Honda might have a solid reputation, but there are plenty of reasons to steer clear. From cramped interiors and weak engines to way too many recalls, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be. Here are 15 reasons why a Honda might not be the best ride for you.

Frequent Electrical Problems

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Honda has had its fair share of electrical issues, particularly with the components controlling the infotainment system and other features. Problems can range from flickering screens and unresponsive buttons to complete system failures.

Additionally, there are concerns with the electrical systems related to the battery and alternator. A failing battery can make starting the car a hassle, while alternator issues can prevent proper battery charging, leading to a host of electrical headaches.

Outdated Crossover Designs

Honda

Honda’s crossover lineup, including the CR-V and HR-V, looks seriously outdated. These vehicles resemble minivans more than modern crossovers.

If you’re into minivans, that’s fine, but Honda’s design hasn’t kept up with the times. Competitors have moved forward with sleek, updated designs, while Honda seems stuck in the past. Plus, these crossovers offer the same underwhelming performance as their sedan counterparts.

Limited Cargo Space

Honda

When it comes to cargo space, Honda sedans fall short, especially for families. Take the Civic, for instance—it offers less than 15 cubic feet of trunk space, while the Chevy Malibu gives you over 15.

Even Honda’s SUVs, like the HR-V, don’t fare much better. The HR-V offers just 55 cubic feet of space, compared to nearly 60 cubic feet in the Jeep Compass. If you need room for gear, Honda might not cut it.

Disappointing CVT Transmissions

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Honda’s use of CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) instead of traditional automatics can be a letdown. CVTs lack the distinct gear shifts, making the driving experience feel sluggish and less engaging.

On top of that, CVT repairs can be pricier than those for traditional transmissions. They’re more complex and require specialized parts and knowledge, which can add up quickly if something goes wrong.

Not as Reliable as You Think

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Hondas are often praised for their reliability, but that reputation doesn’t always hold up over the long haul. Unlike Toyota, Honda doesn’t have the same level of long-term dependability.

Transmission failures are a common and expensive problem, often costing thousands to fix. Other issues like airbag defects, engine troubles, and electrical problems also pop up. If you live in a hot climate, you might face cracked power steering hoses due to high temperatures.

Too Many Recalls

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Honda hasn’t perfected the automobile yet, and their recall numbers show it. Each year, a significant number of their vehicles have issues that need fixing.

In 2023 alone, nearly 5 million Honda vehicles were recalled. The trend continued in 2024, with over 750,000 vehicles recalled due to an airbag problem—a critical safety concern. It’s clear that Honda still has a lot of work to do to ensure their cars are truly reliable.

Cramped Interiors

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Honda’s sedans and some compact SUVs often get dinged for their cramped interiors. If you’re tall or need extra space, you might find Honda’s interiors a bit tight.

This lack of space can turn road trips into a hassle, especially with kids in tow. Comfort matters, and if you’re squished, it’s going to be a long ride.

Tricky Package Deals

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Honda’s vehicles might seem packed with features at first glance, but many of the best ones are locked behind pricey package deals.

While basic features like lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control might come standard, more useful options like blind-spot monitoring are often reserved for higher trims or expensive packages. It feels like a sneaky way to drive up the price.

Not the Best for Growing Families

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Honda’s tight interiors and limited cargo space make it less than ideal for growing families. Besides the Odyssey, your choices are pretty slim.

A Honda might suit a small family or serve well as a commuter car, but it’s not the best for handling big shopping trips, multiple kids’ activities, and family vacations. For more space and versatility, you might need to consider other brands.

A Target for Thieves

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Honda’s reputation for reliability and practicality comes with a downside: they’re prime targets for thieves. Their high resale value means a stolen Honda can bring in quick cash for crooks.

The Honda Civic and Honda Accord are especially popular among car thieves. With so many on the road and a high demand for parts, owning one of these models puts you at a higher risk of theft.

Engines that Underperform

Honda

Honda has mostly swapped out its V6 engines for turbocharged four-cylinders to improve fuel efficiency. However, this change has led to underwhelming performance.

These newer engines often struggle to keep up with traffic, making for a less enjoyable driving experience. Honda’s reputation might still be strong, but their current engines don’t offer the fun or power that many drivers expect.

Not Great For Off-Roading

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Off-roading isn’t Honda’s strong suit. Most of their vehicles, including the Honda Ridgeline truck, just don’t cut it when it comes to tackling rough terrain.

The Honda Pilot is about the closest thing they have to an off-road vehicle, but even that’s a stretch. If you’re serious about off-roading, you’d be better off looking elsewhere.

Limited Towing Capacity

Honda

Honda trucks are pretty much a no-go if you need to tow. The Ridgeline, their only truck, has a maximum towing capacity of just 5,000 pounds.

This means you’re limited to towing small trailers, a small boat, or maybe a jet ski. Anything heavier, and you’re really pushing the Ridgeline to its limits. If towing is a priority, you’ll need something with more muscle.

Low Interior Quality

By Dinkun Chen – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Honda interiors might look nice when you first get them, but don’t be fooled. The materials start to wear out pretty quickly. In just a few years, you’ll notice the aging. Plus, the seats aren’t the best for long trips or comfort.

Even if you opt for leather seats or the top-tier infotainment system, you’re not getting much better quality. You get what you pay for, and if you plan on keeping your car for a long time, it might be smarter to invest in something more durable.

Trucks are Priced Too High

Honda

Honda’s trucks, particularly the Ridgeline, are way overpriced. The Ridgeline is a compact pickup that costs nearly as much as full-size trucks like the Ford F-150 or Chevy Silverado.

For the price of one Ridgeline, you could buy two Ford Mavericks, which are also compact pickups and come with hybrid options. Honda trucks just don’t offer the same bang for your buck as other brands do.

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Author: Abbie Clark

Title: Co-Founder

Expertise: Automotive Industry, Electric Vehicles, DIY Car Repairs

Bio:

Abbie Clark is a writer, blog, and founder of RideRambler, Hey She Thrives, and The Bearded Bunch.

From clever car cleaning tricks to the freshest car features and reviews, Abbie loves sharing her knowledge on everything automotive. Outside of her time writing for her websites, you’ll find her fishing with her husband, deciphering her toddler’s babbling, or baking up something sweet.

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