In any civil action or proceeding either party may challenge the panel, or individual jurors thereon, for the same causes and in the same manner as in criminal trials, except that the number of peremptory challenges to be allowed on either side shall be as provided in this section. Before challenging a juror, either party may examine the juror in reference to qualifications to sit as a juror in the cause. A sufficient number of jurors shall be called in the action so that six shall remain after the exercise of the peremptory challenges as provided in this section, and to provide alternate jurors when ordered by the court under rule 47.02 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. Each party shall be entitled to two peremptory challenges, which shall be made alternately beginning with the defendant. The parties to the action shall be deemed two, all plaintiffs being one party, and all defendants being the other party, except, in case two or more defendants have adverse interests, the court, if satisfied that the due protection of their interests so requires, may allow the defendant or defendants on each side of the adverse interests not to exceed two peremptory challenges. When the peremptory challenges have been exhausted or declined, the first six of the remaining jurors shall constitute the jury.