Going through midterms is a pain. Paying for it is even worse.
It’s no wonder many college students ride bikes; the cost of owning and maintaining a car is way more than ramen for a week. What if a great car, similar to the ones on that Chevrolet dealership, had a monthly payment less than a textbook? A bargain so great, it could make students reconsider a vehicle purchase. One has perhaps been found, and it’s called the Kia Forte SX.
Kia continues its attempt to persuade youthful buyers, and the Forte is no exception. From the outside it’s an attractive four-door coupe. The styling isn’t too far from a Honda Civic but in many ways it feels sportier and aggressive. Take a look at those beefy front fenders, the boxy taillights and close-to-a-dovetail spoiler. Combined, these features give the Forte the mature look of a professional with the attitude of a rock star.
The interior is no different.
Ten years ago Kias were an endless disaster of cheap plastic, wobbly knobs and poor design. Today the interior is entirely different. You’ll find the Forte loaded with leather, heated seats, power windows, locks, Bluetooth with voice-activated calling and a decent sound system. Even its backseat fits full-sized adults comfortably. It’s all put together in a quality package that’s both intelligent and stylish.
Consider the plug-in for your iPod or MP3 player – pretty standard. The issue is the placement of the music gizmo itself. Easily accessing tunes and keeping cords out of the way becomes a true test of design. Rather than stashing it in the center compartment or a cup holder, Kia put a cubbyhole right where one would want it, in front of the shifter and close to the ports. That means easy access to music and simplified cord cleanliness. Little ideas like this set the car apart.
Under the hood one will find a quick 173 hp inline four cylinder putting out 168 foot pounds of torque. It’s hooked up to a standard 6-speed transmission with overdrive or an optional 5-speed electronically controlled Sportmatic. It all adds up to respectable off-the-line power and smooth automatic shifts with the ability to switch to manual while driving. It also delivers on fuel economy with an EPA estimated 23 city/ 31 highway mpg rating.
The Kia Forte SX is an attractive option for college students buried in debt. It’s a bargain, loaded with features one won’t find in a car under $20k. The tester topped out at $20,490 with roof rack baskets, heated leather, and a power sunroof.
The Kia Forte SX is a smart buy that won’t disappoint. The Forte is one textbook drivers won’t sell back anytime soon.
Contact CU Independent Contributing Writer Kyle Haas at Kyle.firstname.lastname@example.org.