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In a head-to-head comparison of the 2023 Kia Forte and Subaru Impreza, picking a winner comes down to three areas where the Forte shines over the Impreza. While the Impreza features AWD, exceptional safety ratings, and an available hatchback version, the Forte offers more style, a turbocharged engine, and a better warranty. So, which compact sedan fits your style better?

2023 Kia Forte

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) says the 2023 Kia Forte LX price starts around $20,000, and thanks to last year’s update, the compact sedan possesses modern styling inside and out. However, the top-trimmed Kia Forte GT price approaches $25,000 with a few options. In addition, the Forte features two drivetrain choices dependent on trim level. 

The base Forte LX averages 35 mpg thanks to its 147 hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and admittedly sluggish continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). While the Forte GT gets lower fuel economy, its turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder makes 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque paired with either a six-speed manual or dual-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission is much sportier. As a result, forte GT fuel economies average around 31 mpg with the automatic transmission and 26 mpg for the manual.

A KBB review of the 2023 Kia Forte notes that the Forte LX, LXS, and GT-Line models powered by the 2.0-liter engine favor fuel economy over driving excitement. Of course, the lack of power provided by the base engine carries part of the blame, but the base suspension tuning also delivers uninspired ride and handling. The Forte GT has more power, better transmission options, and a sport-tuned suspension that makes the GT more fun to drive than lower-level trims.

Available driver-assist safety features, convenience, and infotainment technology improve when leveling up to higher trim levels. At its pinnacle, the Forte GT features blind-spot monitoring, Kia’s FCA Fusion, a power sunroof, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, and an eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. 

Kia Forte’s superior style

A silver 2023 Kia Forte parked outdoors.
2023 Kia Forte | Kia

While the base Kia Forte LX exterior styling suffers from its 15-inch steel wheels hidden behind plastic wheel covers, the new Forte exterior features bold lines and fresh colors. Other trims include alloy wheels that add to the overall design aesthetic and the GT-Line, and GT trims feature sporty aerodynamic touches. Inside the 2023 Kia Forte, you’ll find a spacious cabin complete with quality materials, especially for the price point, and a convenient arrangement of the necessary switches and buttons to control the vehicle’s systems. 

Turbocharged engine


A Fully Loaded 2023 Kia Forte Still Costs Under $30,000

The Kia Forte’s available turbocharged 1.6-liter engine is another advantage over the Impreza. The turbo-equipped Forte enjoys 201 horsepower compared to the Impreza’s 152-hp rating. While a 152-hp compact sedan operates well enough under normal driving conditions, extra power comes in handy when passing on two-lane highways and merging into freeway traffic.

Class-leading warranty

No matter your stance on AWD or turbocharged engines, the Kia Forte’s warranty is a definite advantage. Kia provides a class-leading five-year or 60,000-mile basic warranty and a ten-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. That’s nearly double the Impreza’s three-year or 36,000-mile basic and five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranties. 

Kia Forte vs. Subaru Impreza: Why the 2023 Kia Forte is the better choice

The most significant advantage the Forte has is its class-leading warranty. Additionally, the Forte’s superior style and available turbocharged engine combine to make it the better choice unless the absence of AWD is a deal breaker. If you like the Forte but need AWD, check out the 2023 Kia K5.