Last post on Oct 03, 2007 at 11:27 AM
You are in the Honda Civic
What is this discussion about?
Honda Civic, Nissan Versa, Car Safety
#1 of 45 Honda Civic LX or Nissan Versa SL?
Mar 07, 2007 (6:45 am)
I need a new compact sedan to replace my 10 year old car. After doing some research over the internet, it comes down to Honda Civic LX Automatic or Nissan Versa SL (with CVT, ABS and convenience packages).
Yesterday I contacted several dealers and gets quite good offers on both (even lower than invoice ). Both cars will cost me approximately the same amount of money.
At the moment I really don't know what to choose. I like both, especially the Civic - for the look, styling, reliability and power. Besides, I can get the Civic now, instead of pre-order and wait for 2 months for the Versa.
However we have a small child and plan to have more in the next couple of years, so safety is the most important to us. Both of them are highly rated in crash tests, front, side and rear. But the Versa has 2 things that the Civic doesn't: BRAKE ASSIST (BA) and TIRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM (TPMS).
I don't know much about the real effectiveness of these 2 features, so please help! Any idea on how well they perform in reality?
Any help is appreciated!
#2 of 45 Re: Honda Civic LX or Nissan Versa SL? [dbp54]
Mar 07, 2007 (1:51 pm)
Hi. I am not sure what you mean by the brake assist. Are you referring to the EBD(electronic brake force distribution)?
By the way, according to the Consumer Reports, the Versa without ABS came in (tied with the Toyota Yaris w/o ABS) as having the worst dry braking performance of all the cars they had tested for the year prior to the current annual auto issue. They also remarked that even with ABS the Versa's braking performance was not that impressive. I don't have on hand the stopping distance of the Civic, but i remember that CR had said nothing negative about it.
If you have reviewed this forum or NICO Versa forum, you will notice that a large number of people have been reporting problems with the Versa's TPMS. It may be a liability, instead of an asset.
#3 of 45 Re: Honda Civic LX or Nissan Versa SL? [jacksan1]
Mar 07, 2007 (2:33 pm)
Thanks for the info. If I choose Versa, I'm going to order one with ABS. It's a must cos our safety concern.
Regarding braking distance, the Versa with ABS stops at 136 ft (from 60mph), the Civic stops at 130 ft. The difference is only 6 ft.
About Brake Assist (BA): I read somewhere that 90% of drivers did not push hard enough on the brake in an emergency situation. BA will assist in such cases by "assisting" enough force to the brake.
I guess Edmund's reviewers pressed the brake pedal as hard as they could when they tested the cars, so 130ft and 136ft are ideal distances.
In real world, BA will likely help Versa drivers stop at close to 136 ft, while the lack of it in Civic means 90% of Civic drivers will not be able to stop at close to 130ft (how much more? I don't know).
Honestly I'm not sure if my logic is correct as I only did my research over the internet for the last day or two, so please correct me if I'm wrong.
#4 of 45 Re: Honda Civic LX or Nissan Versa SL? [dbp54]
Mar 07, 2007 (3:35 pm)
Given that we can safely assume that the Edmunds testers knew what they were doing, if a car WITHOUT BA stops shorter than another car WITH BA, to me that indicates a poor braking performance of the car with BA. That result, of course, must be remembered as being a combination of multiple things. Many a Versa owner, for instance, complained about the poor traction of the OEM Contiental tires. Changing the tires may actually improve the Versa's braking performance (or may make it worse). The Versa's taller profile may also have something to do with it (higher center of gravity and larger weight shift forward).
To you, it ought to make no difference what 90% of other drivers are doing. What is important is whether or not YOU can stop. If you know how to apply the full brake force, then by using the Edmunds' results, you can estimate that you will stop quicker in a Civic than in a Versa (by the way, 6 feet doesn't seem much, but there is a big difference in the aftermath between hitting something/someone and stopping 6 feet short of it).
I am saying all these because braking performance is an important issue to you. For some of us, maybe it is not that important (it is to me). Everyone puts a different emphasis on different parts of the same car.
#5 of 45 Re: Honda Civic LX or Nissan Versa SL? [dbp54]
Mar 07, 2007 (5:27 pm)
I bough the versa sedan and LOVE IT…Great little car, and I really have very few complaints. However if I were you I would buy the Civic because you like it better and the two things that you listed are not THAT big a deal safety wise.
#6 of 45 Re: Honda Civic LX or Nissan Versa SL? [jacksan1]
Mar 07, 2007 (6:07 pm)
Ideal conditions (Edmund testers):
- Civic: 130 ft
- Versa w/ABS & BA: 136 ft
Real world conditions (90% of drivers):
- Civic: 160 ft (for example)
- Versa w/ABS & BA: 140 ft
I really like the styling and quality of the Civic but the Versa is a bit larger inside, has more features, and perhaps a bit safer. Hmm... so hard to choose.
#8 of 45 Re: Honda Civic LX or Nissan Versa SL? [dbp54]
Mar 07, 2007 (7:39 pm)
Well the tires on the Versa are not high quality. I suggest you test drive one. I own one and I would defaintly not choose the current stock ones. They don't have enough grip.
I love the convince pakagae on mine. I don't have the abs, and I do wish I had more braking power, but then again it isn't horrific just not stop on a dime.
The CVT is differnt than an auto and the car behaves a tad differently. On a whole the CVT is smoother than a automatic, but it can be a tad jerky at times to(i.e. if you punch it).
#9 of 45 Re: Honda Civic LX or Nissan Versa SL? [jacksan1]
Mar 07, 2007 (9:19 pm)
Be sure to check the crash safety ratings at NHTSA and IIHS and compare the two vehicles:
IIHS tests show both cars have "Good" rating across the board.
Government tests show Civic slightly better in frontal crash, while Versa slightly better in side crash.
They both weight approximately the same.
So it's safe to say they offer the same level of protection in crashes.
But (on paper) the Versa LS is a bit better at PREVENTING crashes with it's Brake Assist (which comes with ABS package) and TPMS.
#10 of 45 Re: Honda Civic LX or Nissan Versa SL? [dbp54]
Mar 09, 2007 (7:21 pm)
The trouble with the TPS is it only tells you if your tires are inflated correctly. It won't warn you that the tire is about to have a blow out or somethihng. Correct inflation does in theory help braking and handing but frankly in terms of safety both cars are a wash.
From my experince the with a non abs versa, it does not have good braking and the tires do not grip well to the road. In fact that is one of the few things I would change about the car.
Otherwise I love the car. I love it's roomyness. Love the conveince pakage.
If it were between the versa and the civic, and I liked the way the civic looked better. I would take the civic. There just isn't enough of a safety difference between the two cars to sweat about. Infact I would say either no safety difference OR if there is one it goes to the civic(not the versa).