Kia vs. Nissan
If you're looking for a stylish, fun and feature-filled vehicle, Kia and Nissan are two automakers that are known for top-performing vehicles at a reasonable price. While Nissan has a more well-established history in the U.S., Kia models have covered plenty of ground and then some in recent years; so much so, that Kia was second-highest among all vehicle nameplates in J.D. Power's 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study, while Nissan as an overall brand finished a distant 10th in the study.
While praise like this is what we aim for with Kia models, there's much more to dive into in this comparison. Kia vehicles come at lower starting prices overall than Nissan models do, and the revamps and redesigns in recent years for models like the Kia Forte compact, Kia Cadenza sedan, Kia Soul crossover, Kia Sportage small SUV and others have put the industry on notice, saying you can have it all when you're shopping for a car – price, features, handling, and performance - so long as you shop for a Kia.
Kia vehicles come with some of the most affordable and competitive prices around. While a smaller car like the Kia Forte compact can offer savings in the hundreds over the comparable Nissan Sentra, if you make the move up to a Kia Soul vs. Nissan Kicks in the crossover class or a Kia Sorento SUV vs. the Nissan Pathfinder SUV, then you're saving thousands in MSRP right off the bat with Kia. Top value is available in all Kia vehicle classes.
Don’t mistake their low prices for weakness; Kia vehicles are very spacious on the inside, with more room for passengers than comparable Nissan models nearly across the board, and they come with plenty of power. The Kia Sorento SUV tops out at 290 horsepower, and the Kia Optima sedan maxes at 245 horsepower, which is enough to make your fellow drivers quiver as you pass on the road. The Kia Soul has a new turbocharged engine option, as well.
All new Kia models have available UVO eServices, a features platform which allows you to sync your compatible smartphone with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, gives you access to streaming audio and your playlist, and lets you store plenty of music. Nissan vehicles have nowhere near the same breadth of features and entertainment options, as they can play streaming audio but many models do not come with available Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, for example.
Awards & Recognition
Kia and Nissan both have a good deal of IIHS Top Safety Picks for 2018-19. However, Kia vehicles have additional honors that Nissan could only dare dream of, like the Southwest Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year award for the 2019 Kia Forte; the 2018 Kia Soul making Kelley Blue Book's "10 Coolest Cars Under $20,000" list; and "Best New Cars for the Money" awards for the 2018 Kia Soul and the 2018 Kia Sorento from U.S. News & World Report, among the many other recent awards and honors.