I’ve been carless for a few months now but have been fortunate to drive my dad-in-law’s car so I can bring & pick up my kids to and from school. On most days, I find myself booking a ride from a car service, to take me from point A to point B. While having a personal driver definitely makes it easy for me, I terribly miss driving my own car. I honestly cannot remember how liberating it is–even if I’m stuck along EDSA traffic on a Friday payday, horror!–there’s nothing like driving around the metro that makes me feel in control.
Driving has been my way of me time and also my way to bond with my kids. Those minutes or sometimes hours being bumper to bumper with fellow motorists has tested my patience and has given me enough time a day for myself.
So when KIA willingly lend me one of their sedan cars, I didn’t think twice–well save for the fact that I am no auto blogger, although I like lurking around forums that discuss about cars and whatnots– and volunteered myself to give it a spin for a week and give my two cents about it from a woman/mom’s point of view.
In this post, you won’t find any term too technical to understand, no auto jargon as well. For I’ll be highlighting what sets KIA Forte apart, what surprised me and what I really like about it.
With Dindo Aquino & Nenuka Guba of Columbian Autocar Corporation (KIA) moments before I got to drive this temptation red KIA Forte home. I woke up on my usual early so I can pick it up. Nothing like the smell of a brand new car to wake me up like coffee can! 😉
I can’t help but admire the Forte. Have you noticed how euro-looking it is? If you check it out from the front you can mistake it for a coupé, just like I did the moment I walked into the KIA showroom to pick it up. The sleek silhouette gave that aura of elegance– definitely not your run-of-the-mill sedan.
Here’s a quick video to summarize some of my favorite features of KIA Forte & how much I like driving it around!
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The signature KIA radiator grill stood out more with the Forte’s high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps that emit a lovely blue hue. The moment I took this beauty out on my first day, I caught someone in traffic taking a photo of it. I tell ya, it’s even more handsome at night!
No need to insert the key to start your car. All you need is the key’s presence within the car and push the engine button and you’re all set. Easy, peasy.
Nothing spells modern and mobile than having a push start/stop button– it works when the key is within the car. This certainly is one of my favorite things about KIA Forte. Since I like to dump everything inside my bag, it’s one less thing to worry about finding the car key and actually use it to start the engine. A plus factor that the 1.6 engine starts with ease with a push of a button. Something that I’ve gotten used to love.
Power folding Side Mirror with LED
The side mirror automatically folds as soon as you lock the doors– perfect if you’re parked in tight spot, there’s no need to worry about being side swiped. It also unfolds & the puddle lamp turns on as soon as you unlock the car. Same goes for the handles that simultaneously lit up along with the side mirror upon locking & unlocking the Forte.
Touch Screen LED
Whether you prefer to listen to your favorite music via the radio, MP3 player, AUX, USB, CD or your mobile phone, the touch screen LED makes it convenient for you to do so. You can also connect your phone easily through it & go handsfree with Bluetooth should you need to make or answer an important call.
Leather Steering Wheel with Audio & Cruise Controls
The steering wheel was such a delight. It made me like every turn I took as the smooth leather glided seamlessly on my palms. I even found myself grasping it even while in traffic– couldn’t help but run my hands around it, for me it was kinda therapeutic.
Front & Rear Sensors
For women and defensive drivers, having a parking assist system is a lifesaver. Having one at the back is very helpful especially if you’re reversing or parking your car. The sensor lets you know the distance from an object–it lets a warning sound: the faster the tempo of the beep means the distance between the car and an object is getting closer. I like that the sensors are integrated not only at the rear but also at the front, and since it’s already mounted, it fits seamlessly.
6-Speed AT with Sports Mode & Cruise Option
Having 6-Speed AT maximises fuel economy & power. Now, I’m not going to be techie about it but what I noticed from a week of driving it was how easy it was to drive. I even got to try the cruise option–which you can use when you hit at least 40kmp– along the expressway. All I had to do was press the cruise button conveniently located on the steering wheel as soon as I hit 60 kph and it allows me to release the gas and still maintain the same speed, giving me a chance to rest my foot. I can easily adjust up or down the speed all with a flick of a button on the wheel. Oh and that P button lets me turn on and off the parking assist system.
Another thing I like about KIA Forte is the built-in rear camera. I’ve always wanted one for my car but the hassle of having to install one just didn’t convince me to get one. But with Forte, no need to worry about it. Whether you’re parallel parking or just backing up, the rear camera is such a convenient feature. It’s one of the reasons why I enjoyed driving the Forte in the Metro.
Center Console Compartment
Alcohol, tissue, wipes, extra nappy, sunglasses, coins, pen & paper, phone charger are just some of the things I stash inside the console. And KIA Forte makes organizing my car essentials easy.
Sunvisor with card holder
Now this is the feature my husband likes. He uses the expressway on a daily basis for work and he finds it inconvenient to keep the toll card within arms reach. Now whoever thought about this feature probably has the same concern. Necessity indeed is the mother of invention. Such a convenience!
Dashboard Access Through The Steering Wheel
No need to reach in the dashboard for you to check details on your odometer, trip summary, and other settings. You can access everything through the steering wheel.
Full Auto Climate Control & Ionizer
Push the auto button & wait for the auto climate control to do its thing. Though you can still adjust the aircon settings manually, I find the auto mode very useful. Just a push of the button and the summer heat easily diffuses. Did I mention it also has an ionizer which helps filter and improve air quality. Something that I really like since my kids & I have asthma.
Rear air vent
The feature my kids love most. They love cool air and they get sweaty easily so this was such a delight for them. It’s also a first for them to ride a sedan with rear air conditioner. So if you ask them what’s their favorite thing about the red car, this is probably their answer.
Padded Faux Leather Wrapped Arm Rest
With Manila traffic being unbearable most of the time, the best thing drivers can do is to sit comfortably while enduring traffic. I like resting my arms whenever I’m stuck in traffic and usually I shimmy my left elbow along the driver’s side window to give it a rest. With Forte, I can comfortably rest my arm on the side.
I am one who always have something to munch on in my purse. I make sure I don’t go hungry coz I end up being hangry while stuck in traffic. Heehee. So upon learning that the Forte has a glovebox that has a cooling option– I cried tears of joy inside– I took advantage and immediately put my stash. It has served me really, really well from day one.
Passenger seat trunk access
Another cool feature is the passenger seat access to the spacious trunk. With just a pull of a lever, there’s no need to pop the trunk open as you can easily access it through the passenger seat which can be folded 60:40.
Smooth & easy driving
Overall, my week with KIA Forte has been great. I barely realize I was driving a sedan because it felt light like I was driving a compact car. The drive was smooth– pedals were easy on the foot and I couldn’t get over the leather steering wheel & cruise option. I had an easy time going around the metro running errands, going to my meetings, & being a driver mom for my kids. KIA Forte has definitely exceeded my expectations and that of my children’s idea of how a sedan should be.
24/7 Care for all KIA clients
For all KIA owners the privilege of having KIA care lets you call the hotline should you experience any car trouble such as having a flat tire. They can get to you in a matter of minutes–unless traffic is horrible– and best of all, it’s free! 😉
KIA Forte Sedan retails for Php 950,000. Visit a KIA dealership to see it up close and prepare to be surprised!
Thanks again KIA Philippines for lending me a Forte. Excited to road test another one of your vehicles. Got any suggestions on what I should drive next? 🙂