Are Japanese Cars Good? Best in the World?

Japan is known for making the most reliable cars. They are so reliable that out of the 100 most reliable cars in the world, no less than 30 are Japanese. So yes, Japanese cars are good for real.

Let’s try to find out answers to the most common questions about Japanese cars.

Are Japanese Cars reliable?

The average reliability rating of Japanese vehicles is about 92%. Which means these cars are extremely reliable. The perception of Japanese cars in public is really Good. Japanese companies take public image very seriously as for them it is a lifelong partnership.

The reliability of Japanese cars isn’t region-specific. No matter in which part of the world car is being manufactured. You’ll still get similar quality and make as those getting assembled in Japan.

Do Japanese Cars Last Long?

Japanese cars can last longer than most American or European cars. They’re considered reliable by virtue of their longer life spans. Japanese cars can last more than 200-300,000 miles as opposed to 150-175,000 miles of their competitors.

Here’s a detailed comparison of the reliability of European vs. Japanese cars.

Do Japanese Cars Tend to Rust?

Japanese cars are prone to rust more often. Especially if you’re planning to import one and drive it in another country.

Japanese don’t use salt to melt ice on roads during winter. Salt itself has nothing to do with rusting but it can accelerate the process. So due to the no-salt policy, car manufacturers have one less thing to worry about. They apply no extra protective layer in cars to resist rusting.

Hence you might have to get an extra coating on your car to keep it safe from rust.

Also read: 20 Really Important Questions about Japanese Cars

Are Japanese Cars Expensive to Maintain?

Most Japanese cars aren’t that expensive to fix and maintain. You can easily find a Japanese car mechanic. They require little to no maintenance for the first 5 years. The average yearly maintenance cost of a Japanese car is around $251. In comparison, the annual maintenance of a German car can cost up to $724.

There are only two main maintenance costs of Japanese cars for the first 5 years. One is the oil change after every 5,000 miles, which costs $50. And second is changing tires after 60,000 miles, which costs about $400-500.

However, Japanese sports cars are an exception. Maintenance of these sports cars can cost more than a BMW or Chevrolet.

Japanese companies have impressive service networks all around the globe. Staff and engineers at these service centers get their training from Japan. New training courses are conducted every time a new car is launched or if any major design modification is made.

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Is it Hard to Find Japanese Cars Replacement Parts?

Generally, you can find Japanese cars replacement parts easily. Because one thing Japanese are good at is mass production. Bulk quantities of all parts are produced. Which makes these parts cheaper and easier to find.

Finding replacement parts for discontinued models can be a tricky task. It may depend upon the model of your car and the place where you’re looking. But now things are getting easier. All thanks to online stores. You can find most auto parts there.

Are Japanese Cars Comfortable?

A common perception is that Japanese cars aren’t that comfortable. Because the Japanese are known for making budget cars. But bounded by price range, a Japanese car can beat any American or German car of a similar segment.

While Japanese manufacturers focus more on the economy, they can be quite the artist when it comes to design and styling. Hence making sure that your rides are comfortable.

Also read: 5 Legit Reasons Why Honda Civic is so Popular

How Often Do Japanese Cars Break Down?

Japanese cars don’t break down very often. Usually, in the first 10 years, there are 1 or 2 problems per 5 years. Japanese adopt a minimalist approach while manufacturing cars. There aren’t many parts in Japanese cars that break down. Therefore, lesser maintenance is required.

What are the Most Common Problems with Japanese Cars?

The most common problems with Japanese cars are timing belt and chain issues, rusting, faded paint, and cooling system problems. In most cases, you shouldn’t spend more than $300 to fix or prevent these problems.

Like all others, Japanese car owners encounter certain problems. The most common of those are:

1. Timing belt and chain issues: After 80,000-100,000 miles, engine timing belts in Japanese cars wear out. If ignored it can cause serious engine damage. Hence, they should be changed immediately after the issue gets highlighted. Replacement of timing belt isn’t a costly repair but if not done on time can take a toll on your pocket.

2. Rusting: Rusting is another major issue with Japanese cars. It has been discussed in detail in the section above. To prevent rusting, protective coatings can be applied that may cost up to $200.

3. Faded paint: Exterior characteristics seem to be a genuine issue with Japanese cars. Peeling or fading of paint is reported by users of Japanese cars. To avoid it one must prevent the car from extreme weather conditions.

4. Cooling System: The cooling system of Japanese cars tends to fail in countries with hot summers. In some old Japanese cars, AC’s don’t work properly. This problem isn’t very common. But this may cost you up to $500.

All the above-mentioned issues arise after 10 to 15 years of operation. The frequency of problems is 104 problems per 100 vehicles after the 5th year of operation. However, once 10 years have passed this number gets higher.

Are Japanese Cars Safe?

Japanese cars are safe to drive. The insurance institute for highway safety (IIHS) declared Japanese cars as the safest to drive on road in 2017.

Though Japanese cars are known to have lesser airbags as compared to German and American ones. But strict quality management protocols are followed during manufacturing to ensure safety. Due to this, Japanese cars are less prone to failures that can lead to accidents.

Also, you might wanna know which Japanese brand lasts longer. Honda or Toyota? The answer is in this post.

Is the Quality of Elements in Japanese Cars Good?

Modern techniques of lean manufacturing are employed to ensure the quality of elements in Japanese cars. Due to which processes are highly optimized, resulting in better quality products. However, the quality of elements in Japanese cars isn’t as high as in German cars.

Post World War II, the Japanese economy thrived due to the industrial revolution. Quality was lesser of concern during starting days. Japanese believed in the ideology that quality only comes with quantity. If you manufacture enough units then quality will come as a byproduct.

But they mastered the techniques of quality control by introducing principles such as 5S and SM. Japanese presented an alternative to quality control in form of quality assurance. Later concepts of sigma were adopted and the number of defective items dropped into parts per million (ppm).

Japanese are great admirers of human intelligence. They found the right balance between automation and human work. They used robotic lines only where they were necessary. Thus, maximizing the quality of work.

Also read: Are Fords Good Cars? (and Models to Avoid)

Do Japanese Cars Depreciate Fast?

Japanese cars depreciate by 40% during the first 5 years of operation. That’s an average of 8% per year. But after that from years 6 to 10, they depreciate only 24%. Which means less than 5% depreciation after 5 years.

An advantage of buying a Japanese car is that it has high resale value. The depreciation of new Japanese cars is slightly higher. Old cars depreciate a lot slower.

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The reason for this lower depreciation is the highly fuel-efficient and eco-friendly engines of Japanese cars.

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Do Japanese Cars Offer Good Engines?

Japanese cars offer the best auto engines in each category. No one makes engines like the Japanese. Their engine designs are known to be the most efficient and long-lasting, however, there are more powerful ones on the market.

Japanese engines are extremely simple with fewer parts. Again, a minimalistic approach comes in handy while engine manufacturing. When it comes to engines Japanese don’t innovate much. They put their trust in long-tested designs. Only slight modifications are made to make them compatible with modern needs.

Are Japanese Cars Expensive to Insure?

Getting insurance for Japanese cars outside Japan can be costly. But it depends upon the country of import. For instance, in the EU Japanese vehicles fall in the grey import category. This category covers special items not made to European standards.

Insurance companies don’t provide coverage for such vehicles. And if they do, premium rates are very high. So, you should consider this cost before purchasing a Japanese car outside Japan.

Are Japanese Cars too Expensive to Buy?

The Japanese tend to cater for all classes of the community. They make cars for everyone out there. So, their prices can be on both extremes.

The most expensive cars like Toyota GR Supra can cost a whopping $2.1 Million. Followed by the likes of Nissan Fairlady 24OZ & Acura NXS that are priced at just over a million US dollars.

On the other hand, the Japanese have rolled out some best affordable cars in the market. These include Nissan Versa, Mitsubishi Mirage, and Toyota Yaris. All of these are budget cars you can get under $15,000.

Also read: Mazda Depreciation: 7 Popular Models Compared

What are the Most and Least Reliable Japanese Cars?

In brand rating Datsun, Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have always topped the charts. Honda Accord & Toyota Camry have garnered the title of best sellers in the United States. Both of these have been ranked as the most reliable Japanese cars.

Try avoiding sports cars from Japan. JDM’s are the least reliable Japanese cars. Honda 2000S, Toyota Sera, Honda Insight, and Mazda RX-8 being the most prominent ones in this category.

So, are Japanese cars good?

Yes because Japanese cars:

  1. Are reliable
  2. Have high resale value
  3. Are of High quality
  4. Require least maintenance
  5. Are Fuel Efficient
  6. Are Environment friendly
  7. Last longer
  8. Are Safe
  9. Are Affordable

Apart from some minor issues Japanese make good cars. Japanese cars are certainly better than most!

Sources:,,,,,,,,, Avotachki,,,