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Highly-Reliable Honda Drops In Consumer Reports Reliability Survey

Honda is known for building reliable cars, but they drop this year in the Consumer Reports reliability survey. See where they rank for 2018.

Honda has a reputation as one of the most reliable brands among all automakers, but they dropped significantly in the latest Consumer Reports reliability survey. Honda Motor Co moves down six spots in the survey and dropped to 15th place among all automakers. Porsche, Mazda, and Hyundai moved ahead of the Japanese automaker. Acura, Honda’s luxury brand, moved up six spots to #13.

According to Consumer Reports, Honda’s reliability dropped because of its new and redesigned models. CR says, “The Odyssey minivan had much-worse-than-average reliability, with problems including the infotainment system, and door locking and unlocking. Honda’s Clarity line of alternative-fuel cars had much-worse-than-average reliability as was the brand’s least reliable vehicle. Reported problems included electronic glitches.”

The Honda Fit hatchback is Honda’s most reliable vehicle in the lineup. The subcompact is a fuel-efficient city commuter with versatility with its five doors. The Honda Accord, the brand’s third best-selling vehicle in the lineup, dropped to average in reliability, with problems including the infotainment system and interior rattles. Accord sales are down -13.6 percent for the year even after the four-door sedan received a complete remodel for the 2018 model year.

The popular Honda CR-V, the brand’s top-selling vehicle in the stable of vehicles, also dropped to average and sales are down -4.1 percent in 2018. Honda fully-redesigned the popular model for the 2017 model year with more comfort inside, more fuel-efficiency, and more versatility. The exterior was completely restyled and is more attractive and modern looking.

The Honda Civic, the brand’s hot new compact, hasn’t dropped in reliability. Sales are up +0.3 percent and the new Honda Civic Hatchback is sporty, fuel-efficient, fast, turbocharged, fun-to-drive, and has the utility of a hatch. The Civic with the 6-speed manual rower is the way to go if you like to drive. It has quick throws and smooth shifts making it a joy to drive. The 1.5-liter turbo feels extra quick, thanks to the additional, steady low-end torque. 

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Photo credit: Honda USA


Chandrasekhar V (not verified)    November 17, 2021 - 10:44PM

In reply to by Mike Hogan (not verified)

First of all Lexus is a Luxury car model. For the last 15 to 20 years, it is the best and top selling luxury car model(namely ES 350, RX 350, 450h etc) even surpassing the famed BMW, Mercedes and Audi in reliability. Acura, the luxury brand model of Honda is around 15th and Honda is around 10th in reliability. Please compare Toyota with Honda, still without going into details, I can say Toyotas are superior to Honda by any benchmark. The issue with Toyota is they don’t make spacious and stylish cars.

the oregon tra… (not verified)    January 25, 2020 - 6:31AM

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Marian (not verified)    January 27, 2020 - 9:43AM

2016 Honda accord 2 door v6 limited – same problem occurred after about 50k kms. Starts sometimes just fine and sometimes sounds like the engine is grinding making noise but does not start. Break pedal is hard to press to start and was not like that at the beginning, my leg feels sore after a while and my wife does not want to drive this vehicle any more. I was going to purchase new Ridgeline pickup but not any more. I do not trust Honda fixed this problem. Toyota will be my choice from now on, I have Toyota Venza and it runs like new but the car is 8 years old. I hope pays attention to more and more complains.

bruce mcglynn (not verified)    March 4, 2020 - 10:29PM

We have 2 Honda Claritiys and both have been problem free! Consumer Reports recently gave this vehicle the most reliable of the Honda models.The Passport got the worst rating.

Joshua Bensadon (not verified)    August 5, 2020 - 10:32AM

In reply to by bruce mcglynn (not verified)

I agree, consumer reports have been giving very good unbiased information. Some Honda's are still reliable, others, not so much. Do your homework! Search Honda Reliability Myth and see for yourself. Search Car Complaints for even more details.

Lee (not verified)    May 20, 2020 - 5:24PM

Guys are not talking about reliability issues such as your transmisi transmission melting in the middle of the causeway, or your engine going out, or your head gasket blowing or overheating issues.
These are minor things that are happening to the Hondas. Stuff like the infotainment system? Interior rattle? What is that compared to being stuck on the side of the road because your car won't start.
None of this crap matters, what really matters, is that we need to find out and we will find out soon how really reliable The Hondas are because they are sourcing their parts from China now. So we will see how that goes in the long-term.

Joshua Bensadon (not verified)    August 5, 2020 - 10:39AM

Honda reliability is a myth that dealers shove down your throat. Of course some Honda's are still reliable, but that doesn't make them the most reliable. Use your brains! do the research. Car Complaints has very accurate data and you'll find that Honda isn't some kind of magical car that never breaks. They want your money just like every other greedy car company, only they don't sell as many cars and have to make more money on less sales. Please stop listening to Honda salesmen! They prey on stupid people.

Nathan B (not verified)    September 3, 2020 - 10:13AM

We were thinking about replacing our car and my Wife said the next car we get She would like a sporty looking 2 door again , " I think She wants to feel young again " the Civic came to mind , but after talking with some one I know that is leasing one She said , after the lease is over I will never look at a Honda again , I been getting that talk about Honda a lot now . We had Honda's before years ago and were OK other then the Power Steering pump going out with in a week from new on our first Civic and the 2006 Accord we had gave no trouble but when I shut the doors it sound like a tin can . Were up in age and been though many autos in our life and my wife always liked 2 door cars as for me I could care less . Out of all the cars we had through the years my Wife said she liked her Mitsubishi Eclipse the best and it never gave us a problem . It was the last year Eclipse body style made . I told my Wife that , I think it's best to keep what we have now because I don't know what to trust anymore and the price on cars now is to high to take that chance .

Tim Bartee (not verified)    January 8, 2021 - 10:44AM

Great car safe and well engineered- sell it after 100 k and no worries. 2011 accord 2.4 four cylinder, 130 k new axles (Honda used cheap grease) 146 k VTC bearing on the end of camshaft (cheap spring inside) had to replace 3 of 4 door locks $ 4,000.00 and growing repair bills. Understand it’s an older car but these are manufacturing choices some because they are required to purchase parts in the US for tax purposes.

Tony (not verified)    September 2, 2021 - 2:16PM

I agree, made a huge mistake in 2001 to by an Acura TL Type S. Total waste of money! I was young and dump and put my hard earned 20K down too on this car which cost $32,500 on my 1st and last Honda product ! Within a week or 2 I started noticing the transmission on 2nd gear felt as if was going to break, took to the deal and was told oh my wife has same car blah blah just break it in will be fine, as if I was crazy. 2 months later I receive a letter that they need to install oil jets to keep something lubricated etc. I was warned by a coworker that the transmission will die around 65 to 70K! Absolutely it died at the time. They extended warranty to 100k and gave me a new 1. It died again at 95K! I had enough and ended up buying a JASPER Transmission which was remanufactured to be free of issues with a 50K warranty! They basically take engines and transmissions from various car companies and fix the problems manufacturers refuse to fix. It was flawless! By 90k miles the paint had faded all over sides front, do they use such cheap paint ???? It looks soooo embarrassing and bad! Never such issues on Toyota/Lexus, honda really needs to take a lesson on building better transmissions that are so durable like toyotas, even Nissan used to have good jatco transmissions back in the day, heard they have issues these days too, not sure. Honda really should stop cutting costs and use better paint and transmissions. Also, the side rubber door handle had started falling off, in side of the ceiling cloth on top near dome light was hanging, and mind you this a 32K Car! Yes i just got a 1999 camry beater car with 137 for 1500.00 and now has 152k and no paint chipped and car drives flawless! Shame shame shame....

John C (not verified)    July 27, 2023 - 9:52AM

In 2017 I purchased my first Honda, a Civic Touring Sedan. The car drives like a dream, gets exceptional gas mileage, and has enough pep with the 1.5T engine to not feel like an econo-box. Still, I'll never buy another Honda. The air conditioning failed at 54K miles, with both the condenser and compressor requiring replacement. At that time, Honda had admitted fault on the condenser and warranted it to 100K miles. I still had to pay $1500 out of pocket to fix the compressor.

Flash forward two years. Honda has now admitted fault with the compressor, now also warranted to 100K miles, and maybe or maybe not they'll reimburse me for the previous repair. The catch is, two years after a major A/C repair, it is failing again. It might be the condenser again, the compressor, or if I'm really unlucky the evaporator as those have been failing prematurely as well, a $2K repair which requires removal of the entire interior dash.

As I said, I'll never buy another Honda and will need to dump this money pit before 100K miles. I've owned SAABs, BMWs and Audis that were less hassle to own. When there were issues with those vehicles, I felt taken care of by the manufacturer. Not so with Honda, I feel like they are playing a game of "well, since we lost the latest class action suit, we'll extend the warranty on that part."

I write this as the entire United States and the world deals with unprecedented high temperatures, and live in Atlanta. Air conditioning is not much of an "option" these days.

DOn (not verified)    July 30, 2023 - 7:05PM

In reply to by John C (not verified)

After replacing the transmission twice on an Acura with less than 125,000 miles, I will not buy another Honda product. Whoever said Japanese cars are very reliable lied! The truth is they are slightly more reliable than the rest of the junk that's out there these days.

Darek Johnson (not verified)    July 24, 2024 - 11:36AM

2025 CR-V EX-L
1) Dim headlights, terrible on dark roads in inclement weather.
2) requires death-defying steering attention — wanders dangerously, voraciously, at highway speeds and veers unexpectedly.
3) GPS system tied to Internet-based Google or Apple Maps an absolute joke. Difficult to search, both may speak at once, maps and connections dissapear in remote regions.
All this from first day, worse at present 4,000 miles. Plan to pursue Ohio Lemon Law.