The 2016 Kia Forte lands in a middle ground, somewhere between comfortable, value-oriented compacts like the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra and those like the Ford Focus and Mazda 3.
While that should be a recipe for popularity, it's this lack to commit to either a bold driving personality or top-notch functionality, safety, or comfort that keep this model from greatness.
The current Toyota Corolla is a strong entry and arguably more refined than the Forte.
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 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.
Meanwhile the Subaru Impreza, with its standard all-wheel drive and crisp handling, is nudging up against the Forte on value.
And 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—and somehow, it seems, a little less road noise.
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|2016 Kia ForteBrowse Used Listings||2016 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings||2016 Honda CivicBrowse Used Listings||2016 Hyundai ElantraBrowse Used Listings||2016 Subaru ImprezaBrowse Used Listings||2016 Toyota CorollaBrowse Used Listings|
|21 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||26 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy||24 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||24 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy||27 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy|
|Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded H-4||Regular Unleaded I-4|
|Mid-Size Cars||Compact Cars||Mid-Size Cars||Mid-Size Cars||Compact Cars||Compact Cars|
|4-Door Sedan Manual LX||4-Door Sedan S||4-Door Manual LX||4-Door Sedan Manual SE (Alabama Plant)||4-Door Manual 2.0i||4-Door Sedan Manual L (SE)|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2016 Kia Forte vs. 2016 Ford Focus||2016 Kia Forte vs. 2016 Honda Civic||2016 Kia Forte vs. 2016 Hyundai Elantra||2016 Kia Forte vs. 2016 Subaru Impreza||2016 Kia Forte vs. 2016 Toyota Corolla|