Kia Coup SX Test drive



-HOW IT LOOKS.

I think the Kia Forte is one of the best looking compact available in the US.
And the 2 door version looks even better. For a smaller car, it has a real presence in the street.
The wheels on the SX are a bit overdone, in my opinion, but that might be what it take to attract a different audience than the sedan.



-HOW IT IS INSIDE.

The interior is the same as the sedan version I drove a few months ago. Which is to say, excellent.
The stereo is again, one of the best I have tested
But just like in the sedan, the iPod is exposed when plugged into it. Not in the armrest, or glove compartment where it should be. So you have to unplug it every time you leave the car.

Most of the plastics used are hard, but they feel solid and the whole interior seems really well put together.
The windows have an auto down feature, but like plenty of other cars, no auto up.
Which for some reason, always bugs me. How much can this cost???

It’s also too bad that there is no choice of interior color other than black in the SX. You can get a tan interior in the cheaper EX, but no leather.

I hear navigation will be an option for the 2011 model year.

The seats are great, but the passenger seat doesn’t have any kind of height adjustment…

…which can result in some discomfort for taller passengers.

Here is a picture of my friend Rob, who is about six foot two inches tall.
Either slouch or leave the sunroof open for your tall friends. And let them breath some fresh air…

-HOW IT DRIVES.

-Ride.
I didn’t mind it, but the ride was pretty hard. Which is fine on a sporty version of the car.
The EX model with smaller wheels could ride a bit more smoothly.

-Steering.
The steering feel is excellent.
A bit hard, and precise.
It’s just feels perfect for the car.

-Engine.
The 2.4 Liter is exactly the same as the one in the SX sedan.
There is always plenty of power, and it is smooth and quiet.
More so than the 2.5 Liter in the Mazda3 for instance.

It is rated at 22 City and 32 HWY. I got 23 to 24 in the city. And almost 35 on the HWY.
Which is pretty good for the amount of fun the car is to drive.

-Transmission.
I read somewhere that the 6 speed manual is pretty rubbery.
It didn’t feel like that to me at all. I had no problem with it and the clutch action was very smooth and forgiving.

-SO???
The Kia Coup looks great and is great fun to drive.
So I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it.

My car was loaded with everything available (except automatic), like leather and sunroof, and the MSRP was still $20 090.
What a car for the money. And you can easily get it for about $2000 under that MSRP if you look around.

It’s closest competition, the Honda Civic EX-L coupe has less power, 5 speed instead of 6, and costs about $1800 more.

Conversation 12 comments

  1. I thought no power up for the window was a safety decision to keep kids and pets from getting their heads stuck in an automatic upward moving piece of glass.

  2. Good review. I have a neighbor who has one of these and I kinda wondered how it was. It does look good. I love the Audi A5 looking c pillar. Too bad they could'nt make the sedans c pillar look as good.

  3. "The windows have an auto down feature, but like plenty of other cars, no auto up.
    Which for some reason, always bugs me. How much can this cost???"

    Approximately 40 cents (that was what Delphi was charging Citroën for the auto switches). I guess it's pretty much the same price everywhere.
    If there's no auto up, they're saving cash by avoiding a "pinch protection". And they're making us upset each time we have to close the windows…

  4. "The steering feel is excellent."

    Do they tune them differently in the US than they do in Canada? Because if they don't, you must be smoking some potent green down there in Cali. I've driven this car, and to call the steering sloppy is being kind. It's got looks sure, and I agree with the audio system. Interiors not bad, but the shiny black plastic around the stereo and HVAC scratches and smudges easily. The Mazda easily outclasses this car in almost every respect, and forego the leather and you can get a 2.5 for about the same price. This car still has some growing up to do.

  5. Nice looking coupe. And I say that while still despising Kia/Hyundai. But, even though I will never ever own one, I will say that it does look good. About a thousand times better than the Scion coupe thing.

  6. " Anonymous said…

    "The steering feel is excellent."

    Do they tune them differently in the US than they do in Canada? Because if they don't, you must be smoking some potent green down there in Cali. I've driven this car, and to call the steering sloppy is being kind. It's got looks sure, and I agree with the audio system. Interiors not bad, but the shiny black plastic around the stereo and HVAC scratches and smudges easily. The Mazda easily outclasses this car in almost every respect, and forego the leather and you can get a 2.5 for about the same price. This car still has some growing up to do.

    September 10, 2010 4:19 PM"

    I don't agree with this guy on the steering at all. In fact, he is the only person I've ever heard complain about the steering feel.

    I DO agree with him about the Mazda though. The Mazda3 is a FAR superior vehicle for around the same price. I would put this second though, and I'd definitely buy it before a Civic, but not the Si model.

  7. I own a Forte SX sedan with 6-speed manual. My take is that steering feel and transmission feel are excellent. Clutch takeup is smooth, but throttle tip-in is very agressive and hard to modulate, making the manual hard to drive smoothly at low speed.

    I have sat in a Coop SX in my dealer's showroom and the materials quality on the seats and doors is much better than on my early-series sedan. Later 2010 sedans have improved door finishing (soft elbow rest and added cloth)

    The Mazda 3 still has better materials quality inside, but I much prefer the Forte's exterior styling. In particular, the Mazda's gigantic smile up front was a deal-breaker for me: retarded, girlish, childish, not serious… take your pick.

    And the Forte is much less expensive than the Mazda 3 accross all trim levels.

  8. The Forte is not that much less expensive. Maybe 1-2K comparatively equipped. Give up the leather or something if you're worried about a grand or two. Leather at this price point is always suspect at best anyway. And I stand by my opinion that the handling is sloppy, especially for a small, light weight car. Maybe it was just the example I drove, but I don't think so. When I turn the wheel, I expect the car to respond immediately, not half a second later. Maybe the Japanese have just spoiled me.

  9. Exterior is very Nissan-like; which is good! Interior needs work yet–a bit too much generic Honda/Toyota–and that's just sad. If you're gonna copy someone; copy Today's winners (GM Nissan, Ford, Chrysler, Jaguar) not yesterday's (which are now today's losers (Toyota/Honda/Suzuiki).

  10. TO ERIC, who said"The windows have an auto down feature, but like plenty of other cars, no auto up."

    Don't forget where you live. This is the land of frivolus LAWSUITS. Imagine a 4-yr old stepping on the auto-up button and sticking his head out the window of a parked car while mom is in the bar drinking– L A W S U I T !!!!!!!!!!!! That auto-up feature would cost more than any auto-maker has today!

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