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Nissan Sentra vs Honda Civic



  • tthotatthota Posts: 45
    If you like the responsive acceleration of the Sentra, you probably have to forget about Civic. Honda does not want the performance at low RPM. They keep their engine at low cost, they limit fuel rate to save gas, so they have to sacrefice low end torque. Most drivers do not know the difference. After all, 50% of drivers are female, most female drivers do not care about performance of their cars. They want reliability, fuel economy, resale value, nice looking body, low noise, safety and etc. Honda is indeed very good in all these aspects. As I concluded in my research, only Sentra has the low end power among all the affordable cars (<$15,000).
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Actually, IIRC, the Corolla has a fairly flat torque curve, so although it peaks at 4200 RPM, its quite strong off the line and is not as revvy (in non-XRS form) as the Civic. If you decide to stick with your foot to the floor, the Corolla will clip the Sentra, according to Car and Driver, by three-quarters of a second to 60.

  • tthotatthota Posts: 45
    Thanks for the info about Corolla.

    Where can we find the "curves"? Are they published?

    Can you tell me in which issue of Car and Driver they compared these cars?
  • TThota said:

    "Honda does not want the performance at low RPM. They keep their engine at low cost, they limit fuel rate to save gas, so they have to sacrefice low end torque"
    Actually the reasons are two:

    (1) small engine size 1.8L in the new bigger and better 2006 Civic ( smaller engine better mileage)

    (2) short stroke and bigger bore ( allows higher RPM, but a the cost of torque).

    I am not sure it is a low cost engine.
    I am not sure they limti the fuel rate to save gas, whateve that statement means.

    Yes, they do sacrifice low-end torque for the reasons menationed above in (1) and (2).


  • warnerwarner Posts: 196
    If you like the responsive acceleration of the Sentra, you probably have to forget about Civic.

    Really? Maybe you could quote us on the 0-60 times for both cars. That would be an objective statement about performance or "responsive acceleration".

    Honda does not want the performance at low RPM. They keep their engine at low cost, they limit fuel rate to save gas, so they have to sacrefice low end torque. Most drivers do not know the difference.

    Honda chose different design goals for the engine; this is true. How you translate this to a lower cost engine I'll never understand. It doesn't cost any more to engineer an engine that makes it's torque at a lower rpm. It's simply a choice that's made when designing the engine. Engine parts with different designs don't cost more to make.

    After all, 50% of drivers are female, most female drivers do not care about performance of their cars. They want reliability, fuel economy, resale value, nice looking body, low noise, safety and etc. Honda is indeed very good in all these aspects.

    Where do I start with this? Do you really believe that:

    1. Only women drivers care about reliability, fuel economy, resale value, good looks, low noise, and safety? You can't be serious.

    2. Women drivers care nothing about performance? Again, I hope you don't really believe this. Although women tend to be less aggressive drivers than men, that hardly equates to not caring about performance.

    3. Male drivers are so simple that all they care about (in an economy car) is good low rpm torque? As a man I feel embarrassed about the low standards you set for all men. For this market of car, the LAST thing on my mind is how fast my economy car is (but please get back to us all on those 0-60 numbers for both cars, since that seems to be your only priority for an economy car). I am more concerned about how much money I'm spending on gas each month and how safe my kids will be when some simple, low-rpm torque guy plows into my car.

  • tthotatthota Posts: 45
    Read my comments again. You have problem with your critical reading skill. DO NOT put your misunderstanding over there as my words. I did not say "only" women care about all those things. I did not say no "woman care about performance" or "women care nothing about performance". I did not say men care nothing but performance. Did I?

    Learn some logic, if you want to argue.

    I do not floor gas pedal everyday. If you want compare cars on 0-60, please do it with a Civic and a Sentra, but only push the gas pedal half way (normal driving condition for me, and probably most drivers) when you test drive. I do not care about how much power an engine has at maximum. I care about how much power I get to use without changing my habit of defensive driving.

    As for the cost, if an engine is not designed to take high load (torque) at low RPM, but to use high rotation speed for the same level of power output, the parts of the engine do not need to be as strong. It may be lighter by just 5-10%. For massive production, that 5-10% save a large amount of money. This is just common sense.

    05 Civic and 05 Sentra have about the same weight. The Civic has better safety rating, which indicates a stronger (heavier) body. The only explanation is that the Civic is lighter somewhere else inside the body.
  • tthotatthota Posts: 45
    I am more concerned about how much money I'm spending on gas each month and how safe my kids will be when some simple, low-rpm torque guy plows into my car.

    What higher toeque at low RPM does is to give you better control of your small car. With it, the car can accelerate as fast as you want it to, or as slowly as you want it to, proportional to the distance you push your gas pedal.

    Think about what happens if the acceleration of a car is not proportional to the gas pedal position. You push the pedal half way, the car gives you 1/4 of its power (saving gas for you), less than the 1/2 of its power you expected. Since the car did not accelerate fast enough to merge into traffic, you have to push the pedal further down, but you still don't get the power you expected (saving more gas for you), until later. After a critical point (e.g. 4/5 of the total pedal room), the RPM jumps to 4200, the car suddenly pushes forward. This is what the other friend call "weird". Honda cars (4 cylinder) behave exactly in this way. To me, this is not responsive acceleration. It is less safe for a driver who knows what to do on the road. Of course, for those who doesn't know what to do on the road, it makes no difference.

    You know that the better you can control your car, the safer you are on the road. Responsive acceleration is a key component of controlling a car. Buy yourself a car with better low end torque, just for safety. Of course you have to burn a little more gas each time you use the low RPM power.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Nov 02, of '03 models. (Note however that in this test, C/D's performance info was correc, but they accidentally presented the Dimension and Capacities information for the 98-02 Corolla).

  • You finally lost me with gas pedal postions 1/4 1/2 3/4 4/4. Wiht a manual you shift gears , with an automatic it shifts gears, with a CVT it changes the ratios.

    It sounds to me like you need a diesel instead of any ICE car. You can get diesls with stump puller torque and it is at very, very low RPM.

    Try a VW TDI !

    If you want to continue to negatively discuss VTEC, you might want to read up on it first . Here is a good article on the subaru equivalent: You also might want to take note, that Lexus, Toyota, Honda, Acura, BMW al use variable valve timing. For the same performance and horsepower it gets better mileage.

    Now what we are rally talking about the bigger, lower tech , higher gas consumption Sentra engine against a smaller, high-tech, low gas consumption Civic. H'mm you are concerned about proportional pedal postion, which I contend depends on speed and gear and a bunch of other factors.

    The real bottom line is performance: 02-, 0-30, 0-40, 0-50, 0-60, 5-60, 30-50, 50-70, 1/4 mile. Again just because these are quoted doesn't me you should or imply that you need to drive full throtle accelrator to the floor. These are metrics or measurements , that OBJECTIVELY compare two different cars.

    From Consumer Guide an objective test source:

    2006 Honda Civic

    2006 Honda Civic: Road Test
    Pros Cons
    Fuel economy
    Acceleration (Si)
    Steering/handling (Si)
    Rear-seat entry/exit (coupe)

    Consumer Guide® Road Test Ratings

    LX sedan, man. EX sedan, auto. Hybrid w/nav. sys. Si Class Average
    5 5 3 6 4.3

    With either transmission, 140-hp Civics lazy away from a stop, but have adequate power around town and for highway merging, passing; automatic especially alert to throttle inputs. Hybrid is slow off the line, demands liberal throttle to build speed quickly, but keeps pace with fast-moving traffic. As with other CVTs, this one lets engine rev ahead of vehicle speed. Hybrid powertrain has no overt vices; system shuts off engine at stops to save gas, restarts instantly, maintains air-conditioner power. Slick-shifting Si craves high rpm, responds with terrific acceleration.

    Fuel Economy

    LX sedan, man. EX sedan, auto. Hybrid w/nav. sys. Si Class Average
    7 7 9 5 6.7

    Test Hybrid averaged 38.0 mpg in city/highway test driving conducted in subfreezing temperatures. No opportunity to measure with other models. Si requires premium-grade fuel, other Civics use regular.

    2006 Nissan Sentra
    2006 Nissan Sentra: Road Test
    Pros Cons
    Acceleration (SE-R)
    Steering/handling (SE-R)
    Fuel economy
    Ride (SE-R Spec V)
    Rear-seat entry/exit
    Cargo room

    Consumer Guide® Road Test Ratings

    1.8, auto. 1.8 S, man. SE-R SE-R Spec V Class Average
    3 4 5 6 4.3

    Test manual-transmission 1.8 S clocked a lazy 9.9 sec 0-60 mph; expect about 11 sec with automatic. Test Spec V took 7.9 sec. Manual transmission in any Sentra suffers imprecise shift action.

    Fuel Economy

    1.8, auto. 1.8 S, man. SE-R SE-R Spec V Class Average
    6 7 5 5 6.7

    Test manual-transmission 1.8 S averaged 24.9 mpg; expect slightly less with automatic. Test Spec V averaged 18.2 mpg. Nissan recommends premium-grade fuel for Spec V, regular for others.

    As you can see the Honda Civic is rate at 5 in accleration compared to 3 for the Sentra. It may feel like the Sentra is faster but, the Honda actually is fater and gets better mileage to boot.


    MidCow 2.2L Low Torque, high RPM, manual shift!!
  • tthotatthota Posts: 45
    It is your own problem if you don't understand "1/4".

    06 Civic has [email protected]; 06 Sentra has [email protected] There is no doubt Civic accelerates faster than Sentra, if you drive them at those RPMs. The books only report those numbers obtained in extreme driving conditions. You have to actually feel the difference when you drive them to go to work. In daily driving, [email protected] feels better than [email protected]

    My Sentra has 33.6mpg average so far for this tank of fuel, last tank was 32.9, and it is still in break-in stage. Your gas efficiency numbers mean nothing to me. How can you compare gas efficiency of Sentra 1.8s with Civic Hybrid? Both Sentra 1.8s and Civic EX have gas efficiency score at 7, in your list. Sentra 2.5 has a bigger engine. Civic Si scored at 5 (2.0 liter, 23-32mpg). I have read buyers complain about Civic gas mileage in various webpages, although I do think Civic should and does have higher mpg, just not for free.

    I don't say Sentra looks better; you don't have to say Civic is more powerful at low engine speed.

    I qoute a friend above: "Sentra does, in fact, make better low end torque".
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Geez, this got out of hand...I thought we'd reached an end to this. This is just a bunch of Honda guys vs. Nissan guys, where it should now be blatantly obvious that neither side will convince the other that they're logic is sound.

    But, while we're at it AGAIN, here's my shorttake on it.

    The Honda has adequate torque for a car that achieves 30/40 mpg. The Acceleration figure for Car of the Year Civic EX sedan 0-60 was 8.0 seconds. Just as quick as my Accord Automatic. Sure, the Jetta/Sentra (torque as a priority-cars) feel faster off the line, but they run out of steam where it matters in an emergency.

    The way I see it, if I see a truck barreling down towards me, I'm not going to give "50% throttle and torque my way out of the situation", I'm gonna do what I imagine most people will do in a panic where they need speed...FLOOR it. It's in THIS instance where the Civic runs away from the Sentra/Jetta, as evidenced by 0-60 numbers. In everyday driving, not much difference is found, IMO.

    This particular discussion drives me nuts, yet I return anyway. Eh, what's a guy to do?


    PS...Can the "power-talk" not be put on hold until the new Sentra bows this later this year? Then it should be a fair(er) fight between the two.
  • tthotatthota Posts: 45
    Disappointed by Angry SI Owner from California (12/12/05)
    54 out of 85 people found this review helpful

    Pros: V-Tech, interior, horsepower

    Cons: Looks like a little Honda Accord, no torque, no power going up a big hill

    Having second thoughts. This is a huge improvement form the previous si but the car looks like a minature Hoda Accord. I should have gotten a 2005 si hatch and just put in a new motor . This car has power on a flat surface but a freaking spec-v passed me going up the 15 on the way to vegas. I punched it and he he just blew by me. How is that possible when my new si has more horsepower. This car needs more torque.
  • tthotatthota Posts: 45
    A review of 06 Civic sedan from yahoo:

    Big disapointment - 22 Miles per Gallon

    by CV from San Diego, CA (12/11/05)

    78 out of 86 people found this review helpful

    Pros: Great comfort, nice over-all design
    Cons: 22 Miles per Gallon + dealer unable to fix

    Pretty good car but the one that I bought gets 22 MPG. That wouldn't be a big deal if the dealer could fix it. However according to the dealer, everything related to the gas-mileage is cotrolled by the car computer and as long as the check-engine light is off he can't do anything.

    Very frustrating to buy a car for its great gas-mileage and to realize that an SUV would have been a better deal.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Sorry, I don't put a lot of weight in that post. He mentions that he is very dissappointed that it looks like a Honda Accord. If he didn't like the design of the car, why did he lay out more than $20,000 for it to begin with?

    Also, I got passed by an Elantra the other day. It didn't matter that I had more torque and horsepower, he had the initial lead on me by about 15 mph, so catching up was unlikely.

    Sorry, but this post does nothing for your case in my opinion. It sounds like a 16 year old pissed off at the fact that he got beat in a drag race.

    You can also read in my post that I was referring to the car most comparable to a sentra (there is no sentra coupe), a Civic sedan.
  • tthotatthota Posts: 45
    Got a camry for $1k less than Civic Lx
    by Jay from Orange county, CA (10/26/05)
    67 out of 83 people found this review helpful

    Pros: nice new body style
    Cons: pricey for a compact

    I shopped around for a Civic but found a better deal on midsize. So I went and got a Camry for $16.7k which is $1k less than a Civic Lx. It is not logical but you can find a lot of midsize out there for a price of Civic.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    There isn't any reason to continue to paste consumer reviews here. If folks want to read them, they can go find them. We're here to discuss what we think about these cars, not just copy what others have posted.
  • tthotatthota Posts: 45
    I used message 76 to tell others Si needs more torque, 77 about non-fixable gas drinking problems and 79 about price. What's wrong with that?

    After all, I don't think a Civic is a good deal, I'd like to tell those who compare these cars, even though I am a Honda owner myself.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    If you want to share with us your thoughts, please feel free. Copying others' thoughts in here does not make your point(s).
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The numbers tell a part of the story. On a scale of 10, 208 Civic buyers feel that they got a better car than the buyers of the Sentra said. I tend to agree with the Civic people, since the Sentra design is ancient in terms of modern-day car-designs.
  • tthotatthota Posts: 45
    Considering the price difference, Sentra is a much better deal. At or below the price of a Civic, there are Corolla, Camry LE, Altima 2.5S, Impreza, OutbackSport, and Mazda 3, plus many american cars. Any of them(listed) is better than a Civic. The Civic lovers are simply not looking around, like in religion.

    The exterior of Civic is actually mimic of BMW 3 series. However, they ruined it.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    and what other cars cost less than (or more than) these two vehicles has nothing to do with the price of eggs here.

    We're talking about what we think and we want in relationship to these two vehicles.

    Are you two saying that your opinion is based on what you think others think and/or what you think other vehicles are sold for?

    I must say neither position would do a thing for me if I were trying to seriously compare these two vehicles.
  • tthotatthota Posts: 45
    Gas: 23-29 vs. 23-32. SPEC-V is worse just by a little.

    Horse Power: [email protected] vs. [email protected] Who drives at 7800? 6000 and below, SPEC-V sounds better, by interpolation.

    Torque: [email protected] vs. [email protected] Obviously SPEC-V has higher torque at 3000rpm than Si at 6000. That is why a SPEC-V can pass an Si while on a slope, as in message 76.

    Price: 16.3K vs. 20.5K, from Edmunds TMV.
  • tthotatthota Posts: 45
    I copied those reviews because the facts in them support what I think. The prices of other models also support what I believe: Civics are ridiculously expensive, new or used.

    By the way, the 16.3K for SPEC-V in message 88 has ABS/SideAirBags included.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Who drives at 7800? 6000 and below, SPEC-V sounds better, by interpolation.

    Probably the same person who drives at 6,000 in a Sentra, since they are both mighty close to redline.

    I'm not sure who disputed the whole torque thing; i never bothered to.

    If you want a torque-steering Sentra with an Altima engine, get the Spec-V and you'll have no problem(numerous car mags wrote of the torque steer when it came out, so I know it isn't just me). If you want a rev-happy Civic with active front differential but meager low-end torque, get the Si.

    PS: I'd buy the Sentra now, because Nissan has put its new corporate face on the next Sentra, and it looks just like a small some that's a good thing...not to me.
  • tthotatthota Posts: 45
    Compare your messages 78 and 90.

    A SPEC-V can easily pass an Si by using a fraction of its max torque, staying away from possible torque steering, and burning less fuel compared to the Si running full throttle.

    One car passing another on a slope, both of them should be running at around 2800-3500 rpm. Even if the Si run at 7800, it still does not have enough torque to keep up with the SPEC-V at, say, 3200.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    compare a Sentra Spec V to a Civic Si, please make a discussion for that purpose.

    We've got a more generic comparo going on here.

    Thank you.
  • tthotatthota Posts: 45
    Do you still remember that a SPEC-V is a Sentra and an Si is a Civic? They are just the muscle versions of the two models. I will compare 1.8s SE with EX sedan later, apple to apple, if time permits.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I am telling you they are not the subject here, we are doing a much more generic comparo. Make an appropriate discussion if you wish.
  • tthotatthota Posts: 45
    Fastest 0-60 for Sentra: 7.1 from SPEC-V
    Fastest 0-60 for Civic: 7.38 from Si

    I found these numbers because many folks here mentioned 0-60. For me, they are behind the moon, anyway (I mean the numbers).
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Ok, I guess the published numbers I used for the Civic Si didn't count since they ruin your argument for best acceleration. The Civic Si has done runs of under 6.8 seconds by numerous magazines. Apparently the numbers you found were behind the moon also.

    I'm assuming since you continue to badger the host with the Spec-V version, you will be making a new topic?

    I have published numbers on the Civic Sedan (1.8) and Sentra Sedan (1.8). They are as follows:

    Civic EX Sedan (5MT) 8.0 seconds
    Sentra 1.8 Sedan (5MT) 9.9 seconds

    The S model will be slightly slower due to increased weight; and with both cars, add a little time for the Automatic tranny.

    Now, for a continued comparison for the Civic DX through EX sedan, and Sentra 1.8 through 1.8 S Sentra, stay tuned.

    If you want to talk high-performance versions, respect the hosts request and create a new discussion.
This discussion has been closed.