2019 Kia Forte vs Competitors


There is a lot of competition in the compact car segment, but the 2019 Kia Forte stands out as one of the best values in the class. Compact cars are typically fiscally sensible and fuel-efficient vehicles that can come loaded with all the newest technology and safety features, but the Forte has carved a niche in this class with its sporty performance and bold personality. Plus, the Forte comes standard with many great features that you have to pay extra for on many of its competitors. Now, let’s take a closer look at how the Forte stacks up against rivals such as the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Sentra, and Toyota Corolla.


Pricing and Warranty Coverage

The Forte’s $17,790 starting MSRP is lower than that of most vehicles in this segment. In comparison, the Civic has a starting MSRP of $19,450 and the Corolla’s starting MSRP is $18,700. Therefore, you will save nearly $2,000 on a base-model Forte, compared to a similarly equipped Civic. Although the Forte is less costly, it still comes with the sought-after features found in higher-priced vehicles in this class, as well as some additional Forte-exclusive features.

The Forte also stands out for its impressive warranty coverage, along with the closely related Elantra, which shares those warranty terms. The class-leading 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty includes longer warranty coverage than Honda, Nissan, and Toyota put on their vehicles. In comparison, these competitors offer a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Performance and Fuel Economy

All Forte trims are equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 147 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of torque; this engine is paired to a six-speed manual transmission on the FE trim, but all other trims come standard with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). You will find comparable engines on competitor vehicles, but few can match the Forte’s outstanding fuel economy. The Forte’s EPA-estimated 27 mpg city and 41 mpg highway is more fuel efficient than the base Sentra, Corolla, and Elantra.

Passenger Comfort and Amenities

Like most modern vehicles, the Forte comes equipped with some great technology to keep you entertained while you keep your focus on the road. However, the Forte stands out with some standard features that are only available on competitor vehicles for additional money. For instance, the Forte comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration. All entry-model competitor vehicles have smaller infotainment displays; upgrading to a larger display costs a considerable amount. You would also have to pay more to get Apple CarPlay/Android Auto on competitor cars. The Forte also exclusively comes standardly equipped with dual-zone automatic climate control, which allows you and your front-row passenger to customize the in-vehicle temperature. And when it comes to cargo space, the Forte’s 15.3 feet cubic feet of trunk space leads the compact sedan class.


The two Korean products, the Forte and Elantra, are the only vehicles in this class to boast a 2019 Top Safety Pick+ designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). With the Kia Forte’s rigid body structure, advanced airbag system, and inclusion of active safety features, it is no surprise that the it has earned this status. These standard active safety features are to ensure optimal safety in every Forte vehicle, but the Elantra and Sentra do not come standard with such features.