The affordable Forte Koup rolls into 2013 with some new extras and upgrades
Chris Bernius - CleanMPG
- Jul 20, 2012
In the rather narrow slice of the overall market that is occupied by two door models, the "coupe" body style is nicely defined and executed in the Kia Forte Koup.
Kia's compact two-door coupe, known for sleek styling, peppy performance and good handling, and a long list of standard features, continues into 2013 with some new additions.
The 2013 Forte Koup features minor styling enhancements and added features, including a new design for the 16-inch alloy wheels (EX) and power-folding side mirrors, which have been spreading throughout the Kia lineup in the deluxe trim versions. The new Koup also receives higher-quality leather materials on the steering wheel, while both trims now include a standard washer fluid warning lamp, illuminated glove box, and improvements in the areas of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) through added sound-deadening materials.
Available in EX and SX trims, Forte Koup starts at $17,400 for the EX trim while SX starts at $18,800. Both trims come standard with air conditioning, satellite radio, MP3 connectivity and Bluetooth, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. USB and auxiliary input jacks offer full iPod and MP3 controll via the audio head unit or the standard steering wheel-mounted audio controls. A six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system outfitted with satellite radio capability features speaker lights that can either pulse to the beat of the music or simply add mood lighting throughout the interior.
Riding on the same 104.3-inch wheelbase as its sedan and hatchback siblings, the Forte Koup provides seating for five passengers within a trim overall length of 176.4 inches, an overall width of 69.5 inches and overall height of 55.1 inches. Koup features a front lip spoiler, under-floor airflow deflectors ahead of all four wheels, an engine bay cover, and a lowered stance, contributing to a highly competitive coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0.31, and an aerodynamic lift coefficient (Ci) of just 0.21.
The two-door's high torsional stiffness gives Forte Koup responsive handling, a smoother ride and improved refinement over the competition. Tuned in the U.S. to appeal to more spirited driving preferences, the Koup is built on a lightweight, hydro-formed subframe, featuring a front suspension that employs MacPherson struts similar to the sedan and hatchback, while high-speed stability has been enhanced by lowering the ride height and widening the wheel track. The SX trim also comes with sport-tuned suspension designed to provide a firmer ride with reduced body roll and improved handling.
An engine-speed-sensitive, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system and strut front suspension design provide taut handling and a highly competitive turning circle of just 33.9 feet.
The Koup is powered by a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine, producing 156 horsepower and 144 pound-feet of torque, featuring Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) and multi-port electronic fuel injection, both of which allow for greater performance and fuel economy. The SX features an upgraded (and thirstier) 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine, also with CVVT, which delivers 173 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of torque. Two transmission options are available: a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.
Fuel economy is not sacrificed (excessively) for performance with the Forte Koup. The 2.0-liter engine offers 24/33 mpg (city/highway) when paired with the six-speed manual transmission and 25/34 mpg (city/highway) when mated with the optional six-speed automatic. Those opting for the more powerful 2.4-liter engine can expect a less economical 22/32 mpg (city/highway) with the six-speed manual and 23/31 mpg (city/highway) with the six-speed automatic transmission.
Forte Koup provides 90.7 cubic feet of interior volume - a fairly roomy interior for a two-door coupe. Driver and passengers have 38.7 inches of headroom and 43.6 inches of legroom in the front seats, while the second row offers 35.3 inches of headroom and 33.9 inches of legroom. Cargo capacity is 12.6 cubic feet, while 60/40-split folding rear seats that fold nearly flat extend the available amount of cargo space even further to 53.4 cubic feet.
Inside, the Forte Koup is "equipped, not stripped", featuring supportive sport seats outfitted with aggressive bolsters on the seat cushion and seat back. Standard equipment on all Forte Koup models includes air conditioning, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls, a driver's seat height adjuster, adjustable rear seat headrests, a tilt and telescopic steering column, rear defroster, center console with dual cup holders and storage area, dual map lamps with ceiling-mounted, drop-down sunglasses holder and variable intermittent windshield wipers.
Stepping up to the SX trim adds standard features such as: paddle shifters, auto headlamps, unique cloth seats with red stitching, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob (with the higher grade material mentioned before), metal pedals and metal finish trim.
Both EX and SX trims also offer a host of available options, including a navigation system, automatic climate control, push button start with smart key, and power sunroof with tilt.
An optional Leather Package is available on the SX trim that includes leather and heated seats in addition to the standard leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
A Supervision gauge cluster with trip computer, optional on EX models and standard on SX models, further enhances Koup's personality with its red-hued glow and message display shown at the bottom of the cluster. This display includes information such as outside temperature, distance to empty, engine coolant temperature, elapsed time, door-open alerts, fuel consumption, average and instantaneous miles-per-gallon readings. Those last three "gauges" in the cluster are the ones most CleanMPG'ers will regard the most.
Forte Koup offers the same impressive list of standard safety equipment as its sedan and hatchback siblings, including front active headrests, dual advanced front airbags, front seat-mounted and side curtain airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, side impact door beams, front and rear crumple zones, four-wheel disc brakes with an Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BAS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a Traction Control System (TCS), and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
Buyers who decide that a new coupe is the best choice to express their personality and lifestyle, the 2013 Kia Forte Koup is a reasonably fuel efficient option that offers solid value, an unbeatable warranty, and a reasonable helping of utility. Late last year, the Kia Forte Koup was named one of MSN Autos "10 Great Cars for Less Than $20,000" - an affirmation of the solid value offered by Kia's entry in this style-conscious market segment.