Any parent would be thrilled to have the redesigned 2014 Kia Forte in the family garage; this compact sedan is good-looking, economical and surprisingly luxurious.
What a difference a year makes for the Forte. When I drove the 2013 model earlier this year, I likened it to an iPhone 4 living in an iPhone 5 world. It's impressive how much of an improvement the 2014 is over the 2013.
Some of my biggest beefs with the 2013 model were the steering and handling, but they've been improved for 2014. My 2014 Forte EX had the larger 173-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. It gets an EPA-estimated 24/36 mpg. I'm not sure what happened when it came to my gas mileage for the week — I averaged 22 mpg for my weeklong test drive — but I blame it on several days of commuting in Los Angeles' bumper-to-bumper traffic.