While Kia certainly may not have the reputation of long-time car manufacturers like Ford, Nissan, Chevy or Mercedes-Benz, in the last few years they have certainly stepped up the quality of the cars they produce, while maintaining extreme affordability. With a starting MSRP of $15,200 the 2012 Kia Forte should be well within reach for many potential car buyers. There are seven exterior color schemes to choose from as well, including Ebony Black, Titanium, Metal Bronze, Bright Silver, Snow White Pearl, Clear White and Spicy Red. The overall body style is certainly nothing flashy, but has still been designed with modern engineering and style. Both the LX and EX come with standard 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, while the SX comes with 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. The SX also comes with automatic headlights, which sense the light conditions and automatically adjust the halogen headlights accordingly.
Inside the cabin of the LX, the base model, consumers are provided with a free trial of Sirius XM satellite radio, AM/FM, CD and MP3 music capabilities, through 4 speakers. The EX and SX also come with that, with the addition of 2 speakers. For further added convenience, there’s an available GPS navigation system with a rearview parking assist camera. Bluetooth connectivity allows the driver to converse with callers through a microphone in the car, while listening to them through the speakers. One thing test drivers did not like about the LX was the lack of a telescoping steering wheel. The wheel of the LX only tilts. The EX and SX have both a tilting and telescoping steering wheel. For the seating, the LX and EX come with standard cloth seats, while the SX has sport cloth seating. The SX is the only Forte with available heated leather seating.
Two engine options are available to consumers with the 2012 Kia Forte. The base engine comes standard on the LX and EX. This engine is a 2.0-liter Dual Overhead Camshaft I4, providing up to 156 horsepower. The SX comes with a slightly more powerful 2.4-liter Dual Overhead Camshaft I4, with 173 ponies. The Forte is great on gas as well. The LX gets 36 MPG highway and 26 around town, as does the EX. The Forte SX is able to obtain 32 MPG highway and 23 around town. Not only will purchasing a Forte save you money, but driving one will too.
An advanced airbag system will automatically detect the severity/force of a collision, and adjust inflation of the airbags accordingly. Side curtain airbags running the entire length of the side windows provide exceptional safety during a “T-bone” collision or rollover.
This year’s Forte was also the recipient of the 2012 IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) Top Safety Pick. It also received the US EPA SmartWay Certification Mark. This means that it received top marks on greenhouse gas and air pollution scores. While it’s not going to dazzle and wow your friends, owning a 2012 Kia Forte may just be one of the best decisions you make. Just think of all the green you’ll save.