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2023 Kia K5 vs. 2023 Nissan Altima Comparison

The Kia K5 and Nissan Altima are midsize sedans that prove to be much more than just practical transportation. Yes, each has room for five and an affordable base price to entice car shoppers who might otherwise migrate to rivals like the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. But the Kia K5 boasts a sleek exterior that helps it stand out, while the recently updated Altima has a revised front end and a stronger lineup of standard active safety features. Let’s take a look at how these two sedans compare.

2023 Kia K5

2023 Kia K5 in blue

The Kia K5 comes in five main trim levels, offers a choice of two turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, and can be equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD) in lieu of the standard front-wheel drive (FWD). Powering most K5s is a capable 1.6-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine that sends 180 horsepower to the front wheels via an 8-speed automatic.

While this doesn’t exactly provide the flashy K5 with sports car-like performance, it’s good on gas and offers decent levels of pep. All-wheel drive can be added if you want more grip, too. For more excitement, a 290-horsepower turbo 4-cylinder comes exclusively on the top-of-the-line GT trim.

Kia K5 Highlights

Head-turning shape: Midsize sedans are better known for fading into the background when it comes to design. Not so with the Kia K5. The sleek headlights and forward-thrusting grille give this sedan a bold, aggressive appearance.

Optional high-output engine: Right on cue, the K5’s engine upgrade rises to the occasion. We appreciate excellent fuel economy, though it’s hard to not be smitten by the added performance this engine brings to the K5 party. This powertrain is complemented by larger brakes, a firmer suspension, and sharper steering feel.

Superb warranty: Numbers don’t lie; the Kia K5 has one of the most impressive warranties you’ll find on a midsize sedan. A 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty could seal the deal for buyers seeking a long-term relationship.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the K5 models for sale near you.

2023 Nissan Altima

2023 Nissan Altima in white.

The 2023 Nissan Altima sports a brand new face, including a redesigned front grille, standard LED headlights, and the arrival of Nissan’s newly restyled logo. It’s not as look-at-me wild as the K5, but the update adds some freshness to this sedan.

The same is true of the interior, where a big new touchscreen takes pride of place on the dashboard. It’s available on the SV and SR trim, and standard on the SL. Like the K5, all-wheel drive is optional, though only with the Altima’s base 188-horsepower engine.

Nissan Altima Highlights

Big screen: The Altima’s newly available 12.3-inch touchscreen handily out-measures the K5’s 10.3-inch unit. That’s not a small difference, especially for the increasing number of shoppers for whom screen size is the new horsepower.

Zero Gravity seats: Nissan says the design philosophy behind their seats is inspired by the weightlessness of space, where “the human body assumes a neutral spinal posture.” We’re no rocket scientists, but we can confirm the Altima has some of the most comfortable seats in the class.

Optional all-wheel drive: This counts as an advantage for both the Altima and the K5. While all-wheel drive isn’t as hard to find on a midsize sedan as it was just a few years ago, it’s not available on all of them. If you regularly drive on slick roads but don’t want an SUV, here are two vehicles for your shopping list.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Altima models for sale near you.


Midsize sedans, room for five, long lineup of standard safety features, standard Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, comfortable driving manners, optional all-wheel drive, available engine upgrade.


The Nissan Altima and Kia K5 take very similar approaches when it comes to appealing to car shoppers. Each has a frugal base engine, plus a spicier powertrain for the power-hungry. The 290-horsepower turbo 4-cylinder in the K5 turns it into something of a sensible sport sedan. Each has roomy cabins with adult-friendly space, not to mention large available touchscreens and smartphone connectivity on every trim.

2023 Kia K5 2023 Nissan Altima
Starting Price $25,090 $26,000 (estimated)
Popular Powertrains
Engine 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder 2.5-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower 180 hp @ 5,500 rpm 188 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 195 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm 180 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic CVT automatic
Fuel Economy 27 city/37 highway/31 combined mpg (FWD) 28 city/39 highway/32 combined mpg (FWD)
Also Available 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4; 7-speed dual-clutch automatic; AWD 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4; AWD
Basic Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 10 years/100,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety 5 stars TBD
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 112.2 inches 111.2 inches
Overall Length 193.1 inches 192.9 inches
Width 73.2 inches 72.9 inches
Height 56.9 inches 56.7 inches
Turning Diameter 36.0 feet 36.1 feet
Headroom, Front 40.2 inches 39.1 inches
Headroom, Rear 37.8 inches 36.9 inches
Legroom, Front 46.1 inches 43.8 inches
Legroom, Rear 35.2 inches 35.2 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 58.0 inches 58.2 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 56.1 inches 57.1 inches
Cargo Volume 16 cubic feet 15.4 cubic feet

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