A Unique Balance of Form and Function: 2010 Kia Forte Koup EX

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A Unique Balance of Form and Function: 2010 Kia Forte Koup EX

Post by sonic on Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:05 am

A Unique Balance of Form and Function: 2010 Kia Forte Koup EX
via C! Magazine
Words by: Kevin C. Limjoco / Photography by: Kevin C. Limjoco

Our new C! Fastfleet Kia Forte Koup acquisition may have been born out of chance but so far we have had mostly good things to say about it. There are six things that I would have wanted in the car, a in-dash 6CD changer, the larger 11.8” front brake discs from the SX model, the 5-speed automatic transmission of the SX, the 177bhp 2.4 liter engine of the SX, a moonroof and the more difficult, rear independent suspension. Basically I wish the Koup SX was available locally at the same lofty price that the 156bhp 2.0 liter Koup sells for. However, the Koup is still a great car with very distinctive styling, still a long list of standard equipment, reasonably fuel efficient, and characterful.

On the performance side, acceleration is still vividly strong for its class, it’s still the quickest normally aspirated car up to 2.0 liters in the local market, and the brakes are very good too, strong and very fade resistant. Stability and comfort values are also strong with a drag coefficient of .31. The Koup only shares the hood with its sedan brother; all other sheet metal is unique making the car actually special and distinctive. The biggest Achilles heel is the torsion beam rear suspension which can be choppy on uneven surfaces, rough on any surface that isn’t glassy smooth and reaches its limit of adhesion sooner than cars with independent setups.

To help improve grip and ride comfort we immediately swapped the stock Kumho 215/45HR17 tires with a set of new 225/45YR17 TOYO DRB tires from TyreRack on the stock 7x17” wheels which is marginally taller and wider with considerably higher thresholds for speed, load and driving dynamics. The stock tires are still reasonably good for most driving conditions but work best on Korean roads which are outstanding. For more forgiveness in battling our roads while at the same time improving ride comfort and reducing road noise the Toyos were a great solution, the improvements were felt instantly with the added visual benefit of a more filled-out wheel-well and additional alloy protection. Road holding was also improved dramatically making the voluntary manufacturer electronically limited speed of 190 km/h extremely frustrating since it’s now reached more readily and confidently.

To improve throttle response and give the energetic engine a smidgen more voice, we also dropped in a K&N air panel filter. The horn is pretty bad, making a small car feel even smaller, so that’s the next to go too. We will install a set of horns sourced from a Porsche 993. The Koup is also one of the first cars that we will install tint on, more on that on our next update. The first oil service was already done at 1,320 kilometers at the Kia Alabang Westgate dealership which was the most inexpensive at less than P2,000.00, took 40 minutes and they even detailed the car too!

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Location : Jalan Jalan


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