Mazda vs Honda: Which Is More Reliable?

Mazda vs Honda Reliability

Mazdas are not as popular as Honda, but that doesn’t make them less reliable than Honda. The Mazda brand is one of the most underrated car brands in the automotive industry.

Mazda cars have cheap maintenance costs, just like Honda, with minimum problems and improved features for safety and passenger protection. However, when it comes to which is more reliable between Mazda and Honda, Honda wins the show.

Honda is more reliable than Mazda, but this doesn’t mean that Mazda makes terrible cars. The reliability of Mazda cars is enviable. They make fun driving cars, take safety seriously, and their cars are very cheap. What more can anyone ask for?

However, Honda has a slight edge over Mazda for reliability. This includes the fact that Honda has a higher safety rating, cheaper maintenance cost, and a higher dependability score. The Mazda brand is speedily growing its reputation, especially when it regards reliability. But there are still grounds to cover to beat Honda in their game.

Here's all you need to know about Mazda vs. Honda reliability.

Mazda vs. Honda Reliability: A Detailed Comparison

Fun and Safety Oriented; Great User appeal
Human-Centered designs; Simple and Something
Repair and Maintenance Cost
Mazda cars can last between 200,000 to 250,000 miles, with an average lifespan of 13-17 years.
Hondas can last 200,000 to 300,000 miles or 14-20 years.
Gas Mileage
Safety and Technology
High Safety Ratings
High Safety Ratings

Mazda Vs. Honda Reliability: Which is Better?

This is a tough call, but Honda is better than Mazda when it comes to reliability. Honda cars offer better practicality, long-term usage, and more space. Although Mazda does it better when it comes to safety and performance, Honda offers better fuel efficiency with some of its models.

From a layman’s view, Honda makes more sales than Mazda. However, we cannot conclude the reliability of a car brand from its popularity. There are a few factors that influence that.

Mazda cars are designed to keep you safe while giving you the enjoyable experience of driving a cool car.

You get better handling and amazing steering response; Mazda is that car that entices you to push beyond your limits, with the assurance that you are safe inside them. Customer satisfaction is supreme in the Mazda company, and your safety is a top priority.

However, their durability is not as much as what Honda offers. Aside from how long both cars can last, Mazda cars feel underpowered.

No doubt that Mazda offers great performance, but you might need to step up to higher trim levels to enjoy all the performance packages that Mazda has to offer.

Honda has better infotainment and interior designs than Mazda. Base-level Honda cars are way better than low-trim-level Mazdas. There are occurrences where some low-level Mazda cars lack AC in the back. Not a nice experience for a hot day.

Moreover, Honda has higher reliability ratings than Mazda. According to Repairpal, Honda has a reliability rating of 4.0/5.0, ranking 1st out of 32 car brands, while Mazda ranks 5th, with a reliability of 4.0/5.0. Surprisingly, Consumer reports rates Mazda as the most reliable car brand in 2022.

Considering the fact that both car brands are rated high on different survey sites, it might be hard to choose one. Honda does better in the JD Power dependability survey.

Mazda Vs. Honda Reliability: Design

Design isn’t a competition zone for Honda and Mazda cars. Both car brands have great design philosophies that address different users from different target groups. In Mazda designs, fun-to-drive is emphasized, while Honda sells the story of functionality and human-centered designs.

In 2021, the Honda brand rolled out a new design philosophy tagged “Simplicity and something.” This design philosophy prioritized the integration of technology to improve the overall user experience.

The truth is that Honda has always taken the lead when it comes to user-friendly designs. They pioneered the introduction of the “one-key” approach, where one key is used for the doors, ignition, and unlock of all parts of the car.

Now, Honda is taking design steps further, growing from a car that looks simple yet offers much space to a brand that produces cars that spurs up positive emotions from users. This is the same standard that Mazda sets.

Mazda designs are defined by a few words; elegance, beauty, and also simplicity. They work hard to embed a high sense of realism in their cars, breathing life into each car. This ensures that drivers connect with their cars and achieve a wide customer embrace.

Both car brands have complaints about paint peels. There aren’t many differences, just appeal to different customers.

Winner: Both

Mazda Vs. Honda Reliability: Repair and Maintenance Cost

It is cheaper to repair/maintain a Honda than a Mazda. The average annual cost of repairing/maintaining a Honda is $428, whereas Mazda costs $462. This includes the fact that Mazda comes with a 0.4 chance of minor repairs and a 10% chance of major repairs.

Although Honda has a slight advantage over Mazda with a 0.3 chance of minor repairs and the same 10% probability for major repairs, both car brands have a repair/maintenance cost that is cheaper than the average $652 for all car models.

Winner: Honda

Mazda Vs. Honda Reliability: Durability

Mazdas are durable cars, but Honda does it better. The Mazda brand hasn’t had so much of a great reputation as Honda has. Hondas are popularly known for their cheap yet efficient systems. Moreover, they make one of the most reliable engines in the industry.

The truth is that Mazda is picking up lately in making durable cars. With the interiors, exteriors, and steel strength, you sense the durability of Honda cars by just feeling them.

As a Japanese car brand, Mazda integrates the use of Takumi, Kodo, and Takuminuri design structures. This features the use of professionals and masterful expertise to achieve perfection. From the paint technology to the interiors, Mazda uses the best materials.

However, Honda cars have a longer lifespan. The warranty coverage of Honda and Mazda is the same. You get a five year/60,000 miles powertrain warranty on both cars and a 36-month/36,000-mile limited warranty for Honda and Mazda cars.

Winner: Honda

Mazda Vs. Honda Reliability: Engine and Performance

The marginal differences between Mazda and Honda cars lie in the drive points both brands are heading to. Mazda aims to achieve engaging rides and amazing performance. Honda is primarily concerned about being the car that drives people from one place to another.

You need a Mazda car if you are a fan of racing, but Honda engines are strong and powerful enough to handle anything you throw at them. The Mazda company tends to keep making the same bad decision when it comes to its choice of engines. This is visible in the use of rotary engines.

Assured of impressive handling and a lightweight frame, most users end up complaining about their bad fuel economy and fragile piston engines. This greatly affected the reliability of Mazda.

Although Mazda has made many improvements in its engines, the choice between both engines depends on whether you want an engine that races fast or one that lasts long.

Winner: Both

Mazda Vs. Honda Reliability: Gas Mileage

Honda cars return better gas mileage than Mazda cars. Mazda employs the SkyActiv technology to offer drivers the best fuel efficiency. The system was so efficient that Mazda was awarded the 2016 most fuel-efficient car of the year by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Skyactiv technology developed by Mazda ensures that your car only uses 30% of your gas. This increases the compression ratio, optimizes the air-fuel mixture, and pushes the limits of internal combustion to get the most out of each drop of fuel.

On the other hand, Honda features the Eco button and assist system to guide drivers on how to save fuel and optimize their cars to drive fuel efficiency without compromising performance.

Both cars have great technologies, but we have more Honda cars performing better than Mazda when it comes to fuel economy. For instance, the Honda Civic returns better fuel economy than Mazda 3.

Winner: Mazda

Mazda Vs. Honda Reliability: Safety and Technology

The truth is, whether you choose Honda or Mazda, you will get a good sense of safety from both cars. It is a close call between Mazda’s and Honda’s safety. This is because even though Mazda has a better safety structure and technology, Honda tends to have more cars with higher safety ratings.

The reason is that Honda has a larger release of cars than Mazda. Honda and Mazda have six cars, each earning the 2022 IIHS Top Safety Pick (+) rating. Although in 2021, Mazda dropped to seven cars while Honda had eight.

When you judge the safety of the cars released by both brands, you will find out that Mazda is safer. Mazda’s safest car, the Mazda 3 sedan, and CX5 cars have a safety rating of 9.9/10. This is better than what Honda cars attain. The Honda Accord is the closest shot to Mazda’s reliability.

On an overall scale, Mazda has a safety rating of 9.8/10 while Honda has 9.53.


The choice between Honda and Mazda depends on a few factors; do you want a fast, safe car? Or you want a moderate car that will take you everywhere you want to go. You will visit the mechanic less with a Honda and get great fuel efficiency.

However, no matter what you do, don’t choose Honda CVTs, 1.5L turbocharged engine. Research your preferred Mazda car to ensure you don’t choose from any problematic models and production years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Mazda expensive to maintain?

No. Mazda is not expensive to maintain. The average annual cost of maintenance on a Mazda is $462, which is cheaper than the $652 cost across all models.

Why are Honda engines the best?

Honda engines are built to last and stand the test of time. They are built with high-quality components which deliver optimum performance even in the worst terrains or environments. Not only are their engines durable, but they also have high power output.