Honda D-Series vs B-Series: Which is Better? 

If you’re in the market for a new car and looking for power, reliability, and affordability, then you owe it to yourself to look at Honda’s D-series engine. The D-series is not like other engines on the market because it has cheap and abundant parts, which makes this type of motor extremely reliable. This is one of many reasons why automotive enthusiasts love them so much.

However, Honda has several different engine series that offers a lot of variety in the types of performance and fuel economy they provide. Since many Honda enthusiasts opt for the D-series as a trendy choice for those looking for great power at an affordable price, there are also some other options worth considering. In this blog post, we’ll be comparing the Honda B-series to the Honda D-series.

What are Honda B-Series Engines? 

The B20A engine was initially debuted in Japan in the 1986–1987 Prelude 2.0Si and the 1986–1989 Honda Vigor and Accord. While several distinct varieties of the B20A emerged in the Honda Prelude from 1987 to 1991, the engine’s foundation was substantially different than the popular B16/B17/B18 series. 

However, the B16/B18 family shares many popular B-Series parts – both OEM and aftermarket. In addition, the B20B and B20Z were reintroduced by Honda in the first-generation Honda CR-V. This iteration of the B20B and B20Z was supposed to be more like the B16/B18 family and the B20 VTEC engine developed by enthusiasts. The B20B and B20Z shared characteristics with the well-known B16/B18 family.

Because of its dependability and ability to produce high horsepower compared to displacement, Honda’s B-Series engines have become the most prized Honda engines. They are also easily accessible and moderately priced. The B-Series engine’s main advantage is its flexibility to be transferred into multiple Honda chassis, such as the Honda Civic.

Understanding the B-Series Engine

Honda’s B series was a class of inline four-cylinder DOHC performance engines first launched in 1988. Honda’s VTEC technology was used for the first time in the B-series engines. They were available in 1.6L, 1.7L, 1.8L, and 2.0L capacities. 

Later versions contain modest changes such as modified intake valves, ports, and piston tops, as well as separate cylinder oil injectors. They produce between 126 and 190 horsepower, with certain types capable of exceeding 8,500 rpm. 

Despite its various modifications, the core design of the B series is relatively similar. There are two brief blocks that are utilized throughout the series.

The cylinder block deck height was the difference among them. The deck height of the short block used for B16 and B17 engines is 8.03 inches, whereas the deck height of the short block used for B16B, B18, and B20 engines is 8.30 inches.

Over the years, the Honda B-series has had different engines. In Civic, Integra, and CR-V applications, the Honda B series was superseded by the K series. 

The majority of the B series engines are turbo applications and are used in a number of street and drag vehicles. Circuit track applications can be performed with B series engines, but the majority of them are committed with K series engines. 

Further, B series engines can vary from 500 to 1,300 horsepower when entirely constructed in factory form. Above that, things get out of hand. With a turbo, most individuals can get anywhere from 900-1,300 horsepower on a regular basis.

What are Honda D-Series Engines? 

The Honda D series inline-four cylinder engine is found in a wide range of compact vehicles, including the Honda Civic, CRX, Logo, Stream, and first-generation Integra. The engine displacement ranges from 1.2 to 1.7 liters. Also, the D Series engine has two camshaft layouts – SOHC and DOHC, and it may have VTEC variable valve timing.

The known application of the D-series, Civic Si, has a power range of 66 HP to 130 HP. The production of the D-series began in 1984 and terminated in 2005. The D-series engine technology culminated with the D15B 3-stage VTEC (D15Z7) release in markets other than the United States. The earliest versions of this engine also employed a single port fuel injection system termed PGM-CARB by Honda, indicating that the carburetor was computer-controlled.

The D-series engine was first produced in 1984, with the 1.5-liter D15-series engine first appearing in the Honda CRX in the United States and Europe. 

Along with the CRX, the inline-four D-series engine would eventually appear in some of the most popular Hondas on the market, including the Civic, Stream, Logo, and, of course, the Integra. 

Understanding the D-Series Engine

Honda raised the deck height of the D16 engines to 212mm (an increase of 4.5mm) based on the 1.5-liter aluminum block of the D15 engine, with a 90mm stroke crankshaft, 137mm connecting rods, and 75mm pistons. 

Despite sharing the same cylinder bore, the increased piston stroke allowed Honda to attain the target displacement of 1.6 liters. 

Given the D-series’ high availability, especially with the D16, it’s been an increasingly popular choice for tuners and those looking for a highly reliable engine throughout the years. 

Because of the mass-production size, old D16s are common in the US and readily available for meager costs, making them ideal for upgrading.

They are not only inexpensive and widely accessible, but they are also exceedingly light, and many of the D-series engines contain Honda’s famed VTEC technology, making them highly coveted. Combine these advantages with a decent amount of off-the-shelf aftermarket assistance, and it’s no surprise that so many Honda fans are choosing Honda’s D-series engine for their tuning projects. 

Throughout the D-series’ extraordinarily lengthy existence, which lasted over twenty years, from 1986 to 2007, there have been an enormous number of minor variants. While they all have 16-valve, some have SOHC, while others have DOHC. 

Furthermore, there are VTEC and non-VTEC varieties to consider, so it’s critical to know that you’re getting the most bang for your buck when you buy.

Head to Head: Price

The price and cost of the D-series engine are far more advantageous than those of the B-series. We are talking about spare parts and other components. Moreover, the abundance of supplies of these parts is easier to get or what we commonly know as aftermarket support. On top of that, you can put out the good power that you need with lesser cost and expenditures. 

This is good, especially if you are on a tight budget and want to explore new grounds for the power production of your engine. There’s nothing wrong with saving some cash, especially if the results are almost identical to the expensive ones. 

Head to Head: Potential

This section relies depending on your goals and your projection of your build.

A Honda B16 or B18 is a more powerful engine, but it is more costly. You can get considerably more power from a n/a b series, and the VTEC will operate on both intake and exhaust instead of just intake, as in the d series. Simply means that greater pull is equal to more pull.

However, it all comes down to how much power you want to produce, whether you want forced induction or natural aspiration, and how much money you want to spend.

Simply conduct some study comparing the two. Price them, engine swap kits, ECUs, tranny choices, and the modifications you desire, may it be turbo or non-turbo. 

A turbo D series can create 300hp, but I’ve heard the bottom ends aren’t the strongest, and for anything beyond 250hp, you’ll need to use forged internals and excellent studs.

Head to Head: Issues

The motor isn’t great because it’s rather ancient. When it was first released, it was a fairly sturdy and reliable motor, but that has deteriorated with time. 

Now, B-series motors have a high level of tiredness, which means that any detail might begin to fail. The best way to avoid this is to service your engine on schedule and use high-quality motor oil and gasoline.

D-series engines suffer from oil leaking and problems with revolutions and misfiring. Nonetheless, this motor is quite durable and safe. It has a range of more than 200,000 kilometers.

However, the D-series engines have issues with rough idling, diesel noise, and crankshaft sheaves breakdown. 


Honda builds some of the most reliable engines on the market, but not all models are created equal. The D-series is cheaper and easier to maintain but will feel less powerful than a B-series engine in cars that can maximize its full potential. 

Again, the Honda D-series and the B-series engines are equal in efficiency and reliability, but they differ in power output and applications. Which one you choose will depend on your specific needs, with each engine having its pros and cons. 

If you’re looking for a lower-cost option with cheaper parts, go with the D-series; if you want to get more horsepower out of your engine without sacrificing fuel economy or longevity, pick up the B series instead.

The issues they have do not fully affect their overall performance, and both work great for both the track and everyday driving, depending on your build. 

Leave a Comment