Most of the brands coming from Japan in recent years have been upholding reliability and safety standards. There are, however, a few exceptions to the rule. Namely, we're talking about cars released in 2019 that have disappointed the automotive community or experienced significant issues and recalls.
This list features the newest cars hailing from Japan that have yet failed to distinguish themselves as desirable due to underwhelming performance, features, or significant mechanical problems. So, here are the 10 worst Japanese cars released in 2019.
The new Frontier is a brand-new pickup truck that's best left alone. Observed by itself, it's not a bad car. It will get you where you want to go, on tarmac or even off it. However, the Frontier lands at the bottom of reliability and consumer satisfaction ratings compared to its competitors.
The reason for that lies mainly in its underwhelming power and its obsolete, cramped, and utterly dull interior. Apart from that, the car shows no effort in safety and technology features. To compensate, it does offers one of the lowest base prices for a pickup, but it's hardly worth it.
To a fresh pair of eyes, the new Supra is an attractive sports car. To a gearhead, it's not even a Supra. With the new model, Toyota embarked to fill the shoes of its lauded 25-year-old predecessor, the MKIV - one of the best sports cars and most popular tuners of the 90s. Its fame namely lies in the legendary 2JZ engine, which was able to double its power output with just a few cheap tweaks. However, the newer version does not even have a Toyota engine; it borrows one from BMW (with a sticker to prove it).
Its lackluster performance only adds more salt to the wound. It uses the same engine as the Z4, and it even fails to offer the same power. While the old Supra was easily tweaked to become one of the most fearsome tuners on the road, the new Supra's BMW engine only churns out 335 horsepower (versus the Z4's 385). Pair this with unmet nostalgia-driven expectations and you have yourself the reason why many gearheads consider the new Supra the biggest disappointment of the year.
As a luxury extension of Honda, Acura is supposed to deliver even more features, comfort, and class. Yet, as things currently are, it's not really worth the price upgrade. The newest addition to the lineup, the TLX, ranks poorly among its luxury competitors - such as Lexus, Volvo, or BMW - yet it demands a steep price. Examined alone, there are no real problems with this car, if we ignore the $33,000 starting price, that is. However, the 206-horsepower fueled performance is quite disappointing considering its premium status, as is the cabin. The high point of the car is the ride comfort, but even that is negated by the cramped rear seats. Not impressive.
This year, the standard midsize sedans have very much caught up to their premium counterparts, which results in brands like Nissan's Infiniti struggling to distinguish themselves as more classy or desirable. Priced at a minimum of $50,000, the Infiniti Q70 disappoints in almost every feature of a premium, executive car. The high point of the car is probably the decent V8, optioned to produce up to 416 horses.
Albeit decently designed, things get quite bad inside the Q70's cabin. The interior is not nearly as impressive as the price tag would leave you to believe, with a subpar infotainment system. The ride quality also confirms all negative suspicions, and the owner shouldn't hope to save any money on gas either.
The new Acura ILX is supposed to compete in the midsize luxury division, but considering the overall interior impression and car reliability, we just don't see it being very competitive. Not much is expected of the Acura, yet it still managed to disappoint many and acquire not-so-bright reviews. The main problem with the ILX lies in the lack of the "luxury" component. Even regular midsize sedans, such as the Accord or the Camry, can offer a more upscale cabin experience and a better ride, for a lower price. There have also already been a few recalls of the ILX model concerning a faulty driveshaft (meaning the car can unexpectedly lose power or start moving when in "park") and faulty gas level display.
The Sentra is not a great car. It's not a terrible one either. However, it manages to underwhelm in almost every important aspect of a compact cruiser. The Sentra will still seat five (albeit rather uncomfortably) and get from point A to point B, but the abundant not-so-great reviews are there for good reason. Ignore them and you will quickly be met with a cheap-looking interior, subpar performance, and an overall below-average driving experience. With the Sentra, Nissan has released a compact car that fails to compete with any cars in the segment. Almost any alternative, be it the lauded Civic or a Corolla will provide a more exciting and comfortable ride, and many of them for a cheaper price.
Not evoking high expectations, Infiniti is a luxury brand that has been struggling to distinguish itself from the competitors in terms of classiness and reliability, and the new QX30 does not help its cause.
Reliability scores place it at the very bottom of the curve, with other cheaper competitors also offering more cargo space, a quieter cabin for the same or lower price. Additionally, the 2019 model did not introduce any changes or improvements upon the predecessor, which gives little reason to opt for the newest version.
With the brand's current position on the market, buying a Toyota is a great decision- as long as you don't opt for the new C-HR. While it still manages to achieve decent scoring in terms of reliability and safety, it the new C-HR drops the ball when it comes to features, space, and even performance. The cabin is surprisingly cramped, and the situation is even worse in the cargo area. Starting at $20,000, it does not offer any price advantage over its other subcompact SUV competitors such as the Honda HR-V, yet it lacks in refinement, comfort, and most importantly space.
If you're looking to buy a comfortable and reliable SUV, look further. Abundant cargo space considering the car's size is about the only positive feature we can highlight. The car drives, and will seat five, and it does almost everything it should. The problem is, it does it worse than it should. Namely, the engine is quite loud and overly fuel-consuming, the handling is mediocre, the ride is harsh, and the cheap materials don't serve to make the experience any more bearable. For the $21,000 base price tag, the Outlander Sport is among the worst subcompact SUV's out there and most of its classmates outscore it in both features and price.
Mitsubishi really dropped the ball with their newer models. Although affordably priced, there is just so much wrong with the new Mirage that it's probably the worst car you can buy, period. Moreover, it presents no additions or improvements, other than standard cruise control, from the already-modest features offered by earlier iterations. The interior is one of the cheapest out there, performance is dull, and reliability scores follow this pattern of disappointment. The cabin will seat five, however, the seats will make for a harsh ride. The only reason anyone should opt for the mirage is for its affordability and fuel economy, and there are a lot better options even in that regard.