Kia Cerato Forte 1.6 SX with Sportstronic Review: Exceeding Expectations

Kia Cerato Forte 1.6 SX with Sportstronic Review: Exceeding Expectations

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
31 Jan 2011
What we like:
Still looks good
superbly equipped
improved performance and economy thanks to the two extra gears
improved steering over early versions
What we dislike:
High COE prices have bumped Forte prices to above $80k

With a wheelbase of 2650mm, the Forte trumps more expensive competitors like the Toyota Corolla Altis and the Nissan Latio. The Forte's generous wheelbase equates to a spacious interior. Rear passengers have ample leg and headroom. In addition, the flat floor design at the rear means passengers seated at the centre will feel comfortable with the additional leg space.

Up front, the modern and contemporary dashboard design compliments the handsome exterior. The materials used might not feel like of the highest quality but Kia has taken the trouble to offer a classy interior ambience in the Forte nonetheless thanks to the use of red illumination and well-thought out switchgear.

The driving position is extremely adjustable thanks to height adjustment for the seat and a tilt and telescopic steering column. The latter is a rarity in the Forte's price segment.

Tweaks inside for the 2011 MY model includes the new gear selector which looks much better than the old car's and the Bluetooth controls on the steering wheel for seamless operation of hands free mobile phone headsets.

In SX trim, the Forte is comprehensively equipped. It comes with a factory fitted stereo with steering wheel mounted controls, trip computer, reversing aids, 17-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, twin front airbags, ABS, electronic stability control, a self-dimming rear view mirror and more.

The Forte is facing a tough time these days thanks to the high COE prices. It now costs in the region of $80k as opposed to the sub-$50k price tag it enjoyed when COE prices were low. The 2011 MY car adds an extra dose of sophistication and class to the Forte's package and it certainly feels like it is worth every single cent especially bearing in mind that it is the fault of the high COE rather than the Forte's fault that it is priced the way it is these days.

Credits: Story and Photos by Raymond Lai

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