2011 Kia Forte vs. Its Competition

2011 Kia Forte Hatchback
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

The 2011 Kia Forte stands out for its exceptionally good ride and refinement in a crowded class of models that, in recent years, have disappointed in many ways.

That's starting to change, however, with the introduction of some models that deliver more refinement, more features, and higher mileage than their predecessors.

At the leading edge, along with the Forte, are the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and 2011 Hyundai Elantra.

The Cruze is a roomy compact, almost mid-size by some gauges, and it has top-notch safety along with a new fuel-efficient 1.4-liter turbocharged engine; the new Hyundai Elantra also promises to be a top contender, with 40-mpg highway ratings across the model line.

Within this group, the Corolla is the legendary leader for reliability, longevity, and all-around frugal driving, but the Corolla isn't quite as refined as the Forte.

Also, the 2011 Ford Focus is strictly a lackluster carry-over, in anticipation of Among this group, the Mazda3 is the favorite for those with an enthusiast streak, but admittedly it's not perfect, and in terms of features, the Forte has it beat.

Bluetooth and steering-wheel controls with voice activation aren't standard on most of these other models, but they are on the Forte—even the base LX model.

2011 Kia Forte Hatchback2011 Kia Forte
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2011 Ford Focus 4-door Sedan S Side Exterior View2011 Ford Focus
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2011 Hyundai Elantra2011 Hyundai Elantra
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2011 Mazda32011 Mazda MAZDA3
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2011 Toyota Corolla2011 Toyota Corolla
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Quick Specs
The 2011 Kia Forte exemplifies the new direction of Kia, with a simple, elegant style, unexpected levels of refinement, and lots of value for the money.
38 mpg; a sleek, sophisticated look; and even more value for the money confirm that this little sedan has officially left the Corolla in the dust.
The 2011 Mazda3 provides more driving enjoyment than most other small-car models, along with a stylish, racy look; but with a tight, noisy cabin, it’s not without compromise.
The 2011 Toyota Corolla is spacious, safe, and well-equipped; but if you're looking for excitement or inspiration, it's not here.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
22 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy26 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class    
Compact CarsCompactMid-SizeCompactCompact
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan Manual LX4-Door Sedan S4-Door Sedan Manual GLS (Ulsan Plant) *Ltd Avail*4-Door Sedan Manual i SV4-Door Sedan Manual L (Natl)
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
ManualManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2011 Kia Forte vs. 2011 Ford Focus2011 Kia Forte vs. 2011 Hyundai Elantra2011 Kia Forte vs. 2011 Mazda MAZDA32011 Kia Forte vs. 2011 Toyota Corolla