Nissan vs Honda: A Reliability Showdown

Nissan vs Honda Reliability

Nissan and Honda are of Japanese origins, and there are no doubts about how reliable Japanese engineering is. However, when it comes to the reliability of Honda and Nissan, Honda is better than Nissan. The reliability of Nissan cars dropped after their numerous issues with CVT “transmissions.”

You have greater chances of battling major and minor problems with a Nissan than you will with a Honda car. Nissan’s reliability dropped after the merger with Renault. This saw the use of OEMs and reduced built quality of Nissan cars.

Honda offers better gas mileage, durability, and higher safety ratings. With a Honda car, you are guaranteed practical engineering and quality materials. Moreover, they are fun to drive. The petrol engines of Honda cars, precise steering, and unique gearbox are a few reasons why Honda offers better car options than Nissan.

Read on to learn more about Nissan vs. Honda’s reliability and why Honda is more reliable.

Nissan Vs. Honda Reliability: Detailed Comparison

Sophisticated designs; no current hybrid model in the line-up
Better Designs; Simplicity and Something
Repair and Maintenance Cost
Nissan cars last about 200,000 to 250,000 miles, with an average lifespan of 10-15 years.
Hondas are reliable cars and can last up to 200,000 to 300,000 miles or 14-20 years.
Gas Mileage
High Safety Ratings
Higher safety ratings

Which is Better: Nissan or Honda?

Honda is better than Nissan in almost all areas that you can rely on a car for. Honda has a higher reliability rating than Nissan. On consumer reports, Honda has a reliability score of 66/100, while Nissan scores 63/100. This puts Nissan in 6th position, with Honda in the 9th position.

According to Repairpal, Nissan has a reliability rating of 4.0/5.0, ranking 9th out of 32 car brands. On the other hand, Honda is ranked first among all car brands, with a reliability rating of 4.0/5.0. Although we do not believe the report that Honda is the most reliable car brand, they are miles ahead of Nissan.

Nissan has failed with the launch of its CVTs and the annoying problems they come with. This is also considering the fact that with a Nissan car, you have a greater chance of major repairs than what is obtainable on a Honda.

Both car brands have cheap maintenance costs, but Honda is cheaper. You will enjoy similar warranty coverage from both car brands, but the build quality of Nissan cars is less inferior than what Honda offers.

Nissan started well, with a bright future and high chances of dominating the market. This was until they entered into an alliance with Renault.

From their adoption of Jatco CVT, use of European OEMs, and head gasket issues, Nissan’s reliability has dropped drastically since their ‘engagement’ with Renault. Renault is not known for making reliable cars, so there’s no need to expect much from them in Nissan’s case.


Nissan’s designs centers on craftsmanship and unique styling, but they don’t have as many things going on as Hondas. There are lots of beautiful Nissan cars, outstanding with great trim levels.

However, it is important to cite that even though Nissan is upgrading daily, they haven’t grown to adopt hybrid designs and technology. This is a major setback, comparing the competition with Honda and other car brands.

Nissan has won several design awards, including the iF design award with the Nissan Pavilion, Red dot design with the Nissan Ariya crossover. However, while Nissan optimizes flashy designs and makes a statement with its sporty appearance, Honda is more about customer appeal.

Honda’s design philosophy borders on “simplicity and something.” This design philosophy aims for excellent visibility, less visual clutter, and a unique identity for each model and configuration. Honda has better interior design, great exterior designs, and more spacing.

Winner: Honda

Repair and Maintenance Cost

It is cheaper to repair/maintain a Honda car than a Nissan. Hondas have an average annual repair/maintenance cost of $428. This is lower than Nissan, which costs $500. Although both cars have the same warranty periods, the chances of major and minor repairs differ for Honda and Nissan.

With Honda, you have a 0.3 chance of minor repairs and a 10% probability of major repairs. This is compared to Nissan, which has a 0.3 chance of minor repairs and a 13% chance of major repairs.

Winner: Honda


Honda is more durable than Nissan, with better build quality. Nissan and Honda have a record of making cars with great quality. High engineering process, integration of human expertise and machines, and engineering philosophy that focuses on giving users great value for their money.

This was the case until the Nissan-Renault alliance. Quality dropped, and the Nissan production team looked like they were doing all they could to cut costs.

You should expect a lifespan of 10-15 years from your Nissan cars, with a total mileage of about 200,000 to 250,000. Hondas are reliable cars and can last up to 200,000 to 300,000 miles or 14-20 years.

Honda boasts better engine strength, build quality, body composition, and technology built to last. You might be lucky to get a Nissan car without worries, but you will need to take maintenance seriously.

Winner: Honda

Engine and Performance

Nissan and Honda have a history of making great engines, but when it comes to which of the car brands makes better engines, then we must give it to Honda.

Aside from the fact that Honda engines offer better handling and overall driving experience, you have a greater chance of getting an engine that will last with a Honda car than a Nissan.

Nissan boasts some of the strongest V6 and V8 engines, with the chance of getting up to 200,000 miles. Well, there are chances that you might fall into the hands of some of Nissan’s bad engines, like the 2.5L four-cylinder engine that always has a piston ring and high oil consumption issues.

Bad Nissan engines are also prone to faulty ECU, bad timing chains, or tensioner problems. If you want Nissan engines that will last, you should choose from the 1.6L engine, VQ35, and VQ37.

When it comes to overall reliability, Honda is the best choice. You can rely on Honda engines for power, speed, and durability. There is an endless list of good Honda engines to choose from; the Honda VTEC engines, SOHC/DOHC, L, K, and R four-cylinder, and V6 engine configurations.

While all Honda engines offer great fuel economy and durability, your choice between their engines will depend on your driving needs; if you need an engine that will get by each day, a reliable powerhouse, or a speed boost.

Winner: Honda

Gas Mileage

When it comes to gas mileage of Nissan vs. Honda, Honda takes the lead. Honda cars offer better fuel economy than Nissan.

In all categories, almost all Honda cars have better fuel economy than Nissan cars. Honda Accord returns better gas mileage than Nissan Altima, just as Honda Civic achieves better gas mileage than Nissan Sentra.

Honda doesn’t only rely on its engineering prowess to achieve good gas mileage. There is an application of fuel-saving technologies in Honda cars; the Honda Econ mode and Eco Assist technology.

The Honda Econ mode optimizes your car’s performance and fuel system to get the best from each drop of fuel. This includes monitoring your AC or other accessories that will feast on your fuel.

The Honda Eco Assist acts as your personal assistant on gas-related matters. The Eco Assist technology informs you when you are getting it right and when to adjust your system to reduce fuel consumption.

These instructions are indicated with light flashes; green light shows that everything is okay, and white color shows that you have to watch your driving to save fuel.

Honda is better than Nissan in gas mileage and also the most fuel-efficient and eco-friendly in America.

Winner: Honda

Safety and Technology

Nissan has an impressive record when it comes to safety, but Honda is better than them. However, we noticed that the Nissan Intelligence mobility system offers more safety features than the Honda sensing technology. Even with these, Honda evens out the edge by offering a high-end driver assistance package.

The margin in Honda vs. Nissan safety is visible in the number of awards and ratings attached to both brands. According to IIHS 2021 Top safety pick, eight Honda cars are earning the Top safety pick(+) rating, and five Nissan cars are on the 2021 Top safety pick(+) rating.

In most cases, Hondas cars are strengthened to sustain user safety and reduce the impact of collisions and accidents.

Winner: Honda


Honda is more reliable than Nissan, but this doesn’t mean that Nissan cars are entirely bad. It only implies that you will get more value from Honda cars than Nissans.

You can consider Nissan cars for their amazing safety features. It is important that you confirm the year you are buying to reduce the chance of purchasing any of the problematic models.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Nissans last as long as Hondas?

No. Nissans do not last as long as Hondas. Hondas have an impressive standard for durability that makes them last longer than Nissans. This includes a reduced chance of major repairs during the course of ownership.

Do Nissans hold their value?

Yes. Nissans hold their value, although not as much as Hondas. You should expect value retention of up to 40% from Nissan cars. If you plan to sell your Nissan car, try to do so before it reaches 100,000 miles.