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2019 Nissan Sentra

Starting Price: $19,375 | Price yours

Above Average: Fuel economy, big trunk, available turbocharged engine, standard automatic emergency braking

Below Average: Acceleration with base engine

Consensus: A sporty small sedan with compelling features, excellent fuel economy and decent resale all at a reasonable price.

 

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2019 Kia Forte

Starting Price:  $19,485 | Price yours

Above Average:  Styling, interior, infotainment, standard driver assists, fuel economy, warranty

Below Average: We’re still thinking about this one

Consensus: A handsome sedan, loaded with the latest high-tech and safety systems, yet competitively priced and backed by one of the industry’s best warranties.

 

While the Nissan Sentra and Kia Forte compete on equal footing in the areas of fuel economy, price and resale value, the Forte runs away in just about every other category that matters. Like the Sentra, the Forte comes standard with automatic emergency braking, but goes a step further by also offering lane keep assist, lane departure warning and a drowsiness monitor. Where the Sentra comes standard with a 7-inch touch-screen radio, the Forte offers an 8-inch version with Apple CarPlay and Android auto standard on every model.  The Forte also offers features unavailable on the Sentra such as Qi wireless charging, navigation radio and ventilated front seats. The Sentra does offer nearly two more inches of rear-seat legroom, and its optional turbocharged engine is more powerful than the Forte’s standard turbo. Both cars do well in crash testing, and resale figures are expected to be about average. However, the Sentra can’t touch the Forte’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty or 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage.

Nissan Sentra Advantages

Rear-seat legroom, horsepower with optional turbo engine, sporty SR and NISMO trims, available manual transmission

Kia Forte Advantages

Horsepower with standard engine, standard driver assists, available features, styling, interior design, fuel economy, warranty

Similarities

Interior dimensions, trunk size, turning radius, price

Final Recommendation

The Kia Forte is the clear winner here. Its new design is sporty and sophisticated, its interior handsome and modern, and its list of standard and available features better than any car in this class. Toss in the reasonable price and impressive standard warranty, and there’s just no contest.

  2019 Nissan Sentra 2019 Kia Forte
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 1.8-liter I4 2.0-liter I4
Horsepower 124 hp @ 6,000 rpm 147 hp @ 6,200 rpm
Torque 125 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm 132 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission Continously Variable Continuously Variable 
Fuel Economy 32 mpg (29 city, 37 hwy) 34 mpg (30 city, 40 hwy)
Also Available 6-spd manual, 1.6L turbo 6-spd manual
Specs    
Warranty 3 years or 36,000 miles 5 years or 60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 stars 5 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 106.3 inches 106.3 inches
Overall Length 182.1 inches 182.7 inches
Width 69.3 inches 70.9 inches
Height 58.9 inches 56.5 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 34.8 feet
Headroom, Front 39.4 inches 38.8 inches
Headroom, Rear 36.7 inches 37.4 inches
Legroom, Front 42.5 inches 42.2 inches
Legroom, Rear 37.4 inches 35.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 54.7 inches 56.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 53.9 inches 55.3 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 95.5 cu. ft. 96.0 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 15.1 cu. ft. 15.3 cu. ft.
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