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Compact comparison: refresh vs redesign
by Sami Haj-Assaad

With so many strong competitors in the compact car segment, two long-time Japanese rivals from Honda and Nissan are re-thinking their approach. For 2013 the Honda Civic gets a significant refresh, sporting better driving dynamics and more creature comforts, while the Nissan Sentra has undergone a major makeover, with a stylish new body and an impressive amount of new technology.

So which approach to the compact car segment is more successful? Is the all-new Sentra with its attractive new looks and show-off features the best bet, or is it the Civic with its inner beauty?


There’s no denying the fact that the old Sentra had very little sex appeal, with its chunky, boxy exterior styling and cheapo-plastic looking interior. However for 2013 the Sentra looks fresh from a shopping spree at the South Coast Plaza, featuring gorgeous LED lights, 17-inch rims and chrome accents that really compliment the new, curvaceous design of the car. Of course there are a few extras that are part of the SL trim, which bumps the Sentra’s $15,990 base price to $19,820 before additional packages. While base models retain the LED headlights, they don’t have the side view mirrors with integrated turn signals, or fog lights, which give the Sentra a more grown up look.

The Civic, on the other hand, is a well-proportioned, retaining its classic, if a little boring design. The front and rear fasciae have been refreshed for a more modern and cohesive Honda brand image. Without a doubt, the new Civic looks closer to its Accord sibling, which is a good thing. Our model, the high-end EX-L with Navigation, costs $23,765, and comes with pretty alloy-wheels (which were upgraded to 17s) and fog-lights over the base $18,165 Honda Civic LX.
Read the complete 2013 Honda Civic vs 2013 Nissan Sentra comparison at

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