2020 Nissan Sentra Vs. 2020 Honda Civic Sedan

By Justin Cupler | July 22nd, 2020

Over the years, compact sedans have made huge strides in quality and features. Two models leading the pack today include the 2020 Nissan Sentra and the 2020 Honda Civic Sedan. Which is the better buy for our Saginaw area shoppers? Continue reading to find out.

Exterior

The 2020 Nissan Sentra is all-new, bringing in a stunning new design that includes a more Altima-inspired design. This includes more prominent body lines and rear shoulder, a coupelike roofline, a larger and bolder V-motion grille, a floating roof design, and more. This design brings the aging Sentra that was long overdue for a new look up to date with the competition and then some.

 

Buyers seeking an even sportier look can opt for the 2020 Sentra SR, which includes black accents and 18-inch wheels.

 

 

The Honda Civic saw its last redesign back in 2016, and it remains virtually unchanged heading into the 2020 model year. While the new Sentra skews toward the sportier side of the class, the 2020 Civic focuses more on refinement with its clean body lines and chrome accents in its higher trim levels. Buyers seeking a sportier look can move into the Civic Sport, which includes aluminum wheels, a center-exit exhaust, and more.

 

 

In terms of size, the 2020 Nissan Sentra and 2020 Honda Civic are very similar. The Sentra is 182.7 inches long, 71.5 inches wide, and 56.9-57 inches tall. The Civic is the same length but is 0.6 inches narrower and 1.2-1.3 inches lower.

 

As for standard exterior features, the 2020 Nissan Sentra includes 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps, active grille shutters, automatic on/off halogen headlights, power body-color mirrors, variable-intermittent windshield wipers, a chrome V-motion grille, remote keyless entry, and more.

 

The 2020 Civic’s standard features are very similar and include 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps, two-speed intermittent windshield wipers, projector-beam headlights with automatic on/off, remote keyless entry, taillights with LED light bars, body-color door handles and power mirrors, and more.

 

Measurement 2020 Nissan Sentra 2020 Honda Civic Sedan
Length (in.) 182.7 182.7
Width (in.) 71.5 70.9
Height (in.) 56.9-57 55.7
Wheelbase (in.) 106.8 106.3
Ground Clearance (in.) 4.8-4.9 inches N/A
Curb weight (lbs.) 3,047-3,084 2,762-2,963

 

Advantage: 2020 Nissan Sentra

  •       Sportier looks
  •       All-new design
  •       Sharp-looking SR trim

Advantage: 2020 Honda Civic Sedan

  •       More upscale looks
  •       Narrower and easier to fit in tight spaces
  •       Sporty-looking Sport trim

Interior

Inside, the 2020 Nissan Sentra makes huge strides with its redesign. This all-new cabin includes a dash-top infotainment screen, a flat-bottom steering wheel, a stubby gear shifter, a clean dash design, and sporty circular air vents. Pushing it to a new level of premium not seen in this class is its available quilted leather upholstery.

 

 

The Civic’s cabin continues its exterior refinement inside, where it features mostly horizontal lines to visually widen the cabin. Everything else is pretty much traditional, but as you’ll see later, the Sentra is far more modern in terms of standard interior amenities.

 

 

As for roominess, the 2020 Civic has a touch more headroom, shoulder room, and hip room in the front seats. The Sentra comes back with 44 inches of legroom, which beats the Civic by 1.7 inches.

 

In the rear seats, the Sentra’s 36.7 inches of headroom is up to 0.4 inches short of the Civic, and its 54.5 inches of shoulder room is a half-inch short of the Honda. That said, its 37.4 inches of legroom matches the Civic, and its 53.3 inches of hip room crushes the Civic by 6 inches.

 

In the trunk, the 14.3 cubes of space is respectable but falls short of the Civic by 0.4-0.8 cubic feet.  

 

As for its standard interior gear, the 2020 Sentra comes well-equipped with air conditioning, power windows with one-touch up/down driver’s side window, power door locks, keyless ignition, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a six-way manual driver’s seat, a four-way manual passenger’s seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, cloth seating, a 4.2-inch driver-information display, a 7-inch touchscreen, Nissan voice recognition, Siri® Eyes Free, hands-free text messaging, Bluetooth® connectivity with audio streaming, a four-speaker AM/FM audio system, steering-wheel-mounted controls, auxiliary audio input, one USB port, and more.

 

The Honda Civic matches many of the Sentra’s standard features, but its standard 5-inc infotainment screen leaves a lot to be desired.

 

Measurement 2020 Nissan Sentra 2020 Honda Civic Sedan
Front headroom (in.) 38.9 (w/o sunroof)/37.5 (w/ moonroof) 39.3 (w/o sunroof)/37.5 (w/ moonroof)
Front legroom (in.) 44 42.3
Front shoulder room (in.) 56.4 57
Front hip room (in.) 53.5 53.7
Rear headroom (in.) 36.7 37.1 (w/o sunroof)/36.8 (w/ moonroof)
Rear legroom (in.) 37.4 37.4
Rear shoulder room (in.) 54.5 55
Rear hip room (in.) 53.3 47.3
Cargo room (cu. ft.) 14.3 15.1 (LX, Sport, EX, EX-L)/14.7 (Touring)

 

Advantage: 2020 Nissan Sentra

  •       Wider rear seat
  •       Luxurious quilted leather
  •       Larger standard touchscreen
  •       Higher luxury ceiling

Advantage: 2020 Honda Civic Sedan

  •       More trunk space

Performance

Under their hood, the Sentra and Civic come standard with 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. In the Sentra, this engine cranks out 149 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. The Civic’s base engine delivers 158 horses and 138 pound-feet of torque.

 

 

In the Sentra, the base engine mates with a continuously variable transmission for an 8-second 0-60 spring. The Civic uses a standard six-speed manual or an optional CVT for an 8.2-second sprint time.

 

 

The Sentra has no optional engine, but in EX and higher trims, the 2020 Civic gets a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that injects 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. This power heads through a CVT and out to the front wheels for a 7-second 0-60 time.

 

Fuel economy is why buyers look to these compact sedans, and the 2020 Sentra and 2020 Civic deliver in this area. In their base trims, the Sentra’s 29 mpg city, 39 highway, and 33 combined beats the Civic by 4 mpg city, 3 highway, and 4 combined. With the 1.5-liter engine, though, the Civic’s 32 mpg city, 41 highway, and 36 combined crushes the Sentra.  

 

2020 Nissan Sentra 2020 Honda Civic Sedan
Standard engine 2.0-liter 4-cyl 2.0-liter 4-cyl
Horsepower 149 hp at 6,400 rpm 158 hp at 6,500 rpm
Torque 146 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm 138 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm
Standard transmission CVT 6-spd manual
Optional transmission N/A CVT
Driveline FWD FWD
0-60 time 8 seconds 8.2 seconds
MPG City 29 (S, SV)/28 (SR) 25 (6MT)/30 (LX CVT)/29 (Sport CVT)
MPG Highway 39 (S, SV)/37 (SR) 36 (6MT)/38 (LX CVT)/37 (Sport CVT)
MPG Combined 33 (S, SV)/32 (SR) 29 (6MT)/30 (LX CVT)/32 (Sport CVT)
Optional engine N/A 1.5-liter turbo 4-cyl
Horsepower N/A 174 hp at 6,000 rpm
Torque N/A 162 lb-ft at 1,700-5,500 rpm
Standard transmission N/A CVT
Optional transmission N/A N/A
Driveline N/A FWD
0-60 time N/A 7 seconds
MPG City N/A 32 (EX, EX-L)/30 (Touring)
MPG Highway N/A 41 (EX, EX-L)/38 (Touring)
MPG Combined N/A 36 (EX, EX-L)/33 (Touring)

 

Advantage: 2020 Nissan Sentra

  •       Quicker base vs. base
  •       Better standard fuel economy
  •       Standard automatic transmission

Advantage: 2020 Honda Civic Sedan

  •       Quicker with optional engine
  •       Big advantage in peak fuel economy
  •       Available six-speed manual transmission

Pricing and Features

The 2020 Nissan Sentra has three trim levels – S, SV, and SR – and their starting prices range from $19,090 to $21,490.

There are five trim levels in the 2020 Civic lineup: LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring. Their starting prices range from $20,650 to $27,700.

2020 Nissan Sentra Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $19,090

  •       2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  •       CVT
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       Electric power steering
  •       Active ride control
  •       16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  •       Active grille shutters
  •       Automatic on/off halogen headlights
  •       Power, body-color mirrors
  •       Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  •       Chrome V-motion grille
  •       Remote keyless entry
  •       Cruise control
  •       Air conditioning
  •       Power windows with one-touch up/down driver’s side window
  •       Power door locks
  •       Keyless ignition
  •       Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  •       Six-way manual driver’s seat
  •       Four-way manual passenger’s seat
  •       60/40 split-folding rear seats
  •       Cloth seating
  •       4.2-inch driver-information display
  •       7-inch touchscreen
  •       Nissan voice recognition
  •       Siri® Eyes Free
  •       Hands-free text messaging
  •       Bluetooth® connectivity with audio streaming
  •       Four-speaker AM/FM audio system
  •       Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  •       Auxiliary audio input
  •       One USB port
  •       Rear door alert
  •       Forward-collision warning
  •       Automatic emergency braking
  •       Lane-departure warning
  •       Blind-spot monitoring
  •       Rear cross-traffic alert
  •       Rear automatic braking
  •       Lane-trace assist
  •       Hill-start assist
  •       Automatic high-beam headlights
  •       Intelligent driver alertness
  •       Rearview camera

SV: $20,270

  •       All SV features, plus
  •       16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  •       Heated mirrors with integrated LED turn signals
  •       Dual-zone automatic climate control
  •       Touch-to-lock and -unlock door handles
  •       Remote engine start
  •       Premium cloth seating
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       7-inch driver-information display
  •       8-inch touchscreen
  •       Apple CarPlay®
  •       Android Auto™
  •       Six-speaker AM/FM audio system
  •       Two USB ports and one USB-C port
  •       SiriusXM®
  •       Adaptive cruise control

SR: $21,430

  •       All SV features, plus
  •       18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  •       LED headlights
  •       LED signature daytime running lights
  •       LED fog lights
  •       Dark-chrome V-motion grille
  •       Black mirrors
  •       Side-sill extensions
  •       Sport rear design
  •       Rear spoiler
  •       Chrome exhaust finisher
  •       Sport cloth seats with orange contrast stitching
  •       Leather-wrapped shift knob

2020 Honda Civic Sedan Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LX: $20,650

  •       2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  •       Electric parking brake
  •       Eco Assist® system
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       Six-speed manual transmission
  •       Electric power steering
  •       16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  •       Two-speed intermittent windshield wipers
  •       Projector-beam headlights with automatic on/off
  •       Remote keyless entry
  •       Taillights with LED light bars
  •       Body-color door handles
  •       Body-color power mirrors
  •       Automatic climate control
  •       Power windows with automatic up/down front glass
  •       Power door locks
  •       Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  •       Map lights
  •       Rear seat heater ducts
  •       Floor mats
  •       Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  •       One-piece fold-down seatback
  •       5-inch LCD infotainment screen
  •       160-watt four-speaker audio system
  •       Bluetooth® connectivity with audio streaming
  •       1.0-amp USB audio interface in the lower front center console
  •       Hill-start assist
  •       Automatic emergency braking
  •       Road-departure mitigation
  •       Adaptive cruise control
  •       Lane-keep assist
  •       Forward collision warning
  •       Lane-departure warning
  •       Automatic high-beam headlights
  •       Multi-angle rearview camera with fixed guidelines

Sport: $21,550

  •       All LX features, plus
  •       Sport steering
  •       18-inch alloy wheels with gloss-black inserts
  •       Center-outlet exhaust
  •       Smart Entry With Walk Away Auto Lock®
  •       Fog lights
  •       Gloss-black rear spoiler
  •       Sport pedals
  •       Keyless ignition
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       Leather-wrapped shift knob
  •       60/40 split-folding rear seat
  •       1.0-amp USB audio interface in the center console
  •       1.5-amp USB smartphone interface in the lower front console
  •       180-watt eight-speaker audio system
  •       7-inch high-resolution touchscreen
  •       HondaLink®
  •       Apple CarPlay®
  •       Android Auto™
  •       SMS text message function
  •       Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines

EX: $23,800

  •       All LX features, plus
  •       1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  •       CVT
  •       17-inch alloy wheels
  •       Heated mirrors
  •       Body-color rear spoiler
  •       Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  •       Moonroof
  •       Shark-fin antenna
  •       Keyless ignition
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       Leather-wrapped shifter knob
  •       LED pock lights
  •       Dual-zone automatic climate control
  •       Heated front seats
  •       Eight-way power driver’s seat
  •       1.0-amp USB audio interface in the center console
  •       1.5-amp USB smartphone interface in the lower front console
  •       180-watt eight-speaker audio system
  •       7-inch high-resolution touchscreen
  •       HondaLink®
  •       Apple CarPlay®
  •       Android Auto™
  •       SMS text message function
  •       SiriusXM®
  •       HD Radio™
  •       Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
  •       Honda LaneWatch™

EX-L: $25,000

  •       All EX features, plus
  •       HomeLink® universal home remote
  •       Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  •       Leather-trimmed seats

Touring: $27,700

  •       All EX-L features, plus
  •       18-inch alloy wheels with gloss-Shark Gray inserts
  •       Chrome door handles
  •       Mirror-integrated LED turn signals
  •       Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  •       LED headlights with automatic on/off
  •       Paddle shifters
  •       Sport pedals
  •       Heated rear outboard seats
  •       Four-way power passenger’s seat
  •       Satellite-linked navigation
  •       450-watt 10-speaker premium audio system

Who Should Buy the 2020 Nissan Sentra

The 2020 Nissan Sentra is a great buy for our Saginaw area shoppers who want the latest in design, features, and more. It also offers these shoppers a surprisingly premium sedan that boasts optional quilted leather without a luxury price tag.

Who Should Buy the 2020 Honda Civic Sedan

Buyers seeking a quicker sedan will appreciate the 2020 Civic Sedan’s optional 1.5-liter turbo engine. As an added bonus, this engine also delivers excellent fuel economy.

 

Think the 2020 Nissan Sentra is the right sedan for you? Stop by our new-Nissan showroom serving Saginaw, Midland, Bay City, and the surrounding areas to test drive the all-new Sentra and see what it can offer you. Can’t make it to our showroom today? You can also check out our in-stock 2020 Sentra models on the Garber Nissan Hyundai online inventory page, choose a few that suite your needs, and schedule a test drive later.