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Kia Forte vs. Hyundai Elantra 2023

1. Introduction

It’s the showdown of two affordable compact cars, Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra. Kia Forte is in its second generation with exterior and interior. It is very similar to Kia Optima. It is available in 3 different trims: the EX, LX, and SX. The EX and LX are powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 156 horsepower. The SX is powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 173 horsepower. It is said that the fuel economy is excellent, averaging at 25 mpg (21 city, 32 highway) for the EX and LX, and 26 mpg (23 city, 31 highway) for the SX. The beginning price for the Kia Forte is around $15,795. Now I will go into deeper detail of the 3 Kia Forte trims. Step into the LX and you’ll find popular features such as the Kia UVO system (Kia’s infotainment system) with an 8-inch touchscreen and 6-speaker audio, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Kia Forte LX also comes standard with Drive Wise, a suite of driver-assistance features. Opt into the $1,500 Popular package and you’ll get several desirable items, including Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Intelligent CVT, and a premium package, priced at $3,690, adds in a power sunroof, leather seat trim, a 10-way power adjustable driver seat, a Harman Kardon audio system, navigation, and Kia’s Home link. The Kia EX enhances the Forte LX with additional comfort and convenience features over the base. Pricing at $19,495, the EX steps up to the 147-horsepower 2.0-liter engine and tacks on Auto CVT; fuel economy jumps to 31 combined mpg. Its $3,500 Launch Edition option package is value-packed with Forte essential features. The available $3,210 Premium package is very near pricing of a fully loaded Forte SX but adds some exclusive features. Lastly, the Kia Forte SX is the most sporty and luxurious of the 3 trims. Starting price at $23,195, the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine bumps the horsepower up to 201, with 195 lb/ft of torque, and fuel economy is 27 mpg (23 city, 32 highway). Available DCT adds $900, but intelligent variable automatic transmission (IVT) is standard. A fully loaded Kia Forte SX has excellent performance and many high-end features at a very attractive price.

1.1. Overview of Kia Forte

This new model is looking much better from a distance, with a blunt and assertive nose, a stronger wedge in the rear window and pillar, and more sculpting in the side flanks—treated to a more fastback-like roof and a rear decklid with "K I A" spanning across it. Step inside, and the new K3—which remains a Forte in many markets—has more in-cabin space and a revamped interior design that includes large twin displays for the instrument cluster and infotainment. A new sound system aims to provide a mobile-industry concert experience, with LED mood lighting and metal speaker grilles.

2023 Kia Forte K3 compact sedan

The GT Line gets a sportier blackout-style look, with a sport-tuned suspension, sport seats, and contrast stitching and trims, while the GT goes all the way, offering a more serious performance model with a 1.6-liter turbo-4, an available 7-speed DCT, and multi-link rear suspension. It draws from the performance heart of the upcoming Hyundai Elantra N Line. Look to the related K3 (or opt to just call it Forte) to be a matter of taste; the K3 will offer a different set of features and take that's more tuned to the tastes of its home market. Learn More: Kia Forte vs Hyundai Elantra 2023

2023 Kia Forte GT Line

The 2023 Kia Forte is finally evolving to bring some of the visual interest and sportier moves of the Stinger and K5 sedans into this smaller package. It's going to carry an impressive 1.6 inches more length, mostly in the overhangs (which helps it look better proportioned, given today's crash structures), and it's going to be built on the third generation of the K3 platform. We anticipate that it might be called the K3 GT in some markets, and definitely there's GT-like spirit in some of the changes.

The Kia Forte was originally based on the platform of the Hyundai Elantra. But in recent years, the two have grown into their own. The Kia is positioned as the sportier, more upmarket model. And the latest Elantra looks and feels very conservative, while the Forte has made some daring moves.

1.2. Overview of Hyundai Elantra

The present 2022 Elantra range includes five models. The most basic SE ($16,715) is equipped with a 16-inch steel wheel cap, a rearview camera, automatic lights, dual mirrors overhead, a height-adjustable front seat, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, a 5-inch touch screen with a six-speaker USB ports audio interface, standard automatic emergency shutdown and a start-stop of a machine. This is the most fundamental car in this category, RS says. An Automatic Transmission Option ($19,685) adds a $3,000 USD value, and it is the only way to get the highly optimal real End. ECO ($22,865) is still, and is available only in the US, offering a more economical and environmentally friendly version of the Elantra motor.

The Elantra is a competent, comfortable, and high-gas-electric vehicle that offers more passenger, freight, and clear appeal than any other kind of collision, according to Hyundai. The Elantra has earned a five-star NCAP rating on the regular level of crash tests, which was improved by the 2009 model year. Many other sedans in this segment do not have the high priority for the entertainment and safety features of the Elantra, and the BlueLink Network permits the use of latest methods.

2. Design and Exterior

The Hyundai Elantra, on the other hand, offers a bold design that Hyundai claims to be the "high point of its WISE design philosophy". It has a longer wheelbase and a proper sporty sedan look compared to the Forte's short rear deck, giving it more interior space. The 2023 Elantra will feature the N Line sport model, which will have a 1.6 turbo engine. Visually, this N Line model will be distinguished by its N Line badging, 18-inch alloy wheels, unique rear fascia, side skirts, and a chrome twin exhaust tips. The N Line model will be available in 2 exclusive exterior colors, Cyber Gray and Phantom Black. This N Line model aims to increase the excitement in Elantra's superior balance of style and performance.

The Kia Forte's design stays true to its sport car look. Since the 2022 model was only a facelift, there aren't any drastic changes in terms of design for the 2023 model. The pictures released only show slight body kit differences and differently designed wheels from the 2022 model. It still has its long hood and short deck with its cab rearward silhouette. The sharkfin antenna, dual chrome exhaust tips, LED taillights and turn signals, and black gloss grill are still retained from its 2022 model. Overall, the new Kia Forte design is not so different from the 2022 model except for the slightly altered body kit and differently designed wheels.

2.1. Kia Forte's design features

Compared to its sister model, the Hyundai Elantra, the 2023 Kia Forte features a more aggressive design language that focuses on driver appeal. The Elantra runs under Hyundai's latest design directive, dubbed "Sensuous Sportiness," which carries an emotional and sensual touch by both design and technology. Named the LPI HEV and CN7, the all-new 2023 Elantra will explore more on its emotional expression with a premium touch. Starting with the LPI HEV, the vehicle expresses an eco-friendly image with a light blue illumination added to its front emblem. The LPI HEV model will also feature a radiator grille with active air flaps to further aid fuel economy. A unique design element can be seen at the rear corner of the LPI hybrid where alloy wheels have been designed to reduce drag. The CN7 Elantra is designed to connect more with driving enthusiasts who want a compact vehicle with a sporty appearance. As a result, this model features a more assertive design than the LPI hybrid. With model-specific front and rear bumpers, a special black gloss radiator grille, and a sporty rear spoiler, the CN7 Elantra adds flavor to the current Elantra.

The 2023 Kia Forte could be seen as a scaled-down version of the sleek and stylish Kia Stinger. You get a more aggressive and assertive visual design in the new Kia Forte. The 2023 Kia Forte, due out next year as a 2023 model, is expected to feature a powder-coated grille and a black spoiler for a more aggressive appearance. In addition to the revised front-end look, the rear of the Forte is also primed for some style adjustments, featuring a restyled bumper and a new set of LED tail-lights. The Forte is also expected to get bold new wheel designs, offering further visual appeal.

2.2. Hyundai Elantra's design features

From the looks of it, no more boring styling from both the Forte and Elantra. Consumers are now seeing two desirable cars to choose from: the clean and refined look of the Forte versus the new high-tech image of Elantra. What is to come is a battle within the compact sedan sector for consumers looking for more style, more features, and more value in their vehicles. Both the Forte and Elantra are vehicles that present a higher image vehicle but didn't forget to lose touch with its roots; producing compact cars at an affordable price. And with the latest designs now analyzed, the bar has been raised through the new Forte and Elantra, setting a new pace for the compact car.

The all-new Elantra has a 'Parametric Dynamics' design theme to reflect sporty, progressive, and futuristic designs that were mentioned before. The Elantra features a wide, assertive, and energetic look. The latest iteration of the long-standing Hyundai sedan has a high-tech feel, appealing to target customers who want the latest tech in the car they drive. Elantra's new look is achieved by combining its long hood and level roofline. The shape of the roof is longer and it inclines gradually all the way to the rear. The roof, coupled with a line that integrates into the tail lamps, gives off a coupe-like image. Elantra's 'parametric-jewel Surface' is a design technique that involves three lines being linked together to form a cutting edge. Diamond-shaped patterns are formed throughout the car, becoming more refined and intricate as the stress factor increases. One of the most notable changes to the new Elantra is the new wheel design. These wheels are available in 15, 16, and 17-inch sizes, giving more depth to the car through the patterns of the spokes. Elantra's side view is the most dynamic. A sleek side character line accentuates angular wheel arches. At the rear, a wide, strong bumper and rear fenders give the car a powerful look. The rear lamp showcases a high-tech image and becomes a recognizable feature for consumers. The trunk is also integrated with a line that flows into the rear, adding a sense of luxury. Elantra will be available in 8 exterior colors in South Korea, and the North American market will be offering 10 colors. Lastly, just like the Forte, the Elantra also has a rear bumper with a diffuser. Overall, Elantra's new look achieves a new level of design never seen before on Elantra, providing a true alternative within the compact sector.

2.3. Comparison of exterior styling

The new Forte looks good. It's less aggressive than the car it replaces, with more rounded edges and fewer raked pillars. The Forte's headlights and grille give it a slight familial resemblance to the larger Optima, which is a positive step. The downside is that, with the LED daytime-running lights window-mounted, the car's face looks a little like a Lexus IS. The EX Launch Edition has specific wheels and extra chrome, but overall the variations within the trim range are subtle. From the rear, the Forte isn't as successful; it looks somewhat droopy and unresolved compared with the clean lines of the front. Step up to the Elantra and you're suddenly in 2004, shorn of the latest 'fluidic sculpture' Hyundai design language. Even though Hyundai's a grille-design laggard, the Elantra's hook-shaped LED running lights and neat front-end arrangement look modern and aggressive. At the rear, there's a bit of a mix of design languages, but the Elantra's profile is sleeker and more resolved than that of the Forte.

3. Interior and Features

Kia Forte's interior is largely similar to the outgoing model, but it does outstandingly well in how it combines functionality, infotainment and safety tech, and general ease of use. It's really the infotainment and tech side of things that marks it out as a well thought out cabin. The widescreen infotainment system is standard from '2' grade up, something of a rarity in the class. It's not a touchscreen, controlled instead by a touchpad on the central console, but luckily there's a set of physical shortcut buttons too. It's simple and intuitive, something that can't be said for teeny-tiny touchscreens and complex menu systems found elsewhere. Wireless Android Auto and a 12-speaker Bose audio system are standard on the flagship GT (2.0 T-GDi) model. All Fortes get a generous roster of safety equipment included at no extra cost, the sort of thing that many rivals are now charging a bit extra for. Kia's latest safety and driver assistance systems are available, such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and High Beam Assist (HBA). FCA is capable of detecting cyclists as well as vehicles and pedestrians. Step up to the '2' model and you get even more advanced kit with an upgraded package including Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go functionality, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist and auto wipers with a de-icing function. It all adds up to a cabin that's well equipped and easy to live with, and the sort of car that will likely still feel pretty fresh several years down the line. The only slight black mark being that the hard plastics used in places mean that it's not quite as plush an environment as the current crop of class leaders. That may not matter much for those simply seeking a good tech fix at an affordable level. A new addition to the Forte range, however not a new body style as in the US, is the Ceed SW estate. Prices and specifications are those of the five-door hatch. It could be an alternative for those looking for more boot space and a more lifestyle-focused car, as opposed to a saloon buyer with a specific requirement for rear leg space. A crossover-style X-ceed SW with raised ride height has also been introduced.

3.1. Kia Forte's interior highlights

Overall, the Kia Forte offers an interior that's both comfortable and functional, a rare combination for compact cars in today's market.

One unfortunate aspect is the lack of standard power-adjustable seating, though this is a minor sacrifice given the number of other features Forte offers at its base price. A 60/40 split folding rear seat and front center console with armrest and storage space are additional convenient features in the Forte, rarely found in this size/price category. A sunroof, while also not standard, is available as an option on the higher Forte models.

High quality cloth seats come standard on the LX and EX models, with the SX model featuring sporty leather seats with optional heating, comfortable even for extended periods of driving. The feeling of spaciousness is aided by the Forte's wide interior, offering more interior volume than Civic or Corolla. Head and leg room are plentiful, even for a taller driver or passenger. Step-in and sit-down are easy due to the Forte's tall roofline and well-placed seating.

Entering the vehicle, one's attention is immediately drawn to a steering wheel replete with Bluetooth, audio, and cruise controls, an uncommon standard in the compact vehicle market. Most of the Forte's controls are easy and intuitive to use, a pleasant change from small cars of the past which seemed to group all radio and climate controls together in a far-away dashboard. Buttons and switches have a good tactile feel to them, and the dash-panel's glowing red-orange display is satisfying to the eye.

Kia has long been known for having some of the most comfortable and well-put together interiors in the auto industry. Priced at the lower-level end of the spectrum for compact vehicles, the Forte is no exception to this. The ergonomics and aesthetics of the Forte fall nothing short of impressive, even on the base-level LX Forte.

3.2. Hyundai Elantra's interior highlights

Hyundai Elantra also makes life easier for motorists' everyday tasks. From work commutes to vehicle maintenance, the Elantra has many tricks up its sleeve to aid the motorist. Standard with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, select vehicle functions can be controlled using one's smartphone. This includes vehicle status reminders and for those forgetful moments, the relocation feature, which from the in-vehicle setting prompts the horn and lights to identify the vehicle's location. Step inside the cabin, and both driver and passengers will notice the thoughtful array of storage solutions and convenience options. This includes an overhead sunglass storage, dual front and rear cup holders, and both front and rear seat bottle holders. Last, but certainly not least, Hyundai's design keeps both wallets and the environment in mind with an eco-friendly I/P, door, and console trim made from raw materials.

Strategically located just underneath the multimedia module, convenience meets elegance with the slot to place one's smartphone, conveniently equipped with available wireless charging. An additional feature to reduce wire clutter includes Hyundai's implementation of two USB chargers, one being shifted to a location that passengers seated in the rear can effortlessly access. Moving rearward as passengers enter their throne, both space and comfort are abundant, setting an emphasis on the "comfort in the compact car segment" mission. In specific, the Elantra touts segment-leading rear headroom and legroom, and when seat occupancy is not in need, the 60/40 split fold-down rear seat has an integrated release in the trunk for added convenience.

Upon entry to the 2023 Hyundai Elantra, passengers are greeted with an aircraft cockpit-inspired layout. Key features include a sporty D-Cut steering wheel and high-resolution digital gauge cluster. As the driver takes grasp of the leather-wrapped perforated steering wheel, car controls and various vehicle information, including notifications of safety features, are accessed using the available 10.25-inch Audio Video Navigation and Telematics (AVNT) touchscreen display – the largest in its class. As one's focus shifts from the primary to the secondary display, the center console below houses the climate control module and the available 8-inch touchscreen for the automatic temperature control interface. Staying true to Elantra's cost-to-content philosophy, these options are available with SEL and standard on N Line and Limited models.

3.3. Comparison of interior features

Step inside the Elantra, and it is hard to believe that this is a compact car from a mainstream brand. The design is grown-up and elegant, and some of the materials wouldn't look out of place in a luxury car. Elantra's interior is very exciting and has state-of-the-art features. It offers a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster for a better view of the car and its condition. The shift-by-wire push button transmission is a modern automatic transmission that replaces the traditional shift lever, saving space between the front of the car and the engine bay. The best feature of Elantra's interior is the ambient light, which has a 64-color ambient lighting. The ambient lighting is accompanied by the harmonic sounds of nature from Hyundai's Sound of Nature program, elevating the comfort when driving this car. In terms of seating, Elantra offers leather seats and a power seat for the driver. The best part is that Elantra offers SOFINO seats, which are eco-friendly seats made by recycling plastic bottles to reduce environmental burden. This is definitely a plus point for the Elantra interior.

Kia Forte, based on the official website of kia.com, has features such as an 8" touch screen display for the infotainment system, which is available for the GT Line and EX models. It also has voice command with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, which are commonly used in smartphones today. The auto climate control is convenient for controlling the temperature for the driver. The tricot cloth seats provide comfortable seating, and there is also a wireless phone charger.

Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra are two sedans that are not only appealing from the exterior, but also have luxurious and interesting features in the interior. Each of them has their own pluses and minuses in terms of interior and features. In this post, we will compare the Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra in terms of the interior features.

4. Performance and Technology

Kia Forte comes in three different models: FE, LXS, and GT. All have different engines in each part to the features the model has. The FE has the 2.0 MPI Atkinson Cycle engine with 147 horsepower. The FE seems to lead in fuel economy with 31/41 MPG. The LXS and GT share the same 1.6 Turbo GDI engine with 201 horsepower in order to balance its fuel economy and performance. Although, the LXS has the Intelligent Variable Transmission while the GT has a 7-Speed Dual Clutch Transmission. According to the standard FE version, Forte provides the GT trim with an elevated experience with its unique sport-tuned suspension to create better handling, and a Multi-Link Rear Suspension to help increase agility in the corners. This could be the hidden ace in the hole for Forte to have some market in the car enthusiast world. Elantra's standard engine would be the 2.0 MPI Atkinson Cycle engine with 147 horsepower. It also seems to have a lead in fuel economy in the segment with 33/43 MPG. Elantra caught up to Forte's GT trim with a 1.6 Turbo GDI engine with 201 horsepower. The Elantra also gives two transmissions, an IVT for the standard and a 7-Speed DCT for the higher end trims. Given that both cars are C-Segment cars, it is interesting to see that the performance gap between the base and high-end trims is not noticeably different. This leaves the customers to have different experiences with the same model, providing good marketing material. With a new platform, Elantra also adapts to a light and rigid structure to have better crash safety and help improve noise vibration harshness. Both Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra are expected to have top-tier technology features considering both brands belong to the same corporation. This is significant as the tech features in a compact car could be the driving purchase for the younger crowd looking for a new car. Unfortunately, as of present, the technology features have not been fully announced and details on Forte and Elantra would be expected to release with the cars closer to the release date which for Forte is set to late 2022, and a release window of late 2022 to early 2023 for Elantra.

4.1. Kia Forte's engine options and performance

The Kia Forte offers the driver two choices when it comes to selecting engines. The standard engine is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine which produces 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy for this engine is estimated at 27 mpg city and 37 mpg highway when paired to the IVT transmission, 25/0 with the 6-speed manual transmission. The more exciting engine choice the Forte offers is a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine which creates 201 horsepower and 196 lb-ft of torque. This engine makes the Forte much more fun to drive, and offers great performance capabilities. The fuel economy for the turbocharged engine is 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. With the DCT transmission, the Forte will get 0 mpg better on the highway. This is a great option for those who don't want to sacrifice economy for power. The Forte also features 3 driving modes: Normal, Smart, and Sport. These drivemode select options will allow the Forte to perform according to your needs. The Sport mode on the turbocharged engine will make the Forte more responsive and fun to drive. Overall the Forte provides great performance and handling characteristics with two engine options.

4.2. Hyundai Elantra's engine options and performance

Details regarding the Elantra's engine options are sparse, but we do know that it will be available with a choice of two powerplants. The base engine will be a 2.0L 4-cylinder producing 147hp. While the car's curb weight has not yet been disclosed, Hyundai is claiming a best-in-class power to weight ratio for both of the engines, so we can expect the car to have a respectable level of performance considering it's positioned as an economy car. The 2.0L model may even be able to offer a fuel sipping option that's a bit peppier than the typical small sedan. Elantras with the 2.0L engine will come equipped with an IVT which is essentially a CVT. While these transmissions are not typically associated with driving enjoyment, Hyundai has been making solid strides in tuning their CVTs, such as the unit in the Kona, to offer surprisingly decent performance. But for those who seek a more engaging driving experience, the Elantra N Line presented an intriguing option. Step up to the Elantra N Line and you'll find a 1.6L turbocharged 4-cylinder borrowed from the Elantra's platform mate, the Kia Forte. Here it's been tuned to produce 201hp and will be paired with either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DCT. This pairing will certainly be the one for driving enthusiasts which is most N Line models aim to be. While the standard Elantra hasn't yet proven itself to be fun to drive, the N Line has potential to bring new life to the nameplate and set itself apart as the Elantra of choice for those who value driving excitement in an affordable small car.

4.3. Comparison of technology features

In terms of technology offered, it seems the Elantra and Forte are neck to neck. They both offer Android Auto and Apple Carplay on an 8-inch touchscreen on all versions except the very base and top trims. The Elantra does feature a 10.25-inch unit in the Limited model and has more real estate through its digital display cluster. Elements like wireless charging and a larger 8-speaker Bose audio system are also nice touches. Kia does add a few more tricks on their compact. A higher-resolution 10.25-inch unit is an option and all trims have access to a 5.0-inch colour screen in the gauge cluster. Ambient LED interior lighting, a premium 8-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, and UVO intelligence connected features which include advanced voice recognition is what Kia hopes will help them in the market. Both manufacturers offer a lot when it comes to convenience and technology and definitely prove they are not just entry level cars.