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Honda Vs. Toyota: Reliability Review

Honda vs Toyota reliability| Indy Auto Man, Indianapolis
2018 Honda Civic Sedan LX / 2017 Toyota Camry XSE V6

Honda Vs. Toyota: Reliability, Maintenance Costs, and Benefits of Owning

If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable used car in Indianapolis, choosing between Honda and Toyota, this comparative review will help you make the right choice. According to statistics, now in the most competitive world market – the United States – every ninth car out of 15 that came off the assembly line belongs to the Japanese concerns Toyota and Honda. Millions of drivers are choosing these brands for their reliability, quality, and comfort.

The history of the competition between the Japanese automobile giants Honda and Toyota goes back over 80 years. These two brands are cult ones that have managed to conquer the world. Below, we’ll compare the features of Toyota and Honda vehicles.

Reliability of Honda and Toyota

The principles of Japanese manufacturers are well-known: reliable durable components, modest interior, an average price for the end-user, and a selection of models and trims for different buyer categories.

  • Honda is famous for its enduring engines and the minimum number of visits to the service station;
  • Toyota gained recognition for life-long running and the best liquidity on the secondary market.

Engine Reliability

Fortunately for those choosing between Honda and Toyota, both brands have a reputation for reliability and have minor differences here. But in face-to-face combat, Toyota tends to gain more points; Honda, with their turbocharged power units, focused on performance, receives complaints from drivers who find them less reliable and more prone to repairs than engines of the past.


When it comes to safety, Toyota also trumps reliability. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Toyota Corolla a Top Safety Pick + Award, while Honda failed due to headlamp issues. The Corolla also has a few advanced features that Honda lacks, such as lane tracking assistance and road sign detection. In all respects, both Toyota and Honda tend to score above average in reliability, with Toyota slightly ahead of Honda.

Which is Cheaper, Toyota or Honda?

Honda Fit $16,190 Toyota Yaris $17,750
Honda Civic $21,900 Toyota Corolla $20,075
Honda Insight $25,210 Toyota Prius $24,525
Honda Accord $24,970 Toyota Camry $25,295
Honda Civic Si Coupe $25,200 Toyota 86 $27,995
Honda Clarity Plug-in $33,400 Toyota Prius Prime $28,220
Honda Odyssey $32,290 Toyota Sienna $34,560
Honda Ridgeline $36,890 Toyota Tacoma $26,500
Honda HR-V $21,420 Toyota C-HR/ RAV4/ Highlander $21,695/$26,350/$35,205
Honda Passport $32,790 Toyota 4Runner $37,305

Honda has not so many models as Toyota, so the one-by-one price comparison is not always fair. To help you understand the pricing, we have listed the Toyota and Honda models of the same classes with their base price*. The range of Toyota vehicles starts from $17,750 to over $85,000, while the Honda lineup ranges from $16,000 to $37,000.

Comparable models of these brands usually have similar options and features.

Honda has no direct competitors for these Toyota models:

  • Toyota Prius C $21,500
  • Toyota Tundra $34,125
  • Toyota Avalon $36,275
  • Toyota Sequoia $50,000
  • Toyota Land Cruiser $85,665

* Price disclaimer: all specified prices are recommended retail prices from the websites of manufacturing companies, valid at the time of publication.

What Brand Has Lower Maintenance Costs, Toyota or Honda?

Honda powertrain warranty

Both brands are excellent value-wise. Neither Toyota nor Honda models are prone to capital repair problems. The maintenance costs associated with keeping them on the road for fifteen and more years are among the lowest in the industry, but Toyota has a slight edge over Honda. In its first ten years of operation, the average Honda costs its owner $7,500 in maintenance, lower than any other brand except Toyota at $6,000. This is especially true for buyers of certified pre-owned models.

Every new Toyota and Honda comes standard with a full but limited warranty. Each Toyota comes with a 36,000-mile or 36-month warranty, whichever comes first. The transmission cover, which protects the owner from the costly engine and transmission repairs, lasts for 60 months or 60,000 miles. New Honda also carries a 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty. But the Honda powertrain warranty is shorter than that of Toyota and only covers the powertrain for 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Honda Vs. Toyota: What Brand to Buy?

Toyota wins with higher overall ratings and a more versatile lineup. However, Honda vehicles have their strengths too, especially in the SUV segment. Both Honda and Toyota are nearly equal in the plug-in and hybrid vehicle categories. But what benefits does the owner of each brand get?

Benefits of Owning a Honda

One category where Honda beats Toyota is speed, especially in sedans like the beloved Civic and Accord. The Civic Type R is not technically a sports car but is still the fastest model in the lineup. It is equipped with a 306-horsepower turbo-four-cylinder engine that accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just over five seconds.

Honda also strives to excel in the SUV segment, and the CR-V is a great compact SUV thanks to its efficient drivetrain, wide interior dimensions, and upscale cabin.

Where Honda Lags Behind

The Honda Ridgeline midsize truck scored higher than the Toyota Tacoma and has a decent towing capacity. However, you won’t get a full-size truck from Honda. And the competitor Toyota Tundra can tow 8,000 pounds more than the Ridgeline.

Another disadvantage of Honda vehicles is the lack of advanced infotainment features such as smartphone integration. This manufacturer doesn’t skimp on safety features, but you will have to pay extra for smartphone connectivity and a mid-sized touchscreen. Some consumers also complain that the controls are rather confusing.

Why Everyone Loves Toyota

The Toyota vehicles offer much value in terms of the features included. The Camry base trim offers smartphone integration, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a USB port, and satellite radio; by comparison, the Honda Accord is only equipped with Bluetooth and one USB port.

The Toyota vehicles also consistently last longer than any Honda. According to statistics based on consumer reports, Toyota is the second most reliable automaker after Mazda, and Corolla is the most reliable model. Honda didn’t even make it to the top 10 for average reliability.

Even Toyota Has Weak Points

Despite Toyota gaining one of the highest brand loyalty, that doesn’t mean it has no weak points. Many models have been cited as having the lowest boot capacity, which may not be suitable for large families. For example, the Accord has about two cubic feet more trunk space than the Camry.

The Toyota car may also have a less powerful drivetrain. The stock Civic has 158bhp, while the rival Corolla has just 139bhp. A motor that needs to run with a higher load also produces more noise.

Which Car Is Right for You?

Toyota Honda
Reliability ***** *****
Safety ***** ****
Warranties ***** *****
Model range ***** ***
Price *** *****
Engine power *** *****
Maintenance cost ***** ****
Trunk space *** *****

If you’re on a tight budget, a used Toyota is a clear winner. These cars have more standard features, which makes them more profitable. A used model can also potentially last much more years than a used Honda.

However, if you value performance, Honda is the better choice. You may also prefer one of the Honda SUVs if you need a spacious luggage compartment. Whatever your preference, you can’t go wrong with either Honda or Toyota.

Visit the Indy Auto Man used car dealership, take both brands for a test drive to compare your feelings, and get professional advice on the selected models. This way you will find the best option to meet all your expectations.