Sedans & Coupes

It’s Clear Who Should Buy a 2020 Kia Forte and Who Should Buy a 2020 Volvo S60

Not many would think to compare the 2020 Volvo S60 to the 2020 Kia Forte. While one is undoubtedly a luxury vehicle, the other most definitely is not. There are a few reasons to pit these sedans against each other, though. Particularly if you’re stuck between buying a luxury sedan or a vehicle that’s price tag won’t break the bank.

2020 Kia Forte GT
2020 Forte GT | Kia

The 2020 Kia Forte

Ranked by Kelley Blue Book as one of the ‘Best Small Cars of 2020,’ the 2020 Kia Forte is a modestly priced sedan that “provides a civilized driving experience” and a long list of people-pleasing amenities.

Standard with a 147-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine under the hood, the 2020 Kia Forte can also be had with a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine capable of churning out 201-hp. According to Kelley Blue Book, the Forte’s available continuously variable transmission “does a great job of imitating a conventional 6-speed automatic” too.

Opt for the entry-level 2020 Kia Forte FE, and enjoy standard amenities like Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, a rearview camera with Dynamic Park Guidance, and an 8-inch touchscreen display with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. 

The 2020 Volvo S60

The 2020 Volvo S60 is a luxury sedan that’s absolutely dripping with features. Driven by your choice of a T5 turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 with 250-hp, or a T6 turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter engine with 316-hp, the new Volvo S60 is also available as a plug-in hybrid.

When it comes to driving the 2020 Volvo S60, Kelley Blue Book says its “T6 engine makes great power with minimal turbo lag” and its “8-speed automatic, from Aisin-Warner, shifts smoothly and unobtrusively.” Overall, Kelley Blue Book says the 2020 Volvo S60 is a comfortable car to drive.

Inside, the 2020 Volvo S60 makes nary a compromise when it comes to its Scandanavian design. As Kelley Blue Book put it, this year’s S60 has a “handsomely uncluttered interior” that’s complemented by features such as the Sensus Connect touch-screen multifunction interface and a 12.3-inch digital driver display.

How do these two sedans compare?

One of these sedans is obviously more expensive than the other. While the Volvo S60 starts at $38,395, the 2020 Kia Forte boasts a base price of $17,890. According to Kelley Blue Book, though, the Kia Forte’s low price doesn’t mean that it lacks in features.

Not only is the 2020 Volvo S60 more expensive than the 2020 Kia Forte, but it’s also faster. While this year’s Kia Forte can achieve 147-hp via its 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, the S60’s base engine is capable of 250-hp. The S60 is also standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission, whereas the 2020 Forte is standard with a 6-speed manual transmission.

When it comes to safety, both vehicles have received high marks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Kia Forte a 4 out of 5-star safety rating. The Volvo S60 earned a 5 out of 5-star rating. Both vehicles were also tapped as a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Kia does offer better warranty coverage than Volvo, though. Volvo’s basic new-car warranty lasts for 4-years/50,000-miles, whichever comes first. It also comes with a drivetrain warranty that lasts for 4-years/50,000-miles or four years, whichever comes first. The 2020 Kia Forte, on the other hand, is paired with Kia’s industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty. 

Which sedan should you buy?

One is a luxury car, the other is… not. That’s not to say that one is better than the other, though. Surprisingly enough, the 2020 Kia Forte can handle its own when pitted against the 2020 Volvo S60. It may not be as fast, but it is competitively priced, proven to be safe, and standard with an industry-leading warranty.

In the end, it’s clear which sedan is meant for what kind of driver. If you’re in the market for a sedan that offers the utmost in luxury and aren’t intimidated by a hefty price tag, then the Volvo S60 may very well be for you. But if you’re looking to get the most out of your next car purchase? Then we suggest choosing the 2020 Kia Forte.