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Forte5 SX and GTI Comparison

This is a discussion on Forte5 SX and GTI Comparison within the Kia Forte Turbo vs The Competition forums, part of the Kia Forte Forum category; One of the reasons I chose to buy my Forte5 sx was that I kept reading about people comparing it to the VW GTI. Having ...

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  1. #1
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    Forte5 SX and GTI Comparison

    One of the reasons I chose to buy my Forte5 sx was that I kept reading about people comparing it to the VW GTI.

    Having previously owned an MK6 GTI and missing it terribly I test drove the Forte several times before I decided to get one.

    For the sake of amusement I decided to do a little comparison for anyone that is interested.

    Exterior Aesthetics - TIE
    This one is a tough one for me. But since beauty lies in the eye of the beholder who really cares.
    I recieved a ton of complements on the GTI's stock rims but I wasn't personally a huge fan of them. But the situation is almost identical with the Forte.
    Both have faux difusers in the rear and dual exhaust.
    I do feel like the Forte's front end does remind me a bit of a Prius. That's not a bad thing exactly. Toyota has some pretty decent looking fronts to their cars now. But I just don't like that it reminds me of it.
    So I guess I'll leave it at this, I like the GTI's front end better and the Forte's rear end. Overall for looks I would choose the GTI because its a bit more conservative looking.

    Interior Aesthetics - TIE
    While my GTI had plaid seats which I loved the Forte (especially with the luxury package) has pretty attractive seats too.
    I greatly prefer the GTI's flat bottom steering wheel with red stitching.
    But I love the way the Forte's interior is laid out with a slight bias towards the driver rather than the passenger. They don't need to be messing with my radio anyways

    Practicality - Forte
    Both have rear seats the fold flat or nearly flat.
    Both have a ton of space. I fit a washing machine in my GTI and expect I could in my Forte.
    The GTI requires premium fuel and I averaged 29 mpg with it compared to 31 on regular with my Forte.
    Plus the Forte initially cost far less and has a far better warranty.
    The GTI also has a reputation for bad water pumps that VW and expensive repairs.

    Handling and Steering- GTI
    Ha. Don't even try.
    Okay. The Forte isn't bad. I like it. But my GTI could be absolutely thrown into corners at near reckless speeds and handle it like it was nothing. It just went where you pointed and did what you wanted it to.
    I do like the flex steer or whatever its called. I'm not sure why but it's just fun.
    Also, at least initially, the Forte's ride was pretty harsh. It seems to have either broken in a bit or I just got used to it. Doesn't bother me anymore though.

    Acceleration - GTI
    This one would appear to be the easiest to answer since its the least speculative and up for personal opinion but I've gone ahead and overly complicated it.
    0-60, 1/4 mile, the GTI obviously wins.
    Once again, it handled acceleration without a sweat. You stepped on the gas and then said, "oh my, I'm already going 80. huh."
    And now the complications, the Forte5 is quick. But it's real boon is the way that the power builds. There is some lag there so you can definitely feel the boost and I don't think that's a bad thing. The GTI felt like it had a v6. The Forte feels like a turbo motor and I like it. Kia probably didn't want the motor to feel like this but they better not engineer it out as is the trend right now. This is how turbo 4 cylinders should feel.
    Of course the DSG in the GTI trumps all. So yeah. It'll be years before Kia/Hyundai can develop a transmission like that.
    I got an opportunity to drive a Gallardo on an autocross course and couldn't believe how awful the transmission was compared to my VW's.
    Oh, and the GTI with the DSG has launch control... mmmm.

    Comfort - Forte
    Ha. Don't even try... again.
    Well, actually its kind of close.
    In base form the GTI had heated seated and heated mirrors. The seats were also well bolstered and comfortable.
    The Forte SX in it's base form doesn't quite match up. But with the luxury package watch out. Cooled seats. That's it. Who really cares about the heated rear seats. We all know that the cooled ones are whats important.
    Otherwise for comfort I would give the GTI's seats a slight advantage in comfort but not enough of an edge to make up much ground.

    Fun - Tie
    Maybe this is where the part about how I like the engine characteristics of the Forte should go...
    Performance wise the GTI has the edge. But it does everything so effortlessly that you have to push it a bit harder to get your heart beating. On a windy mountain road I would pick a GTI. But to live with everyday I'm not sure. I love driving my Forte and thinking, "this is fairly quick" and then mashing the gas and really feeling it build power. Also I love not checking my coolant levels once a week to see if my water pump is going out and when its low really feeling like the GTI is a big ol' fun sucker.

    Upgradability - GTI
    Seriously, this is not even a comparison.
    With no other modifications except for possibly an intake there are GTI's running reliable tunes from very reputable companies making near (or in some cases over) 300 ft/lb torque.
    Mod for mod the GTI will trample all over the Forte in this category.

    Infotainment - GTI
    They both have stereos and stuff that sound good. But when I played Pandora via Bluetooth on my GTI I got way more options on my screen.
    Maybe that's because I ended up buying a base Forte SX rather than a premium package.


    Final Words
    The GTI is a better car. But its also more expensive to buy, operate, and maintain. It has a few known reliability issues that few reviewers write about and that ended up being why I sold mine.
    Is "The Poor Man's GTI" an apted description for the Forte5 SX? Hmmm. Probably. It's not as solidly built. It doesn't do everything quite as well. But so far I haven't ran into anything that I thought it did poorly. This is comparing the king of hot hatches to a relative new comer that could just as well be compared to the Ford Focus SE.
    The Forte is somewhat nostalgic of the origin of the hot hatch where the manufacture beefs up the performance without beefing up the price out of the reach of the normal consumer of the original car.

    Now if Kia put in its 2.0 T-GDI motor, sorted out steering a slight bit, and maybe got a really snappy tune for the 7 speed DCT Hyundai is putting in the Veloster Turbo, now that would really give the GTI a run for its money.

    In the end, as it stands now, if I were to lease I would get a GTI. If I were to purchase and plan to own for 100,000+ I would buy the Forte.
    PLP likes this.

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    I love both cars the same but don't like the price of the GTI and I don't like the repair costs. I have owned a few VW cars and I always had some kind of issue with them. My buddy has a 05 GTI and I can out run him with ease on power and cornering. Granted I am tuned and have a few more upgrades than he does but his suspension is all setup. Once you setup the suspension on the Forte and get way better tires then it will hold very well. I took mine to a autox track and was holding very well with others in my class and I was on stock suspension besides a torsion bar. I was even on stock tires lol.

    The GTI is more of a performance car and the Forte is more geared for fun and practicality. If Kia does bring the 2.0T into the Forte then the GTI and FST would have some good competition. Great comparison since you owned the 2.0t GTI. For us being a little 1.6T we actually shock a lot of people lol. Get a tune on your 5 and you will be even more happy with it. Also if you are a m/t 2 step can be put into the tune and will make your lunching even harder
    15 F5 A/T , 6th intake, Rev Motorsports 75A & 65A dogbone bushings, Second cat delete, Custom FMIC, 2.5" exhaust with Pypes muffler, TurboSmart Vee Port Pro , 2 ADD W1 catch cans, Transmission Cooler, DEI Wrapped intake, Custom 3"-2.5" lower intake pipe, Oil Cooler (needs to be installed), TB coolant bypass, Tork Motorsports tuned, Prosport boost gauge, NST lightweight pulleys, 60mm TB, Storm lowering springs, 3" single exit axle back.
    Instagram: Forte5t
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    Senior Member lephoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forte5 View Post
    I love both cars the same but don't like the price of the GTI and I don't like the repair costs. I have owned a few VW cars and I always had some kind of issue with them. My buddy has a 05 GTI and I can out run him with ease on power and cornering. Granted I am tuned and have a few more upgrades than he does but his suspension is all setup. Once you setup the suspension on the Forte and get way better tires then it will hold very well. I took mine to a autox track and was holding very well with others in my class and I was on stock suspension besides a torsion bar. I was even on stock tires lol.

    The GTI is more of a performance car and the Forte is more geared for fun and practicality. If Kia does bring the 2.0T into the Forte then the GTI and FST would have some good competition. Great comparison since you owned the 2.0t GTI. For us being a little 1.6T we actually shock a lot of people lol. Get a tune on your 5 and you will be even more happy with it. Also if you are a m/t 2 step can be put into the tune and will make your lunching even harder
    Thanks. I know the mk7 gti had a little more power but I couldn't find one near me for less than $10,000 more than my forte.

    Yeah I was definitely suprised by my forte. It's a lot of fun. I think a new set of tires and some sort of bracing in the rear end would help a ton. With my gti I felt like the car pivoted around a very central axis. With my forte the back end doesn't seem to want to come around as much.

    My forte is automatic. 4 door auto were my wife's main requirements. I wanted something fun that wasn't going to have issues. The forte seems to fit pretty well so far.

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  5. #4
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    Get that rear torsion bar and trunk brace. Also look at the 4 point lower chassis brace and strut bar. All are from our vendor evilla motorsports.

    My Forte was my decision. I could have went for a srt-8 but wanted mpg and a fun car. I had to get auto because of my wife's health condition so that was a must.
    15 F5 A/T , 6th intake, Rev Motorsports 75A & 65A dogbone bushings, Second cat delete, Custom FMIC, 2.5" exhaust with Pypes muffler, TurboSmart Vee Port Pro , 2 ADD W1 catch cans, Transmission Cooler, DEI Wrapped intake, Custom 3"-2.5" lower intake pipe, Oil Cooler (needs to be installed), TB coolant bypass, Tork Motorsports tuned, Prosport boost gauge, NST lightweight pulleys, 60mm TB, Storm lowering springs, 3" single exit axle back.
    Instagram: Forte5t
    Team Hybrid

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    Senior Member lephoenix's Avatar
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    I'm planning on trying to put together a trunk brace soon.
    I might get a rear torsion bar in the future.
    I like keeping thing cheap and easily reversible. I've gone too deep down the rabbit hole that is car modding before. So now I tread lightly.
    I've got a trunk brace, washable air filter, and possibly intake and intercooler piping as well as a camaro style MagnaFlow muffler on the radar.

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    There is a trunk brace available already
    15 F5 A/T , 6th intake, Rev Motorsports 75A & 65A dogbone bushings, Second cat delete, Custom FMIC, 2.5" exhaust with Pypes muffler, TurboSmart Vee Port Pro , 2 ADD W1 catch cans, Transmission Cooler, DEI Wrapped intake, Custom 3"-2.5" lower intake pipe, Oil Cooler (needs to be installed), TB coolant bypass, Tork Motorsports tuned, Prosport boost gauge, NST lightweight pulleys, 60mm TB, Storm lowering springs, 3" single exit axle back.
    Instagram: Forte5t
    Team Hybrid

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    Senior Member lephoenix's Avatar
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    Where's the fun in that?
    Plus I think I've got some metal laying around somewhere. So for the cost of cleaning up some scraps I can possibly make something I like.

    Does the brace make a pretty good difference? The review I read I think was someone who did the torsion bar at the same time. I would think it would be more noticeable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lephoenix View Post
    Where's the fun in that?
    Plus I think I've got some metal laying around somewhere. So for the cost of cleaning up some scraps I can possibly make something I like.

    Does the brace make a pretty good difference? The review I read I think was someone who did the torsion bar at the same time. I would think it would be more noticeable.
    I love fabbing stuff up also. It's a lot of fun! The trunk brace does help the car a little bit but the torsion bar will help the most. Mine makes the rear more planted and it goes where you want it. Now if we can get some good lowering springs and shocks for those that don't want full coilovers we would be good to go.
    Last edited by Forte5; 07-25-2015 at 02:37 AM.
    15 F5 A/T , 6th intake, Rev Motorsports 75A & 65A dogbone bushings, Second cat delete, Custom FMIC, 2.5" exhaust with Pypes muffler, TurboSmart Vee Port Pro , 2 ADD W1 catch cans, Transmission Cooler, DEI Wrapped intake, Custom 3"-2.5" lower intake pipe, Oil Cooler (needs to be installed), TB coolant bypass, Tork Motorsports tuned, Prosport boost gauge, NST lightweight pulleys, 60mm TB, Storm lowering springs, 3" single exit axle back.
    Instagram: Forte5t
    Team Hybrid

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    Senior Member popolino77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lephoenix View Post
    One of the reasons I chose to buy my Forte5 sx was that I kept reading about people comparing it to the VW GTI.

    Having previously owned an MK6 GTI and missing it terribly I test drove the Forte several times before I decided to get one.

    For the sake of amusement I decided to do a little comparison for anyone that is interested.

    Exterior Aesthetics - TIE
    This one is a tough one for me. But since beauty lies in the eye of the beholder who really cares.
    I recieved a ton of complements on the GTI's stock rims but I wasn't personally a huge fan of them. But the situation is almost identical with the Forte.
    Both have faux difusers in the rear and dual exhaust.
    I do feel like the Forte's front end does remind me a bit of a Prius. That's not a bad thing exactly. Toyota has some pretty decent looking fronts to their cars now. But I just don't like that it reminds me of it.
    So I guess I'll leave it at this, I like the GTI's front end better and the Forte's rear end. Overall for looks I would choose the GTI because its a bit more conservative looking.

    Interior Aesthetics - TIE
    While my GTI had plaid seats which I loved the Forte (especially with the luxury package) has pretty attractive seats too.
    I greatly prefer the GTI's flat bottom steering wheel with red stitching.
    But I love the way the Forte's interior is laid out with a slight bias towards the driver rather than the passenger. They don't need to be messing with my radio anyways

    Practicality - Forte
    Both have rear seats the fold flat or nearly flat.
    Both have a ton of space. I fit a washing machine in my GTI and expect I could in my Forte.
    The GTI requires premium fuel and I averaged 29 mpg with it compared to 31 on regular with my Forte.
    Plus the Forte initially cost far less and has a far better warranty.
    The GTI also has a reputation for bad water pumps that VW and expensive repairs.

    Handling and Steering- GTI
    Ha. Don't even try.
    Okay. The Forte isn't bad. I like it. But my GTI could be absolutely thrown into corners at near reckless speeds and handle it like it was nothing. It just went where you pointed and did what you wanted it to.
    I do like the flex steer or whatever its called. I'm not sure why but it's just fun.
    Also, at least initially, the Forte's ride was pretty harsh. It seems to have either broken in a bit or I just got used to it. Doesn't bother me anymore though.

    Acceleration - GTI
    This one would appear to be the easiest to answer since its the least speculative and up for personal opinion but I've gone ahead and overly complicated it.
    0-60, 1/4 mile, the GTI obviously wins.
    Once again, it handled acceleration without a sweat. You stepped on the gas and then said, "oh my, I'm already going 80. huh."
    And now the complications, the Forte5 is quick. But it's real boon is the way that the power builds. There is some lag there so you can definitely feel the boost and I don't think that's a bad thing. The GTI felt like it had a v6. The Forte feels like a turbo motor and I like it. Kia probably didn't want the motor to feel like this but they better not engineer it out as is the trend right now. This is how turbo 4 cylinders should feel.
    Of course the DSG in the GTI trumps all. So yeah. It'll be years before Kia/Hyundai can develop a transmission like that.
    I got an opportunity to drive a Gallardo on an autocross course and couldn't believe how awful the transmission was compared to my VW's.
    Oh, and the GTI with the DSG has launch control... mmmm.

    Comfort - Forte
    Ha. Don't even try... again.
    Well, actually its kind of close.
    In base form the GTI had heated seated and heated mirrors. The seats were also well bolstered and comfortable.
    The Forte SX in it's base form doesn't quite match up. But with the luxury package watch out. Cooled seats. That's it. Who really cares about the heated rear seats. We all know that the cooled ones are whats important.
    Otherwise for comfort I would give the GTI's seats a slight advantage in comfort but not enough of an edge to make up much ground.

    Fun - Tie
    Maybe this is where the part about how I like the engine characteristics of the Forte should go...
    Performance wise the GTI has the edge. But it does everything so effortlessly that you have to push it a bit harder to get your heart beating. On a windy mountain road I would pick a GTI. But to live with everyday I'm not sure. I love driving my Forte and thinking, "this is fairly quick" and then mashing the gas and really feeling it build power. Also I love not checking my coolant levels once a week to see if my water pump is going out and when its low really feeling like the GTI is a big ol' fun sucker.

    Upgradability - GTI
    Seriously, this is not even a comparison.
    With no other modifications except for possibly an intake there are GTI's running reliable tunes from very reputable companies making near (or in some cases over) 300 ft/lb torque.
    Mod for mod the GTI will trample all over the Forte in this category.

    Infotainment - GTI
    They both have stereos and stuff that sound good. But when I played Pandora via Bluetooth on my GTI I got way more options on my screen.
    Maybe that's because I ended up buying a base Forte SX rather than a premium package.


    Final Words
    The GTI is a better car. But its also more expensive to buy, operate, and maintain. It has a few known reliability issues that few reviewers write about and that ended up being why I sold mine.
    Is "The Poor Man's GTI" an apted description for the Forte5 SX? Hmmm. Probably. It's not as solidly built. It doesn't do everything quite as well. But so far I haven't ran into anything that I thought it did poorly. This is comparing the king of hot hatches to a relative new comer that could just as well be compared to the Ford Focus SE.
    The Forte is somewhat nostalgic of the origin of the hot hatch where the manufacture beefs up the performance without beefing up the price out of the reach of the normal consumer of the original car.

    Now if Kia put in its 2.0 T-GDI motor, sorted out steering a slight bit, and maybe got a really snappy tune for the 7 speed DCT Hyundai is putting in the Veloster Turbo, now that would really give the GTI a run for its money.

    In the end, as it stands now, if I were to lease I would get a GTI. If I were to purchase and plan to own for 100,000+ I would buy the Forte.
    what year was your Volkswagen GTI ?

  11. #10
    Senior Member lephoenix's Avatar
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    2012. The previous generation from 2010 or so until 2014 I think.

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