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The Toyota Corolla is the best-selling compact car, but there are other models in the segment that aim to challenge its dominance, including the Kia Forte. Find out how the two compact cars measure up in this 2023 Toyota Corolla vs. 2023 Kia Forte comparison. With its abundance of advantages, the Corolla beats the Forte.

2023 Toyota Corolla vs. 2023 Kia Forte: What are the differences?

Rear angle view of Black Sand Pearl 2023 Toyota Corolla compact car
Black Sand Pearl 2023 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

In this 2023 Toyota Corolla vs. 2023 Kia Forte compact car comparison, we evaluated several areas. This includes performance, gas mileage, safety, passenger and cargo space, warranty coverage, reliability, and price. The Corolla offers sedan and hatchback models, but the Forte offers only a sedan model. We note the differences when applicable.

Corolla vs. Forte: Performance

Front angle view of Gravity Gray 2023 Kia Forte compact car
Gravity Gray 2023 Kia Forte | Kia

With a higher base engine horsepower and maximum horsepower, the 2023 Toyota Corolla has the advantage for performance. The standard gas-powered Corolla comes equipped with a 2.0-liter cylinder engine, which produces 169 horsepower. Also, the Corolla offers a hybrid powertrain. The Corolla Hybrid generates 121 horsepower for the front-wheel drive model. However, the specs for the all-wheel drive version are not yet available.

For a thrilling driving experience, Toyota offers the first-ever GR Corolla “hot hatch.” The GR Corolla has a 1.6-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged engine, which doles out 300 horsepower. 

In comparison, the 2023 Kia Forte offers two engine options: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (147 horsepower) and a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (201 horsepower). Also, the Forte doesn’t offer an all-wheel drive system — unlike the Corolla. All Forte models have a front-wheel drive system. 

Corolla vs. Forte: Gas mileage

For efficiency, the fully gas-powered models are fairly evenly matched, with an estimated fuel economy of up to 31 city/40 highway mpg for the Corolla, compared to 31 city/41 highway mpg for the Forte. However, the Corolla Hybrid is ultra-efficient, with an estimated gas mileage of up to 53 city/46 highway mpg.

Corolla vs. Forte: Safety

Given its history, the Corolla has the advantage for safety. For the previous model year, the Corolla earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, which is the highest possible IIHS rating. However, the Forte didn’t receive any safety award from IIHS.

Corolla vs. Forte: Passenger and cargo space

Which car is bigger: the 2023 Corolla or the 2023 Forte? The Forte offers more passenger space, with a total passenger volume of 96.0 cu-ft, compared to 88.6 cu-ft for the Corolla Sedan and 84.6 cu-ft for the Corolla Hatchback.

For trunk storage space in the sedan models, the Forte has a cargo capacity of 15.3 cu-ft, compared to 13.1 cu-ft for the Corolla. However, the Corolla Hatchback has a maximum cargo capacity of 23.0 cu-ft.

Corolla vs. Forte: Warranty coverage

The Forte has more generous warranty coverage than the Corolla. It’s backed by a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, compared to a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty for the Corolla. However, unlike the Forte, the Corolla has a free maintenance plan, with two years or 25,000 miles of coverage.

Both compact cars are very reliable, with J.D. Power reliability ratings of 85/100 for the Corolla and 87/100 for the Forte.

Corolla vs. Forte: Price


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Which compact car costs more: the 2023 Corolla or the 2023 Forte? The starting price of the 2023 Forte ranges from $19,490 MSRP for the LX trim up to $24,190 MSRP for the GT trim.

While the official price information is not yet available for the 2023 Corolla, it will probably only cost slightly more than the 2022 model. The starting price of the 2022 Corolla ranges from $20,425 MSRP for the L trim up to $28,710 MSRP for the APEX XSE trim. However, Toyota is discontinuing the L trim for the 2023 model year, so the entry-level model will be the LE trim, which has a starting price of $20,875 MSRP for the 2022 version.

2023 Toyota Corolla vs. 2023 Kia Forte: Which compact car is better?

In this 2023 Toyota Corolla vs. 2023 Kia Forte compact car comparison, the 2023 Corolla has most of the advantages. This includes advantages for performance, an available all-wheel drive system, hybrid gas mileage, safety, hatchback cargo space, and a free maintenance plan. Conversely, advantages for the 2023 Forte include passenger space, trunk cargo space, and warranty coverage.