Which of These Similarly Named Brands Is Best for You?
Honda and Hyundai have each carved reputations for making inexpensive, reliable vehicles with decent performance and interiors. They build a mix of cars and SUVs, although Honda’s offerings are slightly broader, expanding into larger segments with the Odyssey minivan and Ridgeline pickup truck.
Using U.S. News & World Report’s scoring data, we’ve lined up these two automakers in a series of categories, such as safety, and classes, such as compact SUVs, to see who is best, and which dealership you might want to check out first.
Keep in mind that the scores on our site are updated constantly as new expert reviews and data become available. Therefore, the scores mentioned in this slideshow may not match the scores in our reviews.
Hyundai’s industry-leading warranty features a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. New Honda vehicles come with a three-year/36,000-mile new vehicle warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Both brands score well in J.D. Power’s predicted reliability ratings, earning quality overall ratings of three out of five. Several of their nameplates earn a score of four or higher. But each has a couple of outliers: The Hyundai Veloster received a 2.5 out of five, and the Hyundai Ioniq and Honda Fit received a three out of five.
Both brands boast industry-leading safety scores, but Honda’s scores are slightly higher on average, based on the numbers in U.S. News scoring data.
The Honda Civic (pictured above) and the Hyundai Azera each received a perfect 10 for safety. Most scores for both brands are 9.7 out of 10 or higher. The lowest-scoring vehicle in the mix is the Hyundai Accent, with 8.0. Honda’s lowest-scoring vehicle is the HR-V, with 8.7.
Both brands score an average U.S. News performance score of 8.3 out of 10. Unexpectedly, Honda’s highest-scoring vehicle overall is the Odyssey minivan, which received 9.0 out of 10, but most of its models score between 8.2 and 8.7.
When it comes to interiors, these two brands are very comparable. Redesigned for 2018, the Odysseyboasts the highest interior score of the two brands, receiving a 9.0 out of 10. However, Honda’s other models are all very comparable to Hyundai’s best-scoring models: The Elantra (pictured above) and Sonata each score an 8.4.
Honda’s lowest-ranked car is the Accord, which received a 7.8. The Hyundai model with the lowest interior score is the Veloster, with a 7.5.
The automakers’ vehicles are roughly priced within the same range, but Hyundai’s boast a slightly lower average price. Hyundai’s least-expensive vehicle is the Accent (pictured above), which starts at $14,745. Honda’s lowest-priced model is the $16,090 Fit.
Small Car Rankings
Honda and Hyundai are each known for affordable small cars with strong safety scores and decent amenities. Honda’s offerings rank higher in our small car category, with the Civic (pictured above) and Fit taking first and fourth place, respectively.
Midsize Car Rankings
Large Car Rankings
Both brands specialize in small and compact vehicles, so large cars are not a competitive segment for either one. Hyundai’s sole entrant, the Azera (pictured above), placed 10th in our rankings. Honda does not have an entrant in the category.
Small SUV Rankings
Each brand emphasizes compact SUVs that offer increasingly more space and stronger performance. Honda boasts the top-ranking vehicle in two categories: the HR-V (pictured above) placed at the top of our subcompact SUV rankings, and the CR-V dominated our rankings of compact SUVs.
The Hyundai Tucson placed third among compact SUVs.
Midsize SUV Rankings
Each automaker has one entrant in the midsize SUV segment – and they’re tied for fourth place in our rankings.
The Hyundai Santa Fe was refreshed for 2017 to add technology and safety features and ties with Pilot for seventh place.
Though they are tied in our rankings, the Pilot’s award win puts it over the top.
Honda remains one of a handful of automakers that still manufactures a minivan. The Odyssey (pictured above) has been redesigned for 2018 and is a class-leader in our minivan rankings. The 2017 version won our 2017 Best Minivan for Families award due to its mix of safety, interior, and performance scores. Hyundai does not have a model in the segment.
The Honda Ridgeline (pictured above) returned from a three-year hiatus with a full redesign for 2017. It is our top-ranking compact pickup truck out of the five models on the market, and was named a finalist for our 2017 Best Compact Truck for the Money award.
Hyundai does not make a truck.
Honda and Hyundai have each entered the hybrid car segment, an increasingly competitive category as federal guidelines mandate stronger fuel economy.
The Winner Is …
Both automakers build affordable and reliable vehicles for customers seeking cars and SUVs they can depend upon. However, Honda wins this head to head and should probably be first on your list if you’re planning on visiting both dealerships.
Hyundai leads Honda in the price and large car categories. Honda trumps Hyundai in many more categories: small cars, midsize cars, compact SUVs, minivans, trucks, and hybrids. It also bests Hyundai in terms of safety