2013 Kia Forte Koup SX (946)


This week we’re looking at the 2013 Kia Forte Koup SX Midsize coupe that is simply a nice car at any price, albeit the price is good. It is stylish like Audi, BMW and other high end badges. It handles well and is sporty. Kia is clearly looking at the youth oriented compact car market and I believe it will indeed appeal to young execs just starting out. It has good looks, is a credible commuter, it is affordable to buy; low cost to maintain and delivers decent fuel economy. More expensive options like Audi and BMW cannot make such claims. And historically those badges have been very expensive to own.

General Information:

Parts from the US / Canada 1%, Korea 95%. It is assembled Korea, Classification is Midsize. Cars from Kia: Forte, Forte Koup, Optima, Optima Hybrid, Rio, Rio5, Sedona, Sorento, Soul and Sportage.


Wow…. Have you driven on our highways during rush hour lately? Have you noticed how light traffic has been this past year? It is absolutely scary since the only conclusion I can draw from that fact is that there are a lot of folks out of work.

Well to add insult to injury “Gas prices” are insane for a country with so much oil and natural gas. There is some good news, however, in that car prices have never been better and fuel economy has also never been better. All that compounded by the shrinking US dollar.

OK, so some will say there is other bad news in that many of these cars are being manufactured in far off lands like China, Korea and Japan, as well as neighbors north and south of the boarder. But is that really bad?

Businesses generally subscribe to the Economic Theory of Adam Smith (remember the Invisible Hand theory?) Well businessmen will argue that’s the way it ‘should’ be. Allow the free markets to establish the best prices and values without artificial intervention and interference from government. John Stossel’s “News Magazine”, on the Fox Business channel, recently argued that very point convincingly and quite frankly I agree.

The other notable Economic Theory comes from British economist John Maynard Keynes. He argued that uncertainty caused individuals and businesses to stop spending and investing, and government must step in and spend money to improve the economy.

I urge you to do your own research and fully understand these two leading Economic theories that have guided the private and public sectors of the US Economy for at least the past 150 years. Of course Keynes and Smith are dead so we’ll just have to decide, at the end of the day, which  theory is best or how both have relevance.

My point here is that America has dominated the world of business because of American economic principles and we must understand them. It affects the Auto Industry, of course, and all business, industry and government. When we are informed our elected representatives will have to be more accountable.

Handling & Performance:

I tested the 2.4 liter 173 hp SX so there was no issue with power and the EX model has the 2.0 liter engine and although it is only 17 hp less at 156 there are some who say it strains and revs a lot more than they like. I didn’t find the 2.4 to have that problem, but it gets 3 mpg less than the 2.0 version.

I’m not into coupe’s (Coupe to Kia is Spelled Koup). When I was young 4 door cars were avoided like the plague. We wanted to distance ourselves from our parents’ generation and since they drove 4-door cars we would NOT.

“Well, Dah”, you say, “they only had one car, a family need for 4 doors, and were practical people.” In any case young people today don’t have such taboo’s. Or that may be because 4 door cars are designed so well that you hardly notice they have 4 doors.


Nice stylish look. A great paint job and aluminum accents and pedals that give it that sporty look that is so popular with the youthful buyer.

Fit and Finish:

Good inside and out and comparable with others in class.


It is priced very well and I have to say I’d be hard pressed to justify a need to move up to Audi and BMW, for example, and the next market segment that would cost $8-10,000 more.

Conveniences and comfort:

More features than I expected from such an affordable car class. It was comfy and all the techie stuff was easy to figure out without looking at the manual. That’s what I’m talking about. It drives me nuts when I can’t set up the hands free Bluetooth in a minute or so.

Consumer Recommendation:

This is a car like much of the competition listed here. It fills a need of a commuter and the needs of young married’s through a very young family. There’s a lot to choose from but not so much that you can’t look at all of them. This Coupe is in good company.

Recognized Competition:

Kia Forte Koup $19,000, Chevrolet Cruze $17,000, Ford Focus $17,000, Honda Civic $21,000,  Hyundai Elantra $17,000, Mazda3 $15,000, Nissan Sentra $16,000, Scion tC $19,000, Subaru Impreza $17,000, Suzuki SX4 Sport $17,000, Toyota Corolla $16,000, Volkswagen Beetle $19,000, Volkswagen Golf $18,000.

Good News:

Comfortable ride, good fuel economy, good technology, nice size lends to ease of handling and good highway performance.

 Bad News:

Not much to complain about – but with the lights turned on it is hard to read the radio and other information on the dash. Also, check out the rear view as it can be a little restrictive.

Standard Equipment:

2.4 liter  173 HP inline 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed auto trans, 17” alloy wheels, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes with brake assist, front side and side curtain airbags, traction control, stability control, tire pressure monitor, air conditioning, power windows locks and heated mirrors with turn indicators, audio with CD/MP3 and SIRIUS satellite, USB and AUX input jacks, Bluetooth, 60/40 split folding rear seats, remote keyless entry, cruise control, trip computer, tilt and telescopic steering column, leather wrapped wheel and shift knob, paddle shifters, metal finish accents and pedals, auto headlights & fog lights.

 Gas Stats:

$3.95 / Gal avg. November 6, 2012


For more information.

23 City and 31 Highway MPG


MSRP $19,800.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2012 – An Automotive Love Affair

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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