Kia Forte vs. Honda Civic

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - August 31, 2016

The Forte and Civic both received new looks in recent years, and both look more refined than ever. The Civic received a full redesign, giving it an Accord-inspired look while the Forte received a facelift that included a new grille, headlights, and front bumper.

Just a decade ago, comparing a Kia to a Honda would inspire lots of laughter, but Kia is a different company these days. Its models are more feature packed than ever, have competent powertrains, and have outstanding reliability to go along with some of the longest warranties in the business.

Has the Forte come far enough to overtake the newly redesigned Civic or is it still a step behind?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Civic and Forte »

What the Honda Civic Gets Right

The redesigned 10th-generation Civic is better than ever. Its body is slightly larger than before, its style is sharper than ever, and the cabin is about as roomy as it gets on the smaller side of the midsize class. Where the Civic really shines in its class is in its rear-seat legroom and cargo capacity. The latter is particularly true in the new five-door hatchback.

The new Civic also gains a new collection of powertrains that start with a 158-horsepower 2-liter four-cylinder and top out with a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with 174 ponies. Those opting for the hatchback model get another option in the form of the 180-horsepower 1.5-liter in the Sport Touring trim.

In addition to great potency, these powertrains also deliver outstanding fuel economy with the 2-liter and 1.5-liter topping out at 35 mpg combined.

Finally, the Civic is also an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, making it one of the safest cars in its class.

See more sedan comparisons here »

What the Kia Forte Gets Right

The refreshed Forte also carries with it the versatility of the Civic thanks to its sedan and hatchback variants. It also offers this versatility at a price that is well under the Civic’s starting point. Despite its lower price, the Forte still offers all the features buyers expect, and more.

While the Forte’s powertrains are overall not better than anything the Civic has, the 1.6-liter turbo engine in the SX delivers impressive performance with its quicker-than-average acceleration.

Finally, the Forte’s five-year or 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty are unbeatable.

Does the Forte Deliver the Goods?

In a word, yes. But to a select group of buyers. The new-generation Civic has everything young buyers want and all the goodies and safety that more established car buyers must have. This makes it a great option for any buyer. The Forte, on the other hand, is tuned more toward the younger crowd with its friendlier infotainment system and lower price.

Our Verdict: Honda Civic

The Forte is a formidable foe, but the Civic’s new look, larger interior, and new powertrains are too much for it. Add to that the new hatchback model and the Civic checks every box.

Take a closer look at the Kia Forte >>

Take a closer look at the Honda Civic >>

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter | Website