Nissan Sentra Vs. Honda Civic: Japanese Compact Sedans Battle

By Justin Cupler | March 5th, 2019

Forget about the econoboxes of yesteryear. Compact sedans are now more stylish, feature-packed, and powerful than ever before. Two models that offer these attributes and more to Bradenton area car shoppers are the 2019 Honda Civic and the 2019 Nissan Sentra.

 

These two Japanese compact sedans have tons to offer buyers, so it hard to choose which is best for you. Don’t fret, we have you covered with our 2019 Civic and 2019 Sentra comparison below. Continue reading to learn which is best for you.

Exterior

The compact sedan segment has gone through a style revolution recently, and the 2019 Honda Civic and 2019 Nissan Sentra were not left out. The Nissan Sentra had its last redesign in 2013, so its looks are a little less fresh, but it is still stylish with its V-motion grille, boomerang headlights and taillights, and sharp NISMO trim.

The Civic, on the other hand, went through a massive redesign in 2016 and a modernizing refresh in 2019. As the newer model of the two, the 2019 Civic’s looks are fresh and will age well for at least a few more years. Looking for something sportier like the Sentra NISMO? The Civic has its own performance variant in the Si.

As compact sedans, the 2019 Nissan Sentra and 2019 Honda Civic have small footprints. The Sentra is 182.1 to 183.6 inches long, 69.3 inches wide, and 58.9 to 59 inches tall. The 2019 Honda Civic is lower and wider at 55.7 inches tall and 70.9 inches wide, but it falls in the middle in length at 182.7 inches long.

 

Both compact sedans sit atop 106.3-inch wheelbases. The Sentra tips the scales at 2,851 to 3,090 pounds, while the Civic is lighter at 2,762 to 2,963 pounds.

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Sentra

  • Timid styling that appeals to lower-key buyers
  • Sporty NISMO model

Advantage: 2019 Honda Civic

  • Sharp, low-slung look
  • Super-modern look

Interior

Inside, the 2019 features a relatively simple cabin in terms of appearance, but its standard 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, and Siri Eyes Free give you plenty of tech. Plus, moving up into the second trim tier — the SV trim — tosses in additional desirable features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The 2019 Honda Civic boasts a more modern cabin with tons of storage and a sportier design. That said, the Civic’s 5-inch touchscreen doesn’t stand up to the larger screen in the Sentra. Plus, access to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay also comes in at the second trim tier — the Sport trim.

The Civic and Sentra both have their resident sports sedans in the Si and NISMO trims, respectively. These models add extra doses of color, sportier seats, and a full allotment of high-tech features.

 

Where the Civic pulls away is in your peace of mind. This comes from all the standard safety equipment that keeps everyone inside safe. This equipment includes automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and more.

 

In its front seats, the 2019 Sentra offers 39.4 inches of headroom, 42.5 inches of legroom, 50.9 inches of hip room, and 54.7 inches of shoulder room. This beats the Civic by 0.1 inches in headroom and 0.2 inches in headroom, but it comes up short by 2.8 inches in hip room and 2.3 inches in shoulder room.

 

The 2019 Nissan Sentra’s rear seats offer 36.7 inches of headroom, 37.4 inches of legroom, 50.1 inches of hip room, and 53.9 inches of shoulder room. These measurements beat the Civic by 2.8 inches in hip room and matches it in legroom, but it comes up short in headroom by 0.4 inches and shoulder room by 1.1 inches.

 

In its trunk, the 2019 Sentra has 15.1 cubic feet of space. Most of the 2019 Civic lineup matches this, but its Touring and Si trims offer just 14.7 cubes.

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Sentra

  • Larger standard touchscreen
  • More front-seat headroom
  • Larger trunk

Advantage: 2019 Honda Civic

  • Wider front seats
  • Tons more standard safety tech

Performance

The 2019 Nissan Sentra comes standard with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 124 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission. This adds up to a 9.5-second 0-to-60 time.

SR Turbo and NISMO models swap in a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. In the SR Turbo trim, this engine pairs with a standard CVT, but the NISMO model comes with a standard six-speed manual or an optional CVT. This engine adds up to a seven-second 0-to-60 seven seconds.

 

The NISMO and SR Turbo models not only have more power, but they are also better in the corners. The SR Turbo adds a specially tuned suspension and steering systems, and V-rated rubber. The NISMO model adds even tighter suspension and steering systems, and Z-rated Michelin Pilot Sport tires. In independent testing, the SR Turbo held 0.84 Gs on the skid pad to the NISMO’s 0.88 Gs.

 

The 2019 Honda Civic comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. This power flows through a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional CVT for an 8.2-second 0-to-60 time.

Civic EX and higher trims swap the 2.0-liter for a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a CVT and delivers a 6.8-second 0-to-60 time.

 

Moving up to the performance-oriented Civic Si pumps the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder up to 205 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. This power shoots through a six-speed manual transmission for the same 6.8-second 0-to-60 time as others with the 1.5-liter engine, despite the power boost. That said, the Civic Si is more than just power, as its stiff suspension and sticky rubber result in a 0.97 G skid pad rating, which crushes the standard Civic’s 0.82 G rating.

 

Fuel economy is huge in these family sedans, and it shows with both models’ good ratings. The 2019 Nissan Sentra with the 1.8-liter engine gets up to 29 mpg city, 37 highway, and 32 combined**. Moving into the SR Turbo model nets you up to 25 mpg city, 30 highway, and 27 combined**. The range-topping NISMO model gets up to 25 mpg city, 31 highway, and 27 combined**.

 

The 2019 Honda Civic with the 2.0-liter engine gets up to 29 mpg city, 37 highway, and 32 combined. With the 1.5-liter engine, the rating bump up to as high as 32 mpg city, 42 highway, and 36 combined. The Civic Si takes a small fuel economy hit at up to 28 mpg city, 38 highway, and 32 combined.

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Sentra

  • Matches Civic’s base fuel economy

Advantage: 2019 Honda Civic

  • More powerful engines
  • Quicker to 60 mph
  • Big handling advantage in Si model

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Nissan Sentra is available in six trim levels: S, SV, SR, SR Turbo, SL, and NISMO. Their starting prices range from $17,790* to $25,840*.

 

There are six trims that make up the 2019 Honda Civic lineup — LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Si — and their prices range from $19,450 to $27,300

2019 Nissan Sentra Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $17,790*

  • 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Front disc and rear drum brakes
  • Four-wheel anti-lock brakes
  • Speed-sensitive electric power steering
  • 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  • Auto-on/off halogen headlights
  • Power mirrors
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Hands-free text messaging
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Rearview camera
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Power door locks
  • Air conditioning
  • Cruise control
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Variable-intermittent wipers
  • Cloth seating
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Silver interior trim
  • AM/FM audio system with four speakers
  • USB port
  • Auxiliary audio input jack

 

SV: $19,090*

  • All S features, plus
  • CVT
  • Active understeer control
  • 16-inch 10-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels
  • NissanConnect infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Fine-vision electroluminescent gauges
  • Nissan Intelligent KEy with keyless ignition
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Sliding front armrest
  • Rear-seat center armrest
  • Premium cloth seating
  • 370Z-inspired steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Piano-black interior trim
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Dual-USB rear charging ports
  • SiriusXM radio
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Tire-pressure monitoring system with Easy-Fill Alert
  • Security system

 

SR: $20,590*

  • All SV features, plus
  • Rear disc brakes
  • 17-inch 10-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels
  • LED low-beam projector headlights with LED accents
  • Fog lights
  • Sport rear fascia
  • Lower-body side-sill extension
  • Chrome exhaust finisher
  • Rear spoiler with integrated LED brake lights
  • Heated mirrors with LED turn-signal indicators
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Premium sport cloth seating
  • Heated front seats
  • Sport interior trim

 

SR Turbo: $22,570*

  • All SR features, plus
  • 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • CVT with manual-shift mode
  • Larger disc brakes
  • SR-tuned sport suspension
  • Power sunroof

 

SL: $23,020*

  • All SV features, plus
  • Rear disc brakes
  • 17-inch five-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels
  • LED low-beam headlights with LED accents
  • Fog lights
  • Heated mirrors with LED turn signals
  • Power moonroof
  • HomeLink universal home remote
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Six-way power driver’s seat
  • Leather seating
  • Heated front seats
  • Eight-speaker Bose premium audio system
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

 

NISMO: $25,840*

  • All SR Turbo features, plus
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • NISMO-tuned suspension and steering
  • 18-inch NISMO 10-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires
  • LED daytime running lights
  • NISMO body kit
  • NISMO chrome exhaust tips
  • NISMO black outside mirrors
  • NISMO badging
  • NISMO tachometer
  • NISMO sport front seats with additional bolstering
  • NISMO synthetic suede seat trim
  • NISMO signature red stitching
  • NISMO Alcantara-and-leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • NISMO leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Carbon-fiber-look interior trim
  • Black headliner
  • Bose premium audio system with eight speakers

2019 Honda Civic Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LX: $19,450

  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  • Electric parking brake
  • Hill-start assist
  • Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Two-speed intermittent wipers
  • Projector-beam halogen headlights
  • Security system with remote keyless entry
  • Integrated LED taillight bars
  • Body-color door handles
  • Body-color power side-view mirrors
  • Single-zone automatic climate control
  • Power windows with one-touch up/down front windows
  • Power door locks
  • Cruise control
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • 5-inch color touchscreen
  • 160-watt, four-speaker audio system
  • Bluetooth with audio streaming
  • One 1-amp front USB port
  • Forward-collision warning
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Road-departure mitigation
  • Multi-angle rearview mirror with guidelines
  • Automatic high-beam headlights

 

Sport: $21,150

  • All LX features, plus
  • Thicker front stabilizer bar
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Center exhaust outlet
  • Smart entry with walk-away auto lock
  • Fog lights
  • Body-color rear spoiler
  • Variable-intermittent front wipers
  • Sport pedals
  • Keyless ignition
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Rear seat center armrest
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shifter knob
  • 60/40 fold-down rear seat
  • 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen
  • HondaLink
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • SMS text-messaging function
  • 1.5-amp USB port in center console

 

EX: $23,400

  • All LX features, plus
  • 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • CVT
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Larger front stabilizer bar
  • Remote ignition
  • Heated mirrors
  • Smart entry with walk-away auto lock
  • Fog lights
  • Body-color rear spoiler
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • Moonroof
  • Keyless ignition
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Rear center armrest
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shifter knob
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Heated front seats
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • 180-watt, eight-speaker audio system
  • 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen
  • HondaLink
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • SMS text messaging function
  • HD Radio
  • Honda LaneWatch
  • Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines

 

EX-L: $24,600

  • All EX features, plus
  • HomeLink Remote system
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Leather seating

 

Touring: $27,300

  • All EX-L features, plus
  • Paddle shifters
  • Chrome door handles
  • Mirror-integrated turn signals
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Auto-on/off LED headlights
  • Sport pedals
  • Heated rear outboard seats
  • Four-way power passenger’s seat
  • Satellite-linked navigation
  • 450-watt, 10-speaker audio system

 

Si: $24,300

  • 205-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Helical limited-slip differential
  • Adaptive damper system
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • 18-inch machine-finished alloy wheels
  • W-rated tires
  • Normal and Sport drive modes
  • Electric parking brake
  • Hill-start assist
  • Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Moonroof
  • Taillights with integrated LED light bars
  • Heated mirrors
  • Smart entry with walk-away auto lock
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • Center-exit exhaust
  • Fog lights
  • Body color rear wing
  • Power windows with auto-up/down front windows
  • Keyless ignition
  • Dual-zone auto climate control
  • Textured aluminum pedals
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Aluminum shift knob with leather
  • Rear seat center armrest
  • Rear-seat heater ducts
  • Heated front seats
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • 450-watt, 10-speaker audio system
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • HondaLink
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • SiriusXM
  • HD Radio
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • 1.5-amp USB port in center console
  • Multi-angle rearview mirror with dynamic guidelines
  • Honda LaneWatch

Who Should Buy the 2019 Nissan Sentra?

With its roughly $2,000 lower base price, the 2019 Nissan Sentra is great for buyers looking to save a few bucks per month. Also, buyers who demand a large infotainment screen will appreciate the Sentra’s standard 7-inch touchscreen.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Honda Civic?

Buyers looking for the latest in style, features and safety, and who are not against shelling out more money to get it will prefer the 2019 Honda Civic. Also, its Si model, which starts nearly $2,000 lower than the Sentra NISMO, delivers better all-around performance than the Nissan.

 

Ready to handle your daily commute to St. Petersburg in the thrifty but sporty 2019 Nissan Sentra or want to tackle the back roads of Sarasota in the agile Sentra NISMO? Head down to Nissan of Bradenton to test drive your preferred version of the 2019 Sentra today. Check out our online inventory to pick a few Sentra models you like, then call our Bradenton new-car dealership to schedule a test drive.

 

* All prices are Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). MSRP excludes destination and handling charges, tax, title, license, and options. Dealer sets actual price.

** Actual mileage may vary