Compact sedans offer a remarkable balance of value and performance, and the best of these are likely to be more luxurious and refined than you last bought a car. The Kia Forte is one of the most stylish and backs it up financially with a fantastic warranty. The Subaru Impreza offers all-wheel drive (AWD) as standard, making it a solid choice when snow is frequently forecast. This comparison should help you decide which one is right for you.
2023 Kia Forte
Kia has made a name for itself with chic styling, fair prices and a guarantee that means few surprises in your budget for a long time. The 2023 Forte is a jack of all trades with respectable performance, an excellent tech suite available, and a starting price of $19,490 (plus $1,095 for delivery).
2023 Kia Forte highlights
Fresh, up-to-date styling: Not every compact car looks this good. The Forte makes a great first impression with its sleek exterior. It’s even more magical from there, with one of the most modern cabins in the class.
Available turbo power: Many compact sedans are around 150-160 hp. That’s enough to get the job done around town. But if you want more performance, Subaru can’t help you at this price point. Kia dealers also have 1.6-liter turbocharged Fortes with 4-cylinder trim on the lot, good for 201 hp.
Outstanding Guarantee: Kia’s 10-year powertrain warranty means that if you buy one today, you’ll likely avoid major repair bills for a decade. That peace of mind is hard to beat, and Subaru can’t quite match it.
Check this week’s fair price or view Forte models for sale near you.
2023 Subaru Impreza
Subaru has a loyal following in cold-weather states, where its standard AWD system keeps the weather forecast from pinning you at home. The 2023 Impreza, which also boasts excellent safety scores, is the cheapest way to get it. But it’s an aging platform – Subaru will release an all-new Impreza for 2024. The Impreza starts at $19,795 (plus $1,020 destination charge).
2023 Subaru Impreza Highlights
Standard AWD: The best reason to buy a Subaru never seems to change. The brand’s symmetrical AWD system gives it all-weather capability. Combined with a flat 4-cylinder boxer engine that keeps the weight down, this gives the Impreza a stable, planted feel even on dry roads.
Five Star Security: The Impreza received the highest possible score in government safety tests – 5 stars. That beats the Forte’s 4-star rating.
Hatchback Variant: The flexibility of a hatchback is hard to beat. If you lower the seats in a 5-door, you can transport large cargo even in a small car. Subaru still offers the Impreza in a handsome hatchback. Oddly enough, Kia sells a Hatchback Forte in most countries, but it’s not available in the US
Check this week’s fair price or view Impreza models for sale near you.
New car prices are going up, but the Forte and Impreza are still offered with a sticker price under $20,000. They’re also two of the last compacts to offer manual transmissions – a plus for those of us who prefer that kind of control. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard in both.
The Kia Forte and Subaru Impreza are both good choices. The Forte has a more updated design inside and out, and its 10-year/100,000-mile drivetrain warranty should earn it a test drive. The Subaru Impreza doesn’t make the same first impression, but AWD and a hatchback option make it a better choice in some situations. The right choice depends on your own priorities and how you want to use your next car.
|2023 Kia Forte||2023 Subaru Impreza|
|engine||2.0 liter 4 cylinder||2.0 liter 4 cylinder|
|hp||147 hp at 6,200 rpm||152 hp at 6,500 rpm|
|torque||132 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm||145 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm|
|fuel consumption||34mpg (30 city/41 highway)||32 mpg (28 city/36 highway)|
|Also available||1.6 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder; 6-speed manual transmission; 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission||5-speed manual transmission, hatchback|
|warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||10 years/100,000 km||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Overall Security of the NHTSA||4 stars||5 Stars|
|Maximum seating capacity||5||5|
|wheelbase||106.3 inches||105.1 inches|
|overall length||182.7 inches||182.7 inches|
|Broad||70.9 inches||70.0 inches|
|Height||56.5 inches||57.3 inches|
|turning diameter||34.8 feet||35.4 feet|
|headroom in front||38.8 inches||39.8 inches|
|Rear headroom||37.5 inches||37.2 inches|
|Legroom, front||42.2 inches||43.1 inches|
|Rear legroom||35.7 inches||36.5 inches|
|Shoulder room in front||56.1 inches||56.7 inches|
|Shoulder room at the back||55.3 inches||55.6 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||96.0 cubic feet||99.8 cubic feet|
|EPA freight volume||15.3 cubic feet||12.3 cubic feet|