Honda vs. Toyota: Which is better?


Fact Box

  • Honda was founded in 1948 in Hamamatsu, Japan, and the first US store opened in Los Angeles in 1959. In the 1970s, Honda was the first automaker to meet the Clean Air Act standards. 
  • In 1933, Toyoda Kiichiro established what eventually became the Toyota Motor Corporation. Its first production car was released three years later as the Model AA sedan.
  • In the 2021 Battle of the Bands: Toyota vs. Honda competition, Toyota took the lead in large cars, sports vehicles, and luxury cars, while Honda won for small cars, hybrids, and compact SUVs. 
  • According to 2023 Consumer Reports, the top five car brands of the year were BMW, Subaru, Mini, Lexus, and Honda.

Elliot (Toyota)

The Japanese manufacturer of the iconic Toyota brand has been competing in the World Rally Championship for many years with its heavily modified Prius. This car has been incredibly successful, as it's recently won the Manufacturer's Championship and the Driver's Championship, with a grand finish in Japan still to come. The WRC is a highly demanding competition emphasizing durability, endurance, and versatility across many driving surfaces and weather conditions. Toyota's victory is a testament to the overall quality of its automobiles. Honda does not have vehicles in any major auto competitions. 

Toyota consistently ranks among the very best cars for safety features. Despite this being a budget-friendly manufacturer, their vehicles are often safer than even the most expensive luxury cars. The 2022 Toyota Camry ranks especially highly on Motortrend's 'Safest Cars for 2022' list with five-star ratings from the NHTSA in front, side, and rollover tests. This brand name is synonymous with safety in a way that Honda still needs to achieve. 

Toyota sells the most cars, selling almost 10.5 million vehicles in 2021 alone, more than any other manufacturer for two consecutive years. Honda only sold around 4 million vehicles worldwide. From a purely financial and business perspective, this is a major victory—especially when considering the auto industry's struggle with supply chain issues. Toyota also leads the way in terms of durability and standard features. While you may have to pay extra for those same additional features for a Honda, Toyota gives you everything needed readily installed right from the factory floor. If that wasn't enough, Toyota is also well on its way to a more sustainable future, having introduced the first mass-market hybrid vehicle in 1997. Objectively speaking, Toyota is the clear winner. 

Maha (Honda)

Though almost a decade younger than Toyota, Honda has the upper hand on its competitor. Starting from the outside, Honda doesn't shy away from creative designs. Whereas Toyota tends to have a uniform design for most of its cars, Honda aims at uniqueness. This uniqueness extends beyond the exterior and is reflected in the interior. For instance, the Odyssey minivan is renowned for its soft interior and fresh designs. The wide interior dimensions of some SUVs further make Honda a great choice.    

Under the hood, Honda is designed for top performance. All Civic models have higher engine horsepower than Corollas, making the former consistently faster. The Civic Si, for example, has a 1.5-liter engine that delivers a turbocharged punch with 205 horsepower. One of the reasons for this performance is Honda's dedication to continuously improving its engine technology. Current engines are leaner yet capable of producing more horsepower and torque. That, too, without consuming too much gas. Toyota, on the other hand, is yet to catch up. 

And this isn't the only testament to Honda's innovation. It beat Toyota into the hybrid market when it debuted the Insight in 1999—a model with a higher score (8.0) than Toyota's Prius (7.7). 

Honda also equips its vehicles with exciting features like the Honda Sensing Suite to ensure a better driving experience. This intelligent suite of driver-assistive technologies is one of many high-tech safety features that earned Honda a safety score of 9.7—half a point more than Toyota. So, by delivering great aesthetics, powerful performance, and enhanced safety features in every car, Honda is the definite winner. And it has the awards to prove it.

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