2019 Toyota Corolla vs. 2019 Kia Forte Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Compared to metal, the Corolla’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Kia Forte Sedan has a metal gas tank.

Both the Corolla 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

The Corolla’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Forte Sedan runs out after 100,000 miles.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Forte Sedan.

There are over 59 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Corolla’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Corolla’s reliability 15 points higher than the Forte Sedan.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corolla first among compact cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Forte Sedan was rated third.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Kia is ranked fifth.

Brakes and Stopping

The Corolla stops shorter than the Forte Sedan:

 

Corolla

Forte Sedan

 

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The Corolla LE Eco handles at .83 G’s, while the Forte Sedan EX pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space

The Corolla has .1 inches more front legroom and 5.7 inches more rear legroom than the Forte Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Corolla’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.

Ergonomics

The Corolla’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Forte Sedan’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

Consumer Reports rated the Corolla’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Forte Sedan’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

Model Availability

The Toyota Corolla comes in sedan, four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the Kia Forte isn’t available as a four door hatchback.

Economic Advantages

The Corolla will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Corolla will retain 50.79% to 52.37% of its original price after five years, while the Forte Sedan only retains 40.27% to 40.86%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Corolla is less expensive to operate than the Forte Sedan because it costs $36 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Corolla than the Forte Sedan, including $25 less for a water pump and $12 less for front brake pads.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Corolla will be $503 to $953 less than for the Kia Forte Sedan.

Recommendations

Both are recommended, but Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Corolla as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Toyota Corolla outsold the Kia Forte by almost three to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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