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2022 Toyota Corolla vs Kia Forte

2022 Toyota Corolla vs Kia Forte

2022 Corolla vs Forte - How Do They Stack Up? Which is Better?

In a world filled with SUVs and trucks, there's still a need for regular cars, even in the North American market. That's where the 2022 Toyota Corolla and 2022 Kia Forte come in. The Corolla and Forte are compact, four-door sedans, though Toyota also offers the Corolla in a hatchback model. The Corolla is perhaps best known for its reliability and innovative technology. The Forte is prized for the great value that it offers.

Both of these compact cars are quite affordable. Buyers shouldn't worry about the low prices relating to the quality of these vehicles, though. Both are known to be reliable. The Corolla is often said to be one of the longest-lasting cars on the road. Both cars are well-designed with attractive exteriors and comfortable, well-equipped interiors.

Toyota and Kia provide a lot of standard features to give buyers plenty of bang for their buck. These cars have great fuel-economy numbers too, making them practical and affordable to own. The Corolla and Forte share almost identical sizes. The Corolla is 183-inches long, 70-inches wide and 57-inches high, with hatchback models being slightly smaller. The Forte is just as long and tall, but is about an inch wider.

The Toyota Corolla and Kia Forte have comparable starting prices. They each have room for five people to ride comfortably. Buyers might find it difficult to decide which car is the best choice for them. Here's a look at how they compare in some key categories. This should help in deciding which car offers the best value and which is better overall.

The Powertrain

The base engine for the 2022 Toyota Corolla is a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder with DOHC and 16 valves. It produces 139 horsepower (hp) and 126 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque. The SE and XSE trim levels get a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with DOHC, 16 valves and Variable Valve Timing. This engine can make 169 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. Toyota also offers the Corolla with a hybrid powertrain that makes a combined 121 hp.

The hybrid powertrain has an impressive fuel-economy rating of 53 miles-per-gallon (mpg) in the city and 52 mpg on the highway. The regular gasoline-powered Corollas are quite fuel efficient too. Models with the 2.0-liter engine can get up to 40 mpg on the highway, while those with the 1.8-liter engine should get around 38 mpg on the highway.

Models of the Corolla with the base engine get an automatic CVT, or continuously-variable transmission. Models with the 2.0-liter engine offer the choice of a CVT or a 6-speed manual. This engine also has Normal and Sport modes that can be selected by the driver. Every version of the Corolla has front-wheel drive (FWD).

The Corolla has Electronic Power Steering and ventilated, power-assisted brakes with an Electronically Controlled Brake System. There's an independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and a stabilizer bar. The rear has a multi-link suspension. Apex Edition models get an upgraded suspension system with increased coil-spring rates and stabilizer-bar-spring rates.

The 2022 Kia Forte has two different powertrain options. There's a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that makes 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. GT models of the Forte come equipped with a turbocharged, 1.6-liter I4 engine. The turbocharged engine can crank out 201 hp with 195 lb-ft of torque. GT models are much quicker than any Corolla and can get up to 60 miles-per-hour (mph) in just 6.7 seconds.

Most trim levels of the Forte have an IVT, or Intelligent Variable Transmission. This is similar to the CVT of the Toyota Corolla. GT models have a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The automatic transmission also has paddle shifters on the steering wheel. This allows the driver to manually move through the gears when needed.

The Forte has four-wheel disc brakes with an anti-locking brake system. The front brakes are ventilated. There are MacPherson struts up front on every model. GT models get a multi-link rear suspension. Other trims will have a coupled torsion-beam axle and twin tube-shock absorbers in the back. GT models also come with a sport-tuned duel-exhaust system for enhanced performance.

Every Kia Forte has FWD. They all get a Motor-Driven Power-Steering System. For fuel efficiency, the base engine fares the best with a combined fuel-economy rating of 41 mpg. GT models with a manual transmission have a combined rating of 26 mpg. The Kia Forte offers more horsepower, but the Toyota Corolla offer far better fuel-economy numbers, especially from the hybrid model.


When driving the 2022 Toyota Corolla, acceleration just feels adequate. With the least-powerful engine, it may not even feel that good. It's slow to get up to 60 mph and can even have trouble passing other vehicles at highway speeds. What it lacks in power, the Corolla does make up for with incredible fuel-efficiency. This is solid, reliable transportation, but it's not exactly fun to drive.

Steering and handling are good, but not remarkable. Traction is solid and braking power is smooth and adequate. The available transmission systems do their jobs well. The inside of a Corolla is a bit nicer than the price would suggest. It's comfortable, and there's plenty of passenger space up front and in the rear. The Corolla provides a relatively quiet and comfortable ride.

The Kia Forte has far superior acceleration, especially from the GT models. Steering and handling are far better as well. Stopping power is about equal, and both cars have an adequately quiet interior. There's no major difference in how the suspension systems operate when comparing a Corolla to a Forte, though the Corolla may offer a slightly smoother ride quality.

There's more to the overall driving experience than just the performance specs and ride quality. Interior comfort plays a big part in the driving experience as well. Neither the Toyota Corolla nor the Kia Forte could be accused of being luxurious, though they should be comfortable enough for most buyers.

The seats are supportive and cozy in both cars. Toyota offers an 8-way power seat for the driver with power-adjustable lumbar support. Heated front seats are available as well. Higher trim levels get SofTex-trimmed seats and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. Everyone will stay comfortable in any weather thanks to the Automatic Climate-Control System with dust and pollen filters.

Kia offers 10-way power-adjustable drivers' seats with power lumbar support. Heated front seats are available for the the higher trim levels and standard on the GT Manual. Kia offers an upholstery material called Syntex, which is comparable to Toyota's SofTex. One can opt for a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift. The Forte has a Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature-Control System.


When it comes to this important category, both the 2022 Toyota Corolla and the 2022 Kia Forte offer plenty of standard safety features. This includes both passive and active features. They each offer some modern technology and driver-assist features to keep everyone safe, too.

Every Corolla has 10 airbags as a stock feature. This includes advanced front and side-impact bags for the driver and front passenger. The driver also gets an extra seat-cushion airbag and some knee protection. Rear passengers have side-impact airbags. Both rows get some side-curtain airbags for yet another level of protection.

The Corolla's seats are designed to mitigate whiplash. There are also side-beams for reinforcement, as well as front and rear crumple zones. These channel crash energy away from the occupants inside of the vehicle. There's also a collapsible steering column and a head-impact protection structure built into the Corolla. Toyota uses high-tensile-strength steel body panels in the construction of every Corolla.

The Corolla provides child-protection door locks and rear windows. The LATCH system allows one to easily secure child safety seats. The Corolla has three-point seat belts for every seat position, as well as adjustable shoulder anchors up front. The front belts also have pretensioners and force limiters.

Every Corolla gets Toyota's Star Safety System™. This includes features like Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control. It also comes with ABS, Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist. Last of all, this system adds on Smart Stop Technology® to every Corolla.

Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0 is a whole suite of driver-assist features that come installed in every 2022 Corolla. The Pre-Collision System detects potential crashes and warns the driver ahead of time. It can even detect pedestrians as well as other vehicles. The Lane-Departure Alert with Steering Assist makes sure the Corolla never veers too far out of its own path. This system even comes with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

The 2022 Kia Forte also has an advanced airbag system. There are two front-impact airbags and two side-impact airbags for the driver and front passenger. There are full-length, side-curtain airbags as well. Like the Corolla, the Forte has three-point seat belts with pretensioners for everyone. The Forte even has comparable Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control systems.

Both vehicles have a rear camera and a Tire-Pressure Monitor. The Forte has child safety locks, child safety windows in the rear and the LATCH system for child safety seats, just like Toyota's Corolla. The Forte also has an internal release for the trunk, to prevent small children from getting stuck in there.

Kia's Forte offers ABS brakes, a Brake-Assist System and Electronic Brake-Force Distribution. Once again, these are all features that have a counterpart in the Toyota Corolla. Kia also offers Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection. Higher trim levels get Blind-Spot Collision Warning and Rear Cross-Traffic Avoidance Assist.

The Forte's Driver Attention Warning was designed to prevent accidents due to driver fatigue. There are Lane-Keeping Assist and Lane-Following Assist technologies that are similar to what Toyota offers for their Corolla. The GT Manual trim has parking sensors. There's also a Dynamic Parking-Assist feature that shows a grid in the rear-view monitor when the Forte is moving slowly in reverse.

Which Has the Best Value?

The base trim level for Toyota's 2022 Corolla is called the L model. It has a starting MSRP of $20,425. The hybrid model of the Corolla isn't too much more, coming in at an affordable $24,050. It's one of the best values out there for anyone looking for a hybrid. After all, like all Toyota vehicles, the 2022 Corolla is a solid car that should last for a long time.

The most expensive model of the 2022 Toyota Corolla is the XSE Apex Edition. This model comes in at just $28,710. Keep in mind, these are all starting prices and can go up significantly with enough options and packages added on.

The 2022 Kia Forte starts out at just $19,090 for the base FE trim. The most expensive Forte is the sporty GT Manual model. It will only set back buyers by $24,490. So, The Kia Forte has a lower starting cost at the base level, but not by much. The top trim level of the Forte is cheaper than the top-tier Corolla as well, this time by over $4,200.

One can get a Kia Forte with a lot more horsepower than a Corolla and for a much lower price. It's also not very expensive to get a fully-loaded Forte with all of the best of what Kia has to offer. On the other hand, the Toyota Corolla has significantly better fuel efficiency. It's also expected to be more reliable and longer lasting, so it could save buyers a lot of money over time.

The number of standard features at the base level for these two cars isn't that different. Toyota offers more standard safety features, but it's not that much more to add on features to the already lower-priced Kia. Toyota's interior is a bit more upscale. It also has the superior infotainment system and audio setup.

This is almost a tie, and the ultimate answer will depend on what the buyer wants from their compact sedan. The Toyota offers more for only slightly more money. It has the nicer interior and likely the better overall build quality. It also offers the only hybrid model available in this comparison, and it comes in at an affordable price. The Kia, however, does offer a much better driving experience for less money.

Which Is Better?

The 2022 Toyota Corolla and 2022 Kia Forte are both great cars. The quality of Kia vehicles seems to improve every single year. The Forte offers amazing value and even offers better performance than the Corolla. It's more enjoyable to drive, though the Toyota may be slightly more comfortable to ride in.

The Toyota Corolla is one of the best-selling cars on the road for good reason. Toyotas are famously reliable and durable. The Corolla is the better built car. Both of these compact sedans are really designed to be basic, affordable transportation. The Toyota will remain affordable to own long after it's paid off, thanks to its remarkable fuel efficiency.

The Toyota Corolla is the better car, but the Kia Forte is a solid alternative, especially if horsepower is your priority. It's also a solid choice for those on a limited budget. The Corolla, however, is probably the smarter choice for most buyers.

View Comparisons for other Years:

2021 Toyota Corolla VS Kia Forte
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