Kia Forte vs Mazda3

2022 Kia Forte

For commuters from Elizabethtown to Louisville, KY, as well as jaunts across the river into Clarksville, IN, you want to make sure you have a dependable, capable ride. With so many choices on the market, how are you sure which one is right for you?

To help narrow down your search, our team at The Kia Store has put two top choices head-to-head. Continue reading our Kia Forte vs. Mazda3 comparison to see which choice meets your needs.

Learn more in the 2021 Kia Forte Review!

Learn the 2021 Kia Forte Trim Levels!

Learn the Kia Forte Maintenance Schedule!

Learn the Kia Forte Dashboard Symbols!

Kia Forte vs Mazda3: Performance

When it comes to performance, both the Kia Forte and Mazda3 offer multiple choices of capable engines. When it comes to transmissions, however, the Mazda3 only has one choice: the Skyactiv®-Drive 6-speed electronically controlled sport automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the Kia Forte boasts three choices of transmission depending on the trim level so you can take even more control over your drive.

Standard on the FE, LXS, and GT-Line is an Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) with Sportmatic®, an automated manual driving mode. The GT trim features a 7-speed Dual-Clutch Automatic Transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, while the aptly-named GT Manual features true 3-pedal driving with a 6-speed manual transmission.

The Kia Forte will also help you get the most out of your stops at the pump. On the FE trim level, the Kia Forte achieves an EPA-estimated 31 city and 41 highway MPG.* Meanwhile, the Mazda3 only achieves up to an EPA-estimated 28 city and 36 highway MPG.

Kia Forte vs Mazda3: Interior

Both the Kia Forte and the Mazda3 feature a roomy interior with seating for up to five. When it comes to making sure everyone has enough room to stretch out, the Kia Forte comes out ahead with 96 cubic feet of passenger volume compared to the Mazda3’s 92.8 cubic feet.

When it comes to driving in colder temperatures, both the Kia Forte and Mazda3 feature available heated front seats to help keep you comfortable. However, the Kia Forte also features available ventilated seats to keep you cool during the warmer months, a feature the Mazda3 lacks.

In terms of storage space, both machines offer 60/40 split-folding rear seats to help customize the space. When it comes to the amount of cargo room, however, the Kia Forte once again comes out on top with 15.3 cubic feet of space compared to the Mazda3’s 13.2 cubic feet.

Kia Forte vs Mazda3: Technology

Important features in the modern ride include ways to stay connected and informed while driving. Both the Kia Forte and Mazda3 provide access to a number of features that help you do that, including:

●      Apple CarPlay®

●      Android Auto™

●      Voice Commands

When it comes to controlling these features, the Mazda3 offers a standard 8.8-inch touchscreen center display across all trim levels. The Kia Forte, however, offers an available 10.25-inch color touchscreen, providing more room for easier control access.

Try Your Choice Today!

When it comes to the Kia Forte vs. Mazda3, both provide many features that make them stand out as capable daily drivers. However, the Kia Forte takes the edge when it comes to performance options and interior space.

If you’re searching for a ride around Louisville and Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and Clarksville, Indiana, and you’d like to try the Kia Forte for yourself, we’re here to help. Stop by or contact The Kia Store to schedule a test drive!

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly.
  • *By submitting you agree to be contacted by the KIA Store via email, phone or text message for marketing purposes
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


* EPA fuel economy estimates. Actual mileage will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits, and your vehicle’s condition. These estimates reflect EPA’s revised coefficients beginning with some 2017 models.