5 Honda Cars That Rule (& 5 That Enthusiasts Love To Hate)

Of all the cars that Honda has created, which are universally known as the best... and the worst?

Most of the world loves a good Honda. And there are plenty of reasons to love a Honda too. Other than being one of the most dependable car brands that boast of superior Japanese technology where literally ever engine is hand-tested before being fitted in, Honda is clearly a JDM ruler as well. These cars are built in such a way under the hood that they can be turned into road-chewing monsters by just about anyone who knows a little about engines. Most Honda cars rule the roost, and we talk about five of the greats here. But sometimes even the best slip through some cracks so lets also list five Hondas that many love to roast instead...

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10 This Honda Rules: Civic Type-R JDM Version

The Honda Civic Type R is dubbed as the top of the line performance version of the Honda Civic label. Its JDM version was even more lucrative as it hid a K20A 2.0-liter straight-four workhorse under its hood mated to a six-speed manual transmission. This powerplant could jet out a massive 222 horsepower and probably run hoops around any good ol' muscle car. This third-generation Japanese-market Civic Type R was laden with premium parts and components so that it could make a strong statement in its segment. The car became hugely popular not just in the domestic market but in the overseas markets too. It was one of the most popular street-legal race cars in its era and any car fan worth his salt had this one in his sights.

9 Unlike A Honda: Passport

Honda Passport got its underpinnings from Isuzu Rodeo. In the early nineties, Honda’s wanted to cash in on to the fast-growing SUV marketplace in the States. During this time, more and more consumers had started shifting to massive SUVs from sedans. On the same lines, Honda hopped on to the SUV bandwagon in 1994 with the launch of its first SUV in the domestic market – the Honda Passport.

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It was a joint effort of Isuzu and Honda. Now let's be clear, it did have outstanding maneuverability even on snowy and icy terrains. Packed with a 3.2-liter 205 horsepower V6 workhorse, it truly was a force to reckon with. The problem began when Isuzu and Honda couldn't get along and parted ways JLT, leaving Passport owners high and dry, and people mostly disappointed with Honda.

8 This Honda Rules: Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline has always been high on the list of car rankings in the domestic market. In 2018, it put a heavy dent on the sales of other truck manufacturers in its segment. It took its opponents head-on and did better than most of its rivals because of its reliability and awesome features. Which is why it was labeled as one of the most-reliable Honda cars in the car bazaar for the year 2018.

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The Ridgeline featured first-in-the-industry in-bed trunk, a flat cabin floor, and interiors that left almost all its rivals turning green. For a sport utility truck, it had far more on its platter than others in its class. Plus, a lucrative price tag made people make a beeline for the Ridgeline, even if they had to stand in line for it.

7 Unlike A Honda: Acura SLX

Another Isuzu and Honda partnering, in 1996, Honda launched Acura SLX in the car bazaar. This was solely built for domestic buyers who preferred bigger and better. The SLX was a rebadged and upgraded Isuzu Trooper that had made rave reviews in the global auto marketplace in its heydays. The Acura SLX accordingly was armed with a punchy 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine that could easily cough up 215 horsepower and 230 ft-lb of torque. However, when buyers began to complain about the Acura's susceptibility of rolling over during steep turns, it became a victim of bad press. Consequently, these negative reviews took a heavy toll on its sales and the Acura SLX quietly rolled away into anonymity.

6 This Honda Rules: S2000

When it comes to stalwarts, the Honda S2000 is revered as the ultimate roadster of all time. Unfortunately, Honda drew the curtains on the S2000 in 2009 owing to the automotive industry crisis that marred other biggies too in the industry. In spite of that, the S2000 lived for two glorious generations and won millions of hearts in its lifetime. This attractive roadster was considered high on comfort and higher on reliability by its buyers. Perhaps that’s why it outclassed its arch-rival in every sphere – the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The name S2000 suggests that it carried a 2.0-liter VTEC engine that could rev at 9000rpm without a fuss and make your heart go pitter-patter in awe.

5 Unlike A Honda: Civic Del Sol S

Del Sol meant “of the sun” in the Spanish language and the car was true to its name as it looked rather spiffy with its evolutionary styling. Del Sol was pitted against the hot-selling Mazda Miata, it's arch-rival. Miata’s dominance in the segment could never let Del Sol gain a strong foothold. To add to its droopy sales, the Del Sol had an electronic Targa roof that leaked quite often. This inept Targa top sucked Del Sol into a black hole. In spite of impressive sales figures of its debut year 1993, Del Sol’s popularity started dimming soon. Unlike its ancestor, the Honda CR-X, Del Sol left domestic markets pretty early.

4 This Honda Rules: Accord

Honda Accord is one name that almost everyone in the world has heard. It’s a living legend and dubbed as Honda’s best-selling car of all time. Undoubtedly, to date, it is the most-loved Honda on the planet and this is not an overstatement. All Honda devotees across the globe will tell you that Accord is close to their hearts.

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Now in its tenth generation, it still has a lot to offer to its buyers. It has a very competitive price tag in the car bazaar and outclasses many of its rivals in features and technology. Clearly, the Accord is one marque that has made Honda a huge contender in the auto industry the world over.

3 Unlike A Honda: Prelude SI 4WS

This was another Honda that had industry-first features designed to create ripples in the car bazaar. The third-gen Honda Prelude hit the markets in 1988 with astounding success in its debut year. It not only garnered a lot of praise in the media but also stole the hearts of millions the same year. The 1988 Honda Prelude SI 4WS left behind all its rivals including the likes of Porsche and Ferrari that year in the slalom.

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Strangely enough, that was its swan song. In spite of being a car that featured the world’s first mechanical four-wheel steering (4WS) system, and so lauded in the media, it fared very poorly in terms of sales. Even a mid-cycle refresh couldn’t help revive its plummeting market share and this too slunk away on deflated tires.

2 This Honda Rules: Acura NSX Type-R

On its debut in 1990, the Acura NSX took the auto industry by storm and literally shook all supercar makers inside out. When it hit the showroom floors it had many firsts up its sleeves. The NSX was fabricated from aluminum and was one of a kind in the automobile business. The second-generation NSX was even more formidable. It was a hybrid sports marvel where NSX meant serious business – New Sports eXperience. The new machine offers a peak output of 600 horsepower and 406 ft-lb of torque. The car's sheer power came from a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 mill and three electric motors. Overkill much?

1 Unlike A Honda: Accord Hybrid

Honda wanted to do the environment a favor by launching Hybrid vehicles in the auto bazaar. After Insight and Civic Hybrid, which fared well in the market, Honda unveiled the Accord Hybrid in 2005. This HEV featured Honda’s ground-breaking iVTEC technology. But the nadir of its existence was its transmission. It failed from day one and these pesky transmission glitches marred its reputation in the auto bazaar. Things went worse when the car owners were presented with hefty bills after the transmission issues were fixed. The car had to be soon phased out lest it put a serious dent in the sales of Honda's best-selling brand – the Accord.

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