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Honda Stream vs Toyota Wish

Several months ago, I was down at Leng Kee to look the Honda Stream and Toyota Wish. Having heard so many horror stories about parallel importers, I prefer to deal with the authorized agents. At that time, Borneo Motors had just started to bring in the Toyota Wish. Kah Motors had been selling the Honda Stream for a while. It was a good time to start researching the two car models.

The Honda Stream, I felt was a little pricey then. With Borneo Motors introducing the Wish, I imagine there would be some pressure on Kah Motors to bring down the Stream’s price. It turned out not to have any impact. But fortunately with declining COE prices (and what more with the recent crash of COE prices), things are beginning to look better now.

Many years ago when I was in the market for a new car, I was looking at the Mitsubishi Colt Plus and Honda Jazz. I wanted a hatchback car for more flexible boot space configuration. Alas, I ended up with a Toyota Altis, because both the Colt Plus and Jazz were not terribly good value (in my opinion), and shockingly the Toyota Altis turned out to be pretty good specs, good price, and all-around good value for money. (I say “shockingly” because I never had very good impression of Toyota’s Corolla line.) At that time, the Stream was ugly, and there was no Wish (from Borneo Motors).

So anyway, now my interest is roused again with the Stream and Wish. They are both quite comparable compact MPVs. Both are 3-row, 7 seater, 1.8L engine, and very similar size. Here’s my quick run down of their more “objective” features:

  • The Stream has a better engine. The Stream’s engine does 103kW at 6300rpm and 174Nm at 4300rpm, while the Wish’s does 97kW at 6000rpm and 170Nm at 4200rpm. The Stream’s engine is supposed to be more hi-tech.
  • The Stream has better automatic transmission. The Stream gets a 5-speed automatic transmission, while the Wish has a 4-speed automatic transmission. At highway speeds of 100km/h, the Stream’s engine runs at 400rpm slower than the Wish’s. Usually, lesser RPM means more fuel economy.
  • The Stream’s third row is more spacious. The Stream’s internal width in the third row is 990mm, while the Wish’s is 800mm. Passenger’s feet in the third row cannot rest flat on the floor in the Wish, which makes the traveling experience more uncomfortable. Access to the third row is easier on the Stream with the lever to fold away the second row seats on the seat shoulder.
  • The Stream has better brakes. They both have ventilated disc brakes in the front. But while the Stream has disc brakes for the back, the Wish only sports drum brakes at the back. Most of the braking force is provided by the front, so the difference may not be terribly significant. But for the best safety, disc brakes all around is definitely better. They look nicer too.
  • The Stream is more fuel efficient. The stated 10-15 mode fuel consumption for the Stream is 14.8km/l, and 14.4km/l for the Wish. Fuel efficiency depends on many other factors too, and overall tends to be a very illusive number to reliably pin down in real world driving conditions, so I’m not sure how much to believe these numbers as being objective.
  • The Wish costs less upfront to buy. The basic price already has “everything” thrown in (or can be bargained for): fog lights, full body kit, scuff plates, etc.
  • The in-house finance package for Wish has a lower interest rate. The package from Borneo Motors has a 1.99% interest rate, whereas it is 2.2% from Kah Motors. The difference is not very significant ($21 per $10K loan per year), and it may not matter anyway if you don’t take the loan.
  • The Wish has cheaper servicing cost. For servicing packages from 1K to 80K, the overall servicing cost for the Wish from Borneo Motors is $2737, while Stream from Kah Motors is $2893. I couldn’t find the 1K servicing cost for Wish, so I assume it to be the same as 10K (it ought to be less). Of course, one could go to 3rd party workshop, but during warranty period I will probably want to go to the authorized agent.

In a nutshell, the Wish is cheaper to own, but the Stream has superior specifications (but not necessary in add-ons/accessories).

Then, the more “subjective” features (which of course everyone may have a different view because it’s all about personal preferences):

  • Looks: The Stream body definitely looks better than the Wish. In particular, I dislike the Wish’s back view. But I prefer the Wish’s headlight assembly.
  • I prefer the Wish’s centre console. It looks more “advanced” than the Stream’s.
  • But I like the Stream’s driver’s instruments better.
  • Anecdotal feedback from owners seem to show that the Wish is more fuel efficient.

The most subjective thing is that I just prefer Hondas over Toyotas. Not that there is really anything really wrong with Toyotas. Buying cars is not all about logic. (Sometimes maybe even hardly at all!)

35 thoughts on “Honda Stream vs Toyota Wish

  1. on paper its true tt stream fc is higher than wish, this is based on long distance travelling and also as stream has 5 gears as compared to wish 4. however for day to day driving the wish gives better fc. i know cos i drove the wish for 4 years n now driving stream. i could easily get 12km/l for the wish even with city driving as compared to 10km/l for the stream. but i must agree with you that the stream has a better engine, found that out during my trip up north.

  2. Parts for hond are difficult to get in kenya.My stream has gone for 25,000 km with only a plug and oil change.

    Robert Nairobi Kenya

  3. i am driving stream from last 2 years spares i agree is difficult to get but performance on road is unbeatable perfect on road stable and reliable.

  4. I have driven hundreds of kilometres with the wish, and its a really nice car, but recently i drove to Eldoret in a honda stream, and I must say the Honda is really amazing in terme of fuel economy and speed. the wish has acceleration problems, especially if you start on a hill slowly then try to accelerate halfway uphill.i also think the honda also has a sleekier interior, compared to the toyota.

  5. I have ordered for a Honda Stream RSZ 2008 yet to land in Kenya and it was a decision made after reviewing all other options and i believe i made a wise decision through consultations with my dealer.

    1. Hello Elvis…I am looking for reviews for the stream. How has the vehicle been. Maintenance aspect. Do you get parts easily and can u fail to get a part permanently

  6. Am also importing a 2008 Stream RSZ due to arrive in December 2015. Looking forward to a well performing car. The car has good looks better than a Wish. The only rival would be a Mazda Premacy which is more spacious but am not sure about its engine performance.

    1. Hello Richard…I am looking for reviews for the stream. How has the vehicle been. Maintenance aspect. Do you get parts easily and can u fail to get a part permanently

      1. I own a honda stream 2012, RSZ S package, 1800cc (1 year now). It’s the best purchase I have ever made. you will not regret it.

        if you can get the 4WD version even better.

        Maintainance so far is just oil changes and plugs, and tires

  7. I have decided to get a stream over the usual wish that so many people have here in kenya because of performance and looks i dont like how old toyota wish cars look

    1. Hello John…I am looking for reviews for the stream. How has the vehicle been. Maintenance aspect. Do you get parts easily and can u fail to get a part permanently

  8. I am about to buy a Honda stream, Anyone who has driven give me more details about the car in terms of performance especially in hilly terrains and within nairobi

  9. I have ordered a 2009 RSZ, which arrive in January 2016. That is a decision I made after i had a look and feel of the 2008 version. I do not regret that decision and cannot wait to take it for a spin. I have heard people complain about getting spare parts. I believe with the number of Hondas increasing on Kenyan roads, that will change in time.

    1. Hello Phil…I am looking for reviews for the stream. How has the vehicle been. Maintenance aspect. Do you get parts easily and can u fail to get a part permanently

  10. My choice from the start was a stream and I surely got it around September 2015.i can never compare it’s performance with any other, unfortunately a bus hit me from behind. Am desperately looking for a boot plus the back lights. Pls advice where I can get them. The garage people claim they can’t get them here In Kenya. You can reach me on my email address hkabs2013@gmail.com

  11. i,m waiting for honda stream rsz from japan by 10th APRIL 2016, anybody who knows where to get plugs and other spares to alert me.

  12. I have been a Honda fan since 2003 from Civic to CRV 3rd generation .
    Hondas are generally better performers in terms of fuel, grip, and parts durability. Yes, they can be cost more, but really, all good things cost more for better value.
    I am considering buying the Stream and I am impressed by the reviews.
    Can those already driving one advice if the body rattles, which seems to happen many sedans, and hatchbacks?
    @Macharia, if you can not get spares from Honda dealer, ask a motor spare parts dealer to import for you.

  13. honda spare parts are vastly increasing in kenya… especialy in mombasa. i have drove it for two years now, n trust me its a car to own.. toyota wish is very common nowdays..especially at voi and the capital cities. which i think has degraded. something unik is what i want..

    1. I also ordered a Honda Stream, yet to Arrive.. But my friends tells me that it was the worst decision I made.. they say that wish is much better, that wish iko juu and Honda stream iko chini.. They say that spare parts for the Honda are unavailable… How true is this??

  14. I bought a stream in October 2017. A bit too low for the rough areas in rural Kenya, otherwise a lovely, sleek car! I enjoy the smoothness, acceleration and the grip on the road. Plus if you do a bit of farming…. there’s enough space for the few sacks of feed, beside the family. Amazing legroom as well. About spares (I have not started repairing it), I’m told by other Honda owners that once you fix something, it’s likely to last quite long. I bought the Stream as a matter of 1st choice.

  15. I bought HS in Sept 2018 and I love it. Speed, comfort and stability is great. Fuel consumption within Nairobi is 13km/l but to kakamega I use half tank one way which is about 25 l for 400kms = 16km/l

  16. @Bob those advising you appear as Toyota bug bitten guys who have succumbed to its venom which makes them believe that Toyota’s are the best cars. They can’t think out of the Toyota box. With increasing HONDA models on Kenyan roads, spare parts have become available.
    I am also preparing to acquire a Honda Stream RSZ which I think will be a good choice.

  17. Ibought Honastream on August 2019 i have several problems since the ive change both racck ends; rear shocks en still there some noise in front en am still looking for left rear hub bearing. help me

  18. Looking at the comments, I think I may acquire a HS. I disposed my Toyota Fielder and fell in love with the Honda Stream when I first saw and examined it closely. In 2023, do we still have problems acquiring HS spare parts? Please advise. Thank you. Fazal 💪🏿💯

  19. Nov 2023, those who have owned HS since 2015 can you advise about the spare available or they are now easy to find? Am considering getting a HS but and since they are no longer I’m product am not sure about this decision.

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