Comparison: 2017 Honda Civic vs 2017 Kia Forte

USA Today reported that the Honda Civic was America's best-selling compact car last year, and it didn't happen by chance. The space-conscious compact has a top-rated engine and cult-favorite driving dynamic, so it's no wonder that drivers in Virginia and beyond chose it as their No. 1 pick.

But you may want to know how a top-seller like the 2017 Honda Civic compares to an underdog like the 2017 Kia Forte. The Kia has its pros, but it's still no match for the Civic.

Read on to see how these two compact sedans stack up, then visit us in Staunton to take the Civic out for a spin.

Performance and Fuel Economy

Honda Civic

The Civic coupe or sedan's base engine is a 2.0-liter inline-4, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable automatic. It makes 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. According to EPA estimates, it gets up to 31 MPG city and 40 MPG highway.

Sedans, coupes, and hatchbacks are also available with a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 with either 6-speed manual or CVT, making up to 180 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque. Depending on the model you choose, fuel economy is as good as 32 MPG city and 42 MPG highway.

The Civic Si also has a 1.5-liter turbo inline-4, boosted to make 205 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. This engine has a 6-speed manual transmission only, and gets up to 28 MPG city and 38 MPG highway.

Kia Forte

The Forte also has three engine options, but only one turbocharged variant. Its base is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. Automatic models get up to 29 MPG city and 38 MPG highway.

The Forte Sedan EX features the same engine, but makes up to 164 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. This model gets approximately 25 MPG city and 33 MPG highway. Both 2.0-liter models have the option for a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission.

The Forte5 has a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, with a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This model gets up to 25 MPG city and 30 MPG highway.

Tech and Convenience

Honda Civic

Civic trims include the LX, EX, EX-T, EX-L, Touring, and Si. All models are available with the Honda Sensing suite of safety tech, including Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow. Honda LaneWatch and Smart Entry are also available.

The Civic lineup features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD Radio, premium audio with subwoofer, and Satellite-Linked Navigation with voice recognition and HD Digital Traffic. Other available features include a one-touch power moonroof, heated front and rear outboard seats, rain-sensing wipers, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Kia Forte

The 2017 Forte features safety tech, but only as options on upper trims. Available features include Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Lane Keep Assist System.

Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth wireless, power sunroof, and dual-zone automatic climate control are all available on the Forte. However, HD Radio and Digital Traffic are not available, and drivers also cannot opt for heated rear outboard seats or rain-sensing wipers.


Honda Civic

Starting at $18,740 MSRP

Kia Forte

Starting at $16,600 MSRP