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The Kia Forte is trying, admirably, to measure up to, and surpass, the Honda Civic. Unfortunately, the Forte has not been able to compete with the Civic in previous years, and 2021 is not going to be its year either. This does not mean the Forte is a bad car, it simply cannot compete with the consistency of the Honda Civic.

The 2020 Forte GT was a decent car, with good reviews, and was cheaper than the competitors, it just is not the Civic. For the 2021 models, Autotrader compared both cars and the reviewer decided the winner for 2021 was the same as the 2020 review.

How do the 2021 Honda Civic and Kia Forte compare?

The Autotrader comparison began with the Civic, noting the pros and cons, before a general overview, then did the same with the Forte before rendering their final verdict.

For the Civic the pros were reliability, high resale value, choice of sedan or hatchback body, and choice of engines. The reviewer wished that Honda would add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard, offer a hybrid, and bring back the sporty SI variant.

For the Forte, the pros were roominess, impressive number of standard features, good CVT, and a class-leading warranty. The reviewer wished Kia would improve the looks, replace some plastic with more soft-touch surfaces, and improve reliability.

Owing to the incredible consistency of the Civic, the reliability and great safety features, among other things, the 2021 Honda Civic was declared the winner.

The 2021 Kia Forte is still great

The 2021 Forte offers a lot for its low price. It has quite a roomy interior and lots of standard features. It has five trim options, but all trims, including the most basic one, come standard with an infotainment system that has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, a 4-speaker audio system, an adjustable steering wheel, and lots of safety features.

Upgrades include keyless entry and ignition, 17-inch wheels, wireless charging, and larger audio systems. And Kia does offer a class-leading warranty.

For perspective, Edmunds also echoes these compliments. The review site gave the 2021 Forte a 7.9/10 and praised the car’s fuel economy and reasonable price.

The Honda Civic offers unmatched consistency


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The 2021 Honda Civic maintains the reliability and quality it is known for. You can choose between a sedan or hatchback body style, and both are very roomy inside, with the hatchback offering more cargo space.

It also comes with a choice of a naturally aspirated or turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, with some trims offering a 6-speed manual transmission. The Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver aids comes standard for all trims, with lane-keeping assistance and automatic high beams, among other safety features.

However, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available on the base trim. It has eight available trim options with upgrades that include keyless entry and ignition, dual exhausts, an underbody spoiler kit, and a 12-speaker audio system. And the Civic has one of the best resale values, and is consistently winning the Kelly Blue Book Best Buy award.

The Forte is a solid sedan, and if your only concern is price, it will work for you. It does not give quite as smooth a ride, so if that is a concern for you may wish to look elsewhere.

If you are looking for a reliable and sporty car that you can easily resell a few years down the line, the Civic is definitely the best choice. It has over 10 generations worth of attention to detail and a reputation for obsessing, perfecting, and producing a high-quality car, and the 2021 Civic totally lives up to that reputation.

Sadly for the Forte, this isn’t a case of it being a bad car. It just simply can’t compete with the legendary Civic.