As you all know for the last few months I have had the privilege of test driving cars and doing car reviews. These cars are brought to me to test driveand I don’t receive any compensation for my review. The reason we have been doing it is because we are looking for a new family car and Dakotah (AKA Roxy) is getting her license soon and needs a car. The latest car to hit our driveway was a 2014 Kia Forte and I can tell you that is in Dakotah’s number 1 spot so far. She adored this car and truth is, so did we. That is the only draw back to test driving cars, you find so many you love it is hard to narrow it down, lol.
Kia Forte LX
As always, Kia is technology forward with this car. I think that is one of the reasons Dakotah loved it so much. It had USB/Auxillary jacks, meaning she could stay charged and in touch all the time. Which is kind of like food and water to teenagers now. We couldn’t get into the vehicle without her plugging something in. Everytime I would see her text in the car I would remind her that she can’t do that while driving and of course I would get the eye roll and the exasperated sigh with the “I know, mother.” She knows, but even us adults think we will send just a quick text while driving. Even though she “knows” I still say it. Maybe if I say it enough when the time comes she will hear me saying it without actually being there. I make it a life goal to be the little voice inside my girls heads when they are on their own in the big world.
Another thing she really, really liked was the radio. What teenager doesn’t love the radio? It has Sirius/XM which is her favorite and she has the channels memorized. She also liked the fact she could control the radio via the steering wheel and wouldn’t have to look down. Score one safety point to Kia!
It had all the standard bells and whistles such as AC, power windows and door locks, adjustable drivers seat, cup holders, arm rests, etc. Those type of things got a “Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s nice.” But she wanted to know more about how the radio sounded and wow, it was pretty awesome. Our model had Tweeter Speakers included and it really got that car bumping when the music was turned up. That of course prompted an impromptu dance party in the front yard, including the girls impressions of the Kia Hamsters, which I tried to video but was threatened with bodily harm if I uploaded it. What is up with teenagers? Last week they posted a pic of them doing stupid stuff but god forbid if MOM wants to upload a fun little video. Geesh.
Whatever car Dakotah chooses, it will be heading to college with her. So she needs room, a lot of room. She needs to pack her stuff in there first off all and then when she gets to the school she will have to load her groceries, laundry, etc in it. The trunk was really roomy. I wouldn’t call it dead body roomy but you could pack some serious stuff in there.
BUTTT! Are you ready for this? See the crack in the seats in the picture above? Oh yeah baby, one of those seats folds down for a 60/40 fold. That gives you even more room and you can fit a lot more stuff in there. ( Unfortunately I could not get any personal pics because the sun was bright it wouldn’t take). Loved that, I mean LOVED that!
Kia Forte LX Safety Features
When my Dad figured out that Dakotah was really serious about this car he wanted to know all the safety features. If his granddaughter was going to be driving in this he wanted to know how protected she would be. We were really pleased to learn the Kia Forte had the following standard safety features
- Vehicle Stability Management
- Hill-Start assist
- Electronic Stability Control
- Dual Front Advanced Airbags
- Front Seat-Mounted Airbags
- Full-Length Side Curtain Airbags
- Anti-lock braking system
- Traction Control System
- Tire Pressure Monitoring
Dakotah is looking at several colleges right now and most of them are far away, sigh. So that means she will spend considerable time on the road going to and from. I need to know the car she is driving is safe. It is important to me, even if it not really important to her. I try to stress that there is more to a car then the ability to charge your phone, iPod and the radio. Sometimes I really wonder who thought letting 16 year olds drive a car was a great idea, lol.
Another must is a fuel efficient car. We haven’t tried a hybrid yet, even though we really want to. But at this point we are looking for a car that is really good on gas. I really don’t want her calling me every week asking for gas money because she bought to many pizzas that week. The Kia gets 29 MPG ( 25 city and 36 highway). Also, the car needs to be affordable in price. We are not buying her a car, she is buying her a car. She has saved up all her life. But we still want a good value because college is not cheap. The Kia Forte LX that we tried out had an extra options package which was $900. The manufacturers suggested retail price is $17,400, which means Dakotah could drive the car we had for a little over $18,000. That is a pretty good deal for such a nice car.
The car seats 4 comfortably, 5 if you don’t mind squeezing. It is definitely a great car for a first time driver or small family. It is really sleek looking and has the modern feel to it. It drives really good, hugs the curves and doesn’t have a lot of pull, as my Dad put it. If you are on the lookout for midsize car, with great gas mileage, a good price and plenty of room, this is definitely the one you should be trying out.