HondaStanding The Toyon In Toyota.

Recently I got snarled up in a debate as to which is the better car – the Honda or the Toyota.

Just like the eternal debate about which is the better Operating System between Android and iPhone, each side will always stick to his gun. None is necessarily wrong or right.. a matter of personal preference rather than superiority, a matter of what you choose to focus on… superior driving experience or unsurpassed practicality..

Depending on which automobile blogs you read, you can easily decide on which side of the fence you want to stick to argue for, and still be totally convincing. Different blogs have, at different times, choosen a specific Honda model as being better than its Toyota counterpart and vice versa -too.

There are those who will stick to a Honda .. there are those who will swear by Toyota.

The argument started when somebody asked how much a Toyota Corolla costs now, and the the response was in the region of ₦ 15 million, someone else felt Toyotas are overrated and overpriced, another countering that the 2003 to 2008 models remain the most rugged model year, and a careless rebuttal of,

Toyotas aren’t rugged; they are just reliable.

Of course this elicited the impassioned reaction that this statement was crafted to get, since the popular wisdom is that Toyotas last forever and are the epitome of car reliability anywhere in the world.

Someone says,

I guess your problem is that you don’t understand English well.

When something is reliable, it must be rugged. It’s rare to see a Toyota in the middle of expressway or streets with broken “front legs” that will prevent your car from being moved without and having to be towed or worked on at that spot.

We all know that this is a common occurrence with Hondas in Nigeria.

So where do you get this idea that Hondas are more reliable than Toyotas?

The one was deliberately taking the opposite side of the equation said,

If you want to know what rugged means, abuse a Toyota engine, and see the engine pack up quickly. Toyotas are reputed for sludge formation and that kills an engine very quickly. A Honda or Mazda would take far more abuse without issues.

Team Toyota countered with,

How many Toyota have you seen incapacitated in the middle of the road in Nigeria compared to Hondas? How then can you claim that Toyota is not rugged?

Your arbitrary definition of ruggedness doesn’t apply in Nigeria, the reason people are running from Honda and embracing Toyota instead.

I wouldn’t know about people running from Hondas…

The trademark Honda rampant “pulling of legs” is due to lack of maintenance, and there are Honda users here in Nigeria that this doesn’t happen to, at all. This apparent frailty doesn’t even get mentioned at all on car forums as a Honda problem.

But here is an extract showing that Toyota is truly Susceptible To Pre-mature Sludge Formation compared to say, a Honda.

Oil in any engine will eventually get dirty and wear out. But some engines have better piston rings, valve guides and gaskets that keep contamination out of the crankcase.

Some have better crankcase ventilation systems to remove combustion gases that blow in the crankcase. And some engines simply handle sludge better than others.

Honda isn’t susceptible.

There are many other articles online detailing the sludge problem of Toyotas, but I am yet to encounter online where the “leg pulling” of the Honda is mentioned with rampancy – apart from in Nigeria. It then implies this is a maintenance issue.

The frequent sludge complaints, for me, is clear indication that Toyota engines aren’t quite as bulletproof as people will ordinarily want to believe.


I have some experience using both a Honda and Toyota. Both are top of the pack. But if push comes to shove, I would always go with a Honda.

No matter what our preference is, though, the longevity a car is intimately linked to the maintenance culture. A ‘bad’ car treated right may last longer than a ‘good’ car that is shabbily maintained.

After all, As You Pamper Your Car, So It Lasts For You.

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