Zoomer Consumer: Kia Forte Koup


It’s time to take notice. While most automakers slash and “restructure” to dilute the red ink, Kiafinds itself in a period of growth and profitability. And now they’re doing it in style, thanks to Peter Schreyer, Kia’s chief designer who previously worked at Volkswagen and Audi.

Kia’s new models for 2010, the Soul and Forte, already impressed us (check out www.zoomermag.com) with their chic designs, fuel efficiency and overall practicality — and the Forte Koup continues this trend. The two-door Koup (Kia + coupe) amps up the exterior of its four-door parent, shaking hands with its competition — Civic, Altima and Cobalt coupes — and coming out the winner. The attractive front-end “tiger nose” grille evokes strength. Striking lines run from the front fender and continue along the side panels, adding to its aggressive appearance.
Its sloping front windshield doesn’t hinder
visibility (like the Civic Coupe). And the back end boasts beautiful wraparound tail lights.

The EX (which I tested) starts at $18,495, with the SX model reaching $21,495 (includes sunroof, 17-inch alloy wheels, leather seats and other convenient add-ons).

The Koup turned in a Grade A performance. It sipped fuel at a stellar
7 l/100 km in mainly city driving (beating Kia’s reported 8.1/5.8 l/100 km for city/highway); has wonderful sightlines; and had enough zip to weave easily around unsure bicyclists and lost drivers lagging
in the passing lane.

If you’re looking for a flashy coupe without a flashy price tag, the Koup is
a must-try vehicle.

ZOOMER BONUS: USB and auxiliary inputs (an add-on in most other vehicles) come standard across all trim levels in the Koup.

–Travis Persaud