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Hyundai Elantra 2023 vs. Kia Fortuit 2023

1. Design

The 2023 Hyundai Elantra and the 2023 Kia Forte have quite different looks interior-wise. The Elantra features an all-new modern cabin design, which is simply astonishing. It is decorated with a dual cockpit, driver-focused accented theme in some nice ambient lighting. The infotainment and navigation screen will impress with its high-resolution real estate, and a clean and modern-looking dash makes for nice aesthetics. The images of the actual car may not give it as much justice. The new Kia Forte interior hasn't changed all that much from its predecessor, but it still has plenty of nice features for an affordable car, such as wireless smartphone charging and UVO intelligence. Both cars also feature safety packages. The 2023 Hyundai Elantra has Hyundai Smart Sense, and the 2023 Kia Forte has Kia Drive Wise. These two are pretty similar and include things such as forward collision avoidance, although the Elantra has some features the Forte doesn't have, such as junction turning detection and lane following assist. Learn more about how reliable are Kias?

The 2023 Hyundai Elantra and 2023 Kia Forte have different looks. The former has a coupe-like profile and a spectacular new grille, which is a feature of Hyundai. Its sensuous sportiness design philosophy has given it a sleek appearance, which should impress car buyers. The Elantra has also increased in size and has a longer wheelbase, wider stance, and lower roofline. By contrast, the new Forte is not so different from its predecessor and looks like a near carbon copy twin.

1.1 Exterior

There is quite a mixture of things happening with each specific model offering its personal benefits. 2023 Hyundai Elantra is slightly longer and wider than the Kia Forte. The Elantra is 191.9 inches long with a 107.1-inch wheelbase, and the Forte is 182.7 inches long with a 106.3-inch wheelbase. The added length and width give the Elantra more interior volume and slightly more cargo space than the Forte, which can help explain why it has a little more of a sportier look. The actual styling of each car is quite different. The Elantra has a sporty, rounded look and does not demonstrate Hyundai's traditional styling similar to the Sonata. It has a few curves and subtle creases in different areas. The roofline is quite unique with its sloping design and ending with a little lip over the trunk. Some people may think that this was an attempt at a coupe design, but according to Hyundai, it was not. The Forte, on the other hand, took on a more aggressive and sharp look, differentiating itself from the 2022 Forte and giving off the vibe of a much fancier car than it actually is. At first glance, you can tell that the Forte has a much larger lower grille compared to the Elantra. The most eye-catching feature would have to be the headlights, which greatly resemble the ones seen on the European BMWs. The Forte has a flatter roofline than the Elantra, and the rear end is much more traditional. Many people have been calling it a "mini Stinger," especially the GT model.

1.2 Interior

While both the 2023 Hyundai Elantra and 2023 Kia Forte have interesting concepts and designs for their exteriors, they also have interesting designs on their interiors. The Elantra is taller, longer, and wider. The doors are longer than the Forte, and it also comes with aluminum door sills. The Forte does not really differ in dimensions compared to the previous generation, so the size is quite similar to that of its competitors. The Elantra's larger size not only looks more impressive, but it also gives a more spacious interior. Because the Elantra is larger, it has an edge over the Forte in terms of spaciousness. The headroom is bigger, and the rear headroom is taller compared to the Forte. The Elantra also comes with an elbow rest for rear passengers. The Forte does have adequate room inside, but the overall feeling is not as roomy as the Elantra. The trunk room of the Elantra is also larger than that of the Forte, so the Elantra has a significant edge in terms of interior space and trunk room. Hyundai has gone high-tech in the Elantra's interior. It comes with a dual-zone climate system, something that is not available for Kia. The console is tilted towards the driver, and it has smartphone wireless charging. The available 10.25-inch audio display consists of an infotainment touch screen and a navigation system. Smartphone pairing can also be utilized on the vehicle's touch screen. The steering wheel is leathered. The Forte's interior has the same room as the previous generation, but some changes in the dashboard make the car feel more spacious. Given that the Elantra has a more spacious interior compared to itself, when comparing it with the Forte, the Elantra should feel even more so.

1.3 Features

Both models share the same platform and mechanicals, but vary drastically when it comes to standard features. The Elantra is equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, but the base model GS does not come with air conditioning and automatic transmission; both options are featured standard in the Forte's base LX model. The GS Elantra model features air conditioning and automatic transmission, but the price of the vehicle is equivalent to a more equipped Forte model EX, which is equipped with an upgraded 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine featuring more horsepower than the GS. The Elantra's best-equipped GT model features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with the same horsepower and torque as the EX model, but the Elantra GT is still equipped only with a four-speed automatic transmission. The Forte's four transmissions provide optimal shifting points for fuel economy and performance and is available in all models. The Forte's fuel economy is far superior to the Elantra because of this. All Elantra Automatic Transmission models are rated at 25/34/28 MPG while the Forte models with IVT are rated at 31/41/35 MPG. The Elantra Limited model also includes a Continuously Variable Transmission (IVT) model, making it the most efficient model in the entire line-up at 33/43/37 MPG. Continuing to focus on performance, the Forte's GT model is available with a 1.6-liter turbo engine paired with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. The Elantra does not have a turbo model and its IVT is a traditional belt-driven CVT, which is far less responsive than a dual-clutch.

2. Performance

Both vehicles are more powerful and have better fuel efficiency than their predecessors. The Elantra is powered by a 2.0-liter MPI Atkinson Cycle engine normally found in hybrid vehicles. On the other hand, the Forte is powered by a 2.0-liter GDI engine. The Atkinson Cycle is more fuel efficient than the typical engine cycle, hence the Elantra is able to make more horsepower and torque while using less fuel. The Elantra makes 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque but is able to achieve 29/40 (city/hwy) mpg while the Forte only achieves 27/37 (city/hwy) mpg with its 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. The Elantra also offers a more powerful 1.4 Turbo GDI engine. Both the Elantra and the Forte use a McPherson Strut front and coupled torsion beam rear suspension. This type of suspension is lighter and allows for more interior space and cargo capacity, while providing an ideal balance between ride quality and handling ability. Although handling is relative to the vehicle category and consumer driving style, the Elantra and Forte are easy to maneuver and offer precise and predictable steering. The Elantra has a vehicle stability management (VSM) system which optimally manages the ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and the Motor Driven Electric Power Steering (MDPS) so the car is easier to control in all situations.

2.1 Engine Options

The Elantra and the Forte both have a 2.0-liter inline-four engine, but their power and performance vary. The Elantra has a smaller 2.0-liter engine outputting 147 horsepower at 6200 RPM and 132 lb-ft of torque at 4500 RPM. The Forte also has a 2.0-liter engine but with a multi-port injection rather than the commonly used gasoline direct injection in modern vehicles. This allows the Forte to output more power at 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque at a much lower 4700 RPM and gives it 29/38 MPG (CTY/HWY) compared to the direct injected Elantra with 28/37 MPG (CTY/HWY). An advantage the Elantra has is an available 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that outputs 128 horsepower and 156 lb-ft torque that is more powerful than its standard 2.0 liter engine and is more fuel efficient. This option isn't available in the Forte but there is a more powerful Forte variant with a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that outputs 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Comparing this with the Elantra's 1.4T engine, this will be a much more powerful engine and likely faster with a similar fuel economy. Both vehicles have FWD drivetrains and an automatic CVT transmission.

2.2 Fuel Efficiency

Focusing more now on the future, however, both Hyundai and Kia have indicated that they will be placing great emphasis on alternative-fuel vehicles, particularly hybrids and electric vehicles. This is already evidenced by the rising fuel economy of the Elantra compared to the relatively stagnant past fuel economies of Hyundai vehicles. In particular, the future holds an all-new plug-in hybrid, though not many details are available at present. If this trend continues, it is likely that the steering of customers toward higher fuel economy vehicles will lead to a significant increase in quality and ride of alternative fuel vehicles, resolving our earlier dilemma of compact versus sub-compact efficiency.

Step up to the Elantra hybrid and scores shoot up to 53/56, an improvement that is due as much to the switching of the system from a conventional hybrid to a parallel hybrid as anything else. Focusing directly on the numbers, not many customers are likely to notice a significant discrepancy between the standard Elantra and hybrid Elantra. The new Forte is rated at 29/37 mpg, which is competitive with most compact cars. The base FE (fuel economy) model comes with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Automatic models of the Elantra and Forte use a form of the same six-speed unit, despite Kia's insistence that "they are not technically the same".

The Elantra and Forte are impressively similar when it comes to gas mileage since they share powertrains and platforms. The Elantra sedan has several flavors, but the most popular ones will be rated at 29 mpg city and 38 mpg highway. These are slightly lower numbers than the outgoing model, but those were based on older, less representative EPA test methods and Sunday driving.

Hyundai Elantra 2023 and Kia Forte have been manufactured by the same company, Hyundai. They lie under the same price range. Keep in mind that when it's about fuel efficiency, it's tempting to believe that smaller is always better. But if you really want to drive a compact, you might not be happy with the way the sub-compacts handle.

2.3 Handling and Suspension

The Elantra comes with both a front and a rear stabilizer bar, but the Forte only comes with a front stabilizer bar, with the exception of the top of the line SX trim which comes with front and rear stabilizers. However, the actual thickness of the stabilizer bars is thicker on the Elantra, so it may negate the existence of the Forte's rear stabilizer altogether. The Elantra has an independent multi-link rear suspension, which is standard on every trim level, usually reserved for higher-end sporty vehicles, while the Forte only has a rear torsion beam suspension. A rear torsion beam is usually less complex and less expensive than a fully independent rear suspension because it combines the function of the rear springs and shock absorbers into one unit. Torsion beam suspension is usually found on economy sedans, and it could certainly affect people's perception of the Forte being an economy car. Sorry guys, I wanted these cars to be equal too. But let's face reality, Hyundai has engineered the Elantra to be a higher performance vehicle than the Forte, and with the sporty-looking new 2023 model, the gap is only going to get bigger.

3. Safety and Technology

SmartSense features forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, lane following assist, high beam assist, driver attention warning, and leading vehicle departure alert. It is standard on even the Forte LX. Moreover, both vehicles have seen IIHS safety awards in both 2021 and 2022, and the Elantra was even deemed an IIHS top safety pick in 2022. This is in no small way due to the comprehensive ADAS suite, as IIHS testing methodology places an ever-increasing weight on ADAS performance. This will drive down Forte 2nd hand values long-term and make cheap used Elantras very hard to resist.

Elantra and Forte are essentially identical in terms of safety technology on paper. Both Hyundai and Kia are, in fact, Hyundai Motor Corporation, and share much in the way of safety and powertrain technology. As the NHTSA mandates all vehicles 2012 or later come standard with ABS, stability control, and a minimum of 6 airbags, this is a given. They also both feature Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Traction Control, a rearview camera, and Hill Start Assist. Finally, both vehicles share a "superstructure" frame designed to better disperse impact energy away from the passenger compartment. However, the most direct point shared is that both vehicles feature "SmartSense," the marketing name for a comprehensive ADAS suite.

3.1 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

The Hyundai Elantra relies on an adaptive cruise control with Highway Drive Assist technology for intelligent communication. On highways, this sleek new system automatically helps to maintain a safe distance from the car ahead and center the vehicle between lane markings. It will keep you centered and perfectly positioned in your lane. However, with the Kia Forte, this sort of system is only available in the top trim costing thousands more. With a lower price tag on its own, the Elantra offers these key safety and convenience features standard across all Elantra configurations. Meanwhile, the Kia Forte does offer many of the same features, but would set you back more, even in its lowest trims. Hyundai's new Elantra shines again with this win. Coming standard throughout all Elantra trims is the new and innovative Safety Exit Assist feature. Only available in some of the most expensive Forte trims, this feature uses rear occupant alerts to prevent passengers from opening rear doors if the system detects a vehicle approaching from behind. Both vehicles come standard with a Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection system, but Hyundai claims that its new Elantra has a better chance of winning Top Safety Pick from the IIHS due to the sedan's more advanced headlamp options. These advanced safety features included in both vehicles will help to mitigate injuries and save lives, but our money is on the Elantra, slightly pun intended.

3.2 Infotainment System

As mentioned earlier, both Elantra and Forte are sister cars and share the same platform and many common features. The infotainment system on both the cars comes with Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility, and it's the same 8.0-inch touchscreen in both cars. Being a tech gizmo, there is a bigger 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster in Forte, which is unavailable in Elantra. While it may not affect everyday use, the display colors and design are clearer on Forte. Also, the cluster becomes more useful too for Forte GT buyers, which will be detailed further in the GT Performance section. Kia Forte comes with a 320-watt 8-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system in the top-spec GT. This is a massive improvement over the data system and also the Bose Premium sound system in upper Elantra models. Both Elantra and Forte come with features like a wireless charging pad, 3 years of free map updates, and UVO remote start. While Elantra has done a great job on the infotainment system, Forte has the edge with a better system design and a bigger digital gauge cluster. It wouldn't make potential buyers choose the Forte over Elantra just because of the infotainment system though.

3.3 Connectivity Options

New for 2023, the Elantra features Hyundai's 'Digital Key' app, which can unlock/lock the car and start the engine from your smartphone, totally without needing a physical key. The Elantra is also able to connect to two Bluetooth devices at once, useful for passengers trying to supply the music for the journey. Finally, the Elantra is able to function as a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing devices in the car to connect to the internet. This could be quite useful for anyone who travels a lot and has kids, as it would allow them to use their tablets/video game consoles to connect to the internet, ideal for on-the-go entertainment.

Elantra comes with some interesting connectivity features, including the ability to turn your car into a 'smart home' device. It can communicate with your home's smart home devices from your car, including checking if you've locked your door and turning off the lights from your car. Additionally, it can remember the last 3 locations you parked your car and use your smartphone to navigate to them.

4. Pricing and Warranty

The 2023 Hyundai Elantra and 2023 Kia Forte have similar pricing across their trim levels, but the Elantra offers an extra base model, tipping the prices in the Elantra's favor. The Elantra's base model is listed for $14,830 and ranges upwards to $20,080. The Forte is slightly more expensive, with a base model of $15,420 and a top of the line EX model with a price of $19,890. Both vehicles offer a lot of the same standard features and optional add-ons, so the real difference in cost will lie in what the buyer actually takes home. Optional packages for the Elantra and Forte are focused on the same market: people who want a sportier or luxury ride out of their compact car. Both vehicles offer a performance and luxury package, the Elantra offering the GT Sport and Limited package, the Forte listing an SX and LX with a price difference. The Elantra's GT Sport package is listed at $2,100 but only adds $1,700 to the invoice due to the deletion of the standard sunroof, the Limited package is listed at $1,300. The addition of the sunroof to the GT package causes the price to be a mere $100 less. The Forte's SX package is $1,700, with the LX package priced at $1,000. The similarities in the packages are sure to cause some competition, and may the better ride win.

4.1 Base Model Prices

Both Hyundai and Kia have an awesome warranty that adds extra value to its buyer. In this case, the buyer doesn't really need to worry too much as both cars have very similar costs. This is good when rates of warranty correlate with vehicle costs, as cheaper cars may have more expensive warranties.

The Forte's base model is called the EX. It comes at a price of $20,690. This model comes with a 2.0L engine with an IVT transmission. Looking at the two base models, the Elantra is a slightly better deal as it is $690 cheaper. However, the Forte comes with more features such as LED headlights and fog lights, and an 8-inch navigation system compared to the standard Elantra. In the big picture, Hyundai and Kia, as closely priced in terms of base model cars, provide a good bang for the buck at an affordable price. Future car buyers should monitor any sales events that would heavily discount the base model, as these cars are often subject to heavy promotions.

This category is considered the most important for the buyer. Pricing and affordability of the two vehicles is a major concern for consumers. Being a compact car, both companies offer an affordable base model price and as usual both offer a range of different packages and options to the buyer. Looking at the base model price for the Hyundai Elantra 2023, we see that it costs around $20,000 USD. This is a $1,300 increase from the previous year's base model. The base model features a 6-speed manual transmission and a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine with 147HP. In comparison, the Kia Forte is roughly $50 more expensive for the base model. Both vehicles are pretty similar due to their same platform, but the Elantra being a $250 cheaper car. Digging deeper, we see that both vehicles offer similar packages to the buyer. The Elantra offers a wide spectrum of features ranging from standard to premium. The standard package is included in the base model and offers features such as blind-spot monitoring and automated emergency braking.

4.2 Optional Packages

There are numerous optional packages available for the 2023 Kia Forte and the 2023 Hyundai Elantra. With the Kia Forte, the Premium Package is available for the EX and GT trims. The GT2 Premium Package is also available for the Kia Forte GT. The EX and GT trims can purchase the Premium Package for an extra $3,800. The GT2 Premium Package is priced at $4,800. The Premium package for both trims includes features such as a power sunroof, 320W premium audio system with 8 speakers, dual-zone full automatic temperature control, leather seating including front seat heaters, and a 10-way adjustable power driver's seat with power lumbar support. The EX Premium Package also includes amenities like a 4.2-inch LCD display in the gauge cluster, Smart Cruise Control, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, and LED headlights with High Beam Assist. The Kia Forte GT2 Premium Package includes features like a 3.5-inch LCD display in the gauge cluster, GT2 specific LED headlights with High Beam Assist, and a wireless phone charger.

4.3 Warranty Coverage

Warranty coverage is yet another area in which we see remarkable similarities between the Forte and Elantra. They both offer five-year or 60,000-mile basic warranties and 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranties. Additionally, they both offer seven-year unlimited mile anti-perforation warranties. The only differences between the two warranties are that the Elantra does not have a specific corrosion warranty, and the Forte does not have a 100,000-mile limit on the powertrain warranty. Powertrain warranties can be your saving grace for an extra year, just in case your car ends up being a dud. But since both powertrain warranties are so similar, it hardly offers an advantage to purchase one car over the other. Same goes for the basic warranty, since the odds of you driving either of these cars more than 12,000 miles a year are slim. These warranty coverages serve as just another tiebreaker where the advantages are so small that no clear decisions can be made. Learn more by reading our guide: Compare Forte 2023 models.