We love a little healthy competition, especially in the automotive industry, which is why we’re temporarily abandoning our policy to mercilessly mock any vehicle produced by Kia and instead offer the 2010 Kia Forte Koup a subdued golf clap (hey, baby steps). While we can’t truthfully say we’re likely to buy one, we can see where the Kia Forte Koup could have a pretty strong market appeal and encroach considerably on the Scion tC’s consumer base.
According to the PR spiel, Kia is bypassing Scion altogether and going straight for the big game, ultimately aiming to compete with the likes of the Honda Civic Coupe and Ford Focus Coupe, but that may be just a little too ambitious. It might behoove Kia to remember, however, that in terms of popularity, Honda and Ford are the co-captains of the football team and Kia is the new kid who transferred high schools halfway through the year and suddenly wants to walk on to the team…but we digress, as we are wont to do.
Sharing a chassis with the Kia Forte Sedan (of which our reviews are far less glowing), the Forte Koup measures 176.4″ x 69.5″ x 55.1″ with a 104.3″ wheelbase, making it just a hair smaller than its 4-door cousin and roughly equal to its segment competitors. Surpisingly, its dimensions are one of the only qualities the Forte Koup shares with the competition as its powertrain options boast more power than we’d usually expect from Kia. Offered in two trim levels, EX and SX, the Forte Koup EX comes equipped with a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine producing 156-horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque while the Forte Koup SX features a slightly more powerful 2.4L 4-cylinder that boosts engine output to 173-horsepower and 168 lb-ft of torque.
Bottom line: it looks good on paper, but it’s still a Kia. Let’s see how it’s doing 3 years and/or 50,000 miles down the road, and then we’ll talk about putting it in the starting line-up.