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Nobody could have seen this competition coming five years ago. A Kia against a sporty Civic? We compared the 2020 Forte GT and Civic Si a few years ago, but the newly refreshed 2022 Kia Forte has grown up a bit since then. The 2022 Civic Si is also more expensive than it was.

With recent changes for both of these compact cars, is the Civic still worth the price hike over the Forte GT? We’ll give you three reasons why it’s not.

2022 Forte GT vs. Civic Si overview

2022 Forte GT2022 Civic Si
Starting price$23,490$27,300
Horsepower201 hp200 hp
Torque195 lb-ft192 lb-ft
Engine1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder

Full lineup to lineup, the Civic normally crushes the Kia Forte. The Civic Si doesn’t need to try quite as hard, because Honda buyers can always opt for the high-powered Civic Type R hatchback. But the Forte GT is the top-level trim and the most high-performance variant, so it needs to bring its A game while still playing by compact car affordability rules. And it does.

3. The Forte GT offers a lot of features for the price

Interior of the 2022 Kia Forte GT sports sedan with 10.3-inch touchscreen and faux leather seats.
2022 Kia Forte GT interior | Kia

We’ve reported in the past about how the Forte GT punches above its price point. It’s a seriously well-equipped sedan for starting at under $25,000. It comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wireless charging, a 10.3″ touchscreen, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a six-speaker Harman Kardon® Premium Audio system. Safety features include rear parking assist, safe exit warning, lane-keeping and lane-following assist, and blind-spot monitoring. 

2. Kia’s GT sedan has more horsepower and torque than the 2022 Civic Si

The 2022 Forte GT sedan boasts 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque from a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The 2022 Civic Si hatchback offers 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque from a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Sure, that’s not a huge difference, but numbers don’t lie. The Forte GT is more powerful than the Civic Si. 

The 2022 GT also offers choice of a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which Kelley Blue Book lists as a major advantage. Those two options mean that the GT is the better choice for a larger community of drivers. The Civic Si only offers a 6-speed manual, which is usually a perk for sports-car purists. But, if you’re one of the rapidly growing population of drivers who don’t know how to drive stick, that limitation could be a dealbreaker.

1. The 2022 Kia Forte GT is almost $4,000 cheaper than the Civic Si

With a base price of $23,490, the 2022 Forte GT is nearly $4,000 cheaper than the Civic Si hatchback, which starts at $27,300. That’s a difference of about $50-60/month for car payments (depending on downpayment, tax, interest, etc.) which isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, but it is a consideration. Price is always a factor when shopping around for sporty-but-not-that-sporty cars. The Kia Forte GT has locked down the formula for cheap, cheerful, and fun.

The Civic is cool, but the GT is a serious contender

I’d never argue that the Civic Si isn’t a great choice—if you’ve got a fondness for Honda, or you just like the way the Si looks, by all means, go for it. Even in the areas where the Civic Si falls short against the GT, it’s not by much.

But, by the numbers, the Forte GT is… better. It’s cheaper, it’s more powerful, it has an automatic for drivers who don’t want to deal with friends asking, “Oh, can you teach me how to drive stick?!” and the updated design looks great.

Even last year’s 2021 Forte was a solid competitor against the 11th-gen Honda Civic, and the updated 2022 Forte brings even more to the table.

Shopping on a budget? Consider the 2022 Forte GT-Line

2022 Kia Forte GT-Line sedan driving on a paved road off into the sunset
2022 Kia Forte GT-Line sedan | Kia

If you want the looks of a sports car, but your pockets are coming up empty for a near-$25,000 new car, the 2022 Kia Forte GT-Line deserves a look. It’s not as powerful as either its big brother or the Civic Si, but it’s an affordable sheep in wolf’s clothing. It wears the same sport grille and sport side sills, black gloss sport bumper accents, and rear trunk lid spoiler as the GT trim, but it starts at just over $21,290.

However, we won’t compare the GT-Line against the Civic Si—that would just be unfair.


5 Reasons Why the 2020 Kia Forte GT is Better Than the Honda Civic Si