If you’re in the market for a new compact car, the 2022 Kia Forte and 2022 Mazda3 should be on your radar. But which one suits you best? Let’s compare these compact sedans based on available engine specs, safety features, industry safety ratings, interior features, and prices.
2022 Kia Forte vs 2022 Mazda3
Kelley Blue Book (KBB) recently tested the 2022 Kia Forte and the 2022 Mazda3. In that review, KBB went through the essentials to consider when deciding which car to buy. Here we will give a more detailed overview of the main features of both vehicles.
What’s under the hood of these compact cars?
By kia‘s website, all 2022 Kia Forte models come with a double overhead camshaft (DOHC), 16-valve 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 147 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 132 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. The one exception is the Forte GT trims, which have a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb-ft of torque within a wide power band stretching from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm.
The 2022 Mazda3, on the other hand, is available in eight trim levels. According to Mazda‘s website, the base Mazda3 2.0 sedan features a 16-valve DOHC 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine with 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 150 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.
The next five go up in trim levels and feature a DOHC 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder that produces 186 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 186 lb-ft of torque at 4,000. Finally, the top two trim levels add a turbocharger to the 2.5-liter engine to generate up to 250 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 310 ft-lbs of torque at 2,000 rpm.
Safety features in the 2022 Kia Forte vs. the 2022 Mazda3
The 2022 Kia Forte features a full set of driver assistance safety features on the higher trim levels, including collision avoidance with pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind spot monitoring, rear intersection warnings and a new driver attention control system. In addition, when enabled, the Forte provides an audible warning and push notifications to registered users when rear passengers are left unattended.
2022 Mazda3 2.0 sedan safety features include radar cruise control with stop-and-go, LED headlights and LED taillights. Higher finish Mazda3 models have additional safety features such as blind spot monitoring with rear intersection warning.
Is the 2022 Kia Forte safer than the new Mazda3?
The 2021 Kia Forte received a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Some trim levels feature advanced headlamp systems that have received “good” ratings, while others have “bad” headlamps. Unfortunately, the IIHS has not chosen the Kia Forte 2022 as the Top Safety Pick.
The 2022 Mazda3 received “Good, Superior and Good+” ratings in nearly every category, earning it a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. Compared to the Forte, the decisive factor fell on the performance of the headlight system of lower-trimmed models. The Mazda3 2.0 sedan’s basic headlight system earned a respectable “Acceptable,” which allowed the Mazca3 to earn the highest accolade.
Interior features to consider in these compact cars
The 2022 Kia Forte has a relatively spacious interior with sufficient materials for an affordable compact sedan. In contrast, the Mazda3 offers an interior with more luxurious materials but less passenger space.
2022 Kia Forte vs. Mazda3 prices
The base 2022 Kia Forte FE starts at $19,900. The mid-level Forte GT-Line starts at $21,290. The most expensive trim level is the GT Manual starting at $24,490, and it offers most of the performance, safety features and technology that the Kia Forte offers.
The base Mazda3 2.0 sedan starts at $21,150. The Carbon Edition trim starts at $26,750. The most expensive version of the Mazda3 is the 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus, which starts at $33,450, adding every option available to the Mazda3.
Which compact sedan should you buy?
Choosing between the Kia Forte and Mazda3 comes down to your priorities. Kia Forte buyers enjoy a sporty compact that feels bigger inside than it should at an affordable price. Those leaning towards the Mazda3 will spend a little more for less interior space, but get a more luxurious interior and more performance at any comparable trim level. As a bonus, the Mazda3 is also available in a hatchback version and has four-wheel drive options not available on the Kia Forte.
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