Are Hondas Reliable? The Complete Breakdown

in Reliability
Honda logo

Source: Pixabay

When looking at the most consistently reliable vehicles over the last decade, Mazda, Toyota, and Lexus continue to produce cars that always position them at the top of our annual auto reliability brand rankings. This year, Honda joined them in the top five along with Buick, which have seen substantial improvements in their overall rankings.

Honda’s increase is due to continuous improvements and specific exceptional models in its range, which offset the Odyssey minivans and Passport SUV’s persistent dependability issues. When looking at Honda’s overall reliability, it is one of the best options for car buyers.


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How Reliable is Honda?

Honda’s Reliability Rating as a brand is 4.0 out of 5.0, placing it first among 32 vehicle companies, according to RepairPal. This score is based on an average of nearly 350 different mainstream models. A Honda’s average yearly repair cost is less than $500, and with just a 10% chance of significant maintenance required, owners can expect a visit to the repair shop every other calendar year.

Honda is one of the most consistent brands for reliability among different classes, with four different makes at the top of their class and a few additional runner-ups. Regardless of what type of vehicle you’re looking for, the odds are that Honda has the most reliable model and the highest rated in its class. All Honda’s are covered by a three-year/36,000-mile standard warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty from Honda.

Many industry experts credit Honda’s longevity to its engineering craftsmanship and overall value for a simplistic design. You’ll still see Honda Civics from the late 1990s driving on the road today, and the brand, in general, has one of the highest resale values in the auto industry for its ability to last.

Honda Odyssey - #1 in minivans

MSRP: $32,000-$45,000
Expected dependability score: 76100
US News Rating 8.9/10 

The Honda Odyssey received a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with five stars in the frontal and side-impact tests and four stars in the rollover test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety earned the 2021 Odyssey a Top Safety Pick+ title after giving it the highest Good grade in all six crash tests. For forward vision, the Odyssey’s headlights got the second-highest rating of Acceptable. Collision avoidance features are graded on a separate scale by the IIHS. The Odyssey’s basic front collision prevention systems received a Superior grade.

This Honda provides you a lot for your money while having one of the highest retail costs in the class. Many Honda standard active safety technologies, including pedestrian recognition, automated emergency braking, and lane-keep assist, have been included for 2021, improving its value for the money.


There have been 20 total recalls in the last three years (which sounds like a lot), but they’ve mainly been for errors with the fuel system, hatch & door locks, storage components, and backup camera distance sensors. While these are less than ideal, one of the most reliable minivans is the Odyssey.


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Honda Accord - #1 in midsize sedans

MSRP: $25,000-$36,000
Expected dependability score: 82100
US News Rating 8.910

When equipped with the basic engine, the Accord achieves an excellent fuel economy of 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the interstate. With the bigger turbo-four engine, mileage drops to 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the interstate. The Accord is more athletic than other midsize vehicles. It feels grounded and agile through corners, and it’s well-reviewed by its drivers for overall driving satisfaction.

The Honda Accord is a fantastic automobile in every way. Its energetic engines and agile handling make for a pleasurable driving experience, and the roomy, well-appointed cabin may make you mistake it for a luxury sedan.

Overall, the vehicle received a five-star rating, with five stars in the frontal, side, and rollover tests. In all six crashworthiness tests, the IIHS granted the 2021 Accord the highest grade of Good. For how effectively its headlights illuminate the road ahead, the basic level LX trim got the second-highest rating of Acceptable; all other trims received a Good rating. With no significant recorded recalls, the Honda Accord is one of the most reliable vehicles available to consumers.

Honda Accord Electric - #1 in Electric & Hybrid Vehicles

MSRP: $26,000-$36,000
Expected dependability score: 82100
US News Rating 8.810

With nearly identical specs and ratings, Accord Electric has only had two recalls in recent years for exterior lighting and the gas portion of the fueling/charging system.


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Honorable Mentions

Honda Pilot

MSRP: $25,000-$36,000
Expected dependability score: 78100
US News Rating 8.410

Honda CR-V

MSRP: $25,000-$35,000
Expected dependability score: 78100
US News Rating 8.410

Ultimately, the answer for all of these vehicles is that Honda’s are highly reliable. Honda has built a reputation for being well-crafted and maintained, and while most models are some of the more affordable options on the market, that doesn’t mean they’re designed poorly. According to JD Power, among non-luxury car brands, Honda ranks third overall in customer loyalty, just behind Subaru and Toyota. With nearly 60% of owners buying another Honda vehicle after they trade or sell their current vehicle, the reliability of these six vehicles and the brand overall are critical factors in creating return customers.

Common Problems of Honda Vehicles

Although Honda has a long history of reliability, its vehicles are not spared from common mechanical issues. Here are some of the most common Honda reliability issues owners may encounter:

  • Power steering whines - One common complaint about certain Honda generations is the loud whining or groaning noise while turning the steering wheel. The likely cause is the air getting into the power steering system due to worn-out O-rings. This issue affects the 7th-gen Accord, 3rd-gen Odyssey, and 1st-gen Pilot.
  • Honda Sensing problems - Honda’s safety suite is an excellent collection of safety features. However, several complaints about Honda Sensing include random brakes, faulty adaptive cruise control, false positives due to weather, and system recalibration.
  • Dead battery - This is a common issue with the Accord and CR-V, and they’re reported to chew through their batteries. Apparently, Honda’s underpowered batteries are prone to parasitic drains because electrical components continue to draw power.
  • Automatic transmission failure - Automatic transmission Hondas made between 1999-2004 suffered from widespread transmission failure – particularly with the Accord, Civic, and Odyssey. The likely cause is that the torque converter fails and burns up the transmission fluid, leading to transmission failure.

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