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While many consumers in the American automotive marketplace have left the car segment and have moved on to crossover SUVs, the compact sedan market still hangs on as a tried and true class of roomy, efficient, reliable family haulers that will get the job done. In this compact sedan market, there is still a huge list of options for drivers to choose from, such as the Kia Forte and Honda Civic.

The Toyota Corolla, Subaru Impreza, Nissan Sentra, Volkswagen Jetta, and Mazda3, to name a few, have all been at battle for decades now for the top spot in the compact car market. Still, more recently, the 2023 Kia Forte and the 2022 Honda Civic have received a ton of praise for their style and performance in a market that has become saturated with old designs and anemic powertrains. How do the 2023 Kia Forte and 2022 Honda Civic stack up against each other? Here is everything you need to know about these two impressive compact cars.

2023 Kia Forte

A silver gray 2023 Kia Forte compact sedan model parked on a rooftop in a dense city
2023 Kia Forte | Kia America

While the Kia Forte’s 2023 model is not necessarily brand new, with its current generation in production since 2018, it has since received a generous facelift in late 2021, making this 2023 model feel fresh, not only compared to the competition but compared to its earlier models as well. The Kia Forte is a stylish and feature-filled compact that takes risks in a class that plays it safe and generally doesn’t see much risk-taking.

According to KBB, the 2023 Kia Forte offers four main trim levels; the LX, LXS, GT Line, and GT. All trim levels are outfitted with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine making 147 horsepower, which is mated to a CVT transmission. However, the GT offers a boost in performance with a 1.6L turbocharged engine making 201 horsepower. The GT also has an optional six-speed manual transmission, which is a must for any driver looking to add a little sportiness to their compact.

The 2023 Kia Forte is loaded with features, especially for the higher trim levels. The Forte has optional heated and ventilated front seats, wireless charging, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, remote start, and much more.

2022 Honda Civic

The 2022 Honda Civic brings a much-needed cosmetic refresh to the Civic platform for the 2022 model year, and it does accomplish a fresh new style in a class that has been relatively complacent regarding style in recent years. The Civic is a little different from the competition regarding body styles, with the Civic being offered in both sedan and hatchback body styles. The Civic comes in four main trim levels, the LX, Sport, EX, and Touring. The LX and Sport models come standard with a 2.0L naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine making 158 horsepower. The EX and Touring trim levels come with a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out an impressive 180 horsepower. All Civic sedans come with a CVT transmission, and thankfully the Civic hatchback Sport and Touring trim levels come with an optional six-speed manual transmission.

While the Civic is offered in four main trim levels, it is impossible to ignore the Civic Si and Civic Type R trim levels, which offer 200 horsepower and 315 horsepower, respectively. Still, these models are specialty trim options, and most consumers will not be buying a Civic Si or Type R unless they special order it.

It’s nearly impossible to go wrong with the Forte or Civic

The Honda Civic and Kia Forte are great compact cars that go toe to toe for the top spot in the compact car market. With both the Forte and Civic offering incredible value, reliability, and in some cases, performance, it is nearly impossible to go wrong with either of these compact cars!


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