The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has recently bestowed the 2010 Kia Forte its coveted “Top Safety Pick” award, making it the third Kia vehicle to receive one of the nonprofit organization’s highest recommendations. The other two vehicles include the Kia Soul crossover and the Kia Sedona minivan.
"The Kia brand is growing rapidly in the U.S. thanks to new vehicles such as the Forte that embody our core philosophies of quality, value, style and safety," Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing of Kia Motors America (KMA), said in a statement. "Forte offers buyers a youthful and dynamically styled vehicle with an impressive array of standard safety features, and being honored as an IIHS 'Top Safety Pick' award winner furthers its position as a top contender in its segment and a vehicle that offers consumers the entire package."
The Kia Forte, which replaces the outgoing Spectra, is equipped with a host of standard safety features such as advanced two-stage airbags; front seat and side curtain airbags; four-wheel disc brakes with an antilock brake system (ABS); electronic stability control (ESC); traction control (TCS); and even a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Note that vehicles must have ESC to qualify for the Top Safety Pick award.
Both the Kia Forte and Soul won in the IIHS’ Small Car category for 2010 while the Kia Sedona was selected as Top Safety Pick for 2006. We have found the Kia Forte an attractive car – though more conservative design-wise than, say, the Honda Civic -- with plenty of juice from its 173 hp, 2.4-liter inline-four for day-to-day driving. However, we found the Kia’s “forte” to be in its suspension, which is surprisingly sporty, especially on the more curvy roads.