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Fully loaded small car with an engine that isn't geared toward economy

I'm looking for an automatic, reliable, fully loaded small car, with an engine that isn't geared toward economy. What do you think of the Mazda 3 with the bigger engine or the Kia Forte?
A $30k Volkswagen GTI is fuel efficient but certainly is no econobox. The VW GTI as well as its non-identical twin, the Jetta GLI, are both available with a sophisticated 6-speed automatic transmission. The Mazda3, with the 2.5L engine, and the Forte with the 2.0L, are interesting choices. The Forte may seem underpowered especially when stepping out of a V6 Altima. The Acura ILX could be a viable option with decent power, styling and creature comforts.