2018 Kia Forte Vs. 2018 Nissan Sentra

2018 Kia Forte and 2018 Nissan Sentra in split screen view

If there’s one thing that can be said for Kia, it’s that they don’t have a lot of tolerance for convention. For instance, the convention that compact cars need to be designed and outfitted with the utmost austerity, lest a driver find they enjoy driving one and don’t splurge on the larger and more comfortable sibling. For Kia, this is silly. Every car and size model has its role and purpose in the 2018 Kia lineup. For Kia, the Forte isn’t an opportunity to offer a cheap, unappealing and minimalist car. Rather, it’s an opportunity to give drivers the kind of comfort, convenience and technology offered in larger models with an efficient powertrain and agile, urban-ready body.

Today, the Kia Forte is going up against the Sentra, the conventional compact sedan made by the smaller BIG3 brand Nissan. In the compact class, pay attention to the level of thought that has gone into design, features and comfort at every trim level. Value, after all, is more than just price. It’s what you get for the price.

2018 Kia Forte


2018 Nissan Sentra

147 hp (LX) / 201 hp (SX) Engine power (base/top) 124 hp (S) / 188 hp (NISMO)
6-speed automatic w/ auto-manual Transmission 2-speed CVT
29/37 (LX) EPA-estimated base MPG (city/highway) 29/37 (S)
37.3 inches 2nd-row headroom 36.7 inches
5 years/60,000 miles Limited bumper-to-bumper warranty 3 years/36,000 miles
$16,800 (LX) / $23,900 (SX) MSRP (Base/Highest Trim) $16,990 (S) / $25,790 (NISMO)

Kia Forte Advantages Vs. Nissan Sentra

Although design, like art and beauty, is subjective, it can betray a lot about the level of thought put into a product. For Kia, the Forte is crafted with a sophisticated and sporty exterior which reveals Kia’s goal of the Forte being its own car. It’s not designed like the bigger Optima or Cadenza because it has its own personality.

Comparing the Sentra to its lineup mates reveals a vehicle that is very much designed to look like a smaller and less-outfitted version of the midsize Altima. Stamped with Kia’s trademark “Tiger’s Nose,” the Forte’s individual proclivities continue with its performance.

Although the city/highway MPG are equal, the 2018 Kia Forte starts with an engine that adds almost 18% of the horsepower of the Sentra. This ensures confident and safe passing at highway speeds and smooth and pleasing acceleration.

Speaking of pleasing performance, the 2018 Kia Forte’s 6-speed automatic transmission with auto-manual is precise and steady. The CVT on the Sentra provides noisy and less-precise acceleration and deceleration.

With the enhanced performance and comfort enjoyed by the Forte, it would be easy to think that the warranty and price would be cut to match, but those are just two more facets in which the 2018 Kia Forte enjoys a clear advantage over the Nissan Sentra, beating the Sentra’s MSRP by almost $200 for the base trim and almost $2,000 for the top trim level.

The standard bumper-to-bumper limited warranty also sees the Forte edge the Sentra by almost twice as many years and miles. In the world of automotive comparison, it’s rare for there to be clear-cut winners and losers. Everybody has different tastes and needs after all.

When the 2018 Kia Forte matches up against the 2018 Nissan Sentra, however, it’s cut-and-dry. For more information on the 2018 Kia Forte, or to schedule a test drive, contact us today!