Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Civic deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Civic’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Forte Sedan’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.
Compared to metal, the Civic’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Kia Forte Sedan has a metal gas tank.
The Civic Sport Sedan/Sport Coupe/EX/EX-L/Touring has standard HondaLink Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Forte Sedan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Civic and the Forte Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.
The Civic’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Forte Sedan runs out after 100,000 miles.
There are over 35 percent more Honda dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Civic’s warranty.
The Civic’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 11 more horsepower (158 vs. 147) and 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (138 vs. 132) than the Forte Sedan’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Civic’s optional 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 27 more horsepower (174 vs. 147) and 30 lbs.-ft. more torque (162 vs. 132) than the Forte Sedan’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Civic Hatchback Sport’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 33 more horsepower (180 vs. 147) and 45 lbs.-ft. more torque (177 vs. 132) than the Forte Sedan’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.
The Civic has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Forte Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
The Civic stops shorter than the Forte Sedan:
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the Civic has larger standard tires than the Forte Sedan (215/55R16 vs. 195/65R15). The Civic Sport/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Forte Sedan (235/40R18 vs. 215/45R17).
The Civic LX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Forte Sedan FE’s standard 65 series tires. The Civic Sport/Touring’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Forte Sedan S/EX’s 45 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Civic LX has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Forte Sedan FE. The Civic Sport/Touring’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Forte Sedan S/EX.
For superior ride and handling, the Honda Civic has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Kia Forte Sedan has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
The Civic’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Forte Sedan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
The Civic Touring Sedan handles at .84 G’s, while the Forte Sedan EX pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Civic Sedan is 4.8 inches shorter than the Forte Sedan, making the Civic easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Civic Sedan has .5 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, .7 inches more front hip room, .9 inches more front shoulder room and 1.7 inches more rear legroom than the Forte Sedan.
The Civic (except LX/Manual) has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Forte Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The Civic’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Forte Sedan’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.
If the windows are left open on the Civic the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Forte Sedan can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Civic Touring’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Forte Sedan’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Both the Civic and the Forte Sedan offer available heated front seats. The Civic Touring Sedan/Sport Touring also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Forte Sedan.
The Civic will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Civic will retain 44.1% to 46.81% of its original price after five years, while the Forte Sedan only retains 40.27% to 40.86%.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Civic is less expensive to operate than the Forte Sedan because it costs $162 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Civic than the Forte Sedan, including $7 less for a water pump, $1 less for a muffler, $14 less for front brake pads and $11 less for fuel injection.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Civic second among compact cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Forte Sedan isn’t in the top three.
The Civic Sport was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The Forte Sedan has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.
The Civic was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 22 years. The Forte Sedan has never been an “All Star.”
A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Civic as the 2016 North American Car of the Year. The Forte Sedan has never been chosen.
The Honda Civic outsold the Kia Forte by over three to one during the 2018 model year.