The Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra are in theory built on the same platform, so it's puzzling that their safety ratings are so different. While the Elantra is one of the segments top performers, with IIHS Top Safety Pick status and even a respectable 'acceptable' score in the tough small overlap frontal test, the Forte gets a 'poor' rating in that test, as well as a lower four-star Overall Rating in federal crash tests (including a lower three-star frontal crash score. Otherwise, safety equipment is comparable between the two models, with the requisite airbags and stability control complemented by standard Bluetooth and an available rearview camera.
The Forte has caught up with the Elantra's features list. Both have standard power features, cruise control, air conditioning, and satellite-radio hardware. Hyundai's options list includes heated rear seats, a proximity key system, push-button start, and a navigation system and infotainment system with one of the largest screens among compact cars. It also supports Bluetooth audio streaming, and the nav system includes voice controls and XM Data services. Forte shoppers can now get all those features, with a twist: the UVO infotainment controller is a new, superior, smartphone-driven system that uses cell data to get mapping information and to stream audio.
Now that the gap in generations has closed between the Forte and the Elantra, there's less distinction than ever between their spec sheets; although the Hyundai seems to have an edge in many respects.
|2014 Hyundai Elantra||2014 Kia Forte|
|8.4 The Hyundai Elantra already had the bases covered--we'll see if a new engine and new tuning draws it even closer to best in class.||7.4 The 2014 Kia Forte finds better focus with well-rounded performance and grabby good looks, but its safety scores concern us.|
|from $17,200||from $15,900|
|from $16,687||from $15,599|
|Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway|
|Front Leg Room (in)|
|Second Leg Room (in)|
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