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Nissan Vs. Kia: Comparison of Popular SUVs

compare kia and nissan in Indianapolis

Nissan and Kia are longtime rivals. For years, the Japanese brand was in the lead in the battle of the models, but times have changed. Korean automakers are confidently gaining market positions. Do the Japanese have trumps up their sleeves? Let's find out by comparing the most popular models in the all-wheel drive line of the two manufacturers - Sportage and Rogue.

Which Kia Is Like the Nissan Rogue?

In 2006, the first Nissan Rogue  revolutionized the automotive market. The success of Nissan was largely due to the legendary family of SUVs. Patrol, Pathfinder, X-Trail, Terrano - each of these names has become almost a legend. But the Koreans are not born with a bast. Sportage, Sorento, and Mohave - these Kia models have shown their reliability and good value for money. So in terms of off-road background, both companies have parity.

We will evaluate cars in terms of dynamics, cross-country ability, handling, comfort, and interior equipment. So, let's see who will be the best in the Kia vs. Nissan battle.

Is Nissan or Kia More Reliable?

Kia, have a clear advantage over Nissan according to the recent J.D. Power survey. However, both brands are well-known for the quality and durability of their vehicles. 

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Acceleration Dinamics: Which SUV Is Faster?

Judging by the passport data, the Nissan Rogue takes 10.5 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph. The Kia Sportage is almost a second slower at 11.6 seconds. And this is although Kia has six more horses under the hood. However, according to the results of several paired races, Nissan's advantage of 1 second never showed itself. Both crossovers can come from wheel to wheel to the finish line. This is explained by the fact that Nissan has a CVT, and Kia works with a 6-speed automatic, which is configured to give maximum power during heavy acceleration. As a result, the acceleration dynamics of the Nissan and Kia models are equal from a standstill.

buy used sportage in Indianapolis

If you check the dynamics for overtaking, you will see that the Kia Sportage with difficult but will break away from the opponent at speeds above 60 mph. And here again, the honest 6-speed automatic and the settings of the gearbox-engine linkage in Kia have the effect. But the Nissan CVT helps save fuel. As a result, the declared average consumption of the Rogue is 12% lower compared to the Kia.

Off-Road Capacity: Why Is Nissan Rogue so Popular?

Kia Sportage and Nissan Rogue are crossovers, not SUVs. So if comparing their off-road capabilities, it is best to check the patency in the light mode.

The Nissan SUV has a ground clearance of 7.4 in, and the Kia Sportage has only 6.8 in. However, in this case, the declared characteristics are not entirely reliable. Kia Sportage will pass an obstacle of 7 inches tire in without touching, despite the lower declared ground clearance. Nissan, on the other hand, is likely to hook the tire on the engine guard and rub it a little against the exhaust pipe behind the catalytic converter. Not critical, but not very pleasant. Although if there is a stone instead of a tire, and dirt under the wheels, the Rogue is more likely to sit on its belly than Sportage.

The second comparison is of the all-wheel drive and electronics. In horizontal hanging both Kia and Nissan SUVs can get out of snowdrift. However, Nissan leads here - the Rogue electronics work better off-road, not allowing the wheels to slip. The Sportage also can overcome snow but with a steady slip of stuck wheels. Such a slip can bury the wheels and put the car on the bottom.

Kia Vs. Nissan Controllability

The suspension performance and handling on a gravel road are better on Nissan than on Kia. The Rogue  confidently works out all the bumps. But the result is influenced by the transmission. Up to 40 mph, Nissan's CVT maintains low engine speeds, not allowing you to get the maximum torque, but if you switch to sport mode, the ride will be much more fun. In Kia, the driver enjoys more coordinated work of the engine and the transmission, which allows for keeping the optimal speed and using the engine power in full. However, the electronics in Kia interfere with control, even if it is turned off. As a result, the car becomes less predictable in corners, but at the same time, it does not allow the driver to make gross mistakes.

sportage vs rogue comparison

How Long Do Nissan Rogue Cars Last?

The Nissan Rogue can run up to 250,000 miles before it requires expensive fixes, which is about 13 years for the average U.S. driver. And some owners go even further. Its Kia competitor can show the same durability with proper maintenance. The estimated lifespan of the Sportage is around 200,000 miles.

Kia Vs. Nissan: Interior Comparison

Inside, the Kia Sportage looks austere compared to the Nissan Rogue. The Rogue has a leather finish, a chrome shift knob, and a glossy black console. There is navigation, a circular view, and a parking assistant. However, Kia's interior is more modern compared to Nissan's. And the fabric upholstery is perceived more as a fashionable design element in the minimalistic style.

Nissan Rodue interior

Rear passengers are more comfortable in Kia. An additional inch of base length and 2 in of roof height have an effect. In Nissan, even a not-very-tall passenger will rest his head on the ceiling. And in Sportage, you can’t spoil your hair, and the seats of the rear row can be separately adjusted for tilt. The comparison of trunks knocks out the Japanese because 60 extra liters is plus one suitcase - a significant advantage for a compact Kia crossover.

Whether to Buy a Nissan or Kia?

Summing up, the dynamics and interior of the Kia Sportage are better than the Nissan Rogue, while the cross-country ability and handling are about the same. 

There are plenty of SUVs from Kia and Nissan on the Indy Auto Man car lot. Visit the dealership in Indianapolis to get first-hand experience and choose your winner or browse the models available for sale right now!