Kia Forte vs. Toyota Corolla Hatchback: Which New Car Should You Buy?

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback brings practical utility to consumers with a five-door version of the popular Corolla sedan. However, there are several alternatives to the hatchback in the compact car segment. One of the contenders to consider over a Corolla Hatchback is the 2022 Kia Forte. So between the Kia Forte and the Corolla Hatchback, which compact car should you buy? 

Key Points:

  • Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend either the Corolla Hatchback or the Kia Forte.
  • The 2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is more expensive than the Kia Forte by nearly $2,000.
  • Kia Forte has worse fuel economy than the Corolla Hatchback. 
  • The Toyota is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and has an NHTSA five-star safety rating.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is slower than the 2022 Kia Forte, but it stops harder and handles better

Kia Forte vs. Toyota Corolla Hatchback: Which new car should you buy?
Toyota Corolla Hatchback | Toyota

The 2022 Kia Forte FE base comes with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine producing 147 horsepower. Although the Corolla Hatchback produces 168 horsepower, the Forte defeats it to 60 mph by half a second. Specifically, the Forte required 8.3 seconds and the Corolla required 8.7 seconds to make the uneventful sprint to sixty. 

However, Consumer Reports says that one of the hatchback’s stronger attributes is its braking distances. The Corolla beat the Forte by just two feet in dry brake tests from 60 mpg. However, the hatchback took 133 feet to stop in the wet, and the Forte required 142 feet. 

The Kia Forte is a cheaper new car than the Corolla Hatchback

Kia Forte vs. Toyota Corolla Hatchback: Which new car should you buy?
2022 Kia Forte | Kia

Kia’s compact car starts at $19,090. That’s a bargain compared to the Toyota. The Corolla Hatchback starts at $21,165. Although that’s an affordable starting price, the Forte could save shoppers $2,000. 

Beyond the base models, the top-of-the-line Corolla Hatchback XSE still out-spends the Forte GT. The XSE has a starting price of $25,140, while the Forte GT is $24,545 with 33 extra horsepower. 

The 2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is more fuel-efficient than the 2022 Kia Forte

Kia Forte vs. Toyota Corolla Hatchback: Which new car should you buy?
Toyota Corolla Hatchback out at night | Toyota

Consumer Reports tested the Kia Forte with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and the base model Toyota hatch. The Kia Forte accomplished a commendable 34 mpg combined, but it wasn’t enough to outperform the Corolla. The hatchback managed 24 mpg in the city and an admirable 51 mpg on the highway for a combined total of 36 mpg. 

The Toyota is a safer car than the Kia Forte

Kia Forte vs. Toyota Corolla Hatchback: Which new car should you buy?
Kia Forte | Kia

The hatchback has the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ rating for overall crash protection. Additionally, the Corolla has a five-star overall crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Unfortunately, the Forte fails to achieve either of those safety ratings. 

Although both new cars have faults, the Toyota Corolla Hatchback is likely the better option 

Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend either the Corolla Hatchback or the Forte. The hatchback scores a 51 overall and the Forte fairs even worse with a 39. So while the Toyota comes out ahead on paper, consumers are surely better off with a competitor like the Subaru Impreza. Scroll down to read more about higher-scoring alternatives to these two cars.

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