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Compare the2022 Nissan SentraVS 2022 Kia Forte

2022 Nissan Sentra
2022 Kia Forte

Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Sentra have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Kia Forte doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Sentra are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Forte doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Nissan Sentra has standard driver and front passenger side knee airbags mounted low on the dashboard. These airbags helps prevent the driver and front passenger from sliding under their seatbelts or the main frontal airbags; this keeps them better positioned during a collision for maximum protection. Knee airbags also help keep the legs from striking the dashboard, preventing knee and leg injuries in the case of a serious frontal collision. The Forte doesn’t offer knee airbags.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Sentra has standard Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Forte doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Sentra SR offers an optional Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Forte only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

The Sentra has a standard blind spot warning system which uses sensors to alert the driver to objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. A system to reveal vehicles in the Forte’s blind spot costs extra.

To help make backing out of a parking space safer, the Sentra has a standard rear cross-path warning system, which uses sensors in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. Rear cross-path warning costs extra on the Forte and isn't available on the not available.

Both the Sentra and the Forte have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available daytime running lights.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Sentra is safer than the Kia Forte:

Sentra

Forte

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Sentra is safer than the Kia Forte:

Sentra

Forte

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

196 G’s

282 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

160

286

Spine Acceleration

45 G’s

89 G’s

Hip Force

444 lbs.

735 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

12 inches

HIC

160

367

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

38 G’s

Hip Force

660 lbs.

750 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

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The Sentra’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Forte runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 40 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Sentra’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Sentra has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Forte’s standard 120-amp alternator and largest (GT) 130-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Sentra’s reliability 38 points higher than the Forte.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2021 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 6th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ January 2021 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 2 places higher in reliability than Kia.

Engine

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The Sentra’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 2 more horsepower (149 vs. 147) and 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (146 vs. 132) than the Forte’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Sentra is faster than the Kia Forte 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Sentra

Forte

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.2 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87.8 MPH

85.4 MPH

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Nissan Sentra higher (7 out of 10) than the Kia Forte (5 to 7). This means the Sentra produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Forte every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Sentra stops much shorter than the Forte:

Sentra

Forte

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Sentra has larger standard tires than the Forte (205/55R16 vs. 195/65R15).

The Sentra S/SV’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Forte FE’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Sentra S/SV has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Forte FE.

The Sentra has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Forte doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Nissan Sentra has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Forte has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sentra is 1.1 inches wider in the front and .6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Forte.

The Sentra SR handles at .89 G’s, while the Forte pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sentra SR executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Forte (27 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Sentra uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Forte doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Sentra SR is quieter than the Forte GT (76 vs. 79 dB).

Passenger Space

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The Sentra has .1 inches more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front hip room, .3 inches more front shoulder room and 2.2 inches more rear hip room than the Forte.

Cargo Capacity

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The Sentra’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Forte FE’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Ergonomics

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The Sentra’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Forte’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

The Sentra’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Forte’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

On extremely cold winter days, the Sentra SV/SR’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Forte doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sentra is less expensive to operate than the Forte because typical repairs cost less on the Sentra than the Forte, including $6 less for front struts.

Recommendations

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Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Sentra, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Kia Forte isn't recommended.

The Nissan Sentra outsold the Kia Forte by 18% during the 2021 model year.

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