Popular Japanese Cars Imported To Europe

import cars from japan

The European auto-market prefers home-grown brands; however, the trend is changing as more and more Japanese cars become available. One of the reasons behind this is the free trade deal between Japan and the European Union. The trade deal has led to an increase in the number of vendors who can import cars from Japan to countries in the European Union. Furthermore, with more cars available in the market, local consumers have started to notice the impeccable quality that has come to define Japanese cars.

More and more European countries are setting up deals to import cars from Japan. As a result, the offerings are not as limited as they once used to be. In our article, we will highlight a few models that we feel have gained a significant amount of popularity. So, if you’re in the market for a left-hand drive car from Japan or looking for a more eco-friendly vehicle, we’re sure you’ll find something that suits your needs.

We’ll be covering a few cars we feel will appease European sensibilities and needs. And in the name of fairness, we’ll be going over the pros and cons of each of the cars we talk about.

Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris is one of their hunchback sedan models. And in recent years since its introduction has been gaining popularity in and around Greece. Some of the pros and cons of the offering by Toyota Yaris are:


  • The Yaris has all of the standard safety features such as brake assist, airbags, ABS with EBD, and ISOFIX. Additionally, higher trims include hill-start assist, tire pressure warning, and front parking sensors as well.
  • CVT option is available in all models.
  • The boot is spacious, and rear folding seats give even more space for luggage.
  • The interior is comfortable, and the smooth drive even on bad roads.


  • The infotainment system has some design flaws and is difficult to see as the glare is quite distracting under harsh sunlight.
  • The back seating is not as wide, which means three adults cannot sit comfortably in the back.

Suzuki Vitara

Suzuki Vitara is an SUV offering from the Japanese manufacturer Suzuki. The name Vitara is inspired by the Latin word vita, from which comes the English word vitality. Vitara has seen popularity in Hungary and other eastern European countries. In fact, in some places, it’s been doing better than similar models from Skoda.

The pros and cons of Suzuki Vitara so you can make a more informed choice.Pros

  • The operating system is user-friendly, and the overall user experience is satisfying.
  • The steering wheel offers audio control options making for more intuitive control.
  • The older models are available in manual transmission and offer a smooth ride, with the newer models offering fully automatic transmission.


  • The back door and adjustable seats can become loose if used too much.

Nissan Leaf

The LEAF is a five-door hatchback battery electric car (BEV) by the Japanese manufacturer Nissan. The Leaf has been giving the local hatchbacks in the same category quite the competition.


  • It is an eco-friendly vehicle.
  • The insurance premiums are lower because of its EV specification.
  • It is quite spacious, offers a comfortable drive, and is very quiet.


  • The power source can sometimes be unreliable on longer trips.
  • The number of charging stations are not as common, but that is rapidly changing all across Europe.

Mazda MX-5

The Mazda MX-5 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a Japanese-made roadster. However, it’s not a great choice if you’ve got a family, then this is not the car for you. A look at the pros and cons to see if the Mazda MX-5  is the roadster that is right for you.


  • It is an absolute joy to drive, which is a must for any roadster worth its salt.
  • A 1.5 to 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine offers a hefty punch of power.
  • A retractable roof.


  • The automatic transmission works well enough but falls short of what one can expect from a roadster which is perfection.
  • It is expected in a roadster that inside space would be limited, but the Mazda MX-5 may feel very cramped for tall and bulky people.
  • The car offers limited adjustability options when it comes to seating.

Nissan Juke

The Juke is a subcompact crossover SUV from the Japanese manufacturer Nissan. The Juke has attracted the attention of motorists looking for unique looks in an SUV body. The Nissan Juke is a car that definitely divides people when it comes to its aesthetics, but there is no denying that it is a car that is worth its price.

Let us look at the pros and cons of the Nissan Juke so you can make an informed choice.


  • The Nissan Juke is extremely fuel-efficient.
  • It has a Nismo variant with a distinct look with a more powerful engine, and various other upgraded trimmings.
  • Beyond the standard safety features and airbags, the Nissan Juke also has Intelligent Lane Intervention, Moving Object Detection, and Vehicle Dynamic Control as well.
  • The price point is much lower than other similar subcompact SUVs.
  • The operating system is user-friendly and has an optimized interface.


  • The back seats do not offer as much space and can be cramped for people above a certain height.
  • The aesthetics of the Nissan Juke are an acquired taste.
  • The Nissan Juke is not rated for extra-heavy loads and will struggle with overloading and pulling loads.

Honda CR-V

The CR-V is another popular SUV option. Honda produces this particular car. Honda CR-V is highly reliable and well equipped and remains one of the few SUVs where the petrol engine is preferred. The Honda CR-V is popular across Europe and in many other countries around the world as well for a reason.

Let’s look at the pros and cons and see why Honda CR-V may be the car for you.


  • The 1.5-liter engine is a spitfire and provides excellent acceleration with unmatched fuel economy in its class.
  • Crossover SUVs are not known for their spacious interiors, but the CR-V is cavernous compared to other offerings in this category.
  • Comfortable ride.
  • Spacious boot space.
  • The CR-V comes equipped with Honda Sens,e which adds many features to make the drive more comfortable and safe.
  • A loaded infotainment system offers a multitude of options.


  • The touchscreen can be a little finicky at times.
  • The car, although powerful, does not support a lot of towing load.
  • The automatic climate control can sometimes not set the temperature properly.
  • The CR-V is a lot more sensitive to driving styles, so the fuel economy may vary depending on the driver’s driving style.

Final Thoughts

In 2021 the European auto-market offers a wide range of Japanese cars, both new and used. We’ve listed some of the cars we enjoyed testing and loved the aesthetics plus functionality they provided. But, in the end, the best car is the one that gets you from point A to point B. So, look for what fits your needs and experience the quality that is synonymous with Japanese cars.



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