2016 Kia Forte vs. Its Competition

2016 Kia Forte image
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

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.

2016 Kia Forte image2016 Kia Forte
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2016 Ford Focus image2016 Ford Focus
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2016 Honda Civic image2016 Honda Civic
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2016 Hyundai Elantra image2016 Hyundai Elantra
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2016 Subaru Impreza image2016 Subaru Impreza
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2016 Toyota Corolla image2016 Toyota Corolla
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Quick Specs
There's a lot of curb appeal in the 2016 Kia Forte, although lackluster safety scores and cabin-comfort shortcomings keep it from being another Kia high-achiever.
From efficiency-minded models to the high-performance ST, the 2016 Ford Focus remains one of the best-driving small cars on the market.
The 2016 Honda Civic drops almost all the economy-car pretense; in Touring trim, it could easily wear a premium label.
Not quite a hot hatch, the 2016 Hyundai Elantra GT gives up some rear-seat space in the name of cargo room and European style.
The 2016 Subaru Impreza is the compact car to choose when you require all-wheel drive for year-round traction but don't want or need the gas-mileage hit that comes with boxy SUVs and rugged trail ability.
The 2016 Toyota Corolla continues to offer reliable, inexpensive transportation—with a bit of flair and new, easy-to-use infotainment systems.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
21 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy26 MPG City / 42 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 CarsMidsize CarsMidsize CarsCompact CarsMidsize Cars
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan Manual LX4-Door Sedan S4-Door Manual LX4-Door Sedan Manual SE (Alabama Plant)4-Door Manual 2.0i4-Door Sedan Manual L (GS)
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
 2016 Kia Forte vs. 2016 Ford Focus2016 Kia Forte vs. 2016 Honda Civic2016 Kia Forte vs. 2016 Hyundai Elantra2016 Kia Forte vs. 2016 Subaru Impreza2016 Kia Forte vs. 2016 Toyota Corolla