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2021 Nissan Sentra vs 2021 Honda Civic

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  • 2021 Nissan Sentra

    A gray 2021 Nissan Sentra S is angled left.

    Starting at

    $19,460*

    2021 Honda Civic

    A silver 2021 Honda Civic LX is angled right.

    Starting at

    $21,250*

    7-8Screen Size (in)5-7
    YesAvailable Wi-FiNo
    15.1Cargo Space (cu.ft.)14.3

    At what point does a vehicle beat its competitors and become the talk of the town? Value is one of the strongest selling points of just about any vehicle, and drivers who can get more for less will agree that it's in many ways a one-sided answer. The debate between the 2021 Nissan Sentra vs 2021 Honda Civic has been heating up since these two vehicles were announced, and now that they're released, the competition has gotten fierce between the two. Both the Sentra and Civic have their own pros and cons. However, the Sentra is one of the most feature-packed automobiles in its standard form that you can buy in the current year, and best of all, it's conveniently priced under $20K, which the same can't be said for the Civic. Nissan and Honda are old rivals, and this is still very much relevant with these two vehicles in mind.

  • Trims

    An orange 2021 Nissan Sentra is show driving down a dirt path after winning the 2021 Nissan Sentra vs 2021 Honda Civic debate.

    There's a stark difference when looking at the 2021 Sentra and 2021 Civic side-by-side, especially when looking at the available trim levels. In total, there are three trims that you can purchase for the Sentra, and the Civic has five. There isn't a real clear advantage to having fewer or more trims than your competitor, but what does make the difference is what these trims have to offer, and most importantly, how much these trims cost. In this case, the Sentra starts at a lower MSRP of $19,460, while the Civic starts at a much higher $21,250.* This adversely affects the Civic, whereas all eyes will first look to Nissan's offering in the interest of value. Even the very best Sentra model you can buy only has a slightly higher MSRP than the base Civic, and this is a massive disappointment for Honda in this regard.

    The High-Value Option

    Value is exactly what Nissan provides drivers of the Sentra as the base model, while less expensive than the Civic, also contains far more features. Let's start with something that both vehicles share - an integrated safety package in the form of Nissan Safety Shield 360 and Honda Sensing. However, the base Civic doesn't contain a real infotainment center of any kind, rather relying on a standard sub-optimal media center with a non-touchscreen interface, while the Sentra has a much more modern infotainment center with a standard 7-inch touchscreen.

    The differences between the base models don't stop there, as the Sentra includes even more amenities to aid you during the driving experience both through interactive tech and safety features. For the Sentra, this is easily a victory as the car costs less than the Civic, making the Honda look decidedly over-priced in comparison. Fortunately, the Civic does see some more features added when you upgrade your trim, such as paddle shifters, a proper infotainment center, and even a full leather interior with power-adjustable seats, but in many ways, these don't equate to the extra price you'll be spending.

    Nissan Options

    Upgrading the trim level of your Sentra makes the experience genuinely more intuitive and exciting, and it still won't cost as much as a Civic. The second available Sentra trim, known as SV, increases the size of the already large infotainment touchscreen and introduces more comforting luxuries such as dual-zone automatic climate control to make your cabin warm or cold on either side at any given time. Stepping up to the top Sentra trim will grant you a variety of services such as an available SiriusXM satellite radio subscription, and more importantly, an available 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, which is nowhere to be found on the Civic. In regards to trims, the Sentra seems to be the better deal for a majority of drivers.

  • Tech

    The tan and black interior is shown in a 2021 Nissan Sentra.

    Sedans that have been released within the past five years often contain a wealth of features, namely in their integrated tech. Both the 2021 Sentra and the 2021 Civic can be found with some new and exciting tech, but only Nissan thought to include these features in the base model, something that Honda can and should take note of. This all starts with the infotainment center, or more properly, the lack thereof inside of the base Civic.

    Modern Infotainment

    Inside of the base Sentra, you'll find an infotainment center that includes a 7-inch touch screen, and this is relatively commonplace in a modern-day sedan. In comparison, the Civic includes a regular 5-inch display with no real infotainment-like features, just basic media controls. You'll have to upgrade to the pricier trim level to secure an infotainment center that features an identical 7-inch screen like the one found in the base Sentra. Meanwhile, upgrading to the pricier Sentra trims increases the standard 7-inch screen up to 8-inches, but this isn't an option for the Civic.

    The base Civic also doesn't come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Meanwhile, those two features are another standard inclusion on the base Sentra. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are two consistently updated pieces of software that allow the driver to connect a smartphone to the infotainment center to grant it various communicative abilities such as phone calls, navigating, and much more. Most new vehicles come with these two features nowadays, and in the case of the Sentra, you'll receive these on the cheaper base model, unlike the Civic.

    Extra Options

    Even when you get your Civic's infotainment center to closely resemble that of the Sentra, you'll be paying a considerable amount more than otherwise. Not only this, but the Sentra can even include a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot if you opt for the SR model, and this is something that you can't add to your Civic whatsoever. With a WiFi hotspot, every passenger can link their wireless devices at any time to gain access to the internet that stems from your Sentra at any given time.

  • Safety

    An orange 2021 Nissan Sentra is shown from the side parked in front of a modern building.

    Safety features are abundant in vehicles such as the Sentra and Civic, and this is because both manufacturers have opted to include safety suites in each one. For Sentra owners, Nissan has implemented Nissan Safety Shield 360, and for the Civic, you'll have Honda Sensing. When compared to each other, both suites have similar features that generally achieve the same goal. For example, Automatic Emergency Braking and Intelligent Forward Collision Warning are present on the Sentra to assist in halting your vehicle before a collision can occur, while the Civic has Forward Collision Warning and a Collision Mitigation Braking System.

    Both vehicles also have automatic headlamps that will turn on and off dynamically when you need more visibility or if you need to lower your high beams to avoid blinding other drivers on the road. Each vehicle also can warn the driver if they begin drifting out of their lane with the likes of Lane Departure Warning on the Sentra and Road-Departure Mitigation on the Civic. But when you dive into the details, the Sentra comes out ahead.

    Safety Shield 360 Advantages

    Between these two cars, only the Sentra comes standard with a blind-spot warning to assist your awareness while driving on the highway, along with a rear-cross traffic alert, the latter of which will give you a warning if a vehicle is going to be bypassing you while you're reversing out of a parking space. The Sentra also has a standard rear sonar system with rear automatic braking. For the Civic to be missing any of the safety features that come standard in the cheaper Sentra is an oddity. These features are available for Civic owners, but they require spending even more money on a pricier trim to get these features. It's far simpler to recommend any driver opt for a vehicle that's both cheaper and safer at the same time.

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