So the time has come where you’ve outgrown your shirt and it’s time to buy a new one. A few minutes later and you find yourself in a departmental store and you’re faced with a myriad of choices. There’s like a zillion brands to choose from and from those you’ve got long sleeves/short sleeves, cuffed/uncuffed, cotton, wrinkle free, long tail tees, pull overs …. gosh, now you understand why I hate shopping.

 

And IMHO, selecting a C segment sedan puts you in a scenario similar to the above. So you’ve finally got that promotion you’ve worked hard for and your wife is expecting so your family is expanding and that 10 year old Perodua MyVi suddenly feels a tad tight with that added waistline of yours after all those years of excellent cooking from your wife. There’s no 2 way about it …. time to find something bigger.

 

Shopping for a new C segment sedan in Malaysia can be pretty daunting with all the choices available to you. There are 11 cars for you to pick, each with its own strengths and weaknesses and among these 11 sedans, there are sub-variants as well (smaller engine, different trims). In a way, we should be thankful of the fact that we can’t customize things like interior colors …. by the time you’re done picking the car you like, your kid has probably grown up and you’re now a grandfather.

 

At any rate, one of such options open to you is the Kia Forte. Launched back in Nov 2009, it is my humble opinion that this is the car that changed the perception of Korean cars in Malaysia and suddenly, this kimchi became a popular choice among Malaysian car buyers. Paul Tan felt that the game changer was the (previous generation) Kia Optima with its 2.0 GEMA engine. I disagree because the price scale of the Forte puts it smack in the middle of popular Japanese B segments and this has resulted in 2,888 units sold until May this year, making it the best selling non-national C segment sedan (best selling C segment is Preve at 3,265 units and 3rd is the Proton Inspira at 1,878 units*)

 

* Source: http://www.motortrader.com.my/news/top-50-models-in-may-2012/

 

NazaKia offers the Forte in 3 variants; the 1.6EX, the 1.6SX and 2.0SX. If you go to most sales branches, chances are you’ll be able to test drive a 1.6SX. I was fortunate enough to be given a 2.0SX and hope to provide as much insight about this car as possible to you.

 

Design

 

Hiring Peter Schreyer on board has paid huge dividends to Kia and the Forte is the most common “signature” you’ll find dotting Malaysian roads. Honestly until today, I still fail to see the resemblance of the tiger and the front grill. Maybe I lack imagination.

 

 

I remember prior to its launch, I see a few Cerato, the name of the Forte in Singapore being parked in Johor Bahru and I appreciate its clean lines. It evokes a sense of young-at heart emotion. With the accentuating curves connecting the front headlamps that extends all the way to the rear and a clean wedged like chisel surface along the side door creates a sense of speed even when it is not in motion. It’s as no-nonsense as a pair of spandex underwear on an Olympic swimmer.

 

Roar?

Today, despite being 3 years on the roads and as common as McDonalds, it still has a commanding road presence (more so if you encounter the Forte Club on convoy).

 

The Schreyer line has its influence on the rear combination lights as well.

Visually, it’s hard to distinguish a 1.6SX and a 2.0SX. There was one time where a limited number of Singapore spec-ed units with sunroof was brought in to Malaysia but other than that, an SX looks virtually identical. On the SX range, you’ll find 17″ wheels wrapped with 215/45 rubber.

 

LED turn lights integrated to the side mirrors are the common things you’d expect in a modern C segment

 

 

Performance

 

I have to admit, I am very surprised at its power. Having tested the 1.6 variant before, I felt the car’s weight coupled with 17″ wheels made a poor partner with the 1.6DOHC MPI CVVT Gamma engine. Though the power is sufficient to pull the car comfortably, it didn’t leave a great enough impression in me that I dropped it off in my list of consideration.

 

Not so with this 2.0 litre engine. The 2.0SX variant gets a cast aluminum block 2.0litre DOHC CVVT Theta II engine and kicks out 156PS @ 6,200rpm and 194.2Nm @ 4,300rpm. Zero to hundred is said to be done in 10.5 seconds but it felt a lot faster. Compared to when it was launched back in 2009, the Forte has been updated from a 4 speeder to a 6 speed gearbox last year and this has promised improved fuel economy and a smoother drive.

 

Ride and Handling

 

I find the car to be well balanced … so much so that taking corners at a fast pace does not scare me as much as another Korean 2 litre car I was driving a few years back; the Hyundai Avante. The steering offers better feel than the previous generation Elantra but still not quite a match compared to a continental. Still, for its price, I have to say it handles itself pretty decently.

 

The suspension is not overtly hard until you crash through bumps as if you’re on roller skates (like a Peugeot 308) but not as soft as an Altis. A good middle ground, I’d say and body roll is kept reasonably well. It’s sad that the 1.6litre variant does not allow you to test the limits of the chassis as well as the 2.0 but I can say you’d be impressed with it.

 

Cabin Convenience

 

For the 2.0SX, you get plush leather that’s agreeable with my bum.

 


Rear head and legroom is comparable to most other C segments in the market and generally no complaints behind (other than the lack of rear air conditioning vents.

 

 

 

Kia nowadays sports dashboard designs similar to continental brands Everything smells of excellent ergonomics and easy to read and understand functions. Do note that this layout is of an older model. Earlier this year, NazaKia has refreshed the head unit to feature a touch screen Navi. What you can expect if you place a booking now is this:

 

I like the newer dashboard design. Looks neater and more upmarket. Also, the answer/drop call button has been moved from the lower part of the steering to the right (sorry, the picture failed to capture its position)

 

The display on the touchscreen is clear and it uses SpeedNavi GPS navigation. I’ll come back with more details on the map type and whether the maps can be updated and where.

 

 

Typical of Kia again, they threw everything into this car. You get:-

 

 Keyless entry and keyless start/stop

Paddle shifters are an absolute joy to use and you’ll also find the convenience of having auto headlight function on the right stalk.

On the steering wheel, you’ll find the controls for audio, auto cruise as well as call/drop calls. Yes, the car comes with Bluetooth connectivity and the microphone is found right above the driver. You need not shout to be heard on the other side … just speak with your normal tone.

Behind the steering, you’ll see Kia’s usual Supervision cluster where the RPM, speedo as well as fuel meters can be clearly read. The cluster features a Multi Info Display where drive time, Trip A, Trip B, Distance to Empty, Average Fuel Consumption, Instant Fuel Consumption, Average Speed and other warning messages can be found.

Don’t panic if you can see your engine temperature. It’s here as well.

Aside from an auto dimming rear view mirro, you’ll also have the reverse camera screen here. I prefer this layout over those that uses a display on the center console as you can augment both views to help you park like a pro.

The boot is huge, more than enough for a full load back to your home town

And underneath the boot board, you’ll find a full sized spare tire.

 

In the center, you’ll see the iPhone/iPod/iPad docking station which not only allows you to charge your device but also stream music through it. The Bluetooth system also allows wireless audio connectivity and it’s perfect for watching movies (no, not for you, Mr Driver).

 

Deactive the ESP for some sideway fun.

Perfect for any Asian family, lots of nooks and holders for your Milo, Nescafe, mineral water, baby bottle, and any rubbish you might  want to collect somewhere before disposing them at the next stop. Not shown here are bottle holders on the side doors.

Specification

 

Exterior

  • Tinted windscreen glass, UV protected
  • Chrome finished outer door handles
  • Electric adjustable with intergrated LED side turn signal and electric folding side door mirrors
  • Auto light
  • Front fog lamps

Interior

  • Supervision Cluster with trip computer
  • Radio/6 CD changer/MP3/AUX
  • 6 speaker system
  • USB + iPod connectivity
  • Fully automatic air conditioning
  • Electronic Chromic rear view mirror
  • Rear view camera display
  • Alloy driving pads
  • Leather wrapped gear knob
  • Leather seats
  • Leather wrapped steering with metal paint center spoke and audio, bluetooth, cruise control and paddle shifter, tilt and telescopic
  • Motor driven electric power steering

Safety

  • Dual front airbags
  • Dual side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • ABS
  • EBD
  • Cornering Brake Control (CBC)
  • Brake Assist System (BAS)
  • Traction Control System (TCS)
  • ESP

 

Maintenance and owning one

The Forte 2.0SX retails for the price of RM97,800 whereas the 1.6SX sells for RM85,800. Aside from the difference in engine, the 1.6SX does not have full leather seats, motor driven power steering, side and curtain airbags and auto cruise.

Here’s how much an SX (in both 2.0 and 1.6 variants) would cost you in owning and maintaining one:

 

* Monthly repayment is based on the assumption of 10% deposit and 2.5% interest rate.

.

The 1.6SX outsells the 2.0SX by far but I would attribute it mainly to the lack of test driving experience, which is a shame really because the 2.0SX is truly one of the better C segment your money can buy. Here’s how it stacks up against other contenders in the segment:

 

With specifications like these, it’s no wonder why the Forte reigns as the undisputed champion among all other non-national C segment contenders. Just take my advise …. make the extra effort to hunt down a 2.0SX test drive. You won’t regret it.

 

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kensomuse

Though working in a field completely unrelated to the automotive industry, kenso has always had an interest in dabbling into the automotive industry, particularly business related aspects such as sales, marketing, strategic planning, blah blah blah. You can probably find better sources of technical specifications elsewhere if you dig long enough in the internet as this blog talks about the real life ramifications of who, what, where, when and why of the automotive world and focuses on relevant information to potential buyers.

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61 Comments

  1. Vincent.boleh
    July 9, 2012 at 10:39 pm — Reply

    Uncle prefer better resale value. Look at the current 2nd hand value of Korean marks you’ll know why uncle still prefer old engines with new body and care less whether there is ESP or not. Lives are cheap in Malaysia and you are taxed up to your nose as all cars are overpriced.

  2. Duck
    July 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm — Reply

    Affordable car that has everything in it. I think the Preve would be the main competitor in this segment if you talk about having everything in one package and affordable. Just to share my experience, this 2.0 Forte did give my FD2 a run for its money on the NSE.

    The Korean brands still need to shake off Malaysian car buyers’ perception that its a hard to maintain car (expensive parts) though.

  3. breadman
    July 10, 2012 at 8:36 am — Reply

    I own one. Need to get adjusted after switching over from the troublesome Pug 308T. The torque is very usable in city traffic. The suspension is not too soft and the engine provides a good turn of speed on the highways. Six speeds in the gearbox is too many. Not the best gb/engine combo. A five speeder would be better, JMHO.

    Like Duck says, it’s an affordable car that has everything. I may get another.

    • Lowpro
      July 11, 2012 at 8:27 am — Reply

      Get the Koup. You have been waiting for that!

      • breadman
        July 13, 2012 at 11:16 am — Reply

        Yes, that’s what I am thinking. I have an old car to get rid off.

        Red or blue. Hehehe…..

  4. Reaper
    July 10, 2012 at 9:46 am — Reply

    hi, just want to ask regarding on the new HU as shown in your picture. As you mentioned earlier, the new HU steering for answer/drop call button location is a bit different for old HU, which it located on the right side. So the question is, if it located at right side, then where is the cruise control button? (Actually I’m referring to Forte 2.0, cause what I know is 1.6 doesn’t have any cruise control in placed. Correct me if I’m wrong. :)

    • July 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm — Reply

      Good question. Yes, it’s now on the right side and sits NEXT to the cruise control buttons. It’s more intuitive now with this new layout. Other models of Kia has the answer/drop button on the lower left and thumbing it with your left fingers can be a little awkward.

  5. Mark Lam
    July 10, 2012 at 1:17 pm — Reply

    I’m still trying to convince my father in nodding his head to let me buy him the 2.0SX. Been feeding him with the good virtues of the Forte for weeks now. He still commented that nothing beats his old Volvo S60. I told him of course a Korean will always be a Korean and Volvo will always be, urrmm…a Volvo. But I brought him for a spin in a test drive unit 2 weeks ago and it sparked a somewhat positive interests in him. The salesman got himself rounds after rounds of questions or what seemed more like interrogation haha. From the engine technicality right down to the chasis. But at the end of the day, he still procrastinates in his decision. *sighs*

    • July 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm — Reply

      Well, perhaps you can find out more on what concerns your father has about the car. Try to understand what are the qualities in the S60 that your dad appreciates and link those points to the Forte. Volvos sell predominantly on safety and the Forte is one of the safest C segments selling under RM100k. Try to convince him from his perspective

      • Mark Lam
        July 12, 2012 at 9:43 am — Reply

        Thanks for the advice buddy. Had a discussion with him just 2 nights ago regarding the Korean vs the marques. In his opinion, nothing beats the ride and handling of the Volvo. Actually contemplating to upgrade to the new S60 but then he reasoned it out by instead of splurging on ONE pricey Swedish marque, he might as well get 2 Koreans for that amount and perhaps with some change left, haha. A 1.6 and the 2.0, at least there’s an extra car to drive whenever my sister comes back from overseas. But compared to the other kimchii, the Elantra, he prefers the Forte’s more muscular and angular attributes. Wish me luck then. He is asking me to bring him back to the Kia showroom during lunch time, today. =B

        *** Can’t connect to cleantalk.ru ***

        • July 12, 2012 at 8:02 pm — Reply

          Good luck, bro …. here’s a thought … a new Volvo costs more than RM200k … how about a K5 and a 2.0 Forte? Time to poison dad

  6. Bryan
    July 12, 2012 at 11:49 am — Reply

    Nice write-up. Got me moved a bit now. Just wanted to ask how’s the fuel consumption like? and which showroom did you purchase the car from?

    • July 12, 2012 at 8:02 pm — Reply

      Thanks for the compliment. I didn’t manage to finish a whole tank so I cannot conclusively say how’s the FC but I’d probably say it’s comparable to most Asian cars. As the car was a media car, I took it from NazaKia who was gracious enough to loan the car to me for a few days to review. You can go to any sales outlet to inquire about it but for test drives, your best bet is probably a Red Cube (flagship) outlet or the Test Drive centre in Bangsar. Shop around for the best discounts

      • K.Wai
        September 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm — Reply

        Very nice on the reviews.

        Any research on the fuel consumption? Really wish to know any buyers can give their fuel consumption about 1.6SX?

  7. Gilthoniel
    July 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm — Reply

    Yes, best bang for buck car! Still driving my 2010 4 speed 1.6sx and that car is a champ. No problems whatsoever, cheap to maintain, and $h!tload of buttons and features to play with!

    But of course, the cars of today comes with much better specs than mine. However, it’s still a no regrets car considering its price, and its size!

  8. nice
    July 14, 2012 at 11:55 am — Reply

    Dude a very nice review! I love it how you detail in the boot space and navi.

    You should do video review also!

  9. Centromt
    July 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm — Reply

    I’ve just manage to test drive the 2.0SX at Jln Chan Sow Lin. Did not get far due to being on trade plates. It’s a big improvement from the the 1.6..

    I actually test drove it after test driving the new Honda Civic….I must say the Forte is better in terms of acceleration and breaking while the Civic is very well…normal. It felt more exciting in the 2 year old model than in the 2 day old model…

  10. Mark Lam
    July 15, 2012 at 1:48 pm — Reply

    Finally after much bickering and evaluating and consideration, I’m finally given the green light to get the kimchiis. Trading in my Super Select for the 2.0 SX and papi is getting himself the K5, even without test driving it. A real leap of faith here. Thanks again to the very informative post you have done a very good job in. 2 thumbs up ! Anyong Ho Sae Yeo…..

    • July 15, 2012 at 5:19 pm — Reply

      Congrats, bro!

      • Mark Lam
        July 16, 2012 at 12:28 am — Reply

        Thanks to you too bro for the assistance.

  11. John Cooper
    July 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm — Reply

    As always, great write up, kenso, thanks! You mentioned ” There are 11 cars for you to pick” when shopping for a C Segment…Care to list ? I’m shopping for my wife (both B & C segments) and our budget is 105k, but may up it if to also include the Focus, elantra and Civic 1.8 etc.

    • July 16, 2012 at 7:52 pm — Reply

      Yes, there are 11 cars and the list can be seen in the comparison chart of all contenders in the segment. The others are (in no particular order) Peugeot 408, Volkswagen Jetta, Proton Preve, Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic, Toyota Altis, Nissan Sylphy, Mazda 3, Chevrolet Cruze and the Mitsubishi Lancer.

  12. John Cooper
    July 17, 2012 at 9:51 am — Reply

    Tks Kenso, your list did not include 308? My wife finds the 308FL pretty subtle looking & likes it, but given the problems with the 308T, we will only shortlist the VTi.

    • July 17, 2012 at 9:57 am — Reply

      The list indeed does not include any hatchbacks; only sedans

  13. epyc
    July 19, 2012 at 11:34 am — Reply

    Thanks for the wonderful write-up. The second hand value of Korean cars is one of the reason people are not buying Korean cars and still choose Japanese cars as their preferred ride. Honestly speaking, I’m one of them. :)

    However, my next ride will definitely be something more exciting than the boring Japanese cars. I’m quite interested in K5 and perhaps the new Ford Focus.

    p/s: Would appreciate if you could include rear a/c in the comparison list.

  14. MrTorres
    July 19, 2012 at 11:47 pm — Reply

    Nice writeup, Kensomuse! been searching for a decent review of forte 2.0sx for a while.
    After much consideration, i narrowed my choice to Preve/Forte. But wife hated proton! so, i guess only one option then. Tested the 1.6sx few days ago, good handling, cozy, spacious and everything seems nice, but felt slightly underpowered. after reading your review, im convinced that 2.0 is better suited for me. Mainly for long-distance (highway) travel. Inner city travel i will still use my handy car, the great Myvi! :)

    • July 20, 2012 at 8:21 am — Reply

      Good choice, bro. Add a good tint and trips outstation would be very comfortable

  15. Davidho
    July 21, 2012 at 2:22 am — Reply

    Very very great review given!!! Appreciate it at all !!

    Recently, think want to upgrade my wife 5years old myvi which I hate the bumpy ride, high body roll and low road grip level when doing fast cornering feel scary, very unsafe feeling on high speed travel on highway. However for city travel still a great car on normal casual driving.

    My list of car to consider as below with some of negative point to me:

    New Honda Civic 1.8 – no sides airbag, no paddle shift
    New Honda Civic Hybrid – pricy , no rear disc brake feel cheap car standard, cvt transmission
    New Honda Civic 2.0 – out of my budget
    New Honda City 1.5E – very thing ok and balance for me, but under B-segment.
    Peugeot 308 VTi – only my wife like it very much. Don’t know why.
    Ford Fiesta Sedan – B-segment and short of rear legroom.
    Toyota Vios – B-segment and too many on the road like myvi
    Toyota Altis – totally don’t like the exterior design at all
    Kia Forte 1.6 SX – Korean car, underpowered for C-segment and quite hard ride may be due to wheel & tyre size or suspension.
    Kia Forte 2.0 SX – due to this review article from you kenso

    Generally , before read this review article , I almost decide to go for Honda Civic or City due to everything is balance for in term of design, features, ride and handling , performance, reliable and most most important is good resale value which is important because I always don’t believe people won’t change car forever.

    I also always want to consider Kia Forte, but really worry on the reliability and resale value later . So far, I still can’t judge on it resale value after 3-5 years or onwards since most of it is 2010 model in used car market which only 2 years old . Normally car value for whatever brand will depreciate subtantially in 1st two years even though for Honda or Toyota . So the real challenge is after 5 years what is the resale value on this kimchi car ?? which totally outstanding from it’s previous model Kia spectra or optima ( one of very very bad resale value )

    By looking from design and performance and great features, Forte should be able to retain it value quite well if continuing build up it’s reliability, solid and stable, low maintenance and spare part, no major problem and good fuel consumption. Unless, the perception of Malaysian to kimchi car still bad regardless everything is good or bad in review.

    Now really dilemma on choosing btw Honda and Forte, choose Honda due to brand & resale value and low loan interest whereas choose Forte due to cheap and almost all great features and fun offer . However , don’t like Honda due to pricy and no great features and fun whereas don’t like Forte due to higher loan interest, worrying on resale value and reliability after 5 years and warranty over.

    Pls giving me some points or concern so that I can make up my mind

    • July 21, 2012 at 5:44 am — Reply

      Hey, thanks for the compliment. I have this thinking:-

      .

      – Let’s talk about resale value. Truth to say, no one can predict the future. However, it seems that the RV of the Forte is holding up pretty well. A 2010 Forte 2.0SX reg. 2010 seems to be selling at a range of RM75k to RM78k in Mudah. That’s a depreciation of between 20% – 23%. Similarly, a Honda Civic 2.0 with the same registration year has an indicative price of RM100k to RM105 which is also suffering from around 19.2% – 23%. So the conventional thinking of Japs having higher 2nd hand value is no longer valid nowadays with the high desirability of the Koreans.

      .

      – Let’s talk about savings. By opting with the Forte 2.0, you save almost RM35k if you choose to get the 9th Gen 2.0 Civic. That’s like saving RM490 per month in terms of monthly installment for 7 years and almost RM660 for 5 years (@ 2.5% interest simulation. I don’t know what’s the interest Honda and Kia is giving but based on current market, it should not be too big a gap between them); pretty significant if you ask me. If you’re talking affordability and want to get a 90% loan, your salary must be at a minimum of RM6,680/RM4,990/RM4,050 (for 5 years/7 years/9 years for the Civic) vs RM4,950/RM3,700/RM3,000 (for 5 years/7 years/9 years for the Forte). Even if you CAN afford the Civic, how about using those installment differences in purchasing a (better) property? After all, a car is NEVER an investment.

      .

      – Let’s talk about reliability. Actually, come to think of it, those that I know of driving earlier generation Kia complains about high FC … but not many complain about the parts being unreliable. So, with modern technology, I feel that ALL cars are pretty reliable nowadays …. how can they not be if they want to compete globally?

      .

      Does this help to clear your mind a bit?

      • R
        July 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm — Reply

        Good point!

      • Davidho
        July 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm — Reply

        Thanks for ur advise and points of view.

        Ok now i can eliminate the RV factor in my decision making.

        Now got 2 others factor come to my mind for my final decision making are FC and the cost of maintenance with spare parts.

        Actually what is the reasonable FC for 2.0 car ? How is it compare to Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Inspira in the same range? I notice Toyota Altis holding the best FC among them.

        For the cost of maintenance together with it’s spare parts, I would like to know if its original Spare part very costly or hard to get it ? how about the support from aftermarket? any substitute or re-condition spare parts available in the market? Basically, I know the rule of thumb is the many of car model in the market the easier to get it’s spare parts and will be cheaper as well. I dunno how many Forte already in our Malaysia, is it reaching the optimum level to allow the aftermarket to grow substantially which will turn up more & more spare parts and reduce the cost.

        In fact, the above 2 factors as I mentioned are playing very important role in determining the RV of the car in long term. For example, why BMW having very low RV after several years, simply due to its high maintenance with it’s high cost of spare parts, otherwise it will hv high RV as well due to good FC, handling, performance etc. Another example or u can notice that in used car market , the high cc of car always depreciate the most among those low cc, simply bcos high cc mean high FC, those people like to buy used car seldom look for high cc unless those car player want to taste it which I think is very marginal group of people.

        Well, see ! Eventually those factors affecting my decision also affecting & tie back to RV ( resale value) of the car. CANNOT ESCAPE and AVOID . May be I am that kind of person too calculative and think too much. THATS Why suffered from dilemma , haha !!!

        Really admire those people making fast decision in choosing their right car !!

        • Razor
          July 23, 2012 at 12:29 am — Reply

          Ur concerns are valid bro as most of us will do as well.
          This is because we are spending our hard earn $$$ into the cars.
          It did not help that the car prices in our boleh land are expansive..

  16. cobe
    July 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm — Reply

    hi kenso, compare this 2.0SX to 308T or even fast car(golf tsi), i know sure forte won’t be faster or come close to them, but actually how far the gap? I ever test drive new civic 2.0 and last time 2.0SX, feel that new civic 2.0 is longer like 8th gen 2.0 which is fast, and I think it is less exciting than forte in term of acceralation. In dilemma to choose car between 100k – 135k, so ask for some opinion, thkx.

    • July 22, 2012 at 8:35 pm — Reply

      Honda did not release any official 0-100km data and I have yet to go test the new Civic but I think any difference below 1 second is really marginal. But compared against turbocharged variants such as the Peugeot 308T and VW Golf TSi, the 2.0 NA engines are at a disadvantage. Seriously, if it’s all about acceleration, just go for forced induction engines. And if you have a budget up to RM135k, you have 3 turbocharged cars to choose from; the VW Polo Sport, Peugeot 308THP and Peugeot 408T.

      Do note that the maintenance cost and care of a turbocharged car is different compared to an NA so learn more about it before signing on the dotted line, bro.

  17. Astronaut
    July 23, 2012 at 10:16 am — Reply

    didn’t put inspira under others contenders

    • July 23, 2012 at 10:17 am — Reply

      Because in terms of size, the Lancer is an equivalent model. But thanks for pointing it out. Perhaps the Inspira would be a future article

  18. vee
    July 23, 2012 at 6:50 pm — Reply

    It is almost impossible to find a 2.0 litre test drive unit :(

  19. Justin
    July 24, 2012 at 1:44 am — Reply

    Excellent writeup..i’m having the 4 speed 2.0 unit.. honestly, it’s adequate for a 2.0 but somehow, my previous car is a 1.8 altis (first gen altis) and it maybe due to the 2 factors, primarily the weight of the entire vehicle with the 17″ rims, off the line performance just doesn’t seem quick for a 2.0. But if you are talking about high speed driving or the ‘weighty’ feel of the vehicle, I would definitely say the forte is a much more stable ride as the altis wallows like a boat..

    FC is a little on the high side…I live in Penang and I have a pretty heavy foot, i’m clocking around 310-320Km per full tank @ RM 83 on Shell RON95…I have had my worse days…like 280-290KM on the initial stage when the engine was breaking in when it was new and when service dates are due… I did test drive the 1.6 SX and I really feel it was underpowered hence upon having a 2.0 unit available for a spin, I immediately placed my booking.

    My car is currently clocking a 26K on the speedo and its roughly one and a half years old. Overall, its pretty problem free …and yes the dash is indeed rattle free despite the awful road conditions in Penang (full of potholes) and with the 17 inch wheels.. I was living in KL previously and the road conditions definitely favour the Forte better in that aspect, ride is a little on the firm side, but its a compromise for better handling.

    I did regret at times for not taking it over the Civic, but I would definitely not give it up anyday due to the convenience such as the smart key entry with the push start button. It’s no wonder that Forte’s are flooding the roads these days. As for warranty claims and after service, KIA JNS (Penang) has been of tremendous help throughout the times I own this car.

    I’m not sure how the FC fares for a 2.0 civic…but my friend did say my FC is pretty close to his Accords (2.0 current model) but then again no statistics to show anything. The reason why i would say the FC is on the high side its because the previous 1.8 Altis indeed has a very frugal engine (FC is only slightly higher than a 1.5 Vios but definitely worse than the 1.6 altis’s FC)

    I’m speaking on behalf of a 4 speeder, probably the FC is better on the 6 speeders. Cheers =)

    • July 25, 2012 at 9:38 am — Reply

      Thank you for sharing your experience with the car. Hmmmm, scoring less than 400km per tank full is definitely bad in my books. The only car that is experiencing that in my home is an old Iswara and even then it’s because each day it travels less than 3km. Have you recorded the outstation FC?

      • Justin
        July 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm — Reply

        Out station fc is improved when traveling on highway speeds, a full tank can clock up to 521km that’s 80% highway with 20% kl city driving. Speeds on highway are ranging from 110-140km/h. Hope this helps :)

  20. Williamyl
    July 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm — Reply

    Very useful info….. thanks for the sharing…………

  21. July 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm — Reply

    Very useful info….. thanks for the sharing…………
    Anyhow my budget is below RM90K so 1.6 is only choose for this….
    anyhow dont know can reduce the RIM size are not ;p

    • Justin
      July 25, 2012 at 10:49 pm — Reply

      hi bro, somehow the car is not bad, but some members commented that upon reducing the tyre size, the car doesn’t feel as sure footed on high speed..but you get more comfort as the rubber is thicker now..

      For 90k, you can look into several cars, but mainly in B segment categories…if you want size with the goodies, the Forte no doubt has it all..just take your time to test drive them one by one and make your pick :) good luck!

      • Williamyl
        July 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm — Reply

        Thanks Bro……..
        I see the picture for 2013 Kia Forte K3 the outlooks is awesome…..

  22. JSingh
    July 25, 2012 at 2:36 pm — Reply

    Forte 2.0 SX ( Sexy ) is an awesome drive and value for the money ( every dollar worth )… Was never a fan for KIA, but after test driving it, i changed my mind…Just got mine last week and loving it… FC is a little on the high side RM82 @ 400km, maybe cos its still new and my first refill….

    All in All, its an AWESOME CAR and WORTH THE MONEY…..

    Go For it, dont think twice…..

  23. smongium
    July 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm — Reply

    hmm… how long you think the new forte aka k3 will arrive in M’sia? is it advisable to wait for it or jz go for the current model? and i wonder will the price be increased… why lah this news hv to come at this moment?! sigh…

    • July 27, 2012 at 6:34 am — Reply

      Well, the Forte was launched in 2008 but was only available in Malaysia at the end of 2009. Granted back then Kia did not have a CKD operation here so it’s not quite comparable to say it’ll take them about 1 year to introduce the new model here. When the K3 will be launched here is anyone’s guess but historically, it takes about 6-9 months before a model launch in the domestic market is available overseas. The only exception to this rule is BMW which seems to launch their latest model as fast as 1-2 months after the world debut.

  24. JJ
    July 27, 2012 at 11:17 am — Reply

    Hi guys,
    Is the spare parts for KIA are easily available now and expensive?Not just for Forte but for overall KIA.
    This is one of the concerns many ppl have about Korean cars besides the RV.

  25. Khai
    July 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm — Reply

    Kenso, have u tested the forte koup?

    • August 1, 2012 at 6:49 pm — Reply

      I do now …. article coming soon

  26. Darknessroze
    July 29, 2012 at 11:01 pm — Reply

    Yup, first time read kenso write up, really chill & as good old friends with library of knowledge talking & explaining about machine to nerdier friend!

    Thumbs up Ur job bro,

    Tell something about koupe (now searching Rm 120k below kind of cars) already seen Focus 2.0 TDCI (but most of friends / family disagree since poor resale value + bad quality & after sales + design)

  27. Evon 99
    October 16, 2012 at 9:48 pm — Reply

    Hi Ken,

    very good write up :D
    i have just ordered kia forte 2.0 and i really hope it is a good buy. Go through all the reviews and seems like FC is slightly at high side. Can you share with me on your FC as you are owning 2.0 6 speed forte ? (“,)
    My friend who own 1.6SX 4 speed commented that he feel bumpy on rough roads. Another friend commented he feel the same after pump his tyre up to 230 which is according to spec. Any idea we can get rid of this for more smooth riding experience ?

    Thanks and looking forward your reply. Have a good day !

    • October 16, 2012 at 10:40 pm — Reply

      Hi Evon,

      First of all, I wish I had owned half of the cars being reviewed here but sadly, I don’t. The Forte 2.0 was a media car loaned by Nazakia. I didn’t have a chance to deplete a whole tank of petrol to comment about the city drive consumption but in my Forte Koup review:

      http://www.kensomuse.com/the-kia-koup-the-most-affordable-coupe-in-malaysia/

      I scored 650km for 42litres of petrol of pure outstation drive. I hear most score around 4xxkm for city drive for the same amount of fuel. It all depends on how you drive and under what kind of driving conditions.

  28. pier chai
    October 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm — Reply

    can you check with me , now the new kia forte 2.0 is change to the original LED headlamp already ??? because i check to the naza ,the sales man told is like that .

  29. kamal.alrahman
    November 15, 2012 at 6:54 pm — Reply

    here you have given most critical points to ponder! a very well done job. this may assist me to make an appropriate decision within my available budget. thank you kenso!

  30. Patrick Ronald
    November 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm — Reply

    Hi Kensomuse..I just own Forte 1.6Sx 1 month ago..which i beleive and after long survey done finally im happy of getting it.my friend intend to buy Forte but its the basic spec 1.6EX.will this still consider good as his concern mainly on budget…

  31. Floyd
    January 17, 2013 at 10:21 pm — Reply

    Thanks for the nice, articulated write up.

    After failing to get the Fiesta Sedan 1.6 LX in time, the Forte came to our radar for second car. Me and my wife decided to go for the 1.6 SX. I think the 1.6 variant is good enough for her not so demanding daily driving.

  32. aureola
    June 4, 2013 at 5:19 pm — Reply

    any news regarding 2013 kia cerato/forte? i’ve heard it will be launched this july.

    • June 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm — Reply

      That’s what I hear too … and it is likely to be true but nothing is set in stone.

  33. jinowey
    March 26, 2014 at 1:11 am — Reply

    Hi,I just got to read your article on this Forte, I’m looking for a used forte 2.0 6 speed on the market now. One thing can I ask about is that this car have headlamp levelling function in the car?

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