2019 Kia Forte vs. 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Comparison
2019 Kia Forte
Starting Price: $18,585 | Price Yours
Above Average: Roomy, good-looking, tons of safety features, fuel efficient all wrapped up with an impressive powertrain warranty.
Below Average: Only offered with a CVT transmission without any fixed ratios which most people don’t love. Some hard plastics inside from the affordable nature of the Kia Forte.
Consensus: The 2019 Kia Forte is more refined and sportier than the previous generation and comes replete with a variety of standard safety and infotainment technology. It’s also gotten a good-looking exterior redesign that makes it more handsome.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta
Starting Price: $19,440 | Price Yours
Above Average: Dynamic and responsive to drive, full of notable tech like Apple Car Play and Android Auto, and industry’s longest bumper-to-bumper warranty of 6 years/72,000 miles.
Below Average: Competitors like the Mazda3 and Honda Civic offer just-as-fun driving dynamics and offer a wider array of engine choices and body styles while the Jetta only has one.
Consensus: The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta gets sharp looking design, loads of driver-assist features and new tech and it starts under $20,000.
The 2019 Kia Forte may not be a compact sport sedan but it certainly feels like one. On curvy roads, the Forte is firm and responsive, but comfortable. The CVT, despite its lack of fixed ratios, does a decent job of behaving like a 6-speed automatic and can be driven in three different modes: Normal, Smart, and Sport. Smart mode adapts to how the car is being driven and toggles between Sport and Normal. The 2019 Kia Forte comes standard with an 8-inch touch screen and minimalist interior. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. For our money we’d add the 320-watt Harman Kardon stereo on the Forte EX as well as navigation, wireless smartphone charging and LED lights. For 2019 Kia also offers a Launch Edition package which includes a suite of active-safety features like smart cruise control, sunroof and alloy wheels. While the new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta has sacrificed some engine options for the new model year, it still remains a fun, agile and lively car to drive. It still drives like the European sedan it is—responsive, direct, and enjoyable in corners. The new 8-speed automatic transmission is solid and the manual 6-speed captures the joy of rowing-your-own, though its only offered on the base Jetta for 2019. Inside the Jetta gets VW’s digital dashboard which replaces traditional gauges with a 10.25-inch configurable screen that can show navigation maps, audio information, as well as speed and RPM data. The 2019 Jetta also gets an optional Beats Audio system. The Jetta gets either basic cloth or leatherette inside the base S-trims up through the base SEL line. At the top of the line in the SEL Premium you can get leather. At the base level you get cruise control, LED headlights, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. If you want an automatic transmission it will cost you an additional $800. We recommend at least going for the Jetta SE because it is well equipped at the $23,000 price tag.
Great fuel economy, room enough for five, characteristic styling, and some of the best warranties out there.
Kia Forte Advantages
Great bang for your buck—for $26,000 you can get into the top-of-the-line Forte EX Launch Edition and you get a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Volkswagen Jetta Advantages
Optional transmissions and a fun, dynamic, European-style driving feel.
It’s a bit of a toss-up between the Kia Forte and the Volkswagen Jetta. While the Kia offers more bang for your buck, it may suffer in terms of resale down the road when compared to the Volkswagen Jetta. Ultimately however, for our money, we’d go with the Kia Forte in this head-to-head because of its value proposition, good looks and packaging that makes it a solid buy.
|2019 Kia Forte||2019 Volkswagen Jetta|
|Engine||2.0-liter I4||1.4-liter, turbo I4|
|Horsepower||147 @ 6,200 rpm||147 @ 5,000 rpm|
|Torque||132 lb-ft @ 4,500 RPM||184 lb-ft @ 1,400 rpm|
|Transmission||6-speed manual||6-speed manual|
|Fuel Economy||31 combined/27 city/37 highway||34 combined/ 30 city /40 highway|
|Also Available||Automatic CVT||8-speed automatic|
|Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||6 years/72,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety Rating||n/a||5 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||106.3 inches||105.7 inches|
|Overall Length||182.7 inches||185.1 inches|
|Width||70.9 inches||70.8 inches|
|Height||56.5 inches||57.4 inches|
|Turning Diameter||34.8 feet||36.4 feet|
|Headroom, Front||38.8 inches||38.5 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||37.5 inches||37.2 inches|
|Legroom, Front||42.2 inches||38.5 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||35.7 inches||37.2 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||56.1 inches||55.9 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||55.3 inches||54.0 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||n/a||94.7 cu. ft|
|EPA Cargo Volume||15.3 cu. ft.||14.1 cu. ft.|