2019 Honda Civic vs. 2019 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Civic deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Civic’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Sentra SR Turbo’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The Civic has standard Collision Mitigation Braking System, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Civic’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Civic Sport Sedan/Sport Coupe/EX/EX-L/Touring has standard HondaLink Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Civic and the Sentra SR Turbo have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and rearview cameras.

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

 

Civic

Sentra SR Turbo

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

201

293

Neck Injury Risk

20%

35.6%

Neck Stress

176 lbs.

305 lbs.

Neck Compression

53 lbs.

70 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

265

353

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.8 inches

Neck Injury Risk

34%

45.4%

Neck Stress

131 lbs.

218 lbs.

Neck Compression

46 lbs.

137 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

445/224 lbs.

523/219 lbs.

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 Honda Civic is safer than the Nissan Sentra SR Turbo:

 

Civic

Sentra SR Turbo

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1 inches

1 inches

Hip Force

306 lbs.

569 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

356 lbs.

865 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

17 inches

Spine Acceleration

37 G’s

42 G’s

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

Reliability

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 Civic’s reliability 13 points higher than the Sentra SR Turbo.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 2 places higher in reliability than Nissan.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Civic Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the Sentra SR Turbo:

 

 

Civic

Sentra

 

 

2.0 4 cyl./Manual

25 city/36 hwy

n/a

 

 

 

n/a

25 city/31 hwy

1.6 Turbo/Manual NISMO

 

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

30 city/38 hwy

n/a

 

 

1.5 Turbo/Auto

31 city/40 hwy

27 city/33 hwy

1.6 Turbo/Auto

 

Touring 1.5 Turbo/Auto

30 city/38 hwy

25 city/30 hwy

1.6 Turbo/Auto NISMO

The Civic has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A standard “hill holder” feature keeps the Honda Civic from rolling backwards on a steep slope. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a hill holder feature.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Civic has larger standard tires than the Sentra SR Turbo (215/55R16 vs. 205/50R17). The Civic Sport/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sentra SR Turbo (235/40R18 vs. 215/45R18).

The Civic Sport/Touring’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sentra NISMO’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Honda Civic 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 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Civic’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Civic is .5 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Sentra SR Turbo.

The Civic Sport Hatchback handles at .93 G’s, while the Sentra NISMO pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The Honda Civic may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 250 pounds less than the Nissan Sentra SR Turbo.

The Civic Sedan is 4.6 inches shorter than the Sentra SR Turbo, making the Civic easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Civic Sedan has 2.8 inches more front hip room, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sentra SR Turbo.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Civic Sedan easier. The Civic Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.8 inches, while the Sentra SR Turbo’s liftover is 27.1 inches. The Civic Hatchback’s liftover is only 22 inches.

Servicing Ease

The Civic has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

A Smart Maintenance is standard on the Civic to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, radiator flush and transmission fluid replacement based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Nissan doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Sentra SR Turbo.

Ergonomics

The Civic (except LX/Manual) has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Civic’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Sentra SR Turbo’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Civic the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Sentra SR Turbo can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Civic Touring’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Sentra SR Turbo’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Civic detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Civic’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Sentra SR Turbo’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

Both the Civic and the Sentra SR Turbo offer available heated front seats. The Civic Touring Sedan/Sport Touring also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Sentra SR Turbo.

The Civic’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Sentra SR Turbo NISMO doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Civic Sedan/Hatchback has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Civic has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Sentra SR Turbo doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Model Availability

The Honda Civic comes in coupe, sedan and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Nissan Sentra SR Turbo isn’t available as a coupe or four door hatchback.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Civic owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Civic will cost $1915 less than the Sentra SR Turbo over a five-year period.

The Civic will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Civic will retain 44.1% to 46.81% of its original price after five years, while the Sentra SR Turbo only retains 39.61% to 40.58%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Civic will be $2810 to $8699 less than for the Nissan Sentra SR Turbo.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Civic second among compact cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Sentra SR Turbo isn’t in the top three.

The Civic Sport was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The Sentra SR Turbo has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Civic was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 22 years. The Sentra SR Turbo has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Civic as the 2016 North American Car of the Year. The Sentra SR Turbo has never been chosen.

The Honda Civic outsold the Nissan Sentra by 60% during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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