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2017 Kia Forte5 vs Ford Fiesta

2017 Kia Forte5 vs Ford Fiesta

If you're looking to spend under $20k on a new car, what do you do? Do you get as much car as you can without exceeding that budget or do you spend a good deal less and do something else with the cash you have left? For example, you could buy a Kia Forte5 for close to $20k or just a little over, or you could spend a good deal less on a Ford Fiesta. Let's take a closer look at them both to decide which way is best to go.

2017 Kia Forte5 vs Ford Fiesta

Styling

The 2017 Kia Forte5 is the hatchback version of the Forte Sedan, and as is often the case with small cars, the hatch is the sportier and more attractive design. The Forte became longer and wider after its last redesign, and this year sees a few cosmetic tweaks making it even more contemporary and attractive than it was already.

Despite having been around for quite a while now, the Fiesta still looks as good as it did when it was launched. The hatch is decidedly wedge-shaped and in some trims it can look very sporty indeed. Like the Kia, the Fiesta hatch is easily the more attractive design.

Features and Equipment

Even entry-level versions of the Kia come standard with keyless entry, air conditioning, a rearview camera, power features, satellite radio, Bluetooth hands-free calling, and steering-wheel audio controls. Active safety systems are largely optional, but most of the fun stuff you'd want is standard.

Base S Fiesta models do come with Bluetooth, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, a six-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system and air conditioning, but the likes of power windows and cruise control are noticeably absent. That's pretty unforgiveable these days, so this round definitely goes to the 2017 Kia Forte5.

Safety

Smaller cars are not necessarily known for their safety credentials, but the Kia Forte5 scores pretty well in this area. After a structural refit a couple of years ago, the Kia now gets a full five stars from the NHTSA. The Forte5 hasn't been crash tested by the IIHS, but the Forte Sedan has and it gets the coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating.

The Fiesta only gets four stars from the feds at the NHTSA, and the IIHS doesn't give it Top Safety Pick status either. It's another easy win here for the Forte5 then.

Fuel Economy

If fuel economy is your goal, you're on the right track with these small cars. You can get as much as 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway from a Kia Forte5 with the 2.0-liter GDI with the automatic transmission, which is pretty good for an engine offering a lively 164 horsepower.

To be fair to the Fiesta, it's got the Kia beat in this area as all versions of the Ford (except the performance-focused ST model) offer better fuel economy than the most frugal version of the Forte5. In fact, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost models get as much as 41 mpg on the highway.

Learn More about the Kia Forte5

2017 Kia Forte5 vs Ford Fiesta

Not all small cars are created equal. Though the Forte5 is a bit larger and a bit more expensive, that's not where the only differences are. The Fiesta is fine if you're looking for something cheap to buy and run, but you get an awful lot more car for not a lot more money with the 2017 Kia Forte5. That's clearly why the Kia is the winner here.