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Kia Forte vs Toyota Corolla vs Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda3



  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    your very welcome..that's what these forums are all about,helping people with there car buying decisions and giveing advice,so that people can know what's out there rather than haveing to rely on the dealers info which is sometimes inacurate..good luck
  • Hello steven39! Just curious... are you still happy with the Forte after another month? I am seriously considering purchasing one in the next couple weeks. Well, I still need to test drive and research comparables. My budget is limited though. And I am pretty much looking at this car or the Ford Focus (because I can get A/Z plan through a family member). From what I've read so far, the standard features are so much better on the Forte, and of course, you get the KIA Warranty with that.

    So yeah... just wondering how you two are still getting along! ;-) Thanks!
  • well so far after 1 month of ownership it's been so far so good with the forte i mentioned in my previous post i test drove and compared many cars in this segment such as toyota corolla,civic,elantra,mazda 3 just to name a few and the forte had the best price to features ratio than the others.the forte is a very good value compared to the rest of these cars and the long warranty was the iceing on the cake for me as far as i was far as the focus goes,the forte again has it beat with more standard features and a better warranty.i never thought in a million years that i would ever own a kia product but compared with the rest of the cars that i mentioned here it was the much better value..hope this review helps...steve
  • Thanks Steve! Yeah, it helps know that a month down the road you are still happy! I'm working on my dealer emails today so I can send them off and see what kind of offers I can get. I wish there were some real incentives out there right now (not just 0% for 36 months). I'm not bothering with a trade-in because my current car is a 2001 Kia Sephia that I bought new and have since put 130k + miles on it, so I think I'll just donate it.

    Another question, did you get an automatic or manual? I'm looking at manuals just because of the $1,000 difference.

    (have recently been drooling over the dark cherry colour too!)
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    went with a friend of mine who is looking for a new car to several area car dealers to compare.first stop was toyota to look at corolla's.msrp for 2010 corolla base unit was just over $17, cruise,no bluetooth,no sat radio,no rear disk brakes,and only 132 h.p..test drive was bad...took corolla out on highway and it got blown all over the place by passing cars and trucks and by the slightest gust of wind and didn't handle very good at all.test drive was stop kia dealership to look at a kia forte which i own already and my friend wanted to check them out since he likes mine.looked at the same model forte that i own which is a forte EX with auto.msrp is 17,490.00 and includes bluetooth,sat radio,4wheel disk brakes,cruise,and 156 h.p. and a long warranty..he test drove the car a few blocks without going on the highway and was sold on the forte immediatly..blows the corolla out of the water with more standard features,more power,much better handleing,and better warranty.the corolla actually felt inferior to the forte.once again msrp for 2010 corolla base car is $17,047.00,while the msrp for 2010 forte EX is $17,490.00 with far more features,power,handleing,and long do the math.........steve
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    The strong suit for Toyota vehicles is reliability. The Kia brand does not have the same track record. But, the Hyundai and now the Kia brands have been reborn in the last few years with much better offerings, so sales of Korean cars are now the envy of many a Japanese automanufacturer. Hooray for competition and the marketplace!
  • keyser2keyser2 Posts: 25
    I am concerned that Kia is making the decision to offer more engine/transmission combinations. I think they want to position themselves like the Japanese manufacturers. I think they're risking quality issues. Just look at the more marginal Japanese brands like Mazda and Nissan. Their quality ratings have suffered in recent years, and one reason is the fact that they're making small numbers of cars with different powertrain combinations, and having transmission failures. I know the piece/parts that Kia is working with are of high quality (Hyundai), but making small numbers of vehicles with relatively odd engine/trans combos is a recipe for problems. Just ask anyone who owned a Saturn Vue with CVT.
  • the problem is they are trying to satisfy their current and potential customers by offering more engine and tranny options. In an increasingly internet-savvy automotive marketplace, buyers can see what all the different manufacturer's are offering and say they want what so and so is offering on their rigs, so on and so forth.

    I say don't underestimate Kia's ability to pull this off. They're absolutely amazing in the last 5 years or so. Quality is up and they're winning quality awards for some vehicles they sell. Let 'em at it, I'm not discounting what you're saying, though. It is a big challenge.

    Nissan is having some problems with these issues, yes they are.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I think they're risking quality issues. Just look at the more marginal Japanese brands like Mazda and Nissan.

    I would not describe either Mazda or Nissan as marginal Japanese brands. They may not be as large as Toyota and Honda but that does not make them marginal. Also, you imply that Mazda has quality issues. When I check Consumer Reports which provides a large user base of information about vehicle reliability that is not the impression I have. Specifically, which Mazda vehicles do you think have "quality issues"?

    In my opinion, the major issue with powertrains is fuel efficiency. To those auto manufacturers which produce heavier vehicles with more powerful engines that do not improve their fuel consumption. I say you are driving in the wrong direction. Let's hope all the manufacturers, whether Korean, Japanese, European or US, get the message: build more efficient vehicles
  • You got the Kia Forte EX for $16000. That's amazing!

    The cheapest Forte EX that my Kia dealer sells is about $17740 before taxes. Granted, that car is loaded but without sunroofs. The other EX cars have sunroofs so the price jumps to 18500 before taxes.

    I test drove a Forte LX and found the car amazing. It was fast and responsive. The features included in the car were plentiful. However, there was no power locks, windows or mirrors, so I will probably move to an EX.

    After testing drive the Forte, I test drove a 2010 Toyota Corolla. The Corolla was just as powerful and responsive, but some reason, it felt rather boring to drive. I don't know whether it was just me or the time of the day. The Corolla's they had were about 18000.

    I am increasingly leaning toward the Forte, but since the car is the first generation and it still lacks a safety rating, I am rather apprehensive. Plus, maybe it was just brand name or something, but the perception of "KIa=crappy, Toyota=quality" still lingered in my mind.

    I'm due back at the dealer for another set test drives. Hopefully my decision will be finalize by then.

    Finally, How did you get a forte for $16000? Tell me your secret!
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    msrp for my kia forte EX with auto was $17,490.00 down here in ft.laud,fla....
    made a offer of 16,999.00 and it was accepted.i recieved another 1000 off because they had a promotion going on at the time that says if you own a car that is in the forte's class you will recieve an additional $1000.00 of the price of the car..the car i traded in was on the list..(mitsubishi lancer)..other cars that were on the list included the corolla,civic,and mazda 3..all in the compact i really lucked the way,i have the dark cherry metalic color and i get compliments on the car every where i go...
  • Well steven39, I am now just like you: a Kia Forte owner. I love the car! It's a great car.

    There are a few things that will probably annoy me about the car: 1. There's no keyhole for the trunk. 2. The door unlocks automatically when the car is placed in park.
  • mnfmnf Posts: 404
    Depends what the trade in value was yrading in opens the door for all kinds of $$ games.

  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    congrats on your kia forte purchase.iam sure you will enjoy the car..which model did you get??i have the don't need a key hole on the trunk because of the remote trunk opener on the key fob.and i actually like the auto unlocking doors..comes in handy when i want to access the rear seat to take out packages or to put packages in after i have stopped the car..enjoy the car!!!!!!!!
  • I also have the EX trim level Sedan that is Dark cherry metallic. I'm not copying you or anything, but the Dark Cherry was the prettiest one in the lot.

    I will enjoy my new car. Thanks!
  • I had wondered about the 4-door unlocking myself. I asked the salesman about it, and he thought that it was programmable: no unlocking, driver's door only, or all doors. It's probably mentioned in the manual.
  • Two weeks ago I road tested a Suzuki SX4 Sportback with CVT, and a Honda Civic LX with AT. The Suzuki was too cramped and way too slow. The Honda's two-tiered instrument panel, with the digital speedometer, was a turnoff, and the windshield was so far away, I'd need binoculars to read my GPS. In addition, heated outside mirrors aren't available with either car (for me, a deal breaker). I'd already rejected the Mazda3 (too damn ugly), the Corolla (too damn boring), and the Elantra (too jellybean looking).

    Last week I road tested two Forte EXs, with 4-spd. and 5-spd. autos. I found the 5-spd. to be much more to my liking, so today I went to Kia of West Springfield (MA), chequebook in hand, to place a deposit on a Forte EX sedan with the Economy Pkge. But deciding to leave no stone unturned, before I placed the order, I asked to drive a 5-spd. manual. I test drove an LX (same engines and trannies as the EX). As impressed as I'd been with the 5-spd. auto's smoothness and acceleration, the manual was even better. Mastering the awkward clutch took a few miles, but it wasn't long before I was heeling-and-toeing and double-clutching it on downshifts. What a blast! The 2.0L. engine has an amazing amount of pep, the car handles extremely well in spite of the torsion-beam rear suspension (and the
    195/65R15s on the LX), and winding it out in 2nd and 3rd is exhilarating. After owning a 2006 Sonata LX V6 for the last four years, I'd almost forgotten how much fun it is to be involved in driving again.

    So, upon returning to the dealership, I ordered a Dark Cherry EX with the coffee--it's more like chocolate--interior, 5-spd. manual, Premium Package (sunroof and 205/55R16 tires on alloy wheels), and auto-dimming mirror with compass. Unfortunately, owning a Hyundai means I'm in limbo: I qualify for neither the $1,000 Competitive Bonus nor the $1,000 Owner Loyalty Offer; but since I did qualify for the 0%/36-month financing, I also got an additional $500 off. Bottom line: total delivered price before taxes, title, reg., and document fees: $16,540. It'll be ready for pickup early next week. I'm psyched. :)
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    jim,i myself purchased a forte EX with auto in the dark cherry metalic color this past august..i also test drove those other cars you mentioned before deciding on the forte.this is really a great bang for the buck car and i get compliments on the dark cherry metalic color every where i go.
  • Congrats.

    I'm jealous. I want an sx, corsica blue w/ a sun roof. I haven't found a car in a long time that I was interested in enough to give up my reliable 01 camry that I've had since new. Maybe I'll keep it and get the forte anyway. The forete is an exciting little car. Keep us informed on what you think of it along the way. That is , if you're not too busy enjoying it..?
  • Im at a stand still in the car buying market. I really like the forte models. i test drove the ex forte koup manual... fell in love! but now im contemplating if i'd like the size of the sedan more. im 23 and hope to have the car for a long time so space may or may not be important (kids?). also, the idea of four doors seems more conveinent since i sell handmade jewlery. still, the trunk is a great feature on both models. i like the exterior of the sedan, but the look of the koup is far more attractive to me, however i question the comfortablity for passengers/cargo. also im not sure if want automatic or manual. ive only ever owned a 2 door manual, so its kind of all ive ever known. any input would be appreciated and helpful to my decision making. thank you! peace.
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