Honda Cars of Katy Compares 2018 Honda Civic Sedan VS 2018 Nissan Altima Near Houston, TX

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2018 Honda Civic Sedan

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2018 Nissan Altima

Safety Comparison

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 Altima doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Civic and the Altima 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 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 Altima:







5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Stress

176 lbs.

216 lbs.

Neck Compression

53 lbs.

59 lbs.




5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Compression

46 lbs.

62 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

445/224 lbs.

537/329 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 Altima:





Front Seat


5 Stars

3 Stars

Chest Movement

1 inches

1.4 inches

Hip Force

306 lbs.

493 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

356 lbs.

677 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

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.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 3 places higher in reliability than Nissan.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the Honda Civic 1.5T is faster than the Altima 2.5 (automatics tested):




Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

7.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.9 sec

21.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.2 sec

8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

125 MPH

116 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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







2.0 4 cyl./Manual

28 city/40 hwy





31 city/42 hwy




2.0 4 cyl./Auto

31 city/40 hwy

27 city/38 hwy




32 city/42 hwy

26 city/37 hwy

SR 2.5/Auto




22 city/32 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 Altima doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Civic stops much shorter than the Altima:





70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

188 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Civic LX/LX-P/EX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Altima 2.5 S’ standard 60 series tires. The Civic Hatchback Sport/Sport Touring’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Altima 2.5 SR/3.5’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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 Altima doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Civic Sport Hatchback handles at .93 G’s, while the Altima 2.5 SV 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 quicker than the Altima 2.5 SV (27.4 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.2 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Civic’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Altima’s (35.7 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Honda Civic may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 pounds less than the Nissan Altima.

The Civic Sedan is 1 foot, 2 inches shorter than the Altima, making the Civic easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Civic Sedan has .6 inches more front shoulder room and 1.3 inches more rear legroom than the Altima.

Ergonomics Comparison

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 Altima’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. The Altima’s optional windows’ rear windows don’t 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 Altima’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Both the Civic and the Altima 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 Altima.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Civic owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Civic will cost $455 less than the Altima 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 47.26% to 50.4% of its original price after five years, while the Altima only retains 34.31% to 42.74%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Civic is less expensive to operate than the Altima because it costs $531 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Civic than the Altima, including $22 less for a water pump, $104 less for an alternator, $6 less for front brake pads, $118 less for fuel injection, $7 less for a fuel pump, $102 less for front struts and $11 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Civic will be $5430 to $12780 less than for the Nissan Altima.

Recommendations Comparison

The Civic was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 21 years. The Altima 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 Altima was Car of the Year in 2002.

The Honda Civic outsold the Nissan Altima by 19% during 2016.

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