2011 Kia
Forte EX
vs. 2012 Chevrolet
Malibu LT

2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT

9.6

starting from

$24,115

Reasons to buy the Chevrolet Malibu LT

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Less safe for the driver in side collisions
4 stars
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Child door locks
Standard
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Power seats
Standard
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Good range on the highway
528 miles
2011 Kia Forte EX

9.1

Runner-up

Kia Forte EX

starting from

$17,590
"Respectable clarity and full bass."
edmunds.com | talking about the Forte's stereo
"Its almost Germanic high-speed composure lends peace of mind."
edmunds.com | talking about the Forte's build-quality

Reasons to buy the Kia Forte EX

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Longer-lasting basic warranty
5 year
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Longer basic warranty
60,000 mile
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Spacious front seats
55.8 ft3
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Good city fuel efficiency
25 mpg
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 7.8
2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT Winner: Malibu LT
[details]
  • Almost the same
Cost 9.0 vs 10.0
2011 Kia Forte EX Winner: Forte EX
[details]
  • Basic warranty lasts 2 more years, 5 year vs 3 year
  • Basic warranty lasts 24,000 more miles, 60,000 mile vs 36,000 mile
  • Gets more than 10% more miles per gallon in the city, 25 mpg vs 22 mpg
Crash Test Ratings 10.0 vs 9.5
2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT Winner: Malibu LT
[details]
  • The Malibu LT has 2.0x less risk of serious injury, 4 stars vs 3 stars
Safety Features - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Performance - vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Neither has an air compressor to maximize power output
  • Underpowered
  • Neither has a good drivetrain for off-road or bad weather driving
Practicality - vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
  • Neither offers a navigation system
Entertainment System - vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Neither offers an entertainment system
  • Neither offers satellite radio
Road Tests - vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Both have pokey 1/4 mile times
  • Both have sluggish 0-60 times
  • Both have subpar cornering abilities
Overall 9.6 vs 9.1

Luxury Features

Chevrolet
Malibu LT
2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT
2011 Kia Forte EX Kia
Forte EX
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moon roof Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a sun roof
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power seats Standard vs Not Available Conveniently adjust your seat with the Malibu LT's power seats; not available on the Forte EX
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a leather interior

Cost

Chevrolet
Malibu LT
2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT
2011 Kia Forte EX Kia
Forte EX
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MSRP $24,115 vs $17,590 The Forte EX has a great price and the Malibu LT is pretty reasonable
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In-city gas mileage 22 mpg vs 25 mpg The Forte EX has great city mileage and the Malibu LT is pretty reasonable
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basic warranty miles 36,000 mile vs 60,000 mile The Forte EX's basic warranty is fantastic, but the Malibu LT's warranty is very limited
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basic warranty years 3 year vs 5 year The Forte EX's basic warranty is fantastically long-lasting, but the Malibu LT's warranty is very limited

Crash Test Ratings

Chevrolet
Malibu LT
2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT
2011 Kia Forte EX Kia
Forte EX
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Rollover resistance 4 stars vs 4 stars Poor protection, 10% to 20% chance of rolling over during emergency lane change
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Front driver crash test 5 stars vs 5 stars Good protection, only 10% chance of serious head or chest injuries in a crash
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Driver side crash test 4 stars vs 3 stars Poor protection, 11% to 20% chance of serious chest injuries in a crash

Safety Features

Chevrolet
Malibu LT
2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT
2011 Kia Forte EX Kia
Forte EX
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antilock brakes Standard vs Standard Both come standard with ABS brakes
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Stability control system Unknown vs Unknown
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Airbags 5 vs 5 OK number of airbags
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Rear brakes Disc vs Disc Both have the usual brakes for this class of vehicle
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child door locks Standard vs Not Available Keep kids safe in the rear seat with standard child door locks on the Malibu LT; optional upgrade on the Forte EX
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Roadside assistance system OnStar vs None

Performance

Chevrolet
Malibu LT
2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT
2011 Kia Forte EX Kia
Forte EX
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Horsepower 169 HP @ 6,400 RPM vs 156 HP @ 6,200 RPM Underpowered
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Number of gears 6 vs 6 Average number of gears
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Transmission Semi-automatic transmission vs Manual transmission Both the Malibu LT's semi-automatic transmission and the Forte EX's Manual transmission are unusual transmissions for this class of vehicle
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paddle shifters Unknown vs Unknown
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Air compressor None vs None Neither has an air compressor to maximize power output
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Power-to-weight ratio Unknown vs 17.8 lb/hp
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Drivetrain type front-wheel drive vs front-wheel drive Neither has a good drivetrain for off-road or bad weather driving
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Curb-to-curb turning radius Unknown vs 33.9 ft

Practicality

Chevrolet
Malibu LT
2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT
2011 Kia Forte EX Kia
Forte EX
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Passengers 5 vs 5 Average number of seats
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Highway driving range 528 miles vs 466 miles The Malibu LT has good highway range and the Forte EX is reasonable
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Cargo space 15.1 ft3 vs 19.4 ft3 Both have OK cargo room
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front seats 53.8 ft3 vs 55.8 ft3 The Forte EX has roomy front seats and the Malibu LT is OK
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folding rear seats Standard vs Standard Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
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power outlets Standard vs Standard Both have power outlets
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roof rails Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers roof rails
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navigation system Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a navigation system
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Cupholders Unknown vs Unknown
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Entertainment System

Chevrolet
Malibu LT
2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT
2011 Kia Forte EX Kia
Forte EX
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Number of speakers Unknown vs Unknown
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Has speed sensitive volume Unknown vs Unknown
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers satellite radio
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Has auxiliary audio input Unknown vs Unknown
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Has subwoofer Unknown vs Unknown
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entertainment system Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers an entertainment system

Road Tests

Chevrolet
Malibu LT
2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT
2011 Kia Forte EX Kia
Forte EX
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0-60 mph 9.0 seconds vs 10.3 seconds Both have sluggish 0-60 times
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Braking distance at 60mph 130 ft vs 132 ft Both have average braking ability for this class of vehicle
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1/4 mile 16.8 s @ 84 mph vs 17.6 s @ 80 mph Both have pokey 1/4 mile times
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Lateral acceleration 0.75 g vs 0.79 g Both have subpar cornering abilities
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Top speed Unknown vs Unknown

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 Kia Forte EX 2011 Kia Soul Forte EX vs Soul
2011 Kia Forte EX 2011 Kia Rio LX Forte EX vs Rio LX
2011 Kia Forte EX 2012 Hyundai Sonata Limited Forte EX vs Sonata Limited
2011 Kia Forte EX 2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT Forte EX vs Cruze LT
2011 Kia Forte EX 2012 Ford Fusion SE Forte EX vs Fusion SE
2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT Malibu LT vs Cruze LT
2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2012 Chevrolet Impala LT Malibu LT vs Impala LT
2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2011 Nissan Maxima SV Malibu LT vs Maxima SV
2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2011 Saab 9-5 Turbo4 Malibu LT vs 9-5 Turbo4
2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT 2011 Chevrolet Equinox LT Malibu LT vs Equinox LT

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