Monday, August 2, 2010

Goodbye darling, hello baby!

Sometimes you get things wrong to get things right. That's just the way it is.

After deciding to upgrade from my Proton Waja, I scouted around for a worthy replacement and found the Ford Focus S2.0.

The fun lasted for a while, until the car started to act up, requiring thousands upon thousand of ringgit in repairs.

So, I sold the Focus and bought the Kia Forte 2.0 SX. After driving the Forte for more than two weeks, I've come to realise that this is what I should have bought right after selling the Waja.

Of course, the Forte would not have been around about 3 years ago. Still, looking back, I can't help compare my old Waja to the Forte and conclude that the Forte is what the Waja should have been.

Let me explain.

You see, the Proton Waja was the first "performance" car that I owned. Yes, do laugh out loud, because we all know that, as far as performance goes, the Waja can't come close to being called that, at least not without heavy modifications.

And heavily modified was what my Waja was. From custom made extractor, to soft turbo, to spark plug enhancers, to adjustable coil springs and shocks, to stabiliser bar, etc, the Waja was quicker at standing start and around corners than most other cars on the road.

But then, it had two basic flaws. The first was its under-powered engine, which needed several thousand ringgit more to boost, and second, it didn't come with anti-brake lock/electronic brake distribution system (ABS/EBD).

Now, the Kia Forte 2.0 SX is not a performance car either, but it's what I aspired my Waja to be. With a 2.0 litre engine, the Forte 2.0 SX can outpace most cars on standing start without going all the way to 5,500 RPM (revolutions per minute) and it takes corners without tilting a lot (almost flat) or without swerving, thanks to its stiff chassis and traction control system (TCS).

Granted that the springs and shocks are a little soft, at least they allow the Forte 2.0 SX to perform well around corners, whilst providing a comfortable ride on bumpy straights - not like the Waja's adjustable shocks and absorbers that tended to bounce the car quite a bit.

As for overtaking, the Forte 2.0 SX is surprisingly eager to rev, such that I have to be careful when pressing down the throttle to shift automatically to a lower gear before passing other cars.

Once, I kept up with a Camry 2.4L that tried to outrun my Forte 2.0 SX for the fun of it. The Camry didn't manage to outrun my Forte 2.0 SX.

More interestingly, when I looked down at my speedometer and my rev metre, I saw that my Forte was doing 170 Kmh at 3rd gear and still accelerating.

"Okay, time to throttle back", I said out loud. "This is not why I bought this car," I added, reminding myself loudly that I didn't buy my Forte 2.0 SX for racing about.

Interior wise, my Forte 2.0 SX reminded me a lot of my old Waja. The central column cup holders are where they were in my Waja and the handbrake is on the right side (which is the correct side) of the cup holders instead of to the left. The seats are firm, yet comfy. And the cabin space is sufficiently spacious.

Plus, unlike my old Waja, my Forte 2.0 SX has most of the "bells and whistles" you'd expect in the latest generation of high-end cars, such as push-button start, keyless entry and locking, lighted-speedometer, 6-CD MP3/WMA player with bass-boost settings, auto-dim rear view mirror, etc.

All for the price of RM94,000++.
Again, I say, this is what my old Waja should have been like. In one word, the Forte 2.0 SX is "perfect".

That is to say, you don't need to tweak its performance and you certainly don't have to try very hard to do up its looks - I just added wider and slightly larger tyres because I like how larger tyres look on a car and I swapped out the honker for something more macho sounding.

The original honker sounded like a Kancil's honker. Not so perfect, huh? Well, swap that out and the car will be :)

Addendum: Notice that I didn't compare my Forte 2.0 SX to my old Focus S2.0. Well, that's because the Forte 2.0 SX doesn't pretend to be a performance car like the Focus S2.0.


  1. Lovely vehicle you have there. I fell in love with the Forte from day one. But if you like sporty, why didn't you opt for the Forte Koup? It has only two doors and looks good as well. I am the happy owner of a Kia Mohave, and love it as much as you love yours. Kias are just awesome. very happy. Congrats :)

  2. Hi Dim&Lin.Co :),

    Thanks for your comment.

    I'd love to own a two-door 2.4L Forte. Alas, it isn't being sold in Malaysia.

    Maybe I'll get it when it finally comes to Malaysia.

    Best regards,