Japanese cars have a reputation to uphold that they are reliable and easy-to-own car. Reliability is to Honda what safety is to Volvo. If I’m being fair, reliability very much applies to Toyota, too, but I stan Honda so I’m happy that a new report proves that Honda’s reputation for reliability and low-cost ownership is well deserved.
Both Honda and Acura have the lowest total cost of service in their respective segments for the 2021 model year, per Automotive News. The data that AN cites specifically refers to “the lowest U.S. service and warranty costs [...] in the first three months of operation.”
This means that when you drive your new Honda off the lot, you may have some expenses within 90 days, or the first three months of ownership. The expenses are from “basically everything that’s not the result of a collision,” per James Davies, who heads We Predict, a company that tracks data pertaining to “vehicle repairs, maintenance, service campaigns and warranty actions.”
The data that We Predict collects comes from “actual service interactions,” which are “performed at U.S. franchised dealerships, independent service centers and other facilities.” Here’s what that data sussed out for service and repair costs across carmakers, from AN:
For premium brands, Acura and Lexus were tied for the lowest cost, at $30 for the first three months, followed by Infiniti at $47, and Volvo at $69. For the four top non-premium brands, service and warranty costs for the first 90 days ranged from $21 for Honda, to $22 for Hyundai, to $24 each for Buick and Toyota.
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Compare those numbers to others from certain carmakers and you’ll get a clearer picture of how significant the savings from Honda and Acura can be, especially over time because the cost only keeps growing through the course of ownership, and on average, that growth remains consistent.
This means that the first three months are a good window into lifetime service costs, as Automotive News describes:
Chevrolet, for instance, was $83, and GMC was $132. In addition, Davies said costs for the first 90 days are a pretty good predictor of what costs would be over the lifetime of a vehicle.
On average, We Predict said that based on its analysis of older vehicles, the cost per vehicle after 36 months in service is 15 times the three-month cost; after 60 months, it’s 20 times the three-month cost.
“It’s likely that in 60 months, the Top 3 after 90 days will still be in the Top 3,” Davies said. “Cars that launch well, that go on the road initially well, tend to do well later on.”
The models that garnered the top spot for Honda this year are the Accord, the Civic and the ILX from Acura. That’s kind of like double-dipping with the Civic and ILX there, but then again, you could say the same about something from say, Lexus or Toyota.
Hell, it might even be more impressive because that means that the lowly Civic platform outdoes some upscale makers when considering these very important ownership costs.