Kia Forte vs Toyota Corolla vs Hyundai Elantra vs Mazda3

steven39steven39 Member Posts: 636
hello folks,iam haveing a tough time getting a kia forte for below msrp.most of the dealers iv'e been to down here in south fla are treating this car as if it were a honda or toyota and not going much below the msrp.would like to just get an idea of what others are paying in different parts of the country..i will not pay anything close to msrp for a car that is basically going to loose about half it's value as soon as i drive off of the dealers lot given kia's horrible resale values..
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Comments

  • steven39steven39 Member Posts: 636
    well folks,i finally purchased a forte EX today after test driveing several cars including toyota corolla,elantra,and mazda 3..got car for $16,000.00 plus TTT.this forte blows away the corolla, and the mazda 3 as far as power,handleing,quiet interior,and warranty..color is metallic dark cherry with coffee interior so they call it.
  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLMember Posts: 6,261
    Did you buy from Gunther or Bachrodt and how much $ did you get for the Lancer EX?

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2020 Hyundai Accent SE (daughter #2)

  • steven39steven39 Member Posts: 636
    hi sandman,i purchased the forte from gunther kia.got a pretty good deal from them being that i purchased a few cars from them over the years.they gave me $13,000.00 for the lancer EX which is about what the kelly blue book value is for that car..i got the forte for $16,000.00 which is just about invoice price.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMMember Posts: 7,677
    I know, the new Kia Forte is a very cool design. Keep us updated as to how your Forte sedan ownership plays itself out, OK? Sounds like you got a very fair price, too.

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • steven39steven39 Member Posts: 636
    as i mentioned in my previous post here i test drove a 2010 corolla,civic,mazda 3, and as strange as it may sound the forte beat out these cars by a wide margin..i never thought i would say this about any kia product let alone own one of these cars.but it's true i think kia has hit a home run with this car and can only improve upon it.as far as features for the buck as well as the warranty the forte can not be beat although resale value is a concern.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMMember Posts: 7,677
    could you tell us again which car you were most serious about besides the Kia Forte? Was it the Maz3 or the Civic?

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • steven39steven39 Member Posts: 636
    as i mentioned in my previous post here,i test drove the mazda 3,toyoto corolla,and the honda civic before purchasing the kia forte...the mazda 3 came in very close but the forte won me over with it's styling,more standard features,and best of all the longer warranty..so far,iam not regretting my decision.i have the metallic dark cherry color and people compliment me on the car and color..i would suggest to anyone who is in the market for a car in this class to atleast test drive the forte.you will be pleasently suprised just like i was..i never thought in a million years that i would even consider a kia product but they have my respect now with this new forte...check it out!!!!!!!
  • jim1977jim1977 Member Posts: 14
    The way to avoid worry about trade-in value is to not do it. You lose each time you trade. My Infiniti G20 just gave out after 207,000 miles, and I think I got my money's worth. But the Forte will probably be better than the previous Kia's anyway.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    so far,iam not regretting my decision
    Considering you bought the car a day or two ago, I hope not. :surprise:

    p.s. what is the curb weight of the Forte?
  • steven39steven39 Member Posts: 636
    according to the 2010 kia forte brochure the forte sedan with auto trans weighs in at 2,740 pounds...however it feels like a much heavier car especially on the highway where it stays planted to the pavement and doesn't get blown all over the highway from crosswinds like the 2010 toyota corolla that i test drove did.
  • jim1977jim1977 Member Posts: 14
    It seems big for its weight too. I rented a Ford Fusion for a couple of weeks last fall, and the interior room on the Forte seems about the same, even though the Ford was about a foot longer and weighed over 500 pounds more. And of course the Forte gets better fuel economy. The handling and ride were good for both, but I prefer the smaller cars.
  • steven39steven39 Member Posts: 636
    there are several nice features in the forte that i like that are really not found in this price range.illuminated window switches,auto locking and unlocking doors just to name a few.sunglass holder also..
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    forte sedan with auto trans weighs in at 2,740 pounds
    Excellent! That's about 300 pounds lighter than a Mazda3.
  • browntroutbrowntrout Member Posts: 24
    I'll admit I didn't even test drive the Forte. Not that every car in this class has independent rear suspension but I think that helps keep the costs down and add some other options other vehicles it it's class don't have. Up in Canada, I find solid rear suspension get a little loose in our potholed wasteland.

    Forte is a nice looking car, looks a little like the civic.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Member Posts: 1,601
    Since the long warranty is important to you I assume you do not plan on trading in this car anytime soon or with low mileage. I wouldn't be conerned about resale value if you plan to keep the car for 5 or 6 years or over 75,000 miles.

    Enjoy the car. Sounds like you did good.
  • mnfmnf Spokane WaMember Posts: 405
    WOW saw two the last few days they look nice on the road. Here are some reviews on the pro and cons but it looks like Kia did good here. Like all new models only time will tell but they do have a nice look.

    http://www.thecarconnection.com/bottomline/kia_forte_2010

    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/112_0909_2010_kia_forte_review/index.- - html

    http://www.examiner.com/x-572-Auto-Review-Examiner~y2009m6d12-Road-Test-2010-Kia- - -Forte-car-review-Kias-new-look

    MNF
  • steven39steven39 Member Posts: 636
    hello folks,just returned from an almost 500 mile roundrip from hallandale beach,fla to orlando and back.these are my impressions of the forte EX model..first off,this car is very smooth on the highway with very little wind or road noise to speak of.this car also feels solid and feels like iam actually driveing a much more expensive car..i test drove all of the cars in this segment including toyota corolla,mazda 3,civic sedan,and the elantra.the forte blew away those cars...not a misprint,a kia actually performed better than a honda or toyota but this is just my opinion..however if you read the owners reviews of the forte on this site as well as other sites you will see that this car is getting high phrase from owners and auto critics alike...never thought i would mention kia in the same breath as toyota or honda but here iam.lol
  • toro99toro99 Member Posts: 2
    What's the difference between EX and LX?
  • steven39steven39 Member Posts: 636
    these are the differences between the forte EX and the LX.the EX has power windows,locks,cruise,side mirror blinkers,remote keyless entry,and a few interior upgrades over the LX.both models however share the same engine.hope this helps.
  • toro99toro99 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks steven39. You helped me a lot. I testdrived Forte LX yesterday. It was a nice car, and the dealer offered a reasonable deal (forte EX + tax + registration fee = $16k), because his dealership is required to sell 10 more cars until the end of this month. But, it is still over my budget. I have to forget forte. I'm considering 2009 elantra. In addition, i was worrying that forte's safety test result was not disclosed yet.
  • steven39steven39 Member 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
  • 17340driver17340driver Member Posts: 2
    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!
  • steven39steven39 Member Posts: 636
    well so far after 1 month of ownership it's been so far so good with the forte EX.as 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 concerned.as 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
  • 17340driver17340driver Member Posts: 2
    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 Member 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 $17,000.00..no 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 over..next 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 warranty..you do the math.........steve
  • autonomousautonomous Member 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 Member 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.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMMember Posts: 7,677
    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.

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • autonomousautonomous Member 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
  • gooworldgooworld Member Posts: 5
    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 Member 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 class.so i really lucked out.by the way,i have the dark cherry metalic color and i get compliments on the car every where i go...
  • gooworldgooworld Member Posts: 5
    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 Spokane WaMember Posts: 405
    Depends what the trade in value was yrading in opens the door for all kinds of $$ games.

    MNF
  • steven39steven39 Member Posts: 636
    congrats on your kia forte purchase.iam sure you will enjoy the car..which model did you get??i have the EX.you 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!!!!!!!!
  • gooworldgooworld Member Posts: 5
    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!
  • jimpimmsjimpimms Pittsfield MAMember Posts: 81
    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.
  • jimpimmsjimpimms Pittsfield MAMember Posts: 81
    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 Member 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.
  • snowallergysnowallergy Member Posts: 135
    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..?
  • corisayscorisays Member Posts: 3
    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.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    Some other things to consider:

    - Sedans tend to be viewed as more practical for the reasons you mentioned while coupes tend to be viewed as sportier
    - Automatics are more comfortable in city driving (less shifting) but are usually less fuel efficient than manual transmissions (this is changng, though)
    - Coupe doors are typically longer which may be an issue when parking (as in banging the door against another car in a parking lot or against a wall in a parking garage)
    - Consider resale value if you think you may be selling the car eventually; my understanding is that automatic sedans are a safe bet for resale as they tend to be the choice that satisfies the majority of car buyers

    But after all the thinking about practicality, ask yourself if you're satisfied with your choice. If not, you have your answer!
  • corisayscorisays Member Posts: 3
    thank you so much for your input! i wouldve never thought the decision would be so hard...
  • steven39steven39 Member Posts: 636
    it really comes down to personel preference between the koupe and the sedan..however,i recently was at my kia dealer getting an oil change for my forte EX and noticed a forte koupe sx in the corsa blue color and i couldn't take my eyes off of it thats how nice it looked.the forte koupe is a real eye catcher in any color.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMMember Posts: 7,677
    any of ya'll that are interested in getting a manual-trannied Forte Koup or Forte sedan, I have read that some people are having a hard time with it's clutch and shifter. I don't know, I haven't tried one out yet, but there is some hunting and pecking problem going on while people are trying to shift through the gears. Combined with some of the regular clutch synchronization problems people normally have with stick shift driving. I'd give one a thorough shifting workout during test driving, for one thing. And do a lot more research on this clutch and shifter trouble apparently going on.

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • jimpimmsjimpimms Pittsfield MAMember Posts: 81
    You've been misinformed. There's absolutely no problem with the gearbox. The automotive press has called it "rubbery", "notchy", "vague", etc., and the shift throw is "too long". B.S. It's fine, especially for a car at this price point. The press too often lose sight of the fact that not every car is expected to comply with Mercedes' and BMW's standards. The clutch coordination, though, does take some getting used to. Even after driving my EX for a week, I still occasionally don't get it right. But like a lot of things in life, "practice makes perfect."
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    The press too often lose(s) sight of the fact that not every car is expected to comply with Mercedes' and BMW's standards.

    But when Honda gets it right on their economy cars (they've held an industry standard for manual transmissions in their price range for positive shift feel for years), its fair to hold other economy cars to that standard, in my opinion.

    You feel one way, a lot of people feel another.

    Opinions can differ, but yours isn't any more "right" than those of the press & those who dislike the manual shifter operation in the Forte.
  • colloquorcolloquor Member Posts: 482
    Honda makes a good gearbox, but where all Asian cars fall down is the clutch design. Generally, all the Asian manufacturers use a cable-actuated clutch, whereas most European cars use a hydraulically-actuated clutch. Once you drive a car with a hydraulically-actuated clutch, the cable-actuated design simply doesn't measure up to the smooth operation of the hydraulically-actuated clutch. The comparison is night and day.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMMember Posts: 7,677
    do the Asian manufacturers get this point? Are they going to switch over? I may one day buy another manual-trannied car but don't really want a European car unless it's an Audi. And they're kinda cost-prohibitive, ya know what I mean? I would love it if Hyundai and Kia switched over to the hydraulically-actuated clutch.

    Thanks for pointing that fact out, BTW.

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • jimpimmsjimpimms Pittsfield MAMember Posts: 81
    "You feel one way, a lot of people feel another." I think it's more a case of "some people feel another."

    It's not a matter of whether I'm "right". I'm merely expressing my opinion, and you can take what you wish from it, but it's one thing to document one's own experience after actually driving the car, and another to spread unfounded rumors, so my comments regarding the Forte's manual gearbox were primarily to squelch unsubstantiated hearsay. Also bear in mind that not all the press reviews are negative; the ones that are appear mostly in some of the enthusiast magazines, ergo my statement regarding their expectations. And nowhere in any review was there an allegation that "there is some hunting and pecking problem going on while people are trying to shift through the gears."

    Never having had the pleasure of driving a Honda Civic with a manual transmission, I can't comment on its quality or sophistication; but after driving manuals from Hyundai--and now Kia--for 7 of the past 11 years, and various Mazdas, Toyotas, and VWs over the preceding 35 years, I haven't had problems with any of them--except for a '79 Subaru, an absolutely abysmal PoS.

    That the Honda Civic's manual gearbox achieves a class-leading level of performance is laudable, as is the fact that Honda offers an available 5-speed automatic on all Civic trim levels, something Kia should have done. But the Civic is deficient in other areas, such as braking, power and torque, not to mention specific safety and convenience features available only on the highest trim levels. For example, Electronic Stability Control (Vehicle Stability Assist in Honda-ese) with Traction Control, standard on all Forte trim levels, is available only on the EX-L; Bluetooth and satellite radio, standard on all Forte trims, is available only on the EX or EX-L with Navigation; and you can't even get something as simple as heated outside mirrors on a Civic unless you order the EX-L.

    I am more than impressed with the Civic's ride quality, but I despise the dual-level dash and the enormous distance to the windshield. Besides, the Forte has a far richer list of desirable standard features for thousands less. So which is the better car, or more precisely, the better choice? It all boils down to personal preferences and priorities, and ultimately, where one's willing to compromise.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Member Posts: 804
    I would love it if Hyundai and Kia switched over to the hydraulically-actuated clutch.

    I looked through the shop manual listings on www.hmaservice.com and looked through the clutch specs on the current Hyundai models. They all show that the clutch is hydraulic-actuated, not a cable to be found. ;)
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