You don’t need to spend a lot of money to own a sedan that’s stylish, yet practical. The 2024 Kia K5 and 2024 Nissan Sentra are both affordable, head-turning vehicles with beauty that’s much more than skin deep. But which one is right for you? The Nissan vs. Kia race is close, but comparing these vehicles side by side can help you identify the best choice for your needs.
Both sedans are spacious five-seaters, but your family will probably feel more comfortable in the K5 which has a passenger volume of 102 cubic feet ft, 5 cubic feet more than the Sentra. Kia drivers and passengers enjoy more legroom and, if you forgo the panoramic sunroof, more headroom too. While that feature compromises headroom a little, a K5 with the sunroof only has half an inch less headroom than the Sentra up front, and it still bests the Nissan in the rear.
The Kia is also wider than the Nissan, so you and your passengers won’t sit so close together. While that can make finding parking spaces more challenging, the Kia has a smaller turning radius than the Nissan to make getting in and out of those spaces easier. Those extra inches also boost the K5’s cargo space. It’s got 16 cubic feet in the back, compared to the Nissan’s 14 cubic feet. It’s admittedly a small difference, with both vehicles holding seven carry-on suitcases during testing, but it should help you transport an extra shopping bag or two.
It’s very hard to split the interiors of these vehicles, with Kia and Nissan both delivering spaces that are as sophisticated as they are smart. Both brands use high-end materials that make the cabins feel incredibly luxurious for the price, especially at the highest trim levels. The seating in both sedans is ergonomically designed to support and cushion your body, ensuring you always arrive at your destination feeling fresh. Kia and Nissan also put everything you need at your fingertips, from convenient cup holders to car controls.
The gap between Kia and Nissan becomes much wider when comparing engines. Both have modern sports styling, but only the K5 has engines that match the exterior. Kia pairs the standard 180-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with an eight-speed automatic transmission for smooth, sprightly ride. It’s quick off the mark, accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 7 seconds. For more grunt, choose a GT model. Powered by a 290-horsepower 2.5-liter turbocharged four, it’ll go from zero to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds. Larger brakes, improved suspension, and wider 19-inch tires help the GT handle all that extra power.
Every Nissan Sentra gets a 149-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. While the continuously variable automatic transmission maximizes the engine’s efficiency, motoring experts have said it’s “noisy and slow.” During testing, it took 9.2 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph, so it’s much more sluggish than a sporty-looking vehicle should be.
Sedans are known for being safe vehicles, and both the Kia and Nissan deliver on this score. However, the K5 is a marginally safer choice than the Sentra. iSeeCars gave it a 10 out of 10 safety rating, edging out the Sentra’s 9.1 score. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the K5 a five-star overall rating after scoring it five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the front crash and rollover tests. This official body hasn’t rated the latest Sentra yet, but iSeeCars noted it scored an average of 4.55 in the last five years.
Both car makers offer a comprehensive safety suite as standard, which acts as an extra pair of eyes and ears while you’re behind the wheel. Some of the driver-assistance features included in both sedans are:
- Forward collision warning.
- Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
- Rear cross-traffic alert.
- Lane departure warning.
- Driver attention monitoring.
- Blind-spot monitoring.
- High-beam assist.
However, Kia includes many more helpful features, including:
- Lane-keep assist.
- Lane-trace assist.
- Rear-seat alert.
- Vehicle exit warning.
- Rearview camera.
Nissan never includes a camera as standard but offers an optional 360-degree surround view camera as part of the Premium package available with the Sentra’s higher trims. A comparable camera is also an optional extra in the Kia at all trim levels.
Infotainment and Connectivity
In today’s high-tech world, cutting-edge infotainment and connectivity options are motoring essentials. Both brands deliver solid infotainment systems that help you stay connected, but Kia’s are more refined. For example, an 8-inch touch screen is standard in the K5, but only an optional extra in the Sentra’s higher trims. Without paying extra, Nissan customers must contend with a smaller 7-inch screen. Kia also treats people who choose the GT trim to a massive 10.3-inch screen. Strangely the GT trim is the only Kia without wireless connection to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You’ll always need your cords in the Nissan.
Music lovers will be disappointed to see the base model Sentra has only a four-speaker sound system. Higher trims get a six-speaker system, but that’s standard in all Kia K5 vehicles. If you’re a real audiophile, you’ll want to upgrade to a 12-speaker Bose audio system. This premium stereo is available as an optional extra in any K5 and with the Sentra’s premium package, exclusive to the SV and SR trims.
Both new vehicles come with a manufacturer’s warranty for your peace of mind, but the Kia’s will protect you for longer. Kia offers a five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and roadside assistance for the same period, while Nissan offers this protection for just three years or 36,000 miles. Kia’s ten-year/10,000-mile powertrain warranty is also more generous than Nissan’s five-year/60,000-mile offering.
Test-Drive the 2024 Kia K5 at Huffines Kia Corinth
Kia and Nissan have both created quality sedans that deliver on style and substance this year. However, in the K5 vs. Sentra battle, we think the Kia’s spacious design, performance power, and generous warranties deliver the knock-out blows. Come and see for yourself at our Huffines Kia dealership in Corinth, Texas, where we always have the latest Kia vehicles. Our experienced sales team will organize a test drive and answer all your questions so you can be sure of choosing the right sedan for you. Ask about our current promotions to save even more on your next vehicle purchase.