2021 Kia Forte vs. Its Competition

2021 Kia Forte image
Robert Duffer Robert Duffer Senior Editor

What remains of the compact sedan class has never been better.

The Forte may have stepped over the Hyundai Elantra as the best budget buy in the segment, and it has the roominess matched only by the Honda Civic, which gets redesigned for 2022.

Toyota made waves with the Corolla Hybrid, which tops even the Elantra Hybrid for efficiency.

The Mazda 3 retains its sporty character in sedan and hatchback versions, but the new turbo-4 prices it out of the competition.

Easy to overlook, the Jetta remains a competent if underwhelming compact, except for the fun GLI.

2021 Kia Forte image2021 Kia Forte
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2021 Honda Civic image2021 Honda Civic
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2021 Hyundai Elantra image2021 Hyundai Elantra
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2021 Mazda MAZDA3 image2021 Mazda MAZDA3
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2021 Toyota Corolla image2021 Toyota Corolla
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2021 Volkswagen Jetta image2021 Volkswagen Jetta
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Quick Specs
The 2021 Kia Forte is a value-packed compact sedan, one that’s a half-step behind the class leaders.
The 2021 Honda Civic doesn’t let social responsibility get in the way of a good time.
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra has big style, big available tech, and big range from a hybrid powertrain.
The 2021 Mazda 3 straddles the mainstream and upscale markets with a quality cabin, power that ranges from pedestrian to plentiful, and available all-wheel drive.
With the 2021 Corolla, Toyota has almost excised all the bland from its diet.
The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta is a no-frills compact with good value. Saving money never goes out of style.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
25 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 52 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 52 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy
Regular Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Midsize CarsLarge CarsMidsize CarsCompact CarsCompact CarsCompact Cars
Style Name     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Manual w/ODCVT w/ODCVT w/ODAutomatic w/ODCVT w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2021 Kia Forte vs. 2021 Honda Civic2021 Kia Forte vs. 2021 Hyundai Elantra2021 Kia Forte vs. 2021 Mazda MAZDA32021 Kia Forte vs. 2021 Toyota Corolla2021 Kia Forte vs. 2021 Volkswagen Jetta