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2010 Kia Forte vs Mazda3 vs Toyota Corolla comparisson test
2010 Kia Forte vs Mazda3 vs Toyota Corolla comparisson test…
So, I’ve had the chance to spend a lot of time in the new 2010 Kia Forte and put it through paces on course. First off I got to run the 2.0LT LX Forte in an automatic and the 2.4 LT SX in the 6-Speed M/T. There was also a 2010 Mazda 3 and 2009 Toyota Corolla for me to test in comparison.
I’m not even going to talk about Toyota Corolla. That car is antiquated at best. Yes they drive nicely, but not nearly as nice as the other two and the styling and finish is dated already. Toyota needs a redesign.
The Mazda 3 is a nice car. Fit an finish is well done and it drives really nice ( not nicer than the Forte though). It handles well, feels good, and it was a lot of fun through the course. The Key difference between the Forte and the Mazda are what the Mazda doesn’t have. It has less features, less horsepower and torque, and less space, and when it all adds up it costs $6,000.00 more.
And now the Kia Forte…
This car is impressive. What KIA did to change it’s face with the SOUL, it has done again with the FORTE. Aside from the course I also got to take it out for a one hour road and highway test drive. (continue your read after the jump!)
It handles beautifully. This car hugs the road well, the suspension is crisp and responsive, with a good sensing of what the car is doing. The SX package gets the sport tuned suspension and it is noticeable, everything is tighter and just has that little extra. One of the surprising elements was how smooth and quite the ride was, it obviously falls into the compact sedan segment but ride of this car feels bigger than it actually is.
One of the significant differences between the Soul and Kia Forte is the engines. The Forte gets two brand new engines. The 2.0L is the very same engine as the entry level Hyundai Genesis Coupe without the turbo. That engine obviously has an available turbo option and can be tuned to well over 200hp. The 2.4L is brand new as well and can be taken to over 300hp. Both of these engine also carry a timing chain where the Soul 2.0 is a timing belt.
The SX Forte in the 6-Speed M/T is a really nice gear box. Really smooth shifting through the gate, and a hydraulic clutch that has a lot of action right of the floor (very similar to the Soul).
Interior finishing is really nicely done, nice quality material finishing (the doors seems more durable than the Soul), well laid out controls, the same steering wheel as the Soul, and in the SX automatic climate control with a factory installed GPS option.
KIA has outdone itself with this new addiction to the segment. We’re looking at a real leader here, it has set a new bar for standards. In the Specs alone for standard features, power, and space the Forte is way out in front. The only real car missing from the comparison was the Civic. Having driven a Civic and now this, Honda has something to worry about as the Forte is smoother quieter, and crisper.
Next On deck is the Kia Forte Koup and I can’t wait to put it through the paces. If the Forte is this nice a ride in the sedan, the Koup is going to be a blast.
This was a guest post written by Thegarth, a member of our Kia Soul Forums, who obviously enjoyed driving the new Forte sedan. THANK YOU for the write up, Thegarth!!
P.S. The all-new 2010 Forte will be available at US dealerships starting from June 2009.