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The Kia Forte is quickly becoming a fan favorite amongst potential buyers in the sedan market. See how the Forte stacks up against another sedan in this 2023 Kia Forte vs. 2023 Volkswagen Jetta comparison.

2023 Kia Forte vs. 2023 Volkswagen Jetta: What are the differences?

2023 Kia Forte GT
2023 Kia Forte | Kia

We have looked at several areas in this comparison of the 2023 Kia Forte vs. the 2023 Volkswagen Jetta. These areas include performance, safety, gas mileage, cargo space, reliability, and price. The Forte and Jetta offer top-level performance trim packages and are sold in a single body style. Throughout the categories, we will note the differences for each vehicle.

Forte vs. Jetta: Performance

2023 Kia Forte GT Gray
2023 Kia Forte | Kia

In terms of performance, the Jetta edges out the Forte. The base model 2023 Kia Forte uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 147 horsepower. Upgrading to a higher trim will give you a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that produces 201 horsepower.

In comparison, the base 2023 Volkswagen Jetta is a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 158 horsepower. The base car also uses a standard 8-speed automatic instead of a CVT. Higher trim levels of the Jetta get a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, much like the Forte, but the Volkswagen produces 228 horsepower.

Forte vs. Jetta: Safety and gas mileage

For efficiency, the 2023 Kia Forte promotes a solid 30 miles per gallon in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. Thanks to its base model CVT, the Forte becomes much more efficient than others in its class. On the other hand, the Jetta has 1 extra mpg in the city and the same mpg on the highway. As a result, it barely edges out the Forte once again.

Regarding safety, the 2023 Kia Forte scores slightly worse than the Jetta. However, according to IIHS, the Kia Forte scored good marks in every category except for the side impact test, as it scored a poor mark. As for the Jetta, it scored good marks in every section except the side impact, in which it scored an acceptable mark.

Forte vs. Jetta: Cargo space, reliability, and pricing

2023 Kia Forte rear
2023 Kia Forte | Kia

Which 2023 Kia Forte Trim Level Is Best?

Where the 2023 Forte does beat out, the Jetta is in its cargo space. The Forte has 15.3 cubic feet of space and a hands-free power trunk lid as an available option. In comparison, the Jetta only has 14.1 cubic feet of space. Another downside to the Jetta is that the 60/40 split rear seats do not fold completely flat, which can make fitting larger items tricky.

Both cars are reliable, with the 2023 Forte getting a J.D. Power rating of 81/100 overall and an 85/100 in quality and reliability. For 2023 Jetta, it has yet to receive a score. However, the 2022 model year got a 75/100 overall rating, with a 76/100 in quality and reliability.

Which sedan costs more: the 2023 Forte or the 2023 Jetta? The starting price for the base model 2023 Kia Forte is $19,690 and can get up to $24,390 for the top trim level. Starting price for the Jetta is $20,665 and can get up to $31,585 for the top trim GLI model.

2023 Kia Forte vs. 2023 Volkswagen Jetta: Which sedan is better?

In this comparison, cars have a few varying advantages. For the Forte, it is more reliable and at a better price point than the Jetta. However, the Jetta provides a better-performing, safer platform for your family sedan. With those things in mind, potential buyers should lean toward the 2023 Volkswagen Jetta.