2017 Kia Forte vs. Its Competition

2017 Kia Forte EX

In its current generation, the Kia Forte has occupied a middle ground between the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra—the comfortable, value-oriented set—and sportier models like the Ford Focus and Mazda 3.

The current Forte doesn't handle as sharply or precisely as either of those models, while its ride has been somewhat noisy.

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 current Toyota Corolla is a strong entry and arguably more refined than the Forte.

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

One strong rival is the Subaru Impreza, which will be redesigned this year.

Its standard all-wheel drive and crisp handling have nudged up against the Forte on value.

The Forte's cousin, the Hyundai Elantra, has spread its wings to include coupe and GT hatchback models, like the Forte.

You should drive them both; we think the latest Elantra is considerably improved, though perhaps still a little more appliance-like.

2017 Kia Forte EX2017 Kia Forte
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2017 Ford Focus2017 Ford Focus
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2017 Honda Civic Si First Drive2017 Honda Civic
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2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport2017 Hyundai Elantra
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2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Limited2017 Subaru Impreza
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2017 Toyota Corolla XSE2017 Toyota Corolla
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Quick Specs
6.5
The Kia Forte looks more handsome and finely detailed for 2017, as well as even better-equipped for the money, although its tight packaging and lackluster safety scores will likely remain concerns.
6.3
The 2017 Ford Focus has great road manners and scorching high-performance editions, but it's compromised by a small back seat.
7.8
The 2017 Honda Civic gains a hatchback body this year, but we were already sold. It's a very good compact car.
6.8
We miss the brash, buzzy looks, for sure—but the 2017 Hyundai Elantra is now one of the most refined economy cars on the road.
7.0
The 2017 Subaru Impreza blends sensible road manners with all-wheel drive and a digestible price. It's right in line with compact competitors, all of which offer something different in the segment.
7.2
The 2017 Toyota Corolla takes a well-deserved bow this year for 50 years of drama-free commuting. This model is entirely acceptable, and we're thankful for an available suite of advanced safety tech.
MSRP From     
$16,600$16,775$18,740$17,150N/A$18,500
Gas Mileage     
23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy27 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4N/ARegular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Mid-Size CarsCompact CarsCompact CarsMid-Size CarsN/ACompact Cars
Style Name     
LX AutomaticS SedanLX ManualSE 2.0L Manual (Ulsan)N/AL CVT (GS)
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveN/AFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
5555N/A5
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
SedanSedanSedanSedanN/ASedan
Transmission     
Automatic w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODN/ACVT w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2017 Kia Forte vs. 2017 Ford Focus2017 Kia Forte vs. 2017 Honda Civic2017 Kia Forte vs. 2017 Hyundai Elantra2017 Kia Forte vs. 2017 Subaru Impreza2017 Kia Forte vs. 2017 Toyota Corolla