Oh yes, it’s been 365 days since I drove off the lot at my local Kia Dealer in a brand spankin new Kia Forte. I’ve put 15,000km/9,500 miles on it in the past year. I typically only drive it for business use, out and about in my role of a casualty road adjuster.

The Good

The Forte isn’t just a way to get from A to B. It’s part of my B R A N D. If you’re dealing with someone who’s injured/angry/thinking about retaining a lawyer and you roll up in something flashy, they think “goddamn insurance money”.

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If you roll up to any claim in a Kia Forte, it is visual white noise. Nobody judges you. It’s new sure, but nobody thinks “ooh, must be nice” while conversely, nobody thinks “look at this unprofessional slob”.

Financially, this vehicle has been quite kind for me. Since I started, my car allowance has gone from $500 (CAD) per month to $600 (CAD) per month (pre-tax). This more than covers my payments/insurance. Easy on gas, which my employer pays for, so I don’t ever have to worry about getting “the talk” on fuel spending.

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Overall, this car is great. Easy to drive, transmission is OK, engine turns on, suspension is present. All good! It basically drives like it looks. Acceptably forgettable, yet totally adequate.

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Interior is clean and actually pretty high end for $9K (USD) off the lot. Music plays and the gauge cluster is great. Phone connection works well, bluetooth is decent and all the buttons make sense.

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The Bad

My goodness, is it warm in here or is just me? Yes, the worst part is the lack of AC. I thought I was going to go mad this past summer.

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Also, remember I said that the Kia had a lot of visual positives when dealing with claimants/insureds. Well, it has some image based drawbacks too. Roll up to an accident scene, fire, building collapse or something like that and everyone stares at you.

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Also, winter time is challenging. Heater works well, but it isn’t exactly the best on some of the backcountry/grid roads that I have to navigate during winter storm.

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So, what’s the future hold?

Truthfully, while I am always looking at AWD wagons, 4x4 trucks and Jeeps, I really think I will trade this in on 2019 Forte either new or used.

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Owning the Kia has opened my eyes to the excellent value of the Kia/Hyundai brands. I really need AC and Android Auto. Also, possible kids on the horizon and the desire to keep the urban driving feel as well as the neutral first impressions point me towards Korean sedans.

I think if I could swing a new Forte or maybe a used Cadenza, I’d go for it. We’ll see how financials work out this year.

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Thanks for reading and for all the jokes.