2024 Kia Forte vs. 2024 Subaru Impreza Comparison

Anyone looking for an affordable car often has a tough choice: sedan or hatchback.

Sedans are often a bit more comfortable and provide some separation from the cargo, while hatchbacks make it easier to haul around bigger items. Each has its upside, but opting for one or the other — especially in the compact car market — boils down to a personal preference.

For 2024, the Kia Forte sedan and the Subaru Impreza hatchback make the selection a tough one.

It’s time for a deeper dive into these two compacts.

2024 Kia Forte

The 2024 Kia Forte may represent the best value in the compact car arena, with pricing for its entry-level LX model starting at just under $20,000. You get a good-looking sedan with a spacious cabin and generous technology for that money.

Not as impressive are its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 4-Star Overall Safety Rating or rather pedestrian base engine: a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that produces only 147 horsepower. On the other hand, Kia offers potential buyers plenty of options to step up into more compelling — and more powerful — versions of the Forte. There are five trim levels available: LX, LXS, GT-Line, GT, and GT Manual.

Instead of the standard variable transmission, the top-line GT and GT Manual models get you a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic or 6-speed manual transmission, respectively, with a 201-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that gives the Forte plenty of punch for cutting through traffic or making it onto the highway. Perhaps even more impressive is that the highest-priced Forte is slightly costlier than the entry-level Impreza. Pricing for the 2024 Kia Forte starts at $19,790.

Kia Forte Highlights

Easy at the gas station: Kia’s 2.0-liter 4-cylinder isn’t exactly fast, but it is good with fuel. The Forte’s EPA combined mpg average is 32, among the top in the segment. The Forte with the 1.6-liter turbo powerplant is rated at 26 mpg combined, which is thirstier but more potent than the larger Subaru engine.

Capacious and comfortable: Although the Forte is compact, it’s plenty big inside, even though it’s a smidge smaller than its more accommodating competition here. However, it only comes as a 4-door, so if you need to access whatever you’re carrying around while on the go, the Impreza makes that easier.

Class-leading warranty: Kia’s 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty offer you peace of mind — for up to a decade. While you may not drive the Forte for that long, there may still be some warranty left if this compact Kia sedan gets offered to another owner.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Forte models for sale near you.

2024 Subaru Impreza

Red 2024 Subaru Impreza RS hatchback

The sixth-generation Impreza makes its debut for 2024. It’s a complete redesign and available only as a hatchback. Many folks appreciate the flexibility and accessibility that body style offers.

The idea of a Subaru hatchback often conjures images of road-rally machines tearing up the countryside. While not really designed for that, the base Impreza provides a solid 2.0-liter flat-4 engine delivering 152 hp with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Move up to the RS trim, and a 2.5-liter flat-4 with paddle shifters and 182 hp — become standard. Pricing for the 2024 Subaru Impreza starts at $22,995.

Subaru Impreza Highlights

Better mousetrap: The new Impreza is a better vehicle, much more refined than before. While it’s not in the same league as the WRX, it’s a strong performer, especially when using the paddle shifters. Additionally, the new chassis is 10% stiffer, which has allowed the engineers to make the suspension more comfortable without sacrificing responsiveness on twisty roads.

Highly contented: Although the Impreza is not the least expensive option in the segment, Subaru makes sure you get some bang for your buck. In fact, the Base model comes with only one option: 16-inch alloy wheels. On the Sport, you can order an All-Weather Package (heated seats, mirrors, and wipers), plus a package that includes a sunroof, rear cross-traffic detection, a blind-spot monitor, and an automatic emergency steering. Not the least of all its features is standard all-wheel drive (AWD).

Safety first: Subaru is known for its safety, which has not changed with the 2024 Impreza. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given it a 5-Star overall safety rating, a full star better than it awarded the Forte. The EyeSight safety suite is highlighted by pre-collision braking and automatic emergency steering.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Impreza models for sale near you.


These two compact cars offer excellent fuel economy, relatively meager base engines, and exterior styling that doesn’t get too wild. Both provide similar interior space, but the Impreza hatchback is better for hauling cargo.


The 2024 Kia Forte is a strong performer with plenty of room, leading fuel economy, and solid design. It’s a safe bet, especially with its class-leading warranty.

The Subaru Impreza is a strong performer that features plenty of room, leading fuel economy, and … wait. Hmm. Let’s get to the bottom line: Do you want a sedan that’s a little cheaper or a slightly pricier AWD hatchback with great ride and handling?

2024 Kia Forte 2024 Subaru Impreza
Starting Price $19,790 $22,995
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.0-liter 4-cylinder 2.0-liter 4-cylinder AWD
Horsepower 147 hp @ 6,200 rpm 152 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 132 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm 145 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) CVT
Fuel Economy 28 city/39 highway/32 combined mpg 27 city/34 highway/30 combined mpg
Also Available 1.6-liter turbo 4-cylinder, 6-speed manual transmission,
7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
2.5-liter flat-4 AWD
Basic Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 10 years/100,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety 4 stars 5 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 106.3 inches 105.1 inches
Overall Length 182.7 inches 176.2 inches
Width 70.9 inches 70.1 inches
Height 56.5 inches 58.3 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 34.8 feet
Headroom, Front 38.8 inches 39.8 inches
Headroom, Rear 37.5 inches 38.0 inches
Legroom, Front 42.2 inches 42.9 inches
Legroom, Rear 35.7 inches 36.5 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 56.1 inches 56.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.3 inches 55.3 inches
Cargo Volume 15.3 cubic feet 20.4 cubic feet

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