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2010 Kia Forte SX photos

Kia's new economy car proves to be practical and a decent driver. Although navigation isn't available, it has some surprisingly good cabin tech, such as a Bluetooth system with dial-by-name voice recognition.

Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET
Kia's all-new small sedan offers plenty of practicality, a low price, and a new start for the company, the brand of which has suffered from negative public perception.
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2 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET
Although it shows some unique lines in its styling, the Forte blends in with other economy cars on the road, not making nearly as much of a statement as the Kia Soul.
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3 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET
The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine uses variable-valve timing to push its fuel economy up to 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. We found adequate power from a stop, but the engine loses steam at higher speeds.
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4 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET
The Forte accommodates five passengers, the wide C pillars allowing for a high roof over the rear seat.
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5 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET
The front-wheel-drive Forte uses a pretty common suspension arrangement for a modern economy car. The ride quality is typical for a car in this class.
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6 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET
The cabin benefits the most from the fact that the Forte is a completely new car. Instead of being tied to a past model, Kia manages nice styling.
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7 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET
At the SX trim level, a multifunction steering wheel comes standard, with buttons for the audio system and phone.
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8 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET
This five-speed automatic is available with the Forte, along with a five-speed manual. The automatic has a manual mode, mostly good for controlling speed on a descent.
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9 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET
The car includes a full trip computer, displayed on the speedometer. A green Eco light turns on over the fuel gauge when the car thinks you are driving economically.
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10 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET
iPod integration also comes standard in the Forte SX, and offers the capability to browse music by album, artist, genre, and even composer from the car's stereo controls.
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11 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET
Full ID3 information is shown for iPod and MP3 CD tracks.
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12 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET
The Bluetooth phone system is a real highlight in this car, letting you voice dial by name.

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