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Which Used Honda Models Are the Most Reliable?

It’s no secret that Honda cars are among the most reliable on the road today and if you’re looking for a used car, then there’s almost no better way to go. However, every brand of car is not without its faults and Honda is no exception. Looking at the past couple of decades, there have been some Honda models that have been less reliable than others, so we figured we would let you know which ones are more reliable and which ones to avoid.

Honda Civic (2007-On)

Of course, we’ll start with Honda’s venerable and widely loved compact car: the Civic. The Honda Civic has gone through 10 generations since it’s introduction almost 40 years ago, and with all the changes have come some marked improvements. For example, Honda has made improvements when it comes to overall build quality and safety equipment, however, they still don’t make them like they used to.

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We say that because we feel that some of the best years for the Honda Civic were during the 90s, more specifically the Civic’s 5th (92-95) and 6th (96-00) generations. These cars only had 100-hp engines and two airbags at the time, yet their simplicity and affordability are what made them so great. When moving up through the years, the Civic did have a few missteps, though. The 7th generation came after the turn of the century, from 2001 to 2005, and with it came some major issues including transmission problems. According to Carcomplaints.com, 2001, and 2002 are two of the worst years to buy due to transmission failures.

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Moving on through the years, the generation after that started in 2006, which again showed some major failures for the Civic, including cracked engine blocks. But this issue did get better later on, as Honda must have worked out the kinks. If you’re looking for a Honda Civic, then we would suggest the later models as the build quality did improve, however, if your budget is an issue, then any Civic from 2007 or later should be good.

2005 Honda Civic
2005 Honda Civic | Honda

Honda Accord (2013-On)

If you need something bigger than a Civic, the Accord is a great choice. While we can recommend any Accord from the 90s due to its simplicity and reliability, just know that they are some of the most stolen cars in the country. But if you want something newer, then the 6th generation (98-02) Accords are some of the best to get. The generation after, from 2003 to 2007, received many complaints concerning transmission issues, which required expensive repairs, and the generation after didn’t fare much better either. According to carcomplaints.com, the 2008 to 2012 Accords were prone to brake failures including premature warping and fading. Although this could probably be remedied pretty easily. Ultimately, we would recommend buying a 2013 and later Accord, if you want to go that route.

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a silver seventh gen Honda Accord driving on a scenic road
2006 Honda Accord | Honda Media

Honda Prelude (1993-2000)

If you really want to be unique in your older Honda selection, then we would recommend getting a Honda Prelude. The brand’s low-slung, front-drive coupe was a blast to drive and reliable to boot, however, it too had its faults. The most unreliable years, according to carcomplaints.com, were 1992 and 2001. The 1992 models had the most complaints concerning timing belts snapping, resulting in engine failure, and the 2001 models had complaints concerning the engine burning oil quickly. Of course, your results may vary, but we would recommend any year Prelude except for those two, just in case.

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2000 silver honda prelude
2000 Honda Prelude | Honda

There are a lot of great Hondas to choose from

While we can’t cover every single Honda model here, we recommend doing your research if you’re looking for a used one. Fortunately, you’re more likely to find a good Honda model, as opposed to one that’s completely plagued with issues, but we always recommend getting a pre-purchase inspection done before buying. As with any brand, there are always going to be some “bad” models in the bunch, but Hondas, for every bad one, there are a lot of great Hondas to choose from.