Archive for March 2010

Forte, Sempre Forte!

originally posted at

After 9+ years of faithful trasportation from my old 1995 Toyota Corolla, I finally pulled the trigger on a new car purchase at the end of 2009. On the morning of December 31st I purchased a 2010 Kia Forte.

The fact that Forte means strong in Italian was probably no small factor in my interest in this car, but after it caught my attention initially with the name and the following commercial, I really liked the features and price of the car:

Eventually, after some research and waffling on whether I wanted to really spend money on a new car when my old one was still sort of limping along, I decided to go for it.

I tried going to a dealership back in October and I got to do a test drive in a Forte base model and really liked it but they didn’t have one with the options I wanted (the 5-speed automatic Fuel Efficiency Package in a White EX model) and the sales person I talked to was a bit more keen on selling me a Kia Soul instead, it seemed. I wanted the Forte not the Soul (the Soul is a bit weird and doesn’t have near the mileage of the Forte). So I gave up for a bit.

When I realized that there was a 2009 tax incentive that was about to expire in December, I got motivated to get back on the horse and emailed a couple of dealerships to ask for what I wanted. None of them had it but one came back quickly and said they could get it if I were serious. I told them I was pretty much ready to buy if they would meet my price. I gave them a price a bit lower than the TruePrice or whatever they say people are paying for the car and they took it. A few days later they had my car ready to go and I went in to sign everything and pick it up.

The purchase went smoothly and everything was above board. They tried to sell me on the extended warranty but this thing already has a pretty crazy warranty and I’m not interested in the fabric protectors and crud they sell for only $600 extra! Cash

So, a couple months later, here it is:

My New Kia Forte

And from the back:

My New Kia Forte


So far I am loving it. It is faster than my old car, surprisingly so for a car that promises to get up to 36 MPG (some people report more with the Fuel Economy package). It is bigger a bit as well which was my main complaint with my old car. Even with all the weight I have lost over the last couple years, the Corolla always felt very small inside and it had virtually no leg room for people in the back. This car can easily seat 2 adults and a child, maybe 3 medium adults, in the back seat.

One of my favorite things so far is the stereo, surprisingly. It has a USB port for a memory stick or iPod. I just use an 8GB memory stick full of the music I want to listen to and it works great. The sound is really very good too. I’m pretty blown away by it.

The trunk is pretty cavernous as well and I am finding little things about the inside of the car that I really like too. The sunglasses holder and interior lights are well thought out and very effective. The drink holders and stuff are great too if you are into beverages in the car, I am not.

So I am back to having a car payment again. The only down side. Sick

I could have just barely paid it in full but they had a 0% interest for 36 months offer so I took them up on that. I’d rather make a small amount of interest and keep my money as long as possible, so I made a large down payment and there was $1000 cash back on the car which also went to the down payment.

About 2 weeks later I had sold my old car as well, for more than I thought I would get. I put it on the classifieds at and I had a pretty amazing response. A couple of wierdos but the guy who bought it showed up and did a test drive, offered to bring me cash for what I was asking the next night and then my old friend was gone. It was really pretty quick and easy, thankfully. I was sort of dreading a long and difficult process selling my old car.

So, all told, I am very happy with my new car and the process of buying it. Big smile


originally posted at


Update time. I got a few free minutes today so I figured it was time for a little update. Not much has changed, oh except a new layout/theme on the site and a new site icon I made!

It’s a shovel icon with the Japanese kanji character for ‘fist’ overlayed on top. I like it.

Technically it should say ‘‘ because that is how you write Kenpo in Japanese kanji (the equivalent, more or less, of KungFu). But I think stylistically it looks better with just the fist kanji.


Strictly translated 法 means ‘way of the fist’, for anyone interested.