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Kia Sedans Guide

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Kia Forte

Year: Starting at $16,400 MPG 26-36 The 2013 Kia Forte and Forte Koup are the Korean automaker’s entry-level compact offerings that take their name from the French word “forte,” meaning “a strong point.” The entry-level Kias live up to their name and have a solid reputation built on crisp, clean styling and a choice of four-cylinder engines. The carryover Forte is available as a sedan, hatchback, and coupe, which Kia calls the Koup. The Forte LX and EX models are equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 156 horsepower. The uplevel Forte SX gets a 173-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The EPA says the smaller engine with a six-speed automatic transmission returns 26 mpg in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway. The EX model with the 2.0-liter engine can be outfitted with an optional Eco Package that includes a “smart” alternator and low-rolling-resistance silica tires that give the fuel economy a little boost. Competition is heating up in the small-car segment, with the Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus stealing some of the limelight away from the Forte. Kia is still a good value in the segment, despite the fact that the Forte gets a modest price increase of around $225 for the new model year. Expect to pay $16,175, including a $775 destination charge for the 2013 Forte sedan, $18,175 for the Forte Koup, and $19,075 for the Forte hatchback. But that’s still under the $20,000 mark, a critically important psychological barrier for many buyers. …
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Kia Optima

Year: Starting at $21,200 MPG 24-35 Power and price used to keep the competition on their toes with the Kia Optima, but the Korean automaker has veered in a new direction with the 2013 Optima lineup. New for 2013 is the Kia Optima SX Limited, which starts at $35,275, including a $775 destination charge. The Optima is the sister vehicle to the Hyundai Sonata. The Optima SX Limited or SXL model adds eighteen-inch chrome wheels, red brake calipers, LED lighting, and exterior brightwork. The cabin gets higher-grade leather upholstery, wood-grain accents, and an electronic parking brake. The Optima SX Limited is based on the fully loaded turbocharged Optima SX. Of course, there is still the more pedestrian base Optima, with gets a nearly $2,000 price increase over the 2012 model. The Optima is a top pick in the mid-size sedan category on the strength of its attractive styling, strong engine choices, impressive fuel economy, long list of features, and lengthy warranty. The 2013 Optima is available with two fuel-efficient powerplants featuring gasoline direct injection, including a 200-horsepower 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder or a 274-horsepower 2.0-liter gasoline direct injection turbocharged engine. The engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A 2.4-liter hybrid powertrain is also available. One of the few consistent gripes about the Optima is its numb steering. …
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Kia Rio

Year: Starting at $14,700 MPG 30-40 The 2013 Kia Rio and Kia Rio five-door were all new for the 2012 model year, helping them to stand out from the pack with assertive styling and impressive fuel economy. The base Kia Rio returns 30 mpg in city driving and 40 mpg on the highway – sure to make consumers smile in an era of rising gas prices. But the Rio’s optional Idle Stop and Go, or ISG, technology, which helps to cut fuel consumption, is a $400 option. The technology improves fuel economy by turning the engine off when the vehicle is not in motion – such as at a stoplight or in traffic – and automatically restarting when the driver releases the brake pedal. The ISG technology, which is usually offered on hybrids only, is bundled in an Eco package that also includes an Eco badge. The EPA says the Kia Rio Eco returns 31 mpg in city driving and 40 mpg on the highway. The Rio twins are equipped with a 138-horsepower 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injection four-cylinder engine linked to either a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. The Rios get a few upgrades for the new model year, including standard steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters on the SX model. But the bigger news is that prices on the Korean sedan and hatchback continue to climb. The Rio – once the value leader in the segment – is now more expensive than one of its chief competitors, the 2013 Ford Fiesta. …
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