Spec-sheet brawl: Kia Forte vs. Honda Civic

A new compact sedan has entered the market
by Drei Laurel | Apr 10, 2019

The local compact-sedan scene has remained relatively unchanged over the past few years. When you bring up the segment, the first nameplates to come to mind are the usual industry staples: Honda Civic, Toyota Altis, Mazda 3. Anything past them is a distant second.

But could all this change with the arrival—or rather, the return—of the all-new Kia Forte?

Yes, folks, the Forte is back. A revamped Kia Philippines has decided to bring the vehicle back to the Philippine market in hopes of taking away a piece of the segment pie from the aforementioned models. But does it stand a chance?

Let’s pit the Forte’s mid-level offering, the 1.6 EX AT, against its closest Honda rival in terms of price, the Civic 1.8 E CVT.

Power-wise, the Civic’s 1.8-liter SOHC gasoline engine (139hp and 174Nm) easily trumps the Forte’s 1.6-liter DOHC (126hp and 155Nm). The Kia’s upside is that it has a slightly more polished interior featuring more leather bits and a larger touchscreen infotainment system. It also runs on larger 17-inch alloy wheels compared with the Civic’s 16-inchers.

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The Forte also rides slightly higher with a 150mm ground clearance versus the Civic’s 133mm, though both share the same wheelbase length at 2,700mm. And then, of course, there’s the price difference: The Kia is a bit more expensive at P1,195,000 versus the Civic’s P1,168,000 price tag.

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Anyway, take a look at the specs we’ve gathered for you below and let us know via the poll which compact sedan you would choose:

Honda Civic 1.8 E CVT

Kia Forte 1.6 EX AT

Price (Philippine Peso) 1,168,000 1,195,000
Seating capacity 5 5
Engine 1.8-liter SOHC gasoline 1.6-liter DOHC gasoline
Power 139hp @ 6,500rpm 126hp @ 6,300rpm
Torque 174Nm @ 4,300rpm 155Nm @ 4,000rpm
Fuel tank capacity (liters) 47 50
Transmission CVT 6-speed automatic
Paddle shifters N/A N/A
Brakes (front/rear) Ventilated disc/solid disc Disc/disc
Front suspension MacPherson strut with stabilizer MacPherson strut with stabilizer
Rear suspension Independent multilink Coupled torsion-beam axle
Wheels 16-inch alloys 17-inch alloys
Tires 215/55 R16 225/45 R17
Seats Fabric Fabric
Steering wheel Urethane with tilt and telescopic adjustment Leather with tilt and telescopic adjustment
Ignition Push-start Key
Audio system 7-inch touchscreen, six speakers 8-inch touchscreen, six speakers
Climate control Automatic Automatic
Backup camera Yes Yes
Airbags Driver and passenger Driver and passenger
Dimensions (mm) 4,633 x 1,799 x 1,416 4,640 x 1,800 x 1,450
Ground clearance (mm) 133 150
Wheelbase (mm) 2,700 2,700

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