Automotive

Do japanese cars like toyota and honda really hold up to their name in terms of reliability?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 7th, 2018 2:15 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 2, 2016
46 posts
13 upvotes

Do japanese cars like toyota and honda really hold up to their name in terms of reliability?

I am wondering if some people have more experience with this. In modern days does a Japanese car last longer than lets say a mazda or korean car like kia or hyundai? The reason being is I still hear people complaining of some jap cars being lemons.
263 replies
Sr. Member
User avatar
Nov 15, 2017
622 posts
418 upvotes
In the case of Toyota, they are more reliable (durable) because they keep using relatively ancient technology in their vehicles. Not too long ago, their Corollas still use 4 speed AT. They are stubborn to a point, where they won't implement "new" technology until they think is bulletproof. Until then, slap on the battle-tested equipment! A lot of Toyota's reliability also stems from their world-class manufacturing methods. Literature is aplenty on this subject.

Mazda is also a Japanese brand. They were rust buckets when they partnered up with Ford in the past. Today, they're a small company with way less brand presence compared to Toyota/Honda.

I'll let others crap on Honda's up and downs in the last couple of decades.

Hyundai/Kia started from the bottom, and have climbed up since the 2010s.
Member
Feb 5, 2007
451 posts
115 upvotes
Mississauga
bbzero raises a good point that I wasn't aware of about Toyota's technology. Having worked with Toyota, their specification and quality guidelines are pretty stringent and top notch. That is what I assume is keeping their performance high
Penalty Box
User avatar
Apr 25, 2013
7146 posts
1262 upvotes
User857544 wrote:
Jan 18th, 2018 4:08 pm
I am wondering if some people have more experience with this. In modern days does a Japanese car last longer than lets say a mazda or korean car like kia or hyundai? The reason being is I still hear people complaining of some jap cars being lemons.
Its a complicated formula that is used to measure "Customer Satisfaction" !
Quality = Lowest Cost + Reliability + Customer Delighted
All brands have their problems once in the field it depends if it is a problem at vital systems that render the car inoperable or merely electronic gadgets that are for creature comforts that malfunction and if the owner followed the proper scheduled maintenance. Honda had and I still think they do problems with their automatic transmissions, so that is a vital system malfunction. I personally today do not think Japanese cars like Toyota and Honda offer the best bang for the buck, they are simply riding on their past reputation.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Nov 15, 2017
622 posts
418 upvotes
EdT586 wrote:
Jan 18th, 2018 4:38 pm
Its a complicated formula that is used to measure "Customer Satisfaction" !
Quality = Lowest Cost + Reliability + Customer Delighted
All brands have their problems once in the field it depends if it is a problem at vital systems that render the car inoperable or merely electronic gadgets that are for creature comforts that malfunction and if the owner followed the proper scheduled maintenance. Honda had and I still think they do problems with their automatic transmissions, so that is a vital system malfunction. I personally today do not think Japanese cars like Toyota and Honda offer the best bang for the buck, they are simply riding on their past reputation.
Korean brands are the best for the buck, or at least based on specs/features on paper. People pay "Toyota/Honda tax" nowadays. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a "Hyundai tax" 15 years from now.
Penalty Box
User avatar
Apr 25, 2013
7146 posts
1262 upvotes
BBZero wrote:
Jan 18th, 2018 4:47 pm
Korean brands are the best for the buck, or at least based on specs/features/performance on paper. People pay "Toyota/Honda tax" nowadays. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a "Hyundai tax" 15 years from now.
Toyota and Honda all have plants in the US and Canada to avoid paying tariffs, so North American labour and UAW/CAW dues are making their cars unattractive in cost.
If you remember computer parts, the Koreans slowly dominated that sector too with "Quality" products !
HDTVs from LG and Samsung were less expensive and offered more features than those overpriced offerings from Sony and Pioneer.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2006
7630 posts
1513 upvotes
OP doesn't have to wonder, there are a lot of agencies around that track reliability issues by surveying owners, which is much better data than just someone's opinion.

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-rel ... -stack-up/
http://www.jdpower.com/cars/awards/Vehi ... ry/1882ENG
https://www.carmd.com/wp/vehicle-health ... -rankings/

The take away from all the studies are it depends on the model, same car brand have been better and worst model.
Last edited by hdom on Jan 18th, 2018 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The Devil made me buy it - RFD. :twisted:
Sr. Member
User avatar
Nov 15, 2017
622 posts
418 upvotes
EdT586 wrote:
Jan 18th, 2018 4:55 pm
Toyota and Honda all have plants in the US and Canada to avoid paying tariffs, so North American labour and UAW/CAW dues are making their cars unattractive in cost.
If you remember computer parts, the Koreans slowly dominated that sector too with "Quality" products !
HDTVs from LG and Samsung were less expensive and offered more features than those overpriced offerings from Sony and Pioneer.
Having sat in a few recent Hyundais, I can't say the same applies to automobiles.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2006
17671 posts
1763 upvotes
Woodbridge
The only import I heard of being a lemon was with Nissan's CVT specifically their lower end models.

Having owned a lemon, Pontiac. I'm only sticking to imports but my priority will always be DESIGN. It's actually the reason why I bought the 1999 Grand Am V6, everyone wanted me to get the Civic.

Even if say Honda/Toyota was the most reliable but their models are BLAND AF like the Civic, the previous generations I'd rather take a risk say with Nissan. I love the Altima Coupe and my current, the Murano.
"I'll put up color bars before I'll put you in front of our cameras."

- MacKenzie
THE NEWSROOM (HBO)
Sr. Member
User avatar
Nov 15, 2017
622 posts
418 upvotes
Would BMW/VAG/Mercedes owners like to chime in? I hear some German cars are over-engineered that parts break down regardless of scheduled maintenance.
Deal Addict
Feb 24, 2014
1126 posts
429 upvotes
BBZero wrote:
Jan 18th, 2018 5:04 pm
Would BMW/VAG/Mercedes owners like to chime in? I hear some German cars are over-engineered that parts break down regardless of scheduled maintenance.
I've owned 3 German cars (all Audi's) and have only had issues with 1 of them. Long story short the only car that gave me problems was my first Audi, a 2006 A4 that I bought CPO with high kms from an Audi dealer near Montreal that I will never go to again *cough*Audi Niquet*cough* Engine had to be replaced within a month but my local Audi dealership and Audi Canada were more than accommodating with a free rental for the entire process, paying for my gas, and even offering me a nice discount on a future purchase, which is why I have fairly high brand loyalty to them.

As far as issues:
My previous 2012 A4 - HID ballast replaced at 56,000kms
2016 S3 - Gear shift plastic ring broke at 36,000kms, fixed under warranty

That's it. Nothing else. Yeah I definitely agree that German cars, particularly the Big 3, are littered with technology and its fair to say they're over-engineered in some aspects. But I think that the biggest factor impacting reliability is the owners willingness to be proactive and take care of their car. For example, i'm currently leasing my S3 but have full intentions of buying it at the end of the term. Audi, for some reason, recommends ludicrous oil change intervals of around 15,000kms. I change my oil every 6-7000kms max because A) I drive spiritedly and B) 15,000kms between oil changes is way too long. So while the scheduled maintenance is great if you plan on leasing and dumping, it'll be a nightmare for those who plan to buy after their lease is up, or are buying a CPO car from a dealership; which brings me to my next point about the whole "German cars are unreliable" myth that I hear a lot. This is just my thought process here, but I think it's safe to say that many people who are leasing these BMWs/Audi's/MBs are probably in the market of leasing and dumping. The business owner or physician driving that 550i is likely going to want the newest model once the lease is up. Do you think he/she is gonna bother spending the extra few hundred dollars on non-covered oil changes? Probably not. That leaves the next owner in charge of footing the bill.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 15, 2011
3049 posts
630 upvotes
BBZero wrote:
Jan 18th, 2018 5:04 pm
Would BMW/VAG/Mercedes owners like to chime in? I hear some German cars are over-engineered that parts break down regardless of scheduled maintenance.
My sister went car shopping last month at Audi, BMW and Mercedes and they all told her most people lease their cars. Why? The saleswoman told her maintenence is expensive after the lease is over. Upon hearing that, she bought a Lexus RX which she intends to drive for the next 15 years.
Banned
Oct 10, 2016
758 posts
332 upvotes
rsang39 wrote:
Jan 18th, 2018 5:39 pm
I've owned 3 German cars (all Audi's) and have only had issues with 1 of them. Long story short the only car that gave me problems was my first Audi, a 2006 A4 that I bought CPO with high kms from an Audi dealer near Montreal that I will never go to again *cough*Audi Niquet*cough* Engine had to be replaced within a month but my local Audi dealership and Audi Canada were more than accommodating with a free rental for the entire process, paying for my gas, and even offering me a nice discount on a future purchase, which is why I have fairly high brand loyalty to them.

As far as issues:
My previous 2012 A4 - HID ballast replaced at 56,000kms
2016 S3 - Gear shift plastic ring broke at 36,000kms, fixed under warranty

That's it. Nothing else. Yeah I definitely agree that German cars, particularly the Big 3, are littered with technology and its fair to say they're over-engineered in some aspects. But I think that the biggest factor impacting reliability is the owners willingness to be proactive and take care of their car. For example, i'm currently leasing my S3 but have full intentions of buying it at the end of the term. Audi, for some reason, recommends ludicrous oil change intervals of around 15,000kms. I change my oil every 6-7000kms max because A) I drive spiritedly and B) 15,000kms between oil changes is way too long. So while the scheduled maintenance is great if you plan on leasing and dumping, it'll be a nightmare for those who plan to buy after their lease is up, or are buying a CPO car from a dealership; which brings me to my next point about the whole "German cars are unreliable" myth that I hear a lot. This is just my thought process here, but I think it's safe to say that many people who are leasing these BMWs/Audi's/MBs are probably in the market of leasing and dumping. The business owner or physician driving that 550i is likely going to want the newest model once the lease is up. Do you think he/she is gonna bother spending the extra few hundred dollars on non-covered oil changes? Probably not. That leaves the next owner in charge of footing the bill.
I used to be a regular at Niquet Service when I had my B6 A4. Croissant were amazing so was the coffee..........As for the Topic american cars are good. Those 3800 Buick v6 were tanks. So were Taurus and lots of cars.
Penalty Box
User avatar
Apr 25, 2013
7146 posts
1262 upvotes
BBZero wrote:
Jan 18th, 2018 5:00 pm
Having sat in a few recent Hyundais, I can't say the same applies to automobiles.
Depends what you're looking at ?
I don't get thrilled just by the styling like 99% of the Joes on here !
Fit and finish, form and function and good material selection is more important to real engineers when the car is static.

Top