The honest answer to whether Honda vehicles are built to last is that all automakers today build their vehicles to last for many years. Vehicles are staying on the road longer than they ever have before, and you can find almost any make of vehicle with several models that have over 200,000 miles for sale.


Few automakers, however, are able to approach long-term reliability in the way that Honda does. Honda vehicles are built to last longer than almost all others because the company has a culture and philosophy that’s different from most other vehicle manufacturers.


Consistency in the Leadership


Honda’s commitment to long-term reliability starts not in the design department but in the boardroom. The company has had remarkably low turnover among its senior leaders ever since Soichiro Honda retired, and this alone sets the company apart from most other automakers.


Honda’s consistent leadership lets the company develop a culture and philosophy that’s rarely seen in other automakers. The same people have been guiding Honda for a long time, and their approach hasn’t changed. In other companies, each new change in leadership takes the company and engineering in a new direction.


Building for Initial Quality


The foundation of Honda’s approach is to build for initial quality. This is reflected in J.D. Power & Associates’ awards, where Honda models regularly receive recognition for their initial quality.


Initial quality alone doesn’t necessarily set Honda apart from all other auto manufacturers, for most companies today use high-quality parts in their vehicles. This step does form an essential foundation for long-term reliability, though. No vehicle that’s poorly built to start with will last long.


Designed for Serviceability


Where Honda distinguishes itself from competitors is in post-purchase design. Honda vehicles are designed to be easily serviced, which has a twofold benefit.


First, designing for easy serviceability helps keep maintenance and repair costs low. When work can be done quickly, the labor charged for maintenance and repairs is less.


Second, a well-conceived design makes repair work relatively foolproof. Even inexperienced mechanics can work on Honda vehicles without messing up mechanical parts. In contrast, European vehicles with complex designs have lots of parts that could be accidentally altered during a repair. When this happens, the accident often causes recurring problems.


While it’s always advisable to take Hondas to an official Honda dealership where technicians know what they’re doing, the reality is that owners of older Hondas sometimes go to other mechanics. These mechanics don’t always have the same level of expertise, which makes the latter consideration particularly important when considering how long a Honda or any other make vehicle will last.


Perfected and Left Alone


Finally, Honda works hard to perfect the design of its models and then leaves models alone once they’re perfected. While models will receive technological and aesthetic updates periodically, the design of their mechanical workings often remains relatively untouched for decades.


For example, the Honda Civic has been in production since 1972 and the Honda Accord since 1976. The ones made today look like modern automobiles, but the foundation for these models’ designs dates back over 40 years. That’s longer than some other automakers have been around.


Find a Honda That Will Last


If you’re looking for a vehicle that’ll last long after the manufacturer’s warranty expires, come see the Hondas at McGrath City Honda. Not far from Cicero and Des Plaines, the dealership at 6720 W. Grand Ave. in Chicago has an excellent selection of new, certified pre-owned and pre-owned Hondas that’ll serve you well for many, many miles down the road.