Nissan vs Honda: A Reliability Showdown

Nissan vs Honda Reliability

Nissan and Honda are both Japanese manufacturers, and there are no doubts about how reliable Japanese engineering is.

However, Honda is more reliable than Nissan. The reliability of Nissan cars dropped after their merger with Renault and numerous issues with CVT “transmissions.”

Honda offers better gas mileage, durability, and higher safety ratings. With a Honda car, you are guaranteed practical engineering and quality materials.

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

Key Takeaways

  • Honda is more reliable than Nissan, with a higher reliability rating and fewer issues with major repairs.
  • Honda cars are cheaper to repair and maintain than Nissan, with lower annual maintenance costs.
  • Honda vehicles are more durable, lasting up to 300,000 miles or 14-20 years, compared to Nissan's 200,000 to 250,000 miles or 10-15 years lifespan.
  • Honda surpasses Nissan in safety and technology, with more cars earning top safety ratings and better driver assistance packages.

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 reliability categories.

On Consumer Reports, Honda has a reliability score of 70/100, while Nissan scores 45/100. They ranked Honda as the 6th most reliable manufacturer, while Nissan is at #17.

According to Repairpal, Honda is ranked first among all car brands, while Nissan captured 8th place.

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

  • Adopting Jatco CVT
  • Using European OEMs
  • Head gasket problems

Nissan's reliability dropped with the launch of its CVTs and the several 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.


Nissan’s designs center on craftsmanship and unique styling. There are lots of beautiful Nissan cars, outstanding with great trim levels.

However, even though Nissan is upgrading daily, they haven’t adopted hybrid designs and technology. This is a major setback, compared to competition like Honda.

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. On the other hand, Nissan 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.

Previously, Nissan’s engineering philosophy focused 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.

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.

You can 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.

Winner: Honda

Engine and Performance

Nissan and Honda have a history of making great engines, but Honda makes better engines overall.

Aside from the fact that Honda engines offer better handling and overall driving experience, their engines are more likely to last longer.

Nissan boasts some of the strongest V6 and V8 engines, with the chance of getting up to 200,000 miles. However, 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.

Winner: Honda

Gas Mileage

Honda takes the lead regarding gas mileage.

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. They use 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. It monitors your AC and other accessories that affect fuel usage.

The Eco Assist technology informs you when you are getting it right and when to adjust your system to reduce fuel consumption.

Winner: Honda

Safety and Technology

Nissan has an impressive record when it comes to safety, but Honda is better. 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.

According to IIHS 2023 Top safety pick, five Honda cars earned the Top safety pick(+) rating, compared to only two Nissan cars.

Winner: Honda


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

Nissan cars offer amazing safety features if you choose the right year and model. Consider your car needs and compare specific models to choose the right car for you.

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.

Do Nissans last longer than Honda?

Not usually. Honda engines can last up to 300,000 miles while most Nissans can only go up to 250,000 at most.

Does Nissan have good reliability?

Overall, Nissan is moderately reliable. However, there are some model years to avoid like the 2002, 2005, 2009, 2013, and 2016 Nissan Altima or the 2004, 2005, 2008, 2012-2015 Nissan Sentra.

Is honda better than other brands?

Honda has a longstanding reputation for reliability. They offer many models that are durable and will last many years. Compared to Nissan, Honda is more reliable.