The redesigned Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra have sportier appearances aimed at consumers seeking both value and an attractive car. Though not designed for high-performance driving, both offer comfort and efficiency, though Kia Forte wins on price.
A Competitive Class
The Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra are in a highly competitive market segment, a class that includes some very popular small sedans.
The sleeker new Kia Forte is built to more than hold its own against its competitors, with the aid of several exciting new features. The top-shelf Kia Forte GT provides more pick-up (201 hp), and the redesign includes some nice tech and safety upgrades.
The Hyundai Elantra, like the Forte, offers a flashy exterior design, especially for a compact car. That’s certainly not all; there’s plenty of cool infotainment and safety tech. All in all, the Hyundai Elantra is a great bargain, beginning at under $20,000 and offering everything from automatic climate control to adaptive cruise control and digital entry.
Historically a safe vehicle, the Kia Forte’s driver-assistance features, such as lane-maintaining guidance, make it even safer. Adaptive cruise control, guided by automatic navigation, uses data provided by posted speed limits as well as the course and contour of the road.
Racy, but Comfortable
There’s a lot that’s new on the exterior Kia Forte, from bumper to bumper (both of which have been redesigned). A narrower grill, racy wheels, and accented lighting are bound to make heads turn. The GT trim’s 18-inch wheels, ambient lighting, and sport seats add up to a racier profile; these features and additional horsepower make the new Kia Forte a fun car to drive.
The Hyundai Elantra’s curvy new grille and headlights parallel the Kia Forte’s exterior upgrades. Other additions give the Elantra an angular profile that make it look, to some, like a far racier version of a standard compact sedan. There is a lightbar below the trunk lid, and side windows appear to be lengthier. Taken altogether, the Hyundai Elantra is visually appealing enough to pique the aesthetic sensibilities of any driver who cares what their car looks like.
Drivetrain and Engine Options
The Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra both come with standard 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine generating 147 horsepower. The majority of Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra trims come with a continuously variable transmission. The new souped-up Kia Forte GT comes with a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual clutch transmission, a nice improvement over the old standard variable automatic transmission. According to Car and Driver, the GT’s engine makes it as dynamic and fun to drive as any of the most popular small sedans.
Fuel efficiency continues to be a strong suit for the Kia Forte, which gets 40 mpg highway and 33 in town. And, like the Elantra, you can count on getting good mileage no matter what engine and powertrain options you choose for your Kia Forte. The Kia Forte is a very nice overall package for people who expect the max for their money when you consider the cost. The base FE model starts at just over $19,000 but jumping up to the GT model won’t bust your budget either, starting at just under $21,300.
The Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra are comparable in terms of tech, drivability, and good looks, though the Forte appears to be a bit ahead in the ever-important safety category. Furthermore, according to Autobytel, Kia Forte costs, on average, approximately between $1,000 and $2,000 less than a comparable Hyundai Elantra, which helps make it a slightly better overall value.
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