Opting for a Japanese car has perhaps never been a wiser decision. With Japanese car-makers increasingly competing to distinguish their brand as the most desirable, the number of top-notch vehicles coming out of the country lately is overwhelming. This has lead to a greater ubiquity and quality of Japanese cars being exported to the global market.
The same ubiquity means a higher availability of spare parts, and cheaper maintenance costs. If you're looking to buy a Japanese vehicle, this article will help steer you in the right direction. To make our list as complete as possible, we've included everything from sports cars to sedans, compact cars, and SUVs. So, stick around for the 10 best Japanese cars currently on the market.
10 Lexus RX 350 2019
Lexus has managed to surprise us this time. But, in all honesty, their RX 350 is truly deserving of a spot on this list. It's the perfect choice of a luxury midsize SUV, as it comes with a top-notch warranty system and a surprisingly competitive reliability rating. For a starting price of $43,000, it boasts an upscale interior with large, cushioned seats that provide more than enough room for the most comfortable ride possible.
The drive is blissfully smooth as well, with a powerful V6 engine always available at the tap of the gas pedal. However, it's the price-to-quality ratio that mostly helps distinguish it from its competitors and makes it a very wise purchase.
9 2017 Toyota Prius
Yes, the Prius. Love it or hate it, this car delivers everything it promises, and much more. The exterior design might not hit the mark with everyone, nor will the car's performance (albeit it is a big step-up from its predecessors), but you can't deny the Prius is worth every penny.
It boasts that trademark Toyota reliability and affordability, while offering a generous array of equipment and features, and more space than anyone would really give it credit for. It was even named the 2017 Best Hybrid Car by US News.
8 Honda Civic Hatchback 2019
The new Civic hatchback competes with the very best in the compact car segment. Similarly to its big brother Accord, the Civic manages to pack every important comfort and safety feature in an affordable and visually attractive package. It fetches great reviews in comfort and reliability while proving highly fuel-efficient.
It packs way more cargo area than its looks would suggest, and the surprisingly upscale interior is truly more than you pay for. The base price for the sedan is $19,450, but you can also opt for one of the sporty trims, such as the exciting Type R for about $35,000. This will amp up the performance of the Civic considerably, while sacrificing one seating position out of the standard five.
7 Mazda CX-5
The new CX-5 has managed to come up in the very top of the global SUV segment. This affordable SUV pleasantly surprises with the amount of luxury and space the cabin offers. The car also boasts great safety scores. Other improvements from previous iterations also include an even more attractive design, and rather enjoyable handling.
It comes with a 2.5L four-cylinder producing 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque that can send power to all wheels or only the front wheels, based on the trim. This is plenty of power for a midsize SUV, mind you, which is why the affordable CX-5 surprises its owners with agility and swiftness. Considering its segment, a fuel consumption of 31 miles per gallon on the highway makes it quite economic as well.
6 2019 Toyota Corolla
It seems Toyota is on a roll this year, as it's among the most popular and lauded car brands for economy, safety, and reliability. The Corolla epitomizes these epithets, as it delivers everything that it promises, and more. Coming at an affordable price, the Corolla offers a lot of space, safety features, and a top-notch reliability rating and some of the cheapest maintenance costs currently on the market.
It's the perfect vehicle for people who like to play it safe and enjoy the benefits of a well-rounded car, for an affordable price. In 2019, the Toyota re-introduced its Corolla hatchback, and Apple CarPlay, along with advanced safety features and competitive comfort features come standard in all models.
5 2018 Honda Accord
The Accord is one of those cars that consistently improves with each iteration. The newest version is one of the most well-rounded midsize sedans out there, boasting everything from great gas mileage, advanced technology, abundant safety features, to an upscale, comfortable interior.
The engine does not disappoint either: the standard version comes with a turbocharged 192-horsepower four-cylinder, with the 2.0L 252-horsepower and hybrid versions optional. Aside from that, it has received impressive user reviews, while its reliability and ubiquity on the market make it extremely cheap to maintain and repair.
4 2018 Toyota Camry
Camry again makes our list. We have to give it to this car: it's is perhaps the most reliable and cheapest to maintain midsize sedan currently on the market. It seems Toyota does not make promises it can't keep, and so the new Camry has managed to exceed all expectations.
It comes in gas or hybrid versions, each having their own advantages, and delivers decent performance within its segment. The Camry perfectly combines premium comfort with perfect safety scores and a hassle-free owner experience. Today, you can fetch one of these for roughly $20,000.
3 2019 Honda Odyssey
The Odyssey serves as an example of what a great minivan can be, and hence had to be included in our list. Not only is it one of the best cars for the money hailing from Japan, but it's also among the top minivans currently sold globally. The design is good, but that's the car's low point.
It's incredibly roomy and offers the same high standard of comfort for all passengers (and it seats at least eight, mind you), while the seats can be removed to make for an impressive cargo area. For the $30,000 dollar base price, you also get a powerful, standard 280-horsepower V6 that somehow still manages to provide a smooth ride good for about 28 miles per gallon on the highway. Well done, Honda.
2 2018 Lexus LC
The 2018 Lexus LC had to be included in this list. It still reigns among the most bang-for-the-buck sports cars out there. Not only does it deliver a harmonious and aesthetic exterior design, but it comes with a powerful 5.0 V8 engine producing a whopping 471 horsepower.
For a more sustainable solution, there is also a hybrid model available. For all that, the LC still provides a surprisingly comfortable ride and boasts a vast array of safety features paired with very high reliability ratings. Another reason for opting for a Lexus lies in their top-notch warranty and customer support systems.
1 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Definitely the most fun for the size, the MX-5 Miata has been a favorite for exactly three decades now, always managing to exceed its high expectations. The main benefits that you'll see in a Miata are the exciting drive, affordability, and simplicity. The newest version even upped the power output to 181 horsepower while still keeping its featherlight stature.
However, the thing that drives the point home with the new Miata is its reliability. This is the reason it has received amazing user reviews and reliability scores, and why it consistently appears on lists of the most attractive and reliable entry-level sports cars to buy.