Japanese Cars Suck!


With their complacent, unionized workforce that was at the time indifferent and with management that was only interested in squeezing huge profits, American cars were clumsy, thirsty and poorly made. The compact, sporty, inexpensive and high-quality Japanese cars suddenly seized 25 then 40 plus percent of the US market.

Fueled by overnight success, the Japanese reinvested heavily in R&D and by the mid 80's started coming out with cars that were not just good but world class. This is where I came into the picture. As a young engineer at TRD or Toyota Racing Development, I got to witness the introduction of exciting, kick-ass Japanese cars like the RA60 Celica, the AW11 MR-2, the MA70 Supra, and was able to own a legendary, AE86 GT-S Corolla myself.


Toyota's luxury brand, Lexus, is spouting odd and ugly styling nowadays too. The previous IS was a nice looking car, one of the few left in the Toyota/Lexus lineup. The old IS' looks are one of the reasons why I bought it. The latest IS has the same passive aggressive, weird styling that takes a plain Buickish body and tacks on gaudy and over the top styling features. This oddness screams over the top or half-hearted design by committee. I think I know what influenced Toyota/Lexus's designers when coming up with the front end design of the new IS….

These were exciting times to be a car guy working at Toyota. The cars were fast, nimble, high quality, good looking and reasonably priced. The only boring car in the Toyota lineup was the mass market Camry.  Compared to Toyota, American cars seemed downright shoddy and dumpy, and Euro cars, although cool, were starting to get dated and had iffy quality. 

At the end of the 80's, I left Toyota and began an 18-year career at Nissan- just in time to be a part of what I considered the renaissance of the Japanese auto industry.  Flush with cash from a nearly global dominance of many industries due to the Japanese cultural drive for a good work ethic, continual improvement, and quality, the Japanese auto industry was no longer a second-tier effort but the class leading one.


The car that launched a revolution. The Nissan Z32 twin turbo forced the complacent makers of super sports and exotic cars to really step up their game when it was introduced. The automotive world was dumbfounded by the Z32's performance, styling, quality, looks, and price.  These were all reasons why I bought one and still own it. 

For the first time, Japanese cars were considered by many to be the best- not for the price, but in total, and were a status symbol. Toyota launched the luxury Lexus brand, soon followed by Nissan with Infiniti and Honda with Acura. These cars with their superior quality and performance soon surpassed the offerings of Mercedes, BMW, and Audi.


At the very bottom of Nissan's product line at that time was the B13 Sentra. The Sentra had the classic, clean lines of the E30 BMW and the SE-R with it's two-liter SR20 engine was a little hotrod that was fast, cheap and good looking.  The B13 like the E30 still looks good today.  It is still really fun to drive.  I have owned 2 of these cars and still race one today.
Contrast today's bloated, heavy, slow, clumsy and ugly Sentra with a cheesy decontented, plasticy interior.
The Juke is butt ugly; not even quirky cute endearing ugly, but WTF was a designer thinking ugly. Was Nissan intentionally trying to make the ugliest car on the market? Even though I own a GT-R, there is not a single Nissan I would want to own today vs. when I worked there.  Back in the day,  I would not have minded owning most of Nissan's product line!


  1. I agree that Japanese cars are really garbages.
    Japanese cars are inferior to European cars/

    Boycott Japanese cars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. You are the stupidest person in the world. If It was not for Japan, the oil crisis could of never ended. THE S2000, SUPRA OR NSX WOULD OF NEVER CAME OUT.

  3. I grew up in Japan, and believe that a lot of Japanese cars “were” reliable. But with the current technology and improvements in the automotive industry, the average car is just as reliable. So, what has Japan done to improve their competition. US and European cars out perform Japanese cars in power, comfort, handling; even Korean cars are bumping up their game to be more competitive while Japan progress has dramatically slowed down. Sure Japan has GTR, new Fairlady, Lexus’s (which every model looks the same) but still does not stand up to the US muscle car,, and Mercedes GT63s, BMW M8 competition (to name a few brand/car), even some of the Kia and Genesis flagship price point give better bang for the buck then Japanese cars. Another thing I hate is that Japan has a monopoly on US, and European cars imported into Japan, some Korean cars are not permitted into Japan for sale (eliminate the competition), The price of all import cars into Japan is literally double the MSRP (including foreign Dealerships in Japan). I under there are cost for shipping and taxation, but really? The Math is MSRP x 2 = price of import cars in Japan. It’s sad that the average person in Japan can’t afford to buying an imported car and end up buying a Japanese cars. I wonder what would happen if Europe and US did the same math for Japanese cars sold outside of Japan.

  4. all jap cars are junk. I don’t hate myself enough to drive one or worse think of owning one. Domestic cars are great. Why on gods green earth would anyone think the pieces of crap made overseas are better than home made cars. Some people are simply too stupid to know what is good for them. We were forced into a war with japan and won. why support their stinking car industry. Let them keep the crap they make in japan where it belongs.

    1. Well domestics sucked amazingly badly in the 80’s and 90’s, they had to improve a lot or the vastly superior Japanese cars of the time would have put them out of business. In fact they did put a lot of the GM brands out of business.

  5. you are not alone bro I hate japan car/automotive too even for their history ww2 to nasty to write, the only reason why because japan very dominant in our market share imagine you have 273 million people and 95% all of them market share owned by japan, they do monopolies! with increase price but decrease quality even their car are shit garbage, overprice and underpower

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