Childre Nissan Compares 2018 Nissan Altima VS 2018 Honda Civic Near Macon, GA

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2018 Nissan Altima

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VS

2018 Honda Civic

Safety Comparison

The Altima has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Civic doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To help make backing safer, the Altima SV/SL’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Civic doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Altima and the Civic have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Altima is safer than the Honda Civic:

 

Altima

Civic

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

19%

20%

Leg Forces (l/r)

32/46 lbs.

192/350 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Altima is safer than the Honda Civic:

 

Altima

Civic

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

233

404

Spine Acceleration

58 G’s

68 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

197

260

Hip Force

711 lbs.

727 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Altima the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Civic was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Altima has a standard 550-amp battery. The Civic’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Altima’s reliability 16 points higher than the Civic.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Altima third among midsize cars in their 2017 Initial Quality Study. The Civic isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 12th.

Engine Comparison

The Altima has more powerful engines than the Civic:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Altima 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

179 HP

177 lbs.-ft.

Altima 3.5 DOHC V6

270 HP

251 lbs.-ft.

Civic 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

158 HP

138 lbs.-ft.

Civic 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

174 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Civic 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

174 HP

167 lbs.-ft.

Civic Hatchback Sport 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

180 HP

177 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Altima 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. is faster than the Honda Civic 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

 

Altima

Civic

Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

3.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

12.5 sec

14.3 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.8 sec

4.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.2 MPH

86.1 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Altima 3.5 DOHC V6 is faster than the Honda Civic 1.5 (automatics tested):

 

Altima

Civic

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101.7 MPH

92.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Altima uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Civic Hatchback Sport requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Altima has 5.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Civic (18 vs. 12.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Altima’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Civic:

 

Altima

Civic

Front Rotors

11.7 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11.5 inches

10.2 inches

The Altima stops shorter than the Civic:

 

Altima

Civic

 

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Altima has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Civic doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Altima’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the Civic (109.3 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Altima is 1.5 inches wider in the front and .9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Civic.

The Altima 2.5 SL handles at .85 G’s, while the Civic Touring Sedan pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Altima 3.5 SL executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Civic EX Sedan (27.1 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Altima’s turning circle is .4 feet tighter than the Civic Sport Hatchback’s (37.4 feet vs. 37.8 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the Altima 2.5 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Civic doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Altima 2.5 SV is quieter than the Civic EX Sedan:

 

Altima

Civic

At idle

38 dB

39 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

80 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Altima has 4.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Civic Sedan (101.9 vs. 97.8).

The Altima has .7 inches more front headroom, 2.7 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front hip room, 4.8 inches more rear hip room and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Civic Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Altima has a larger trunk than the Civic Sedan (15.4 vs. 15.1 cubic feet).

The Altima’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Civic LX Sedan’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Altima offers cargo security. The Civic’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Altima. The Civic doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Altima’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Civic LX’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Altima’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Civic’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

On extremely cold winter days, the Altima’s optional (except S/SR) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Civic doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Altima has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Civic Coupe/LX doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Both the Altima and the Civic offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Altima offers optional rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Civic Sedan/Hatchback doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Altima owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Altima with a number “1” insurance rate while the Civic is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Altima is less expensive to operate than the Civic because typical repairs cost less on the Altima than the Civic, including $184 less for a starter and $50 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Altima, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Altima first among midsize cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Civic was rated second in its category.

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