2019 Nissan Sentra vs. 2019 Honda Civic

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To help make backing safer, the Sentra (except S)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Civic doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Sentra and the Civic 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, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes and blind spot warning systems.

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 Nissan Sentra is safer than the Honda Civic:

 

Sentra

Civic

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

108

204

Chest Movement

1 inches

1 inches

Abdominal Force

184 G’s

252 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

204

404

Spine Acceleration

57 G’s

68 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

202

260

Hip Force

515 lbs.

727 lbs.

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

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 1 place higher in reliability than Honda.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Sentra Manual gets better fuel mileage than the Civic Sedan Manual (27 city/35 hwy vs. 25 city/36 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Sentra uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Civic Hatchback Sport requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

The Sentra stops shorter than the Civic:

 

Sentra

Civic

 

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Sentra SV/SR/SL has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Civic doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Sentra SL handles at .84 G’s, while the Civic Touring Sedan pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Sentra’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Civic LX/EX’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.4 feet). The Sentra’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the Civic Sport Hatchback’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.8 feet).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Sentra SL is quieter than the Civic Sport Sedan:

 

Sentra

Civic

At idle

37 dB

39 dB

Full-Throttle

76 dB

80 dB

70 MPH Cruising

71 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

The Sentra has .1 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom and 2.8 inches more rear hip room than the Civic Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Sentra’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Civic LX Sedan’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Ergonomics

The Sentra’s variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Civic LX/Sport’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

The Sentra has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Civic Coupe/LX doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Sentra owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Sentra with a number “5” insurance rate while the Civic is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sentra is less expensive to operate than the Civic because typical repairs cost much less on the Sentra than the Civic, including $266 less for a starter, $18 less for a fuel pump, $32 less for front struts and $43 less for a power steering pump.

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

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