a family car. There wouldn’t be much room left in the back seat but with kids in lower elementary years it should be workable.

I found that the Kia Forte EX is the perfect balance of safety and style and the perfect car for your graduate or commuter this spring.

2014 kia forte ex blue


The UVO interface

Kia Forte UVO console


Don’t forget to visit Debi on her own site at The Truth About Motherhood.