Vehicle Comparison – Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra

December 14th, 2017 by

Drivers Auto Comparison Kia Forte Hyundai Elantra

At Drivers Auto Mart, we have all kinds of used vehicles from all brands. Some of these are still practically new and only have a few hundred miles on their engine. Others are under $10k. No matter the vehicle though, they’re always in great condition before leaving the lot. We did some digging through our inventory for affordable 2017 vehicles, and wouldn’t you know we found a 2017 Kia Forte LX and 2017 Hyundai Elantra SE. Both vehicles are priced under $15k and both have a clean car history.

2017 Kia Forte LX

For the 2017 model year, the Kia Forte got a bit of an upgrade. A new style gives it a more compact appearance, and upgraded technology is always welcome. Although the base model, the Forte LX may not have all the bells and whistles of other trims in its lineup, but the vehicle makes for good competition against several competitors in the compact car class.

The starting MSRP is $16,600 but we have it under $13,000.

2017 Hyundai Elantra SE

In its sixth generation, the Hyundai Elantra was due for some revamping to return it to its prime. Style, premium amenities, and improved driver handling, the Elantra offers sophistication and value at an affordable price. Also the base model of the Elantra, the Elantra SE, some of the high-tier features that other trims have may be lacking, but all-in-all, it’s a vehicle that can hold its own.

The starting MSRP is $18,150 but we have it for under $12,000.


The 2017 Kia Forte LX comes with an engine design that many may have not heard of before. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter DOHC I4 engine that runs on the Atkinson Cycle. The Atkinson Cycle design is broken down into four phases to increase an engine’s fuel efficiency. The engine also has multi-point injection for improved fuel delivery. Paired to a 6-speed manual transmission, the 2017 Kia Forte LX has a fuel economy of 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

Found under the hood of the 2017 Hyundai Elantra SE is a 2.0-liter DOHC I4 engine with VVT. Also built with a DOHC and VVT, this engine has been optimized for fuel efficiency and performance. Paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission that allows the driver to manually shift if desired, this vehicle has a fuel economy of 29/38 mpg city/highway.

Both engines are built with a DOHC, or designed with a double overhead camshaft. This results in less tension being placed on the cylinders of the engine, leading to improved performance. The engines also implement a form of variable valve timing (dual continuously for the Forte) to optimize both their performance and fuel efficiency.


Many comparisons can be a little hard with the ol’ back-and-forth. To make it easier on our readers, we duplicate the table many would see in a specs sheet to compare both vehicles’ features side-by-side.

Feature 2017 Kia Forte LX 2017 Hyundai Elantra SE
Heated Exterior Mirrors Yes No
Solar Control Glass Yes Yes
Enhanced Headlights Yes, Projector Yes, Projector
Auto on/off Headlights Optional No
Wheels 15-inch steel with covers 15-inch steel with covers
Steering Wheel-Mounted Controls Audio and Phone Audio
Various Driving Modes Yes No
Seating Trim Cloth Premium Cloth
Adjustable Seat 6-way adjustable driver seat 6-way adjustable driver seat
60/40 Split-fold Rear Seat Yes Yes
Cargo Volume 14.9 cubic-feet 14.4 cubic-feet


So far, so good. Aside from the heated exterior mirrors and the option for auto on/off headlights, both vehicles are in pretty good shape and match the other more or less. Let’s take a quick peek at technology and entertainment. For some, that’s the true deciding factor.


Feature 2017 Kia Forte LX 2017 Hyundai Elantra SE
Sound System 4-speaker with AM/FM/CD/MP3/SiriusXM 6-speaker with AM/FM/MP3/Satellite Radio
Bluetooth Wireless Hands-Free Yes Yes
Rear Camera Optional No
Touch Screen Optional No


For those of you who like a little more modern tech, you may be looking at the 2017 Kia Forte LX right about now with the option to install a touch screen and rear view camera for a little extra. Those that are fine with a little Bluetooth may be looking at the 2017 Hyundai Elantra SE for a teenager’s first car.

Safety and Warranty

Neither the 2017 Kia Forte LX or the 2017 Hyundai Elantra SE have advanced safety systems available. Both do however have dual-stage front and front side-mounted airbags, side-curtain airbags, an anti-lock braking system, stability and traction control systems, front and rear crumple zones, and a LATCH tether child seat system.

For second year owners, warranties are non transferable for Kia and Hyundai. Thus, the following warranties should be taken at half-value.

All Kia models come with a 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty, a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a 5-year/100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty, and a 5-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan.

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra SE comes with a 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty, a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a 7-year/unlimited-mile limited anti-perforation warranty, and a 5-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance plan.

Interested? You can learn more about the 2017 Kia Forte LX in stock, or the 2017 Hyundai Elantra SE simply by clicking these links.

Photo Source/Copyright: Kia and Hyundai