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Nissan Sentra Spec V vs Honda Civic Si



  • punkr77punkr77 Posts: 183
    My wife and I decided on getting rid of my car (99 Mustang Cobra) and going down to one car that both of us liked after her car was totalled in an accidnet. We test drove the Civic Si Sedan, Mazdaspeed 3, and Sentra Spec V. We were also thinking about the GTI. The Mazda and GTI were out because of their dealership. Our local VW dealer is 30 miles away and service department horror stories are legion. The Mazda dealer wanted $1700 over invoice (which was OK) but my wife didn't like the seats or the styling and the salesperson and sales manager both gave us the heebie-geebies. They made it apperant that they'd screw us any way they could, either on the car, the financing, or the trade-in. It fell to either the Si or Spec V.

    The two were so even that we had a heck of a time deciding which to get. We liked the styling, shifter, and ride better on the Si. We liked the tourqier engine and quieter exhaust note, and interior stiching on the Spec V. In the end we couldn't come to a decision based on the car. We chose the Si because the dealer is closer (5 miles vs 20) and I had taken my Cobra to them for all my service and always left happy.

    I think the great thing is that the two are so close as far as the total package goes, either one would be a fine choice for an inexpensive performance/family car.
  • Based on my experience the Si is definitely a fun car; you can push it harder than the spec-v in the corners, and the thrill of high revs will make most drives enjoyable. Since the car was new I didn't push it pass 5k rpm except for those occasional "accidents." The car is fun; easy to drive and, the understeer is very easy to manage. I suppose its standard with most cars nowadays, but the abs got in the way a few times and i didn't know how to turn it off. Great acceleration unless if you load up a couple more butts, which fortunately for me is not something im into.

    For the sake of fairness I used the 4 door Si, and to be honest, the doors are really there just for numbers. When loaded with 4 people the car drives like a corolla, slow and unwilling (no offense corolla drivers). The spec-v did much better than the Si with 4 passengers so I suppose its safe to assume that the spec-v is going to be the better quick-practical-city car if you're into loading passengers and stuffing things in your trunk. However, if you gain some real open road you'll see that the spec-v is really just a beefed up sentra really, with better suspension i suppose... whereas the Si really does feel like a different car.

    I rarely do complain too much about the interior, i mean as a long as its holding up or overly tacky i won't complain, but Honda should really think about the Si's dash. its so... big it feels like a whole ft has been added to the length of the hood, its so awkward. other than that i really haven't much to say about the two car's interior (i'd strip a car of most of its interior if i were ever given the choice).

    Overall both are great cars, the Si is targeted-i believe-more towards enthusiasts, while the spec-v is a slightly more practical fun car in terms of how its power is distributed. But simply based on sheer funness if ever there were such a word, i'd go with the Si hands down.
  • I have read through this entire thread and can't stop banging my head against the wall. Some of you have made intelligent points but if I read one more "It's just better, deal with it!!!!" I am going to lose my mind. Honda and Nissan's have different personailties and these cars are no exception. I have an 07 Spec V, my brother in law has an 07 SI sedan and a good friend of mine has an 08 SI sedan. I have driven both cars regularly.........I have come to the conclusion of which one is better.......What fits your personaility better???? Thats the difference. The SI is a great car and deserves NONE of the Nissan "Honda is crap" talk and vis versa. The SI and Spec V looks are a thing of personal taste. I have seen the Spec V with the Stillen lip kit and it looks awesome. The SI has a plainer front end but better profile. The Spec is marginally quicker (drivers race, lost and won) 60-100 SI is better, 0-60 and 100 plus Spec V is better. The SI does handle a little better and I do mean a little. It is marginal but the SI is a better handler. The Spec's chassis is stiffer (and heavier) but the SI has less body roll. The Spec V feels more powerful but doesn't sound as sweet. The interiors are a wash however - complete personal preference (although the Spec V not having audio controls and the SL does drives me crazy). Yes, there have been a few problems with a couple Spec V's but Honda is not immune to this either. The SI gearbox is problematic, Honda has a TSB for this but can't guarantee fix. The Spec handles passengers better but the very popular Civic tuner crowd has more aftermarket support.......probably always will. That is not to say the Spec V doesn't have aftermarket support but the Civic has more. Both cars can be bought below sticker and I have not seen any rebates for the Spec V being offered. My buddy is a Nissan sales person and the incentives are only on the base model Sentra's. Do you want a little more torque or a little more handling??? Are you going to drive with 3 or 4 people in your car or not? Are you going to do a lot of tuning (couple thousand dollars or more)??? These are questions you need to ask yourself before comparing these cars blow for blow, because the answer to these questions will give you YOUR answer on which is better.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The last post was nearly a year ago, so don't bang your head against the wall TOO hard. This one was over a loooong time ago.
  • Well, I don't think that a thread about "Rival" cars is ever over. Also, the 08 Spec V and 08 SI are 99.99% the same as the 07's. So I feel it is a relevant topic. Not to mention, if it is a dead issue, why bother to respond.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I don't mean the ISSUE/TOPIC is dead, just that the particular argument you were referencing.
  • Oh.....cause, there kind of the same thing. Somebody buying one of these "New" cars TODAY could you this information to help make a decesion. So.........I would think it is relevant.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The argument that stemmed into the S2000 and the 350Z, etc is gone (thankfully). There is some good info in here, it just hasn't been re-hashed in awhile.

    By all means crank us back up on a new topic regarding these cars, I love a nice comparison, and this is one of my tracked items so I will participate if I can bring something to the table.

    The 2009 Civic Si will be only modestly updated for 2009 for the mid-life refresh.

    **Freshened exterior styling with new front bumper cover and grille design, and new headlight and taillight color combinations (clear turn indicator lenses with amber bulbs)

    Bluetooth HandsFreeLink added to Navigation-equipped models

    USB Audio Interface

    New alloy wheel design

    New cloth materials and patterns on seats, door linings and armrests

    New colors: Redline Orange Pearl and Dyno Blue Pearl

    Discontinued colors: Fiji Blue Pearl and Habanero Red Pearl**

    Information from Honda's press release.
  • Cool. Not sure about the 09 Spec. But some added luxeries you speak of for the SI would be nice. The lack of availible Nav and bluetooth has annoyed me thus far from Nissan (and I am a Nissan guy). I don't understand how there "top of the line Sentra" (Spec V) lacks availible options there lesser brother does. Thats frustrating. I am not buying one anytime soon, since I got one last year, but I hope Nissan addresses this. At the very least make it availible, cause when I got mine it wasn't.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    ha ha! i remember i got banned from this debate because i kept calling the guy on on posting things like 'its better because it is' and telling him that it was silly to reason so.

    i still love the concept of a BASE se-r: more engine, better handling and sportier than a base sentra, but not as full fledged as the spec v.

    kinda like honda's jdm civic 2.0. we need something like that here, except instead, we got the lx-s, which gets the cooler interior and (finally) a leather wrapped wheel down, but then just slapping it on an lx.
  • My son have a spec V sentra ,we removed the head to taken to ,the machine shop
    but we having problems removing the timing chain cover ,need help is there any trick on it
    thanks : :confuse:
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