Which Japanese Car Brand is the Best?

When it comes to choosing the best Japanese car, the options seem endless. Japan has earned an outstanding reputation for producing high-quality vehicles that excel in both performance and efficiency. Today, Japanese cars are imported and used by over 200+ countries worldwide

With so many reputable Japanese car brands to choose from, it might be overwhelming to choose which one is the best for you. In this guide, we'll take a closer look at some of the most well-known Japanese car brands. Whether you are looking to buy a Japanese car or to learn what Japanese car brands are there, we hope this article will help. 

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Popular Japanese Car Brands


Toyota Japan Car Brand Logo

No discussion about “Japanese cars” is complete without mentioning Toyota. Renowned for its commitment to innovation, Toyota has become a global leader in the automotive industry. With a history dating back to 1937, Toyota has consistently delivered reliable and durable vehicles.

Some of the most popular Toyota cars known worldwide are:

  • Corolla
  • Camry
  • Prius
  • Land Cruiser
  • Fortuner
  • Supra



Honda Japan Car Brand Logo 

Honda is another heavyweight in the Japanese automotive scene, known for striking the perfect balance between performance and fuel efficiency. Founded in 1948, as a manufacturing company, Honda did not start producing cars until 1963. One of their first accomplishments was the S500 sports car.

Honda cars stealing the spotlight are:

  • Civic
  • Accord
  • Insight
  • CR-V



Nissan Japan Car Brand Logo 

Formed in 1933, Nissan has carved its niche by infusing a sense of excitement into its vehicles. Their cars roar with excitement, offering a potent blend of value, performance, and head-turning designs. Nissan is currently owned by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance and is also responsible for INFINITI.

Some of their jaw-dropping cars include:

  • Sentra
  • Altima
  • Rogue
  • GT-R





Mazda Japan Car Brand Logo 

Starting only as a cork company in 1920, Mazda soon transitioned to car production in the year 1931. Mazda took the Wankel Engine, also known as the rotary engine invented by Felix Wankel, and revolutionized it for commercial car production. They prioritize handling, and driver engagement while being focused on lightweight architecture and innovative engine technologies.

Some of their reputable car models include:

  • MX-5
  • CX-9
  • CX-5
  • Mazda6



Subaru Japan Car Brand Logo 

Subaru has gained a reputation for its commitment to all-wheel-drive technology, making its vehicles a preferred choice for those living in challenging terrains. Founded in 1934, Subaru became synonymous with safety and reliability, building a strong reputation for adventure-ready vehicles.

Some of their notable achievements are:

  • Forester
  • Outback
  • BRZ



Lexus Japan Car Brand Logo 

For those seeking luxury in the Japanese automotive world, Lexus stands tall. Founded in 1989 as Toyota's luxury division, Lexus combines unparalleled craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology. They quickly became known for quiet and comfortable cabins, and soon established a global presence.

Lexus offers technologically advanced vehicles, popular with cars like:

  • ES
  • RX
  • NX
  • IS



Mitsubishi Japan Car Brand Logo 

Founded in 1870 as a shipbuilding company, ventured into automobiles in 1917 with the Model A; the first mass-produced car in Japan. They offer a diverse range of vehicles including SUVs, sports cars, and sedans. Mitsubishi made the headlines with off-road vehicles like the Pajero and pickup trucks like the L200 Triton. They also developed the influential Lancer Evolution.

Their most popular car models include:

  • Outlander
  • Mirage
  • Eclipse Cross
  • Pajero Sports
  • Lancer Evolution


Best Japanese Performance Cars

We could not decide what is the BEST Japanese performance car, so we came up with the most formidable names of all time. These cars have made their mark, not only in Japan but throughout the entire world. From the streets of Japan to the screens of your PlayStation, they have always upheld their pride, and as for performance? They will never fail you.

Our list of the best performance cars is mentioned down below. Do note that this list is not ranked.

  • Nissan GT-R

    The ultimate Japanese performance icon, a technological marvel packing monstrous power and mind-bending grip. A force of nature tamed for the most demanding drivers.


Nissan GT-R 2021 Japanese Car

  • Honda NSX

    Blends electric efficiency with blistering V6 power, tearing up tracks with pinpoint handling and sleek, futuristic design.

Honda NSX

  • Subaru Impreza

    Unleashes raw power and all-wheel-drive grip on any terrain, a true driver's car with a cult following and customizable performance potential.

 Subaru Impreza

  • Mazda MX-5

    Top-down freedom meets pure driving ecstasy in this lightweight roadster. Zippy and nimble, it's the perfect escape with a timeless smile.

Mazda MX-5 

  • Nissan Z

    Equipped with modern muscle, blending classic lines with a turbocharged punch and sharp handling. A blast from the past, widely known for its drifting capabilities, and even appeared in Fast & Furious movies.

 Nissan Z


  • Toyota Supra

    A powerhouse packing with sleek, aerodynamic aggression. A technologically advanced beast with a monstrous turbocharged engine, built for speed and precision.

Toyota Supra 

  • Mitsubishi Evo

    AWD mastery and turbocharged punch carve through corners with thrilling precision. Its rally-honed heritage shines in raw performance and adrenaline-pumping drives.

 Mitsubishi Evo 

  • Mazda RX

    Unconventional sports car powered by a unique, high-revving rotary engine that sings its own high-pitched symphony while carving through bends with surgical precision.

 Mazda RX 

Best Japanese SUVs 

Looking to buy an SUV in Japan? Or in any other country for that matter? Japanese SUVs offer a perfect blend of reliability and performance. They are suitable for daily commutes, as a family car, and even as an offroad chaos machine. Whether you are more of a family person, or someone who likes offroad adventures these SUVs will serve their needs right from the start. Let’s view one of the best Japanese SUVs to date:

  • 2021 Infiniti QX80
  • 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2023 Toyota 4Runner
  • 2022 Lexus RX
  • 2023 Subaru Forester
  • 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser
  • 2022 Lexus LX
  • 2022 Honda CR-V
  • 2023 Mazda CX-5

    Lexus LX Best Japanese Car Brand SUV
    (Image: Lexus LX 2022)

Best Japanese Sedans to Hit the Roads

There’s nothing like a four-door sedan that you can take to the office, drop your kids at school, and even take your family out on weekends. Japanese sedans and cars in general have stolen the spotlight for many decades due to their exceptional reliability and build quality.

If you are considering a sedan from a Japanese car brand, the list below will help you choose the right one:

  • Toyota Crown
  • Nissan Sentra
  • Mitsubishi Mirage
  • Nissan Versa
  • Honda Accord
  • Subaru WRX

Toyota Crown Best Japanese Car Brand Sedan

(Image: Toyota Crown)

List of All Japanese Car Brands

  • Toyota
  • Lexus
  • Suzuki
  • Mazda
  • Honda
  • Acura
  • Nissan
  • Mitsubishi
  • Subaru
  • Infiniti
  • Daihatsu
  • Isuzu
  • Fuso
  • Hino
  • Mitsuoka
  • Scion
  • Datsun
  • Aspark


Top Cars Ranking in Japan 

Want to know what cars are ranking domestically in Japan? Here are the top 10 cars in Japan. (Updated in Jan 2024)

  1. Honda N-Box

  2. Toyota Yaris

  3. Daihatsu Tento

  4. Toyota Carola

  5. Toyota Sienta

  6. Toyota Roomy

  7. Suzuki Spaica

  8. Suzuki Hustler

  9. Toyota Prius

  10. Toyota Noah

Suzuki Hustler

(Image: Suzuki Hustler)

Domestic Japanese brands like Toyota, Honda, and Suzuki are very popular among Japanese nationals for their performance and reliability. Often comfort, price, and functionality are the main factors Japanese people consider when buying a car as usually they are used for daily transportation or family outings. Financial factors like tax, insurance, and maintenance fees are also considered. 

Honda N Box(Image: Honda N-Box)



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Article| 23/02/2024 |


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