2019 Nissan Versa Sedan vs. 2019 Honda Civic

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Versa Sedan has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Civic doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Versa Sedan 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 and rearview cameras.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Versa Sedan is safer than the Honda Civic:

 

Versa Sedan

Civic

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

37 G’s

Hip Force

584 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 rated the Versa Sedan second among small cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Civic isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 Versa Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the Civic Sedan:

 

 

 

MPG

Versa Sedan

 

Manual

1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/36 hwy

 

Auto

1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

31 city/39 hwy

Civic

 

Manual

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/36 hwy

 

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

30 city/38 hwy

 

 

Sport 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Versa Sedan 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 Versa Sedan stops shorter than the Civic:

 

Versa

Civic

 

70 to 0 MPH

179 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

The Versa Sedan SV offers an optional 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 Versa Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57.8% to 42.2%) than the Civic’s (60% to 40%). This gives the Versa Sedan more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Versa Sedan’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the Civic Sport Hatchback’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.8 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Versa Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 500 pounds less than the Honda Civic.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Versa Sedan is quieter than the Civic Sport Sedan (77 vs. 80 dB).

Cargo Capacity

The Versa Sedan SV’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 Versa Sedan’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.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Versa Sedan owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Versa Sedan with a number “1” insurance rate while the Civic is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Versa Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Civic because typical repairs cost much less on the Versa Sedan than the Civic, including $89 less for a water pump, $208 less for a starter, $20 less for a fuel pump, $4 less for front struts and $132 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Versa Sedan will be $2353 to $8754 less than for the Honda Civic.

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

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