Comparison between the 2021 Kia Forte and the 2021 Acura ILX


The 2021 Kia has great specs and a warranty and takes on the 2021 Acura ILX in this one-on-one. Here is how they compare.

2021 Kia Forte

2021 Kia Forte starting price $ 17,890 | Price yours or View listings near you.

Above average: Spacious cabin; fuel efficient engines; good handling; desirable safety features; long warranty; Kia Forte GT more efficient.

Below average: Some hard plastics inside.

Consensus: Not just an ordinary compact sedan, the 2021 Kia Forte delivers a civilized driving experience right from the entry-level model. Adding advanced security features and integrating smartphones only increases its value.

Acura ILX 2021

Starting price of the Acura ILX 2021: $ 25,950 | Price yours or View listings near you.

Above average: spacious; fuel efficient engine options; competent chassis.

Below average: Hard plastics in the cabin; more premium than luxury.

Consensus: The Acura ILX does not receive any updates for the 2021 model year. This means that some of the technology that comes standard in many other entry-level luxury sedans is lacking. It does, however, provide a truly affordable entry point into luxury property.

Strong vs ILX: Compact Skill

Kia Forte

Despite the proliferation of crossover SUVs, the sedan is still very much alive at Kia. The 2021 Kia Forte is the latest example and brings to the segment a combination of fun-to-drive vibe, substantial value and outstanding warranty.

La Forte offers something for everyone, from small budgets to enthusiasts looking for thrills. Standard equipment includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and a suite of driver aids including driver attention warning, forward collision warning and avoidance, as well as lane departure warning and lane keeping assistance.

An agile driver, the Kia Forte offers a pleasant and refined driving experience. Assured power – from a 147 horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4 in the Forte sedan or a 201-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine in the Forte GT – delivers all the power. necessary while providing good fuel economy ratings.

The base FE model has a standard 6-speed manual transmission or continuously variable transmission (CVT). Upgrade to the Forte GT with its 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) with paddle shifters or an optional 6-speed manual.

Acura ILX

The 2021 Acura ILX is Acura’s top-of-the-line ownership access sedan and is one of the cheapest new luxury vehicles on sale in the United States. The 2021 model is based on the Honda Civic platform (Acura is owned by Honda), and it offers a comfortable cabin filled with tons of safety and luxury features.

The ILX offers responsive handling. It lacks a bit in the engine class, however, offering a 2.4-liter inline-4 that develops 201 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. We didn’t find the engine very inspiring, even though it gets the job done and gets respectable fuel economy.

The ILX comes with Acurawatch, which is a set of driver aids that are really more necessary than luxury. These include lane departure warning and assistance, adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. This is one of our favorite features of the 2021 Acura ILX. We also really like the 8-speed automatic transmission.

One great thing about ILX is that it holds its value very well. It has one of the lowest cost of ownership of any car in its class and has won the KBB 5-Year Purchase Cost Award for five consecutive years (including 2020).


Front-wheel Drive; packed with high end amenities.

Advantages Kia Forte 2021

Larger cabin and trunk; long warranty; a lot of technology; affordability.

Advantages Acura ILX 2021

NHTSA 5 Star Safety Rating; spirited handling.

Which one is right for me?

The 2021 Kia Forte is a mainstream compact car with a bit of high-end flair. It offers a choice of transmissions including a sporty GT, with a long warranty.

The 2021 Acura ILX may need a few updates, but its styling continues to hold up and its handling makes it fun to drive. It’s also the cheapest way to get into Acura.

Ready to buy a Kia Forte or an Acura ILX? Buy one on sale now near you

2021 Kia Forte Acura ILX 2021
Popular powertrains
Motor 2.0 liter I4 2.4 liters I4
Powerful 147 hp at 6,200 rpm 201 hp at 6,800 rpm
Couple 132 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm 180 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
Transmission 6 speed manual 8-speed automatic
Fuel economy 31 mpg (27 city / 37 highway) 28 mpg (24 city / 34 highway)
Also available 1.6 liter turbo I4; 6-speed manual; 7 speed DCT n / A
guarantee 5 years / 60,000 miles 4 years / 50,000 miles
Powertrain warranty 10 years / 100,000 miles 6 years / 70,000 miles
NHTSA Safety Rating 4 stars 5 stars
Maximum seating capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 106.3 inch 105.1 inch
Total length 182.7 inch 182.2 inch
Width 70.9 inch 70.6 inch
Height 56.5 inch 55.6 inch
Turning diameter 34.8 feet 36.8 feet
Headroom, forward 38.8 inch 38.0 inch
Headroom, aft 37.5 inch 35.9 inch
Legroom, front 42.2 inch 42.3 inch
Legroom, rear 35.7 inch 34 inch
Shoulder room, front 56.1 inch 55.6 inch
Shoulder room, rear 55.3 inch 53.6 inch
EPA passenger volume 96 cubic feet 89.3 cubic feet
Cargo volume 15.3 cubic feet 12.4 cubic feet
EPA passenger volume 96.0 cubic feet 89.3 cubic feet
EPA cargo volume 15.3 cubic feet 12.4 cubic feet

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