Is Honda reliable? An impartial look at the Japanese car manufacturer
Did you know that Honda are the world’s largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines? They produce more than 14 million internal combustion engines each year. They are also the eighth largest automobile manufacturer in the world.
Honda cars are a common sight on our roads, as well as several other roads across the globe. Their cars are a favourite among many and are synonymous with being trustworthy, well-built and great to drive.
But are Honda reliable?
In this article, we look at just how reliable Honda are, and how this compares to some of its main rivals.
Are Honda Reliable?
Yes, is the short answer. Yes, very reliable, is the slightly longer answer.
Honda have been pretty consistent when it comes to dependability and have always been in the top ten for reliability. In 2013 they were ranked first for engine reliability by WarrantyDirect, with a failure rate of just 1 in 344, which is 0.29%.
In 2015, a survey by WarrantyDirect and WhatCar? put Honda top for the ninth year in a row for overall reliability. Honda received a reliability index of just 41, which is way below the industry average (the lower the rating, the better the score).
ReliabilityIndex also rank Honda highly, coming in 2nd place only to Daihatsu. Honda were given a reliability index of 42.
Honda were also named the most reliable used car brand by WhatCar? And WarrantyDirect.
How reliable is the Honda Civic?
If we look at one of their most well-known cars, the Honda Civic, WhatCar? have placed the Civic as above class average for many repairs. These include electrics, air-conditioning and bulbs. However, they have put them at below class-average for wiper-blades, brakes pads and discs. Though they do tend to be only a few thousand miles below class average, this is still something that should be noted.
Is the Honda CR-V reliable?
ReliabilityIndex put the Honda CR-V at very reliable, with a reliability score of 59 which is below the industry average. They have reported that most of the problems come with the electrics, but that accounts for 25.37% of the problems, followed by the suspension.
Honda Jazz reliability
The Honda Jazz scores very impressively, with a reliability index of just 12. Only a few issues were reported and that was mainly due to the suspension, followed by the electrics. But there were no issues reported with the fuel system, gearbox or cooling system.
Is the Honda Accord reliable?
The Honda Accord also does very well, with a reliability index of 29 and spend an average of just 1.7 hours off the road in the event of a repair. Their main issues tend to be with the electrics and the braking system.
Overall, I think it’s safe to say that Honda are one of the most reliable car brands out there. They have consistently topped reliability surveys and their cars seem to be consistently reliable also.
Why are Honda reliable?
So why are Honda one of the most reliable brands out there?
There are quite a few reasons why Honda are so dependable. One of these reasons could be due to the fact that they don’t cost much to repair when they do go wrong. Honda cars are cheap to repair and aren’t off the road for very long. This greatly increases reliability. One of the issues that many luxury brands run into is that their parts are expensive to source, replace and can be off the road for a long period of time, which lowers their dependability. However, a brand like Honda does not have this issue, and therefore has an increased reliability.
Jim Holder from WhatCar? told thisismoney;
“Honda’s success in the reliability index is chiefly down to low failure rates. However, when things do go wrong, the cars are also relatively cheap to fix.”
Another reason Honda might be so reliable is due to their technology, or lack of it. Some more luxury car brands have packed their cars full of new, modern technology. While this might be great for the owner at first, this modern technology can go wrong and when it does, can be expensive to fix.
However, Honda cars don’t necessarily have so much modern technology. This isn’t a bad thing by any means, Honda know their audience and they know it well. But it does mean they are at a distinct advantage because the less technology there is in the car, the less there is to go wrong with it.
So those are a few reasons why Honda are so reliable.
What are the common Honda problems?
When you are looking at getting a car, either brand new or used, it’s important to know what problems you may run into later down the line. Here are some of the problems you may encounter when your Honda model is a bit older;
- Vibration when braking
- This has been reported as an issue around the 95,000 mile mark. The problem has been put down to warped front brake motors. Sometimes you can fix this by simply getting them repaired but in some cases, you may have to get them replaced.
- Transmission failure
- This happens due to transmission slippage, and has occurred in quite a few Honda models. Many of these models suffer from the problem before 90,000 miles.
- Power lock failure
- In some cases, the power lock worked only intermittently and in others stopped altogether. It has been reported that this has been known to happen after the 100,000 mile mark.
Those are some of the things you may want to look out for. If you are a buying a second hand Honda, then we recommend asking about these problems before you buy.
How reliable are consumer reports and surveys?
While we’re here, we might as well defend our use of consumer reports and surveys as a way of determining reliability.
Consumer reports and surveys from companies such as WarrantyDirect are a really accurate way of telling how reliable a car is. These surveys are carried out by the owners of the makes and models, who will be able to tell how dependable their car has been, and what problems they have had with the car.
Surveys done by the likes of WarrantyDirect are also a good way of determining how reliable a car is due to the fact they can access a large amount of data on what claims have been made on which cars and brands. Every time a customer makes a claim, they can record this information. They then use this information to determine which brands are the most dependable and which ones aren’t. So, they are pretty reliable.
That said, they do have their faults. For example, it is hard to judge llong-termreliability for brand new models because they haven’t been around long enough. However, a good way to estimate this is to have a look at other models and see how well they have fared.
Overall, though, consumer reports and surveys are a very accurate way of determining the longevity of a car.
Honda vs. Toyota vs. Mazda; Which is more reliable?
It’s in this part of the article that we compare Honda to some of its rivals and see how reliable the brand is when compared to the other two. In this instance, we’re putting Honda up against Toyota and Mazda. So, how did they do?
Pretty well, but we’re sure you already predicted that. Although, Toyota and Mazda put up a good fight. Toyota came second in the Telegraph survey for most reliable used car brands, with Mazda coming in joint sixth. In the WarrantyDirect and WhatCar? survey, Toyota came third with a reliability index of 66 and Mazda came in joint fourth with a reliability index of 82.
In the engine failure survey, Toyota came second again, with a failure rate of 1 in 171. While this is impressive, it didn’t quite meet Honda’s 1 in 344. Still, that’s only 0.58% for Toyota when it comes to engine failure rate, which is something to be proud of. Unfortunately for Mazda, in this instance they weren’t in the top 10. They weren’t in the bottom 10 either though, so that’s a bonus. Reliability Index place Toyota fourth and Mazda fifth in their table, with a reliability index of 59 and 64 respectively.
If you are looking for a reliable car, then you won’t go wrong with a Honda. That said, both Toyota and Mazda are also very dependable brands, so it doesn’t really matter too much which brand you go for if you are comparing the three. All three of these brands have scored very highly for their reliability so you wouldn’t go wrong with either Honda, Toyota or Mazda.
Which are the most reliable Honda cars?
The following Honda models are the most reliable;
- Honda Jazz
- Honda Accord
- Honda Civic
These have all scored extremely well on ReliabilityIndex and J.D Power.
Which are the least reliable Honda cars?
And what about the least reliable?
- Honda CR-V
- Honda Civic Hybrid
- Honda CR-Z
These have all scored three out of five on J.D Power. Admittedly, this is average and is by no means a bad thing, but they are the most unreliable Honda’s. In fact, Honda’s most unreliable cars are probably still some of the most reliable cars out there.
In conclusion, Honda are extremely reliable. In fact, they are one of the most dependable car brands on the market today. If you are looking for a car that prioritises longevity then you cannot go wrong with a Honda. Even their most unreliable cars are pretty reliable. If you compare them to their rivals, Toyota and Mazda, then they knock them out of the park, though you wouldn’t go wrong with either of those models. One of the reasons Honda are so reliable is due to their low repair costs and the fact that they aren’t off the road too long. Ultimately, if you want a reliable car, then you should definitely look at a Honda.
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I have heard that turbo engines in the 10th Honda’s aren’t particularly reliable and the wet belt in the 3cyl engine makes the car almost a right off after 6 years. I wonder if anyone at Honda can explain how they have designed a car that requires a year six service to have a cost of £2500 which is what I have been quoted by Honda for my 1.0vtech civic.
The idea was that because the belt would always be in oil it would last longer, however the reality is to change is a much bigger job and the recommendation now is to change at the same interval. Yes, you are right virtually it does make it a write off, so the decision for you to make is it best to sell the vehicle now without getting the work done and invest the proceeds and the £2500 into a new car. Honda are unlikely to help you I am afraid.
Engine Failure Survey? LoL, that’s got to be flawed data. If you check Car Complaints, you will find registered complaints for every year and model of car, Honda’s have about twice the number of complaints as Toyota’s. But, more importantly, just being a Honda doesn’t give it the same reliability as Honda’s from the past, specifically the 90’s Honda’s. Today’s Turbo 1.5L have a very serious problem, oil dilution. That is going to wear the motor in about 5 years… they are still new enough that the problem hasn’t fully revealed itself. Mazda Trucks are the best and shouldn’t be compared with Mazda cars. Judging a vehicle based on just the brand is ignorant. Google Honda Roof problem, Transmission problems, Honda Lies, Air Bag problems, ball joint problems. Then carefully avoid those crappy models and years of Honda’s, THEN you’ll have a reliable car.
Hi there Joshua, thank you for sharing your comment. We aim to give a factual overview of each manufacturer within our reliability articles. There will, of course, be models that are more reliable than others and with that, we must also take into consideration the age of the vehicle.
This article and the responses from some Honda owners make it sound as though Honda is THE brand of vehicle to buy. Problem is the article only addresses a few models of Honda. For instance, it does not address the myriad of complaints and problems associated with the Honda Odyssey mini van, CR-V, Pilot, and Passport. Recent models of these vehicle have had multiple problems with the infotainment center, gasoline getting mixed in with the oil, cooling system problems, etc. There have been multiple recalls on these vehicles in the past two or three model years. Why is this? What has happened to the famous Honda quality control? Is it because Hondas sold in the United States are now built in the U.S. and not in Japan where workmanship and quality control are King?
A number of the models you have mentioned are not available in the UK, and as this is our core customer base, the research we do is focused on makes and models available here rather than elsewhere. The repots we have available show that Honda vehicles on UK roads have good reputation when it comes to reliability.
I am now in year three of my latest Honda, and as with the other Hondas I’ve owned, nothing has gone wrong, other than battery dying after I first bought it (at five years old) and new rear brakes at 30K. My mechanic reckoned it had never been serviced properly prior to my owning it, and still it’s been faultless. It’s been perfect ever since. Takes four people, all their luggage and the seats fold flat and low, making it the ideal makeshift small removals van. Averaging about 45mpg, but I don’t hang about.
Thank you for your comment on the reliability of Honda as you’ve experienced it. Honda has a very good track record, it appears, when it comes to reliability. They are frequently appearing near the top of consumer reports and surveys for their dependability.
I have a 2003 Honda Civic I bought in 2005 and I have never had problems with it. Even the battery lasted 13 years before it needed replacing. My husband has a 2001 Honda Accord. Both cars have been consistently reliable and still going strong. I love my car and I will be heartbroken when it eventually gives up the ghost. We would definitely purchase Honda cars again.
This is wonderful to hear. It’s always interesting to hear from people who have experience with these models. When you are ready to look for a new vehicle, please get in touch with our vehicle specialists on 01903 223391 and they will be happy to help you find a new Honda.