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2017 Kia Forte5 vs Honda Civic Hatchback

2017 Kia Forte5 vs Honda Civic

Kia has transformed as a brand over the last decade or so, but other more established automakers don't just sit on their hands waiting for others to overtake them in the market either. The only true way to see how far Kia has come is to compare its cars to its rivals. So let's take a look at the 2017 Kia Forte5 against the Honda Civic Hatchback, which has been a true benchmark in its segment.

2017 Kia Forte5 vs Honda Civic Hatchback

Styling

This year saw the Kia Forte family getting a mild mid-cycle refresh, which included a notably more shapely front fascia and updated headlights. The wedge-shaped body and sculptured sheet metal probably isn't as distinctive as it was when this generation was launched, but it's still a very attractive little car.

For 2017, we've finally got the hatch version of the Civic, which is the only form the Civic has had in many other parts of the world for some time now. It won't be to the liking of every American, but it also means that the incredible Type R version is also available, at long last. Styling-wise, though, the Honda doesn't wear the hatchback as well as the Kia Forte5.

Engines and Performance

Three engines are available in the 2017 Kia Forte5, essentially three different flavors of an inline-four. The first is a 147 horsepower 2.0-liter MPI, the middle of the three is a 2.0-liter GDI developing 164 horsepower, and the most powerful unit is a 1.6-liter turbo that puts as much as 201 horsepower at your disposal. Even the MPI is a fine engine offering plenty of get-up-and-go, but the 1.6 turbo really is a beauty.

Only one engine is offered with the hatch version of the Civic, which is a 1.5-liter turbo-four developing 174 horsepower in most models, but 180 horsepower in the Civic Sport Hatch. The lack of choice is one thing, but the lack of available power easily hands this match to the Kia.

Interior Space

Compacts like the Forte5 straddle a fine line between keeping a small footprint and offering practical amounts of interior space, and the Kia does it pretty well. Despite being relatively short, the Kia has a decent amount of room inside with a total passenger volume of 98.2 cu.-ft., which results in a comfortable space for up to four adults, or five on a short journey.

Despite the Civic Hatch being a massive 11 inches longer than the Kia Forte5, it actually has less passenger volume available. It's not a huge difference, if we're totally honest, but this is still another win for the Forte5.

Safety

Safety ratings for the Kia Forte5 are pretty good with the NHTSA giving its full five-star rating for overall safety and the IIHS giving the Forte Sedan (it hasn't crash-tested the Forte5 yet) its coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating.

The Honda Civic also gets top marks from the feds, but it only gets the Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS. Honda has now made its most advanced safety tech available for all trim levels, so this is a victory for the Honda.

Learn More about the Kia Forte5

2017 Kia Forte5 vs Honda Civic

The problem with the Civic hatch is that it isn't the best Civic you can have by any means. The Coupe is more desirable and better looking and the Civic Sedan has more engine options. On the other hand, the 2017 Kia Forte5 could easily make a case for itself as the best version of the Forte family. To be honest, both of these vehicles are very good indeed. But the winner, by a nose, is clearly the Forte5.