2010 Kia Forte Koup: Up Close

When Kia unveiled the Forte Koup a couple hours ago amid a sea of luxury fluff, questionable designs and face-lifted-for-2010 models at the New York auto show, it was the first car to leave me impressed and without reservations. Kia has thus far avoided this year’s industry-wide sales collapse, and the Forte coupe is proof positive that the brand with kitschy press conferences and stupid-inexpensive cars has what it takes to weather this downturn.

The Forte coupe looks very similar to the Koup concept on display at last year’s New York show, right down to the rear air diffuser and radically cut wheels. Other cars at this show — seen the Subaru Legacy? — look designed by committee. The Forte coupe has clean, assertive sheet metal that's free of clutter from any angle. The vertical fog lights and piano-black grille, which are unique to the coupe, look sharp. So do the headlights, though they’re somewhat derivative of the Civic coupe’s. The car is well proportioned, too — no ungainly overhangs or oversized trunks. The Forte sedan looks sharp enough, but the coupe is alluring.

The show car’s cabin was closed off, but apart from sportier front seats it doesn't appear to be much different from the Forte sedan. That means overall quality should be good but not quite class-leading. I chatted with product manager Fred Aikens, and value looks to be solid, too: Even the base EX trim comes well-equipped on both the safety and convenience fronts. If Kia can undercut similarly equipped versions of the Civic coupe — its LX and EX run $17,255 and $19,305, respectively — the Forte Koup could present some serious competition.

Comments 

GR

Well done, KIA! I like this car very much. The looks, the features, and the numbers all combine to make an economical car that I would definitely enjoy owning.

JD

is it pronounced coupe? it looks like it should be like "cope" or "kowp"

Six

Very nice!

Subaru seems to be struggling stylistically, but here's Kia showing off, between this and the soul.

FG

I'm a big fan of the aggressive front end, and the sporty looking seats. Interior quality, while not A+, seems to have drastically improved.

sheth

Looks better than Honda civic to me and will be cheaper. Seems like a nice car but no one will likely notice since its a Kia.

h

i think kia should change their logo

Keith, from a sleepy little town down around San Antone

In all fairness to Subaru, They've always been style challenged. The Logo change Idea is something I never thought of but now will think "They need a new logo" every time I see A kia which just might be in my driveway if the Koupe can deliver performance comparable to the TC.

Darnell

the front looks like a exactly Honda Civic Si. way to bite off "the competition" FAIL

Brock

I am an upcoming driver and not only do I really like this car my parents are sold on it as well. I believe this is going to be my first car. Thanks Kia!

bob

EEWWWWWWWWW...... Just buy a...um...um, well there isn't a car in this range that is nicer so just buy a 2 year old used BMW 3-series

Mike

All Kias look nice when they are shiney and new, but give it 3+years. This car will look like crap like every other Kia after a couple years with faded paint, yellowed headlights and missing wheel covers.

Ron

Just bought the Koupe SX, Had a Sorento for 5 years. I took care of it. No fading paint, no yellow lights, and it wasn't a piece of crap. . However my Z4 has had loads of issues and yellow lights also. Don't like it don't buy it

R

Well... I love it!
I had the 07 G35, 04 audi S4, 4runner, integra, civic etc...

I'm getting out of the luxury$ fluff and get something reasonable... and this car is both attractive, fuel miser etc...
Who cars about name brand.
I no longer wear shirts that says Armani or Evian on it -LoL- walking billboard! Peace!

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