With Kia’s new 2021 models rolling out of the manufacturing plants, the Forte hasn’t impressed too many yet. While it seems to offer a pleasant driving experience, the Forte hasn’t found its sweet spot for standing out among its rivals.
Cars.com pits the Hyundai Elantra and the Forte together as each one is so much like the other. The Elantra proved itself to be a strong competitor against the Forte, but Kia isn’t done yet. There’s one reason why the Kia Forte could be a winner over Hyundai’s model.
What’s so great about the Hyundai Elantra?
One of the best features of the Hyundai Elantra is its fuel economy ratings. Its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine helps you get around 33 mpg on city roads and 43 mpg on the highway. The N-Line model gets 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. If you choose the hybrid model, the ratings will go as high as 50 mpg to 54 mpg combined.
The 2021 model offers more room in the interior and an 8-inch touchscreen on the infotainment system. It also comes standard with a wireless version of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The biggest news is the introduction of a hybrid model to the Elantra’s lineup.
The second best feature the Hyundai Elantra has is the available safety tech it comes with. While it has much of the same standard equipment the Forte does, it also gives you a system that helps you avoid any collisions that might be coming your way. Additionally, it also offers rear cross-traffic collision assist.
Is the Kia Forte a close match to the Elantra?
The Kia Forte doesn’t quite match up with the Hyundai Elantra’s fuel economy figures. When traveling on city roads, you can expect to get around 31 mpg and 41 mpg on the highway. The sportier model, the Forte GT, offers 27 mpg in the city, and 35 mpg on the highway.
Under the hood of the Forte is a 2.0 four-cylinder engine for the base model. For the sportier GT trim version, Hyundai dropped a 1.6-liter turbocharged 201-hp motor, which is the same as what the Elantra N-Line offers.
Its display screen is easy to use and is easily seen by the driver. The 8-inch screen sits up above the dash and its interface is responsive with clear graphics and a menu system that isn’t overly complicated to use. However, the biggest drawback with this system is that it only has the wired connection for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
For the Kia Forte, you can get a lane-departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keep assist, like the Elantra. However, Kia’s sedan offers blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert, but only with the higher trim models. The middle trims have them as an option, which leaves you unable to get these features with the base model.
All in all, it’s an affordable vehicle that gets decent fuel economy and offers an impressive list of standard safety tech.
What could set the Kia Forte ahead of the Elantra?
While the Hyundai Elantra beats the Kia Forte in many ways, there’s still one area that Kia has the leg up on Hyundai’s sedan. When it comes to pricing, the Forte wins hands down, especially for the base model. The bare-bones version begins at $18,885, which is almost $2,000 cheaper than the Elantra. Hyundai sets its sedan at $20,655 to start.
This works out well for those who love stick shifts because the Forte’s base has the manual transmission as standard. The Elantra’s low-end model offers a continuously variable automatic transmission. Stepping up in the lineup is the Forte GT, which runs about $1,500 less than the Elantra’s N-Line, which is $25,105.
The Forte GT comes with a dual-clutch automatic. If you want a manual with this sporty model, you will pay around $600 more. With the Elantra N-Line, you get an automatic gearbox, but if you want a six-speed manual, you can get one for $1,100 less than the automatic version.
The Hyundai Elantra has better fuel economy ratings and offers more tech features to play with than the Forte. But, Kia’s sedan isn’t out of the running, yet. When it comes to price, you can bet the Forte comes out on top.