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2017 Kia Forte vs Nissan Versa

2017 Kia Forte vs Hyundai Elantra

When you're looking for popular and bargain-loving compact vehicles, the 2017 Kia Forte and the Nissan Versa must be top of your list. So which one wins when these two competitors are side by side? Take a look at our guide below.

2017 Kia Forte vs Nissan Versa

Exterior Styling

The 2017 Kia Forte is a four-door sedan that thinks it's a coupe--and if it weren't for the fact that it has four doors, the Forte would easily fit the bill. It's sleek and sporty, and although the sloping rear roofline will restrict rear headroom a little, it's more than worth it for the look it delivers.

Sadly, the Nissan Versa does not break any boundaries when it comes to exterior design. It borrows the look of larger Sentra and Altima sedans at the front, but the rear of the Versa looks as though the design stopped there. In terms of exterior styling, the Kia clearly wins the day.

Interior

Kia keeps things simple inside the Forte, but that doesn't mean a lack of quality. You'll find plenty of space for passengers and a definite upscale feel to the interior. That upscale feel comes from Kia's choice of quality materials and appointments at all trim levels.

Anyone wanting simplicity and functionality will like what they find inside the Nissan Versa, but anyone searching for evidence of design flair will have a task on their hands. You'll find a good amount of interior space and a comfortable cabin, but the Versa definitely looks and feels a couple of notches below the standards set by the Kia Forte.

Power and Performance

Most Kia Forte buyers will opt for the new standard 2.0-liter inline-four that offers a very useful 147 horsepower. Although the Forte comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, you're likely to see many Forte models equipped with the optional six-speed automatic. The optional engine is a 164 horsepower 2.0-liter, which although offering more relaxed tuning, isn't much quicker than the standard option.

Even though neither engine in the Forte is particularly exhilarating, they're both better than the 1.6-liter inline-four in the Nissan. That Versa engine develops just 109 horsepower, making it the lowest output of any car in its class. Some segment rivals will provide severe competition for the Forte in terms of power and performance, but not the Nissan Versa.

Budget Friendly

With prices starting at less than $17,000 for the 2017 Kia Forte, it really does represent excellent value when you look at the standard equipment and features you get for that money.

But if you want a car for the least money, you'll probably have to look for something used to beat the 2017 Nissan Versa. The Nissan Versa sedan starts from as little as $11,990, and that's pretty staggering whichever way you look at it. Regardless of how the Nissan looks and performs, it's still a Nissan and that means it will be reliable and durable. For those for whom a low pricetag is king, the Versa is a better choice.

Learn More about the Kia Forte

2017 Kia Forte vs Hyundai Elantra

If you are buying on the very lowest possible budget it's just about impossible to beat the Nissan Versa. However, if you're buying a compact car based on just about any other criteria you care to mention, the 2017 Kia Forte is far and away the better car. The Kia may cost a lot more but it is the better car and better value for your money.