2015 Kia Forte vs. Its Competition

2015 Kia Forte EX
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

The current generation of the Kia Forte lands somewhere between comfortable, value-oriented compacts like the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra and those with more of a sporty focus -- like the Ford Focus and Mazda3.

It's a little more style-conscious and value-minded, yet performance doesn't feel like a top priority.

The Toyota Corolla was all-new for 2014, and it introduced a more refined look inside and out, as well as a new CVT and much-improved audio and infotainment.

The Honda Civic, after getting revamped again in recent years, is a refined compact sedan that in some respects, now feels like a smaller Accord.

The Forte's cousin, the Hyundai Elantra, has spread its wings to include coupe and GT models, and as a lineup, it's a worthy cross-shop, with excellent interior space and feature content.

The Ford Focus remains a tough challenger to tackle: it has excellent handling, great style, more optional features than anything in the class, and a rip-roaring ST sport edition all under its umbrella.

And there's probably one more worth considering: the Subaru Impreza, with its standard all-wheel drive and crisp handling.

2015 Kia Forte EX2015 Kia Forte
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2015 Ford Focus ST2015 Ford Focus
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2015 Honda Civic LX Sedan2015 Honda Civic
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2015 Hyundai Elantra2015 Hyundai Elantra
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2015 Subaru Impreza2015 Subaru Impreza
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2015 Toyota Corolla L2015 Toyota Corolla
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Quick Specs
Reasonably well-rounded performance and attractive looks inside and out give the Forte lots of curb appeal, but disappointing safety scores and a lack of comfort mean that it isn't quite the high achiever that the larger Optima has been.
The 2015 Ford Focus lineup gets a clean new look for 2015, as well as a high-mileage three-cylinder engine option and revamped cabin comforts. From efficiency-minded models to the high-performance ST, it remains one of the best-driving small cars on the market.
The 2015 Honda Civic is refined, comfortable, and offers top-notch safety ratings and features.
Snappy sheetmetal and smart packaging puts the 2015 Hyundai Elantra on most must-drive lists, though it's not as engaging to drive as some compact sedans.
The 2015 Subaru Impreza is tough, practical, and relatively attractive, offering a small all-wheel-drive package for those who need it without the big fuel-economy penalty it used to bring.
The 2015 Toyota Corolla maintains its reputation for low running costs and frugality, but there's not a lot more beyond that, to make this a very appealing lineup.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
21 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 47 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy27 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy
Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded H-4Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Midsize CarsCompact CarsCompact CarsMidsize CarsCompact CarsMidsize Cars
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan Manual LX4-Door Sedan S2-Door Manual LX4-Door Sedan Manual SE (Alabama Plant)4-Door Manual 2.0i4-Door Sedan Manual L (Natl)
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Manual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2015 Kia Forte vs. 2015 Ford Focus2015 Kia Forte vs. 2015 Honda Civic2015 Kia Forte vs. 2015 Hyundai Elantra2015 Kia Forte vs. 2015 Subaru Impreza2015 Kia Forte vs. 2015 Toyota Corolla