2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco road trip, May 2016 - Kentucky welcome center
As for interior room, the cars now ride on identical wheelbases and have almost exactly the same interior dimensions, though the Elantra's leg room is biased toward the front seat, the Forte's more evenly split. Neither has great rear-seat head room, but both are acceptable for adults.
In the past, safety ratings for the Forte and Elantra have been quite different. The Elantra earned top scores, while last year's Forte got a "marginal" IIHS score for small-overlap impacts. Thus far, the IIHS hasn't yet rated the updated Forte, whose NHTSA ratings are unchanged. The new Elantra has suffered with some poor results in the NHTSA test cycle, but is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. It's also one of the few vehicles in its class to offer a suite of advanced safety features, everything from adaptive cruise control to forward-collision warnings with automatic braking.
On the features list, both the Forte and Elantra have standard power features, cruise control, and air conditioning. Hyundai's options list includes ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, 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.