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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 and some of the hard plastics inside testify to 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.
 

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2019 Subaru Impreza

Starting Price: $19,480 | Price Yours

Above Average:  Comfortable, great fuel economy and standard all-wheel drive

Below Average: Lacking in power

Consensus: Compact car affordability and fuel economy in an all-wheel drive package
 

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.

The 2019 Subaru Impreza comes with all-wheel drive as standard but lacks in the power department. With a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that puts out a just 152 horsepower, getting it up to speed on the highway requires patience. While the steering feels lively and direct and the Impreza is quiet on the road, there’s no getting around that lack of power. You can get the Subaru with either a 5-speed manual transmission or an automatic CVT, and all Imprezas come standard with Subaru’s EyeSight system to help you maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you, and warn you when you are drifting out of your lane. The interior of the Impreza has some upscale materials and soft-touch surfaces, but its design isn’t revolutionary. There is ample space in front and back for passengers, but the backseat infringes on the cargo space—there’s only 12.3 cubic of cargo space in the sedan. The good news is you can get a top-of-the-line Impreza Limited for under $30,000.

Similarities

Enjoyable, amenity-packed sedans that are nice to drive no matter which one you choose.

Kia Forte Advantages

Great bang for your buck—for $26,000 you can get into the top-of-the-line Forte EX Launch Edition. Forte pricing starts below the Hyundai Elantra, the Forte's corporate cousin.

Subaru Impreza Advantages

All-wheel drive as standard.

Final Recommendation

If you want more power, we’d recommend the Kia Forte over the Subaru Impreza in this head-to-head. The Kia also comes at a lower price point and offers tons of safety and technology amenities for the price to go with its longer warranty.

Ready to buy a Forte or Impreza? Check out dealer inventory near you!
 

  2019 Kia  Forte 2019 Subaru Impreza
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.0-liter I4 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower 147 @ 6,200 rpm 152 @ 6000 rpm
Torque 132 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm 145 @ 4000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual 5-speed manual
Fuel Economy 31 mpg/27 city/37 hwy 27 mpg/24 city/ 32 hwy
Also Available Automatic CVT Automatic CVT
Specs    
Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating n/a 5 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 106.3 inches 105.1 inches
Overall Length 182.7 inches 182.1 inches
Width 70.9 inches 79.4 inches
Height 56.5 inches 57.3 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 35.4 feet
Headroom, Front 38.8 inches 39.8 inches
Headroom, Rear 37.5 inches 37.2 inches
Legroom, Front 42.2 inches 43.1 inches
Legroom, Rear 35.7 inches 36.5 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 56.1 inches 56.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.3 inches 55.6 inches
EPA Passenger Volume n/a n/a
EPA Cargo Volume 15.3 cu. ft. 12.3 cu. ft. 
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