The Honda vs Toyota Reliability Guide: Costs and Benefits

Toyota vs Honda Reliability

In the automotive world, few rivalries have captured the attention of consumers like the everlasting battle between Honda and Toyota. The debate on Honda vs Toyota reliability is both long-standing and ongoing, as the two automotive giants have been competing for decades. Both Honda and Toyota make famously reliable vehicles that do well even in the second-hand market. But which brand is the most reliable of the two? 

Read on to learn more about Honda vs Toyota reliability in terms of engine, transmission, and overall reliability. We’ll also discuss the benefits of owning a Toyota or Honda as well as how to buy a Honda or Toyota for less. 

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Which Is More Reliable: Honda or Toyota?

So you’re wondering if there’s any difference in Honda vs Toyota reliability. The fact is that both Honda and Toyota are known for producing reliable vehicles. In fact, their reputations for dependability have been built over decades. In various reliability studies and consumer surveys, both Honda and Toyota consistently rank well. However, those rankings tend to shift from year to year and model to model. Both brands have a history of producing vehicles with fewer major issues, longer lifespans, and lower repair costs compared to some other brands. 

According to a study published in April of 2023 by, eight of the top 23 longest-lasting vehicles are made by Toyota, while four of the top 23 are made by Honda. According to the 2023 Consumer Reports top reliable brands, Toyota is the number one most reliable brand, while Honda is number five. And the most reliable vehicle, according to the same report, was the Toyota Corolla Hybrid. However, according to RepairPal, Honda takes the spot as the number one most reliable brand. So, whether you purchase a Honda vs Toyota, you can be sure you’re buying a reliable vehicle that will last you for many years.   

Which Is Better?

Aside from reliability, is Honda vs Toyota better? The answer to that question is going to depend on a few factors. Let’s look at maintenance costs, engine reliability, transmission reliability, and cost of ownership to better answer that question. 

Toyota vs Honda Maintenance Costs

One of the reasons Toyota and Honda have been such successful brands is that their vehicles are well made, with fewer large issues than other brands. While both Honda and Toyotas tend to have low maintenance costs, a Toyota will cost you less in general to maintain. The average maintenance cost for a Toyota in the first ten years of ownership is around $6000, while the average for Honda is $7500. Both these costs are phenomenal and lower than other brands on the market. 

Engine Reliability

In terms of engine reliability, both Hondas and Toyotas are extremely reliable. With so many models between the two brands, it’s impossible to compare specs, so we’re talking general engine reliability here. With that said, Toyota has a slight edge over Honda, needing fewer repairs. Honda’s engines tend to be more powerful and performance-focused, but unfortunately, they are less reliable than the average Toyota engine. 

Transmission Reliability

If your transmission goes out, you’re in for an expensive repair. That’s especially the case if your vehicle is fitted with a CVT or Continuously Variable Transmission. The CVT is a newer type of automatic transmission that helps your engine run more efficiently with smoother transitions into gear. Both Toyota and Honda have most of their new vehicles fitted with CVTs. As a newer technology, CVTs still have a few bugs to work out, such as overheating, rope slippage, and susceptibility to cold. Fixing your CVT is more costly than fixing a typical automatic transmission. However, both Honda and Toyota transmissions still rate highly for reliability. 

New Hondas and Toyotas come with warranties, so if your transmission does go out, you’ll be covered up to a certain point. Both cover the transmission and engine for 60,000 miles or 5 years, so it’s fair to say that both companies essentially have equally reliable transmissions. 

Cost of Ownership

When it comes to vehicles, the sticker price isn’t the only thing you’ll end up paying. In order to run your car, you need to fuel it of course, but beyond that, there’s a cost to ownership. For some cars, more maintenance is required to keep the vehicle functional. So let’s compare the cost of ownership for Honda vs Toyota to see if one is better than the other. 

According to, the average cost to own a Honda is $31,187 over a five-year period while the average cost to own a Toyota over five years is $32,449. This includes costs such as depreciation, insurance, repairs, financing, and fuel. Toyota has more models than Honda, however, more of which are trucks, which often come with higher maintenance costs. Perhaps a better comparison would be between comparable models. 

The Toyota Corolla, Toyota’s most reliable model, has an average cost of ownership of $23,921 over five years. Honda’s similar model is the Civic, which has an average cost of ownership of $24,230. Similarly, we can compare the Honda Odyssey with the Toyota Sienna. The Odyssey has an average cost of ownership of $36,160 while the Sienna has an average cost of $34,928. While both brands have a similar cost of ownership, Toyota wins when comparing model by model.   

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Benefits of Owning a Honda

There’s a reason Honda has been successful for so long. With a solid reputation that spans decades, Honda is a top choice among car enthusiasts. Honda is dependable, and that is something not all car brands can say. Because Hondas have fewer major issues than other car brands, they tend to retain a higher resale value. And with high fuel efficiency, you’ll save money at the pump. 

Because Honda values performance, you’ll find your vehicle fitted with a more powerful engine than you would in a Toyota. Plus, roomier interiors with more cargo space make Hondas more comfortable to drive. 

Cons of Owning a Honda

There’s no such thing as a perfect car, even among the Honda and Toyota legacies. While Honda vehicles have a ton of advantages, there are some drawbacks to owning a Honda. One notable concern is road noise, as some Honda models are louder compared to competitors. Additionally, while Honda’s interiors are generally functional, they might lack upscale materials and finishes. Of course, these drawbacks will vary from model to model. 

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Benefits of Owning a Toyota

Owning a Toyota comes with a variety of benefits, including extreme reliability. Toyota vehicles deliver a sense of dependability that minimizes the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns and reduces long-term maintenance costs. Because of this, Toyota vehicles have a strong resale value that further solidifies its reputation. With a focus on fuel efficiency and eco-friendly tech, Toyota models often lead the way in sustainability. Coupled with advanced safety features, Toyota vehicles offer a comprehensive package that prioritizes driver and passenger security, convenience, and connectivity. In fact, even base models of Toyota vehicles often come with more connectivity than base Honda models. 

Cons of Owning a Toyota

Overall, Toyota is an incredibly reliable brand, more so according to many car experts than Honda. However, there are some drawbacks to consider when purchasing a Toyota. For example, some people criticize Toyota vehicles for having less engaging driving dynamics and more conservative styling compared to competitors. Essentially, Toyota isn’t always the cool car you dreamed of driving as a teen. The infotainment systems in some Toyota vehicles are said to be not very intuitive or user-friendly. Additionally, Toyota’s often suffer when it comes to cargo space and interior roominess. 

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How to Get Honda or Toyota for Less

Now that we’ve looked at various factors, who wins when it comes to Honda vs Toyota reliability? Toyota does come out slightly ahead in many of the comparisons we did. However, at the end of the day, both Honda and Toyota are incredibly reliable vehicles that will last you for years without significant issues. 

So how can you get the Honda or Toyota of your dreams for less? By purchasing a lower-trim model, you can save beaucoup bucks. But that doesn’t mean you have to stick with the boring cloth interior. With Katzkin, you can customize your interior with high-quality automotive leather or suede. Katzkin is more than just a seat cover, though. Installed by a professional, Katzkin seats replace the old interior, fitting as good or better than a factory fit. Whether you’re looking for a cool red and black two-tone combination or something more unique, Katzkin will transform your interior. Plus, if your trim level didn’t come with heated or ventilated seats, Katzkin can add these features for the ultimate driving comfort. And the best part is just how affordable Katzkin is. You pay less money and still get a luxurious interior. Here you can see how much it costs to reupholster your car seats with Katzkin and when to do it. 

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