Sedans & Coupes

Can the Kia Forte Really Compare to the Luxury Audi A3?

Kia makes some really great cars, and in some cases, they may be the best cars in their class. The Kia Forte is a subcompact sedan that punches above its weight, but is it as good as the luxurious Audi A3? Here’s a look at how these two subcompact sedans compare with one another.

The pros and cons of the Kia Forte

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Kelley Blue Book said that, at a starting price of almost $19,000, the 2020 Forte is a car that gets a great value for its price. Like many other Kias, the Forte has a lot of standard features, including smart safety systems. On top of that, Kia provides one of the best warranties on the market, with a standard 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. 

These standard features make the Forte a great car for regular people, but Kia also offers some great engine choices for the Forte that’ll make it a sporty sedan, too.

The Forte starts with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that gets 147-hp and 132 lb-ft of torque, which is adequate for daily driving. However, Kia also offers a much more powerful 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that gets 201-hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. 

This engine upgrade makes it a pretty quick car, but there are some downsides. Kelley Blue Book said that the Forte’s interior isn’t exactly luxurious. There are parts of its interior that are made of hard plastics, and this is a classic money-saving technique that automakers use. 

The pros and cons of the Audi A3

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While the A3 is a subcompact sedan, it’s still an Audi. As a result, Kelley Blue Book said that it has all the luxurious features that one would expect from an Audi. The exterior and the interior of the A3 is simply stylish and well-made. And of course, Audi gives the A3 some powerful engine options.

The standard A3, which is front-wheel drive, comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that gets 184-hp and 222 lb-ft of torque. However, Audi also offers all-wheel drive on the A3, and this option will push the A3 to get 228-hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. These powerful engines, when combined with Audi’s design, allows the A3 to get some great performance and handling figures.

That said, the A3 is still an Audi, and that means that it’ll still have some of Audi’s typical flaws. The most obvious one is price, as the A3 starts at about $33,000.

On top of that, the A3 isn’t very spacious in terms of seating and trunk space. Kelley Blue Book said that while the A3 looks nice, passengers may have a hard time sitting in its rear seats. And to top it all off, the A3’s warranty isn’t very good. Audi offers a 4-year/50,000 mile powertrain warranty on the A3. 

Can the Kia Forte really compare to the Audi A3?

A white Kia Forte on display at an auto show
A Kia Forte on display | Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Unfortunately though, this really isn’t a great comparison since most people, when they’re shopping for a new car, will narrow their choices down by one thing, and that’s price. Everyone goes car shopping with a budget, and few people will have the budget for either a Forte or an A3. 

As a result, Kelley Blue Book’s comparison, while it does show both cars in a good light, isn’t very useful. The Forte is a subcompact sedan like the A3 is, but it’s not a luxury sedan by any means.

The people who want a Forte will probably compare it to cars like the Hyundai Accent or the Mitsubishi Mirage. The people who want an A3 will probably compare it to cars like the BMW 2-Series or the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.