2019 Kia Forte

Starting Price: $18,585 | Price Yours

Above Average: Roomy, good-looking, tons of safety features, fuel efficient all wrapped up with an impressive powertrain warranty.

Below Average: Only offered with a CVT transmission without any fixed ratios which most people don’t love and some of the hard plastics inside attest to the affordable nature of the Kia Forte.

Consensus: The 2019 Kia Forte is more refined and sportier than the previous generation and comes replete with a variety of standard safety and infotainment technology. It’s also gotten a good-looking exterior redesign that makes it more handsome.


2019 Honda Civic

Starting Price: $20,345 | Price Yours

Above Average: Versatile, smart styling, the benchmark for what a compact car should be.

Below Average:  It gets pricey as you go up in trim and the styling can get a bit too extreme for folks.

Consensus: There’s a flavor for everyone: You can get the 2019 Civic in a hatchback, sedan or coupe all with varying horsepower.

The 2019 Kia Forte may not be a compact sport sedan but it certainly feels like one. On curvy roads, the Forte is firm and responsive, but comfortable. The CVT, despite its lack of fixed ratios, does a decent job of behaving like a 6-speed automatic and can be driven in three different modes: Normal, Smart, and Sport. Smart mode adapts to how the car is being driven and toggles between Sport and Normal.  The 2019 Kia Forte comes standard with an 8-inch touch screen and minimalist interior. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. For our money we’d add the 320-watt Harman Kardon stereo on the Forte EX as well as navigation, wireless smartphone charging and LED lights. For 2019 Kia also offers a Launch Edition package which includes a suite of active-safety features like smart cruise control, sunroof and alloy wheels.

The 2019 Honda Civic has won KBB’s Small Car Best Buy Award for five years running. Offered in a wide array of body styles and engine specs, the Civic can be almost anything you want it to be, from sporty to fuel-efficient. It’s also a top pick for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and it has a suite of included safety features and driver assists. The Civic also gets stellar resale value and it’s very reliable. The Civic looks good, too, with its refreshed exterior. Inside the cabin finally gets real knobs for things like volume and climate controls. On the road the Civic can range from fun and sporty if equipped with the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, to more sedate with the base 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine. Sadly, you can only get a CVT transmission with the latter. We love that the Civic comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Honda Civic holds its value better than any other car in its class.


Sporty sedans that are enjoyable to drive no matter which one you choose.

Kia Forte Advantages

Great bang for your buck—for $26,000 you can get into the top-of-the-line Forte EX Launch Edition and you get a tremendous 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Honda Civic Advantages

A variety of body styles and engines plus a fantastic resale make the Honda Civic a great buy.

Final Recommendation

For our money, we’d go with the Honda Civic over the Kia Forte. Not only does the Civic have a reputation for safety but it holds its value better than any other car in its class. 

  2019 Kia  Forte 2019 Honda Civic
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.0-liter I4 2.0-liter I4
Horsepower 147 @ 6,200 rpm 158 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque 132 lb-ft @ 4,500 RPM 138 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual Manual, 6-spd
Fuel Economy 31 mpg (27 city/37 highway) 32 mpg (28 city,/38 hwy)
Also Available Automatic CVT 1.5-liter turbo I4; 2.0-liter turbo I4, Automotic CVT
Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating n/a 5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 106.3 inches 106.3 inches
Overall Length 182.7 inches 182.7 inches
Width 70.9 inches 70.9 inches
Height 56.5 inches 55.7 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 35.4 feet
Headroom, Front 38.8 inches 39.3 inches
Headroom, Rear 37.5 inches 37.1 inches
Legroom, Front 42.2 inches 42.3 inches
Legroom, Rear 35.7 inches 37.4 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 56.1 inches 57.0 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.3 inches 55.0 inches
EPA Passenger Volume n/a 97.8 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 15.3 cu. ft. 15.1 cu. ft.
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