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Road Test - Kia Cerato Forte 1.6 SX
12 Mar 2009  |  Kia Reviews
A lot of money was spent to launch the new Cerato Forte. Is it going to be a flop, or will this car be a good example of money well spent?
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Facelift

The Kia Cerato Forte was facelifted on Apr 2011. Read more

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   Consumer Reviews of Kia Cerato Forte
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OVERALL RATING
 
86 Reviewers
4 out of 5
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Comfort
3.5/5 Reliability
3.5/5
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Handling
3.5/5 Features
4/5
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Exterior Styling
4.5/5 Interior Design
3.5/5
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Value for money
4/5 Engine Performance
3.5/5
72 out of 86 (83.7%) reviewers said they would recommend this vehicle to a friend.
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86 Reviews

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Maverickguo
Premium User Maverickguo
Neutral Newbie
1 reviews
7 points
5 forum posts Joined on 26-Apr-2006
Most impressive segment C car  Posted on 04 Dec 2012
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating  
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Comfort 5/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 4/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 4/5 Interior Design 5/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 5/5
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Review
I am in the car rental business and have been driving all sort of vehicle daily. From Toyota to BMW.

Quick review and conclusion.

Took the car up to KL and Genting over weekend. Power was the most powerful in its class. No problem overtaking or driving consistently on the right lane of NS Hwy. 6 speed gear box and great chassis makes going up genting and down hill a breeze. Peddle shift was very responsive and also auto shift up when you touch redline. Brilliant gearbox! During down hill, I uses 2nd and 3rd gear only and hardly uses brake or accelerator.

Handling was sharp and nifty. Very little body roll and traction was perfect. No loss of traction or skid experience despite wet road and sharp bend. Attributed to the good chassis, suspension setup, 17" rim, ESC and surprisingly the stock Kumho tyres. Seat was the most comfortable among all the cars I have driven beyond C segment. I sat in it for 6 hours due to jam with no complain. Feels everything is right and great support all round.

Self installed cruise control and notice engine lack of torque during normal cruising speed to maintAin speed when encounter up slope. Usually auto gear will drop 2 speed to archive the torque required to maintain. Over NS Hwy, my average fuel consumption is approximate 13km/L at 120-130km/hr.

When driving in Singapore, I almost doing 100% city driving with 0% expressway. Archive 9-10km/L.

Air con is very efficient. Loves the sound system as it has the best audio quality I ever heard from a car in this segment. Bluetooth capability is impressive as it also allows the playback of MP3 from my iPhone.

What I like
Impressive chassis and suspension
Very quiet engine that I thought engine was not started when air on is off. No vibration detected or sound. Pure silence.
Audio system was impressive in terms of clarity. Lack SPL.
Bluetooth connectivity with iPhone and playback capability.
Very very very very comfortable seat. Could drive for hours without ache or fatigue.
6-SPEED GEARBOX and its responsiveness!

What I do not like
Too sensitive auto light at turns on too frequently.
No 2.0L engine or turbocharge 1.6L for more power
Noisy stock tires even though it has very good grip.
Low body kit that cause the car not able to park into the lot completely and have to crawl thru certain humps
No auto wind up for power window. Got to hold the button to close it.
No projector headlight and DRL

Kammer
Neutral Newbie
1 reviews
2 points
2 forum posts Joined on 25-Feb-2012
Decent Quality and Ride, Value for Money  Posted on 29 Sep 2012
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating  
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Comfort 3/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 4/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 5/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 4/5
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Review
Since I didn't allocate much budget for the car but neither did I want a cheapo one. I was looking for value for money car. Must be functional, but must not be so basic type, at least you must enjoy what you ride. Definitely forget about the brand or made to show off. I found that this is the car that I was looking for. Have been riding Kia Cerato Forte 1.6 SX for almost 6+ months already, so far the car has been good on me, of course in terms of fuel consumption cannot compare with VW, Honda or Toyota. Of course in terms of confort, cannot compare with BMW or Merc. But its the car that you feel you really can rely on (will not make you stranded in the middle of road or afraid of rain seepage), it's the car you can really depend on (will carry you where you want to go safely). With the money you paid, you have all the functionalities that you can get only at premium high end cars. P.S. some people say the car pick up is not good, I think it is during the initial 3000 km when the engine is still quite new. After that the pickup is comparable to others, recommend to use Shell fuel which you will give better power than other at pick up. Also regarding power, I think it depends on how much you know about your car and individual skill.

What I like
- Style/Design
- Functionality (climate control aircond, reversed sensor and camera, ESP, Keyless Start/Stop button, chromatic rear view mirror, bluetooth etc..)
- Built in Sports Rim & Body Kit for SX
- bootspace

What I do not like
- Fuel consumption (I think this also depends on your drive style)
- A bit of body roll during turning (This is compensated by ESP for your confidence)
- Brand (Of course people will not look at you like you are driving BMW or Merc.

Egiaah29
Neutral Newbie
1 reviews
0 points
0 forum posts Joined on 14-Apr-2012
Worst car I've owned  Posted on 14 Apr 2012
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I will not recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating  
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Comfort 2/5 Reliability 2/5
Handling 1/5 Features 2/5
Exterior Styling 5/5 Interior Design 2/5
Value for money 3/5 Engine Performance 1/5
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Review
Reading some of the reviews, it's really hilarious. Drives like a Conti car? Come on, get real. The only good thing about this car is the shape and design. You really get what you pay. I can live with poor sales, poor service if I paid for a cheap car since I don't face them everyday. But to pay for a car that get cracked windscreen as a norm is something nobody expects.

The drive is expected of what was paid. Nothing fancy. Same for FC and comfort. Kimchi cars are still far lagging behind Sushi. That is a fact.

What I like
Shape

What I do not like
Everything else.

Seabreeze
Premium User Seabreeze
Clutched
1 reviews
29 points
38 forum posts Joined on 01-Mar-2009
Good value for $$ spent  Posted on 13 Apr 2012
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating  
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 5/5
Handling 4/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 5/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 4/5
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Review
Own this car for close to a year now, like it 6 speed so when cruising at 100km, rpm hit about 2.5 bar. Pick up if rev hard FC will be bad, but if maintained at 2 to 2.5 pick up rpm, the FC is pretty good and must not be traffic light racer.Average FC is about 11.7km/L

When it corners, it handle itself pretty well maybe the weight does play a part. But mind the turning radius for U-turn.

Interior features package is more than jap counterparts, and so far no issue till now unlike my previous cars. Stock speakers is not bad.
Boot wise is pretty sufficient, if loading of super big items from ikea i can rest down the rear seats too.

A good buy for bread n butter car, exterior styling give a lasting feel as compared to others.

What I like
Stock speakers, paddleshift when i am in the mood, Good FC if not traffic light racing, solid feel of car body n heated side mirrors. 5 years warranty

What I do not like
too many accessories available n hurting my pockets!!

IownedaForte
Neutral Newbie
1 reviews
0 points
0 forum posts Joined on 17-Feb-2012
Car with poor reliability  Posted on 17 Feb 2012
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I will not recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating  
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 1/5
Handling 3/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 4/5 Interior Design 3/5
Value for money 3/5 Engine Performance 3/5
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Review
I drove the 2009 series Cerato Forte and have been driving it for close to 3 years. The Forte is improving, but i find out (after about 2 yrs of driving) that the improvements are only superficial. The quality of the materials that were used to build the Forte were not so good, even with the now better interiors and additional functions. If you can accept going back to the agent for repair frequently, then the car is definitely a good buy. Ever wondered why after deducting the COE cost from the price, the car price is still about the same as when it was initially launched, even with the now better interior and more functions such as retractable mirror etc?

In the first week after collecting the car, i need to go back to Kia to get a window panel changed because it has air bubble in it. In the 1st 6-month, i had to go back again because there were knocking sounds coming from the suspension when i go over the hump. Recently, my windscreen cracked for no reason and got to replace. Then the gearbox leaked and the car cannot be driven.

Not-suprisingly, these faults were also mentioned by other Forte owners.

So in short, if you are willing to take a risk and see whether your Forte can be a long lasting car, good luck trying

What I like
- lots of functions provided with the low cost
- cheap and affordable car

What I do not like
- Material used for the car are not durable
- Engine sound loud meaning either the engine is loud or the sound proofing of the car is bad
- The RPM of the engine is high (abt 3000 RPM) for travel at 100km/h for 5th gear.

Knightsljx
1st Gear
4 reviews
69 points
65 forum posts Joined on 01-Sep-2009
Great car with some drawbacks  Posted on 06 Feb 2012
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating  
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 5/5
Handling 4/5 Features 5/5
Exterior Styling 5/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 4/5
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Review
Drove this for 7 months already
If you're looking for a bread and butter car right now, the Forte is a very good buy.

The major competitors for the Forte and Chevy Cruze and Nissan Almera.
The Almera looks like crap IMO. The choice between Cruze and Forte comes down to the bells and whistle and the weight. The Cruze is very heavy and will affect acceleration and fuel consumption. But it is stable at high speeds

Even with the downsides, I would whole heartedly recommend this car

What I like
Exterior styling is amazing espcially with the body kit.
Comes standard with many features
6 speed gearbox
Comes with full size spare tyre instead of a weight saving one
Sleeker side mirror indicator compared to pre-facelift
Good value for money.

What I do not like
Paddle shift requires you to change to manual mode, which is a major bummer. In a VW, when you want to downshift, you do not need to touch the gear shift. Just pull on the paddle and it will downshift for you to overtake. After a while, it returns to automatic.
This is NOT the case with the Forte

Not enough storage compartments. There is no compartment on the door rest and centre console. Major bummer again

Rear bodykit is DANGEROUS. Be careful when you park and do not park all the way in. I once had the rear BK catch on a high curb and nearly ripped the whole out.

Not enough shock absorbance on doors

781jchan
Neutral Newbie
1 reviews
2 points
2 forum posts Joined on 07-Aug-2011
The best korean designed car.  Posted on 09 Aug 2011
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating  
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Comfort 5/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 4/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 5/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 4/5
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Review
Have brought the SX (A) for more then 4 month. Everythings on this car so far so good except a bit slow when up slop n road noise. Other then this no comments.

What I like
The aero dynamic body and beautiful style especially look from the front part of the car. Interior design is impressive. The cluster display very unique. The function in this car is much more better in its same class of cars.

What I do not like
Road noise and slow when up slop n overtaking. Other then that nothings to comments.

Junxian
2nd Gear
1 reviews
179 points
170 forum posts Joined on 02-Jul-2011
Test driven and booked!  Posted on 08 Aug 2011
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating  
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Comfort 5/5 Reliability 5/5
Handling 5/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 5/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 3/5
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Review
First from the outside, Cerato Forte has long won my heart over since it launch in 2009. A well designed sedan with sporty curves. Don't look like budget car.

From inside, The SX variant almost come with everything you will need.. minus the missing GPS/Reverse Cam (which I think are better to get 3rd party). The back seats are comfortable even the middle seat, spacious enough to fir 3 adult.

Performance wise, my first time with an auto car, but among this and Cruze 2011 LS which has 6 speed, the pick up is noticeable slightly weaker. Mine was a 4 speed 1.6A, the 6 speed version should at least match the Cruze if not better.

What I like
Cool outlook
SX with great features
Galaxy Tab app to monitor/diagnosis/plan servicing(comes with the Tab too!)
Spacious boot space
Most value for money ride especially during current COE craze.
5 Years warranty, unlimited mileage

What I do not like
Might lose out a bit in overtaking
Center panel could have better design/layout

Garyakw
Neutral Newbie
1 reviews
0 points
0 forum posts Joined on 15-Mar-2009
Great looks but mediocre performance.  Posted on 11 Jul 2011
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I will not recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating  
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 1/5
Handling 3/5 Features 5/5
Exterior Styling 5/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 1/5 Engine Performance 1/5
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Review
A beauty on the road, I went to check out this model and was amazed in both the interior and exterior designs. Tested and love the feel of its comfort and elegance. Received the car on 14 June and have being going to the servicing since.
1. Condensation in the headlights due to improper sealing.
2. Alignment towards left and cannot go straight for more than 3m.
3. Now car is towed to service center as my clutch was leaking. I do not know if it is a manufacturing fault or by accident, but i definitely do not expect these problems from a new car that is ard 2weeks old. Very disappointed and had bad dreams of me losing control due to the leakage as i ferry my family frequently. I understand its the luck factor, but this car was rather problematic.

What I like
Comfortable interior
elegance look

What I do not like
no power

Scche
Neutral Newbie
1 reviews
0 points
0 forum posts Joined on 08-Mar-2010
Very slow delivery after registration  Posted on 05 Jul 2011
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating  
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Comfort 5/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 4/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 5/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 3/5
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Review
I almost lost my patience. Originally was told latest by Monday. Today was told latest by this Friday. Service is bad after paying money. Anyway, still recommend this cheap car. However, with high COE, it makes more sense to buy a better car if you can afford.

What I like
Cheap

What I do not like
Slow delivery

Ebony
Neutral Newbie
2 reviews
0 points
0 forum posts Joined on 29-Mar-2010
1 Year on and still Awesome!  Posted on 28 Mar 2011
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating  
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Comfort 5/5 Reliability 5/5
Handling 5/5 Features 5/5
Exterior Styling 5/5 Interior Design 5/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 4/5
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Review
I have been driving this car for a year and it still runs wonderfully, I had even take it up to Genting and back. Its a steal for your money. Stable and drives like a continental! Dont just consider J made car, this one surely beats alot from J country. You will not be dissappointed.

What I like
Everything!

What I do not like
NIL

Pehky1981
Neutral Newbie
1 reviews
0 points
0 forum posts Joined on 23-Feb-2011
Good Car  Posted on 24 Feb 2011
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating  
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 3/5
Handling 4/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 4/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 4/5 Engine Performance 3/5
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Review
Bought my Forte for more than 1 year.
Overall I can say the car is great!
However, the plastic interior gotten alot of scratches (Probably due to the passengers who took my ride!! >: ()
KIA should improve its interior hard plastic.
My push start button is faulty but free replacement due to warranty.
Also I think KIA reputation of poor engine is obvious as most car tends to want to overtake me or do not allow me to change lane when I intend to.
However, I usually got my way becv they unestimated the FROTE. haha

What I like
- Design
- Lesser similar car on the road due to COE height
- Interior Space
- Handling - Good turning control
- Lesser similar car on the road as compared to Japanese car which makes it more unique
- Value for money
- Features included (eg. Climate control, light sensor, digital temperature control, 6 disc, Ipod input, remote control for car boot, nicely design comparment...)
- Good leather interior material
- Push start button

What I do not like
- Fuel consumption sometimes quite bad
- Poor Reputation on road for being a slow car
- Slow during up slope
- Lousy plastic interior
- Expensive servicing cost

Daepwa
Neutral Newbie
1 reviews
2 points
1 forum posts Joined on 17-Dec-2010
Worth what you get for what you've spent  Posted on 17 Dec 2010
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating  
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 3/5
Handling 3/5 Features 5/5
Exterior Styling 4/5 Interior Design 5/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 5/5
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Review
I'd say Cerato Forte started to bright the KIA brand.. Previously I can't sight of KIA design.. too silly.. but now seems to have getting in force to beat JP cars

What I like
Generally

What I do not like
Break Booster gave me head-ache.
Under suspension stability expecting to be better and longer to maintain comfort-ability

Tonytsh
Neutral Newbie
1 reviews
0 points
0 forum posts Joined on 07-Nov-2010
Impressive car!  Posted on 10 Dec 2010
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating  
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 4/5 Features 5/5
Exterior Styling 5/5 Interior Design 5/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 4/5
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Review
I just bought my 1.6SX 1 month ago and I must say that I am thoroughly pleased with the car. The car has quite a lot of features which you would not normally find in other cars of the same class. The only improvement that I wish for is that it is lighter in weight like the City, Mazda 3 and Altis. In my opinion, difference of 100kg or more is a lot.

What I like
1. The exterior design - one of the best I've seen for a 1.6 ltr car.
2. The interior is well furnished - leather seats, leather wrapped steering, Ipod/Iphone jack, great looking dashboard - love the red lit background.
3. The stable feel of the car when cruising and taking corners.
4. The value of the car - lower price, quality as good as Japanese and more features. I haven't got any chance to prove durability yet.
5. So far no problem with the car.

What I do not like
1. The free GPS replaces the clock - could have been better by getting the GPS to show the time when not in use.
2. The car is heavy at about 1,300kg and this affects the acceleration and going up a hill - basically you step on the pedal more in such situations.

BurpBerry
Clutched
1 reviews
32 points
30 forum posts Joined on 27-Dec-2005
Giving Jap Cars a run for their Money  Posted on 05 Dec 2010
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating  
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 3/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 4/5 Interior Design 3/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 4/5
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Review
The Kia Forte came across as a stylish car to me. With it 124bhp for a 1.6L car, the power is very decent. Overtaking is not much of an issue. Handling is pretty decent too.

With COE at rocket high price coupled with high YEN, the KIA Cerato Forte is giving the Jap a SERIOUS run for their $.

What I like
1. Nice power, 124bhp for a <1600cc car
2. Intgrated HU for Ipod/Iphone rocks!
3. Price
4. Exterior design is very stylish. Sporty and will appeal to the younger generation:)

What I do not like
1. Interior design, the plastic looks a bit hard but it better then soft plastics for durabilty issues.

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Kia Cerato Forte
4 stars - based on 86 reviews