Honda Cars of Katy Compares 2017 Honda Civic Sedan VS 2017 Nissan Sentra Near Katy, TX

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2017 Honda Civic Sedan

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2017 Nissan Sentra

Safety Comparison

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’s side airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The Civic 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 Sentra doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Honda Civic has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Sentra doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The Civic’s optional 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 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Civic EX/EX-T/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 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 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 available crash mitigating brakes.

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:





5 Stars

4 Stars




5 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

176 lbs.

305 lbs.

Neck Compression

53 lbs.

70 lbs.




5 Stars

3 Stars




Chest Compression

.6 inches

.8 inches

Neck Injury Risk



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:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1 inches

1 inches

Hip Force

306 lbs.

569 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

356 lbs.

865 lbs.


Into Pole


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 Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Civic has a standard 500-amp battery. The Sentra’s 470-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 47 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 27th.

Engine Comparison

The Civic has more powerful engines than the Sentra:




Civic 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

158 HP

138 lbs.-ft.

Civic 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

174 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Civic 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

174 HP

167 lbs.-ft.

Civic Hatchback Sport 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

180 HP

177 lbs.-ft.

Sentra CVT 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl.

124 HP

125 lbs.-ft.

Sentra 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl.

130 HP

128 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Honda Civic is faster than the Nissan Sentra (automatics tested):


Civic 4 cyl.

Civic turbo 4 cyl.


Zero to 30 MPH

3.3 sec


3.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

6.6 sec

9.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

22.6 sec

16.9 sec

32.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.4 sec

7.2 sec

10 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

4 sec


4.8 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

5.4 sec


7.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

15.1 sec

17.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88 MPH

95 MPH

81 MPH

Top Speed

125 MPH

125 MPH

120 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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







2.0 4 cyl./Manual

28 city/40 hwy

27 city/35 hwy

1.8 4 cyl./Manual


1.5 Turbo 4 cyl./Manual

31 city/42 hwy




2.0 4 cyl./Auto

31 city/40 hwy

29 city/37 hwy

1.8 4 cyl./Auto


1.5 Turbo 4 cyl./Auto

32 city/42 hwy



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 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Honda Civic has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Rear drums are standard on the Sentra. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes which work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Civic stops much shorter than the Sentra:





70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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

The Civic Hatchback Sport/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 SR/SL’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Civic Hatchback Sport/Sport Touring has standard 18-inch wheels. The Sentra’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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 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 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.

The Civic EX Sedan handles at .85 G’s, while the Sentra SL pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Civic Touring Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Sentra SL (27.5 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Civic Sedan is 4.2 inches shorter than the Sentra, making the Civic easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

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.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Civic offers a 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 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’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

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’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Civic’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Sentra’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 offer available heated front seats. The Civic EX-L Sedan/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.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Civic is less expensive to operate than the Sentra because it costs $279 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Civic than the Sentra, including $203 less for an alternator, $13 less for front brake pads, $138 less for fuel injection and $119 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations Comparison

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its July 2016 issue and they ranked the Honda Civic EX Sedan three places higher than the Nissan Sentra SL.

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

The Honda Civic outsold the Nissan Sentra by 65% during the 2016 model year.

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