2023 Kia Forte GT vs. 2023 Honda Civic Si: Can the affordable Kia outperform the mighty Civic Si?

For decades, the Honda Civic Si has been the most prominent name for a fun, compact sedan. Many cars try to stack up but seem to fall short in most cases. Surprisingly, Kia has challenged that with the 2023 Kia Forte GT. See how the Civic measures up to the new sedan on the block in this 2023 Kia Forte GT vs. 2023 Honda Civic Si comparison.

2023 Kia Forte GT vs. 2023 Honda Civic Si: What are the differences?

2023 Kia Forte GT Front
2023 Kia Forte GT | Kia

We evaluate several areas in this 2023 Kia Forte GT vs. 2023 Honda Civic Si comparison. These areas include performance, safety, interior, and price. Additionally, the Forte and the Civic are offered in a sedan layout, with the GT and the Si being the top trim for each model.

Forte GT vs. Civic Si: Performance

2023 Honda Civic SI side
2023 Honda Civic Si | Honda

In terms of performance, the Civic si and Forte GT are neck and neck. Both cars offer a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. However, the 2023 Forte GT houses a 1.6 liter making 201 horsepower, while the Civic Si uses a 1.5 liter, producing 200 horsepower. One advantage of the Forte GT is the optional seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

For the 2023 Honda Civic Si, you can only get it with a six-speed manual transmission. However, with both cars using a manual transmission, Car&Driver tested the Forte GT 0-60 at a brisk 6.7 seconds. As for the Civic Si, Car&Driver reported a 6.6-second 0-60. The Civic Si is noted to have a slight turbocharger lag but is still very agile on the road. Barring the turbo lag, the Forte GT and its active dampening suspension instill more confidence in the corners. Overall, performance differences are minimal and impressive for the Kia to punch up in its class.

Forte GT vs. Civic Si: Gas Mileage and Safety

The Honda Civic Si edges out the Kia Forte GT for efficiency. Both cars have a rating of 27 mpg city. The difference lies in highway mileage, with the Forte GT reporting 35 mpg highway and the Civic reporting 37 mpg highway. While two miles per gallon may not seem like much, it will stretch the between stops on longer trips, saving you money in the process.

As for safety, both cars have safety technology littered throughout the vehicle. Features include adaptive cruise control, lane-departure and lane-keep assist, and forward collision warning with emergency braking. These features are nearly commonplace in every new car on the market. Unfortunately, crash test ratings fall by the wayside for the Forte GT, which received a 4 out of 5-star rating from the NHTSA. On the other hand, the Honda Civic Si scores a full 5 out of 5 stars from the NHTSA. So, unfortunately, if you are looking for the safer option, there is only one answer.

Forte GT vs. Civic Si: Interior and Price

2023 Kia Forte GT Interior
2023 Kia Forte | Kia
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Impressive for both cars, the interior is surprisingly high quality at their top trim. Different leather materials wrap the dash with aluminum trim littered throughout the cabin on both vehicles. However, excitement on the inside swings towards the Civic Si with red seat inserts, stitching, and some might say “obnoxious” accents. Although the Forte GT interior may be classier, it feels a bit tame for being the top trim level. Technology throughout both cars is somewhat competitive.

The Forte GT has a full-inch larger infotainment screen, but both cars have standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. One exciting advantage for the Forte GT is that it offers heated and ventilated leather seats, whereas the 2023 Civic Si no longer offers that option. Regarding pricing, the 2023 Kia Forte GT starts at $25,285 with an additional $700 for the manual transmission option. On the other hand, the 2023 Honda Civic Si starts at a whopping $29,195 with no real extras to choose from. Nearly $4,000 cheaper, the Kia Forte GT suddenly becomes a top choice considering the value it provides.

2023 Kia Forte GT vs. 2023 Honda Civic Si: Which sporty sedan is better?

Throughout the 2023 Kia Forte GT vs. 2023 Honda Civic Si comparison, we have noted a few minor advantages for either car. The Forte GT is a slightly better driver’s car. It has a few more interior bits and is a substantial value for the price. As for the Civic Si, it brings decades of pedigree, is a safer vehicle to drive, and retains a feeling of owning a top-trim level vehicle. While it may be a toss-up for some, considering the value it provides, the 2023 Kia Forte GT is the top choice.