Civic Coupe is sleek, peppy, responsive, but …
Honda’s new Civic Coupe has a sleek profile, peppy turbocharged engine and responsive handling, but it also has a few issues that reinforce it’s an entry-level car.
Through the years the Civic has grown up. It has gotten larger and now rides on a 106.3-inch wheelbase. It’s no longer an econobox. Civic also comes as a sedan, coupe and for 2017, a hatchback, with the coupe having the best overall styling.
Previously I’d driven the economical sedan with base 2.0-liter 158-horse I4. It’s underpowered, so the coupe was more fun to drive with its 1.5-liter I4 turbo that creates 174 horses. It was linked to Honda’s 6-speed CVT, which is adequate, but groans quite a bit under heavy acceleration.
Power though is good and could only be improved with a 6-speed manual.
Handling is the car’s strong point though with quick steering that is responsive, making it fun to drive in town. Civic feels heavier than the car’s 2,888 lbs. would seem to indicate, but the Honda carves through corners well and there is no play in the wheel. Continue reading 2017 Honda Civic Touring Coupe →
Common sense Forte also sporty, fun, loaded with goodies
Kia cranks out another winner with its updated Forte compact sedan, a near sport sedan with a modern sporty look and common sense price tag and performance.
The Forte is stellar in nothing, but good at everything. Such solid execution from a car maker creates the dilemma auto writers despise, precious few nits to pick.
What Forte does well is deliver smooth modern looks and a fairly quiet interior that’ll easily hold four adults while providing comfort, a big trunk and all the amenities of higher priced sport sedans.
A base Forte LX comes with a 1.8-liter I4 that delivers a reasonable 148 horses with a torque rating of 131. Yet the tested metallic blue Forte EX, its top level model, packs a 2.0-liter I4 with direct injection that’s capable of 173 horses and 154 ft.-lbs. or torque. Not monster power to be sure, but sufficient to hurry the car onto a freeway or away from a stoplight.
Putting the power to the pavement is a 6-speed automatic with Sportmatic, which means you can shift manually if you want. Plus the EX adds 17-inch alloy wheels for $300. The base car comes with 15-inch steel wheels. This gives it more rubber and much better looking wheels.
Forte is front-wheel drive and handles well on dry or snowy pavement. Traction was good even in slippery fresh snow conditions and Forte turns into corners well. Continue reading 2014 Kia Forte EX →