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Is Honda the best motor company in the world?

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  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,685
    You could make the argument that they can't be the "best" if they are outsold by Toyota in their home market, in North America (biggest export market) and worldwide.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    sales should be divorced from any discussion of what is "the best". Top sales can come from any number of factors that have nothing to do with quality, including lowest price, best rebates, etc.

    As for Honda, I would say they are one of the most DIVERSE car companies in the world, if nothing else. Not too many of the car companies out there also make jet planes, robots, lawn mowers, and generators, in addition to motorcycles and participation in motorsports.

    As for their cars, I think they do still stand out in their class most of the time, and a lot of the press seem to agree. But it is hard to say how one would even establish parameters for a discussion of what is the "best" car company.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • They are the best at what they are good at. There are a few areas where they trail behind the competition. I think Toyotas are quieter (In my limited experience), I think a lot of more Mazda models are a bit more entertaining, and I think without a rear drive coupe or sedan, they are WAY behind the competition in the performance arena (BMW especially). They also tend to get the snuff off from those looking for effortless torque when you mash the pedal which as most know is NOT a typical trait of Honda motors.

    But for a solid, well built appliance (I've owned 8, all with positive experiences) that doesn't bore you silly driving it, they build one helluva vehicle. And as Nippon mentioned above, their diversity is admirable.

    Oh, and their gearboxes and VTEC motors are addictive. :blush:
  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    Yes.

    1. They are one of the best automotive companies and any argument against Honda would not be about their motor.

    2. Honda is among the elite in motorcycles and is in the running for extracting the most hp/L. IMO, they are competitive with Yamaha and Kawasaki as the "best" motorcycle (in terms of power/displacement, ride and longevity). Only one other company (Suzuki) makes cars and motorcycles.

    3. Honda, IMO, is second to none in generators and lawnmowers (although somewhat expensive).

    Honda is not only diverse in their engine production, they are almost always among the elite in the various applications. It all starts with the engine.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,385
    Honda will never be Toyota due to the lack of car production facilities. Thus the number of sales.

    Indeed Toyotas will always be quieter and Mazdas will be more fun to toss around, but Honda hits a sweet spot between these two and manages to pretty much match Toyota's bulletproof reliability.

    I think they are the best compromise between an appliance car and a fun to drive one. Keeps them popular.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    So, no Briggs & Stratton for you?! ;-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Honda, IMHO makes the best engine in the world. I honestly believe that will be even further true when the V8 and V10 are released.

    Rocky
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    I certainly echo the positive comments made, thus far. John500 hit on three solid points (bases) of the Honda business. Add their new venture into small jet aircraft engines and you have the Honda Motor (engine) Company.

    It's a solid company! I owned a little over $5K of Honda stock until a few years ago. Sold for reasons other than their performance...

    I would've liked to have owned a Honda on 5 or 6 past occasions. However, the Honda dealers I visited were proud of their product...to proud to earn my business. (no need to state "you get what you pay for...)

    IMO, Honda would be larger, but for two beliefs: 1)their focus on engines rather than the whole car and 2) the dealer/sales force attitude. Honda developed engines and vehicles. They sold product to support development. OTOH, Toyota focused more on the customer and meeting the needs/expectations of the customer. They concentrated on vehicle sales and developed, because the cash allowed it.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    I heartily agree! Honda dealers are a royal PITA to deal with, and I have never been to a single one that was an exception to this rule. Honda's sales performance would probably improve dramatically if they could turn the dealer body around.

    And powertrains are definitely Honda's forte. While they are paying more attention to the rest of the vehicle than they did 10-20 years ago, they could still stand to improve in this area, particularly in terms of longevity.

    The only place I will disagree is that I think they are doing a pretty good job these days of listening to their customers (Honda NA, not the dealers!). But that represents a remarkable shift that has occurred in the last ten years or so, IMO.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    nippon,

    I agree dealers from both Honda and Acura are a royal PITA. ;)

    I honstly believe you and I along with thousands others have a leg up on your average adult. We have this site along with others to find out what other people are paying for cars. I've recently visited the 2007' Acura TL Type-S forum to see what others are paying for there Type-S cars because a dealer here in Texas, has e-mailed me wanting me to buy another TL. He only wants to give me $2296 off MSRP and I told him he isn't giving me a "great deal" like he said he would because others are under invoice a few hundred to about $1200-1300 under invoice on Type-S TL's. I wrote him my response and interested to see what he will have to say. He might just tell me to go fly a kite which is okay with me. :D

    Rocky
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    I like Nissan's V6 more than Honda's. It seems smoother and more torque-y. Honda's motor is still much better than the tractor motors than some other car companies are still putting out. ;)
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    I would have said 100% yes 7 years ago without a doubt but Mazda has stepped up too as has Benz too.

    As for Honda dealers well I did deal with the Acura dealer that I got my CL from and yeah they were tough to deal with but the dealer is a nice facility and great customer service all around.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    the fuel economy and those engines... It's what keeps me at Honda... (the double wishbone suspension on the Accord too, but I don't own an Accord anymore)

    I do agree their dealers can be difficult to deal with on occasion, although I have had some sympathetic service advisors willing to go the extra mile for me.
  • I think Hondas are wonderful.I own a Accord and my wife owns the Civic. Both vehicles have been very reliable.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    As far as motors go, YES. They make engines to power everything from the Lawn mower in my shed, to Indy car engines, and Jets. That's more engine technology than anyone else. And, they are all great engines. Honda's engines were so dominant in IRL, the other manufacturers just gave up. It's all Honda engines now.
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    No. Toyota gets that one. Slow and steady wins the race, as far as I'm concerned. Seems like I hear a lot of Honda owners calling in on Car Talk, and not that many Toyota owners. I've also heard that maintenance is a chore on Hondas and Acuras. I personally don't need that.

    I think the question is too subjective! LOL Oh wait, the question was motor company, not car company! Sorry!

    Never mind... :blush:
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    "Honda to launch all new brand in China...

    link title

    "Honda upping Worldwide production..."

    link title

    New Fit in the Fall, Diesel in 09'

    link title
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Yeah, it will work, but I kinda miss the old Honda that put wishbones in subcompacts and didn't make anything that weighed more than 3,100 pounds or so.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    Sorry for the blank post, it wasn't possible to include links in the original thread starter... Some of the highlights:

    - Redesigned Fit coming this fall
    - Clean Diesel engine is expected in 2009 for the NA market. It is expected to make its way into the current V6 offerings like the Ody, RL and maybe the Accord
    - a replacement for the Insight is on the way, a hybrid model slotted below the Civic hybrid.
    - NA production numbers to rise. Honda would like to see a jump from 1.4m cars to over 1.6 million
    - All new plant being built in Indiana
    - CRV to be introduced to Mexico market as well as Thailand and Argentina
    - Honda to team up with China in joint venture with Guangzhou Ltd to develop new products for the Chinese market

    Along with a brand new Accord this fall (This is a make or break model for them). Will it keep pace with the segment leading Camry? Can it hold off fierce competition from the redesigned Altima, the Fusion triplets, or the new new Mazda 6?

    All in all, there is a lot going on here. I have a feeling that being a small automaker, they are starting to feel the squeeze that is happening from the larger brands like Toyota, FMC and GM. It doesn't work being small anymore...

    Any thoughts? Is it inevitible to their survival to maybe team up or merge with a larger brand?
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I wouldn't call it being on the offensive as much as planning for the future. Honda is still being conservative when it comes to growth. For example, Fit isn't exactly a new vehicle, they are simply working on a redesign (well, it has been a long run since, IIRC, the current Fit/Jazz was launched in 2001), and adding diesel option.

    Honda's formula in the past has been growing slowly but consistently as opposed to being overly aggressive and trying to play in every market segment.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,385
    Early Hondas were a real hoot! I like my 00 Accord well enough but it is nothing at all like my old 80. Yes, it's bigger and has all the latest stuff but the 80 was just a ball to drive. The new one is more like, "well, it's more fun than a Camry."....
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273
    Oh wait, the question was motor company, not car company! Sorry!

    I don't know how you can separate engines from cars when you are talking about Honda anymore, so we'll encourage more "car" talk in here and maybe the founders of the thread won't get too irritated.

    Seems like most car companies call themselves some flavor of motor anyhoo. (Ford Motor, General Motors, Hyundai Motor Co., etc.)

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Well, Honda is "Honda Motor Company" anyway. Then we have Toyota Motor Corporation, General Motors, Ford Motor Company...
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,685
    I owned a'79 Accord hatch, which was a pretty good car and lasted a long time but I sure wouldn't call it a "ball to drive" or a "hoot".

    Fezo, you really need to drive that Miata! ;)

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,685
    Well, Honda is "Honda Motor Company" anyway. Then we have Toyota Motor Corporation, General Motors, Ford Motor Company.

    I once bought a Honda from an outfit called "Foreign Engine Company" (it's now boringly named Herb Chambers Honda). :zzzzz:

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,385
    You have to understand that I mean a hoot compared to a later Accord.....

    A couple of weeks ago I was at a party and this woman there had this old first generation Miata and told me to go take a spin. I was happy to oblige. The thing had 150K on it, needed a fair bit of suspension work and had an automatic. It was still a lot of fun even with all that. Fortunately where we were let me take it over the river and through the woods even if I didn't have a grandmother's house to go to. Once I hit the McMansions it was definitely time to head back.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    Hey, I've bought a few cars from there! :surprise:
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    My 1978 Accord was good to drive, when it was running. The Honda CRX was one of the most fun vehicles I have ever driven. I have not driven an S2000 or Miata. I should just for grins.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,385
    Oh you should!

    I haven't driven a S2000. I really should do that. There's a couple of used ones on the local Honda lot.
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