Compact cars have come a long way. When compact cars were first introduced they were considered a step down from a mid-size sedan or a crossover; they were a cheaper option for those who couldn't afford the bigger vehicles. Things have changed significantly and the compact car market has become a favorite across the country. They have lower fuel costs, lower prices, and it's easier to get around the Kansas City traffic and to find parking in Overland Park and Lenexa. Retaining all of the amenities of bigger cars, compact cars are great.

The Kia Forte is a standout option in this class, with the Honda Civic a worthy rival. Let's take a look at some of the ways these cars are similar and how they differ.

Overview

all new kia forte The Honda Civic is a good all-rounder, but the Kia Forte matches or beats it at every important metric. The 2019 Forte offers better features and remains around $2,000 cheaper than the Honda Civic at every trim level.

The Honda Civic has a very busy interior that dates it a little. All of the most useful features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, heated seats, and wireless phone charging are all only available on the most expensive trims.

The Kia Forte has a more minimalist interior that suits a compact car. The infotainment system in Kia Forte is objectively better than the Civic's system; it's more modern, easier to use, the refresh rate is faster, and there are more features.

Exterior styling comes down to personal preference, but many have taken a dislike to the overdone angular style with fake plastic vents of the latest Civic. The Forte, on the other hand, received a complete update this year and it looks more reminiscent of the Stinger. The styling change has, thankfully, kept the Forte mature and subdued, and there's no doubt that the style of the Forte will age more gracefully than the Civic's.

Fuel Economy

One of the main reasons to choose a compact over a full-size sedan is the better efficiency at the fuel pumps. The base 2019 Civic sedan LX with a CVT gets 30 miles to the gallon in the city and 38 miles to the gallon on the highway. The comparable base 2019 Kia Forte FE with an IVT transmission gets 31 miles to the gallon in the city and 41 miles to the gallon on the highway.

For a manual transmission, you'll need to choose the Civic Hatchback Sport, which gets an even worse 25 miles to the gallon in the city and 36 on the highway. Not only that, but it requires premium gasoline where the Forte uses regular unleaded. The base 2019 Kia Forts FE with a manual gets a better 27 miles to the gallon in the city and 37 miles to the gallon on the highway.

In short, every 2019 Forte beats the Civic in fuel economy.

Interior Passenger and Cargo Space

The two sedans are pretty similar when it comes to interior passenger space. There are slight differences, such as where the Kia Forte has about an extra 1/2 inch of headroom in the back, but overall you'd be hard-pressed to notice a difference in physical space.

The 2019 Kia Forte offers more trunk volume than the 2019 Honda Civic.

Warranty

The warranty on a new vehicle shows how much faith the manufacturer has in its product. The Civic offers a standard 3-year/36,000-mile warranty that covers the entire car and a powertrain warranty that lasts for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Most drivers will hit the mileage limit before the warranty time limit expires.

Kia offers one of the best warranties on the market. The 2019 Forte has a full 5-year/60,000-mile warranty, nearly double that of the Civic. It even includes 24-hour roadside assistance. Not only that, but the powertrain warranty lasts for 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. The powertrain warranty covers all of the important mechanics such as the engine, the transmission, driveshafts, and joints.

How can Kia offer such an excellent warranty? Its cars are simply more reliable, according to surveys performed by J.D. Power and Associates and Consumer Reports. The Kia Forte is ranked within the top 3 most reliable models in its sector. Kia vehicles overall are ranked 2nd in initial quality whereas Hondas came in at an abysmal 23rd. Long-term dependability studies showed that Kia vehicles were in the top 5 most dependable models whereas Hondas didn't make the top 10.

Safety

Both the vehicles on test have four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems, driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, and front side-impact airbags. Standard driver assistance technology on both models include automatic crash mitigation, rearview cameras, lane departure warnings, and daytime running lights.

The 2019 Kia Forte also includes a driver attentiveness monitor that detects an inattentive driver or a driver that may be falling asleep. Attentiveness is a serious issue that causes at least 100,000 vehicular accidents a year. The Honda Civic is yet to include this feature.

The safety of headrests has been improved in the form of Active Headrests, now standard on the Kia Forte (and not available on the Honda Civic). Active Headrests move the headrests forward if the vehicle is ever rear-ended. This helps to avoid neck and spine injuries known as whiplash.

All of these innovations in the Kia Forte and the increased attention to detail by the Kia engineers has resulted in the Forte series being designated a 'Top Pick Plus' by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This is the highest rating a vehicle can receive. The Honda Civic did not receive this rating.

Interested in taking a test drive? The 2019 Kia Forte is for sale at Olathe Kia. Once you've driven around Shawnee or Lawrence in this modern compact vehicle you're sure to see why the 2019 Kia Forte has been winning awards across the board.

Categories: New Inventory