There’s no denying that Japanese cars are extremely popular† There are exceptions to every rule, but if you go to most parking lots, you will inevitably find many Japanese brand vehicles. If you look at the top ten lists, you’ll see many of the same models appearing year after year, and in 2021 14 of the top 25 best-selling vehicles in the United States were from Japan.
The reasons for this are style, ride quality, engineering, reliability and value, and Japanese cars tend to score very highly in all of these categories. They offer the whole range of vehicle types with prices and vehicle types to suit almost any buyer. With so many options and competition, it can be overwhelming to pick the right one. So, if you are interested in buying a vehicle from Japan, which one should you choose?
10 Nissan Versa
Compact cars are perfect for many buyers. They’re cheaper to buy, better gas mileage, smaller engines require less maintenance and if finding parking spaces is essential, they’re just what you need. Of the available options, the Nissan Versa is the best.
Available in three different versions, S, SV and SR, there are only a few differences between the models. Mechanically they are identical, but there are a few extra options on the SR than you get with an S. It’s hard to find well-built cars under $20,000 these days, but the Versa starts at $16,850 for the base model. At its core is a 1.6L 4-cylinder engine that puts out 122 horsepower, achieves a combined average of 35 mpg and offers quite a few safety features that its competition doesn’t.
9 Honda agreement
The Accord has been built for 36 years now, and for excellent reasons. To be consistently chosen as top car every year and is a favorite of all car reviewers for the value of the complete package. Anyone looking for a large sedan would be wise to buy an Accord. It is the ideal family car for its interior space, safety features, equipment choices and reliability.
The base model LX starts at $26,520 and goes up to $38,450 for the Touring model with all the bells and whistles. The middle option, the Sport Special Edition, costs $28,980 and comes standard with heated leather seats, the full list of Honda Sensing, Safety and Driving Aids, an 8-inch display, Apple Car Play, LED headlights and chrome details. There are two engine options 192 hp 1.5L Turbo and a 252 hp 2.0L turbo version with 32mpg and 26mpg respectively. You also get 42 inches of legroom in the front and 56 inches of shoulder room in the back to keep the kids far enough apart to reduce fights.
8 Lexus ES
For those looking to upgrade to a luxury sedan, the Lexus ES 350 is the way to go. The $42,000 price tag may seem like a lot, but it’s still less expensive than its competitors, the Audi A6, Volvo S60 and Jaguar XF. There’s also the benefit of the ES being built on top of a Toyota, making it much more reliable than the more expensive choices.
For the money you get a 302 hp 3.5L V6 with a 6.6 seconds 0-60 time and a combined fuel economy of 28 mpg. The ES also has an industry-leading Lexus safety system, an electric moonroof, a premium 10-speaker sound system and an 8-inch touchscreen entertainment display. Combined gas mileage is 26 mpg and there is more interior space than its competitors.
7 Honda CR-V
If a compact SUV is more up your alley, look no further than the Honda CR-V. No other vehicle in its class can offer more interior space, storage space, technology and fuel economy, all for a reasonable price range from $26,800 for the base model LX to $36,600 for the top-end Touring edition.
The whole range offers a 190hp turbo engine with AWD and is better than the RAV4, Nissan Rogue or Subaru Forester in most categories. The mid-level special edition offers heated leather seats, dual climate controls, 17-inch wheels and the Honda Sensing safety package. It also has larger interior dimensions, more horsepower and an efficiency of 31 mpg, which is excellent for an SUV.
6 Honda passport
if you need more space for the familyHonda offers a larger option, the Passport. It comes in 3 trim levels, the $38,370 EX-L, the $42,970 TrailSport, or the top of the line $45,930 Elite. It’s powered by a V6 engine that offers plenty of pickups and enough torque to pull a trailer and a payload of up to 5,000 pounds. The AWD system is reliable in snow, mud and even off-road.
The Passport is equipped with all-weather tires, heated windshield wipers and a hands-free power tailgate. Inside, it offers a generous amount of space for five adults and a large cargo area to carry packages, luggage or sports equipment. Leather steering wheels are standard, as are heated front seats and the Honda Sensing safety package. There is an 8-inch screen with Honda Link Navigation and Traffic† There is an impressive stereo with 8 speakers and a subwoofer to keep everyone entertained.
5 Acura MDX
You’ll find Hondas do very well on this list, so it’s no wonder if you want a luxury SUV, Honda’s luxury brand, Acura, would build the best. The MDX offers the best combination of luxury and value. Prices start at $48,000 and the Type S comes in at $66,000.
Thanks to the adaptive air suspension, ride comfort is hard to beat and stopping is a cinch with its Brembo brakes. The interior is spacious with the expansive panoramic moon roof in its class. And below that you will find sports seats in the front upholstered in high-quality materials and heated seats in the second row. The third row is comfortable for passengers and has excellent load capacity when lowered. There are many conveniences such as a stereo with 16 speakers, a 12.3-inch center screen with navigation and every conceivable safety feature you could wish for.
4 Honda Ridgeline
When people think of pickup trucks, we no doubt think of American trucks, but the Japanese offer a few options to consider. The best of these is the Honda. The Ridgeline is perfect if you’re looking for a pickup, but don’t need a heavy truck. The V6 with AWD gives it a lot of power and pulling power, the base Sport model costs $38,000, or you pay for the Ridgeline Black Edition that costs $7,000 more.
The Ridgeline is a great truck to pack for camping or going to the lake. It will carry all your essentials and be able to tow your ATV, jet skis or fishing boat. The truck bed is 63.6″ with a lockable suitcase in bed to secure personal items, and a double-acting tailgate for quick loading and unloading. An in-bed audio system turns the rear into a giant speaker, perfect for camping or behind the bumper. All the features you would expect from a modern truck are in the cab, including leather, heated seats and an 8-inch display.
3 Subaru BRZ
Everyone would love to own a Corvette or a Porsche, but they cost quite a bit. If you’re looking for a great sports car at a reasonable price, be sure to check out the Subaru BRZ. You could also go for the Mazda Miata, but the styling might not be for everyone, or a convertible might not be what you’re looking for.
With the BRZ, you can choose between the $28,000 Premium or the $30,500 Limited. Both are a steal for the amount of fun they provide. They come with a 2.4L Subaru Boxer 4-cylinder engine which delivers 228 hp, goes from 0 to 60 in 5.4 seconds and has a top speed of 240 km/h. You can choose the captivating manual gearbox, but even with the automatic, the handling is still excellent. The seats sit low and have excellent support to keep you in place as you fly through the turns, and there’s a 7-inch LCD gauge cluster that can change from normal to sport to track at will. And in case the sound of the engine isn’t enough, there’s also an 8-speaker stereo system.
2 Lexus LC
A Grand Tourer, also known as a GT car, is a vehicle designed for speed and comfort. The best Japanese GT is the Lexus LC. In 2022 you can choose the base model, the Inspiration Series (both of which are also available as convertibles), or there is a third option, the LC Hybrid†
Prices start at $94,000 to $117,000. Those are hefty price tags, but you get a lot for your money. All four combustion versions are powered by 5.0L naturally aspirated V8s producing 471 horsepower. That’s less power than you’d get in a Nissan GT-R, but if you wanted one, you’re too late. The GT-R is completely sold out† The LC also has significantly more luxury and comfort, including a 13-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, Lexus’ dynamic navigation system, Wi-Fi and a head-up display. You also get everything Lexus safety features you have to race safely to your destination.
1 Honda Accord Hybrid
It may be hard to believe, but the best Japanese hybrid you can buy is from Honda. It is built on the best family car, the Accord Hybrid. Four models range from the most basic at $28,000 to the most expensive, costing $37,600. For that price you get an Accord that is fun to drive and completely reliable.
The hybrid has two electric motors on top of its 2.0L inline-four that together deliver 212 horsepower. It gets all the features you’d find on the combustion versions, including the 10-speaker audio system, the 8-inch LCD touchscreen with navigation, and the full Honda Sensing safety package. A unique thing the hybrid offers an impressive combined 48 mpg†