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Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Mazda 3 offers optional Rear Smart Brake Support that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Forte Sedan doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Mazda 3 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Forte Sedan doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
The Mazda 3 offers an optional 360-Degree Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Forte Sedan only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.
The Mazda 3 has standard E911 Automatic Emergency Notification, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Forte Sedan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Mazda 3 and the Forte Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.
The Mazda 3’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Forte Sedan runs out after 100,000 miles.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Mazda 3 has a standard 130-amp alternator. The Forte Sedan’s 120-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Kia is ranked fifth.
The Mazda 3’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 39 more horsepower (186 vs. 147) and 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (186 vs. 132) than the Forte Sedan’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.
An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Mazda 3 Premium/Hatchback/AWD’s fuel efficiency. The Forte Sedan doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.
The Mazda 3 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Forte Sedan.
For better stopping power the Mazda 3 AWD’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Forte Sedan:
Mazda 3 AWD
For better traction, the Mazda 3 has larger standard tires than the Forte Sedan (205/60R16 vs. 195/65R15).
The Mazda 3 Sedan’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Forte Sedan FE’s standard 65 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mazda 3 Sedan has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Forte Sedan FE. The Mazda 3’s optional 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Forte Sedan S/EX.
The Mazda 3 Sedan is 7.1 inches shorter than the Forte Sedan, making the Mazda 3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Mazda 3 Sedan has .1 inches more front legroom and 1.6 inches more front hip room than the Forte Sedan.
The Mazda 3’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Forte Sedan FE’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.
The Mazda 3 Auto offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The Forte Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
When two different drivers share the Mazda 3 Preferred/Premium, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Forte Sedan doesn’t offer a memory system.
The Mazda 3 Premium has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and warning light readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Forte Sedan doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Mazda 3’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Forte Sedan’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.
The Mazda 3 Hatchback/Select/Preferred/Premium’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Forte Sedan’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
When the Mazda 3 Preferred/Premium is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Forte Sedan’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Mazda 3 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Forte Sedan offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
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