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The 2023 Subaru Impreza and the 2023 Kia Forte share many similarities. These similarities include low starting prices, thrifty 2.0-liter engines, and available manual shift transmissions. However, the 2023 Impreza offers features not available on the new Kia Forte. Therefore, when deciding between these two compact sedans, those features could tip the scales in favor of the Impreza. 

2023 Subaru Impreza

At its core, the 2023 Subaru Impreza features a 152-horsepower 2.0-liter flat-four-cylinder with 145 lb-ft of torque backed by a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) or a five-speed manual. 

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) reports the CVT-equipped Impreza gets an estimated 32 mpg combined city and highway. Subaru stands behind the Impreza with a 3-year or 36,000-mile warranty that extends to 5 years or 60,000 miles for the powertrain. 

The Subaru Impreza is standard with all-wheel drive

A 2023 Subaru Impreza hatchback and sedan parked in front of a store
2023 Subaru Impreza | Subaru

One of the most impressive features of the 2023 Subaru Impreza is Subaru’s standard “Symmetrical” all-wheel drive (AWD). The AWD system pairs with Subaru’s horizontally opposed flat-four-cylinder “Boxer” engine, keeping the Impreza’s center of gravity low. The combination provides excellent handling on dry pavement and confident traction in all weather conditions. Unfortunately, the Kia Forte does not feature an option for AWD at any trim level. 

Is the Subaru Impreza a safe car?

The 2023 Subaru Impreza earned a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compared to the 2023 Kia Forte’s four-star rating. While the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the Impreza mostly good crash test ratings across the board, it did receive a poor rating for the updated side impact crash test. Though the IIHS hasn’t tested the new Forte, it did give the 2022 Kia Forte a similarly poor rating in its updated side impact crash test.

The 2023 Subaru Impreza can be had as a hatchback 

Another advantage the 2023 Subaru Impreza has over the Kia Forte is its available hatchback model. Many people prefer the hatchback’s utility compared to the standard sedan trunk. And while the Kia Forte offers a hatchback variant in other countries, the U.S. isn’t on the list of countries with it. 

The Impreza also features rear seatbacks that fold to allow loading cargo into the back of the car through the hatchback’s fifth door. Compared to the Impreza sedan’s 12.3 cubic feet of cargo space, the hatchback features 20.8 cubic feet of cargo-carrying capacity. The hatchback also has slightly more passenger volume than the sedan. 

Is the 2023 Subaru Impreza worth buying?

The 2023 Subaru Impreza’s AWD, superior safety rating, and available hatchback models make it worthy of its price tag. The Impreza’s AWD system provides an additional layer of confidence and safety on slick streets and dry pavement that the Forte doesn’t offer. And the hatchback variant, also absent from U.S. Forte models, makes the Impreza more functional for anyone that needs extra cargo space and convenience. 

Shoppers comparing these models should note that the Kia Forte provides a better warranty with a basic 5-year or 60,000-mile offering that extends to 10 years or 100,000 miles for the powertrain. In addition, the Forte gets slightly better fuel mileage and offers a turbocharged engine option with more transmission choices than the Impreza. But, overall, the two vehicles are extremely close in most areas. 


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