What Are The Best Japanese Car Models To Buy?

By Naylor's Auto Repair on Thu, 09/07/2023 - 15:21

When it comes to reliability and affordability in the automotive world, Japanese car brands have carved out a reputation that is hard to beat. Over the years, Japanese car manufacturers have crafted several different makes and models that, whether old or new, have been shown to be excellent cars to own. The engineering, attention to detail, and quality of materials used keep these cars on the roads and typically require less frequent maintenance.

Naylor’s Auto Repair is a trusted auto shop in Boise with years of experience working on different Japanese cars. Keep reading to learn more about which Japanese car models are the best to purchase new or used.

Top-Rated Japanese Car Brands to Buy New and Used

Among the many available options, several Japanese car brands consistently receive accolades for their performance, longevity, and minimal maintenance needs. These include Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Nissan, Mazda, Lexus, Suzuki, and Mitsubishi. These brands offer a variety of benefits that fit all budgets and lifestyles. From luxury to rugged, it’s not surprising that so many Japanese imports can be seen on the streets everyday.

Japanese Imports With Long Lifespans

Japanese cars are often celebrated for clocking impressive high mileage with minimal issues. While the longevity can vary based on the manufacturing year and how well an owner maintains the car, several models are renowned for frequently surpassing the 200k miles mark. We’ve compiled a list of Japanese vehicle makes and models that have proven to have long lifespans and lower cost-of-ownership.


Subarus are popular in Boise because these all-wheel drive vehicles get great gas mileage around town, but can also handle snowy drives up to Bogus Basin in the winter and dirt roads on summer camping adventures. Some of the best buys when it comes to a used Subaru are:

  • Subaru Outback
  • Subaru Forester
  • Subaru Crosstrek


The technicians at Naylor’s Auto Repair have a long history of Toyota repair experience and have held numerous Toyota-specific certifications, including the Toyota Master Diagnostic Technician designation during their time working for Boise-area Toyota dealerships. Here are some of our favorite Toyota models to buy new or used:

  • Toyota Camry (including Hybrid)
  • Toyota 4 Runner
  • Toyota Highlander (including Hybrid)
  • Toyota Avalon
  • Toyota Prius
  • Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Toyota Sequoia
  • Toyota Tundra
  • Toyota Tacoma


Our experienced Toyota technicians also know their way around a Lexus–Toyota’s luxury sibling–and are familiar with all the additional features and technology of these luxury brand Japanese imports. Here are our favorite Lexus models:

  • Lexus RX 350
  • Lexus GX 460
  • Lexus CT 200h
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Along with Toyota, Honda leads the pack of Japanese manufacturers that have consistently produced vehicles that stand the test of time. Here are some good buys if you are looking for a reliable used car, SUV, or minivan.

  • Honda Pilot
  • Honda Civic
  • Honda Accord
  • Honda Insight (Hybrid)
  • Honda Prelude
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Honda Passport
  • Honda Fit
  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Honda CR-V


What Lexus is to Toyota, Acura is to Honda. This higher end, luxury brand matches the reliability and longevity of the Honda. And while they have a higher price tag–new and used–the total cost of ownership is still very affordable. These Acuras make reliable used vehicles:

  • Acura MDX
  • Acura TLX
  • Acura ILX
  • Acura TSX


You’ll still see lots of older model Nissans out on the road because through the ‘90s and early aughts, Nissan was extremely popular and regularly topped reliability lists. While some argue the quality has gone down in recent years, if you are working with a limited budget, you can likely find some 15+ year old Nissans that will get you around for a while without breaking the bank.

  • Nissan Armada
  • Nissan Micra
  • Nissan Altima
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Nissan Frontier


Mazda’s are often ranked neck and neck with Toyota for reliability and longevity and have only improved in recent years. So, if you are after something only slightly used at a great price, these Mazdas make great used vehicles:

  • Mazda CX-3
  • Mazda 2
  • Mazda 3
  • Mazda CX-5
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How to Keep Your Japanese Vehicle Running Smoothly

The easiest way to preserve the health of your vehicle (Japanese-made or not) is to keep up on routine and preventative maintenance. There are a few key components all drivers need to monitor and be sure to schedule regular maintenance for. These include:

  • Keeping healthy fluid levels in transmission, coolant, brakes, and engine oil
  • Replacing belts and hoses before they get too old and cause a potential catastrophic failure
  • Changing brake pads when they get worn down and squeaky
  • Getting annual or semi annual tire rotations and wheel alignments, depending on how many miles you drive
  • Addressing any new sounds, leaks, dashboard lights, or changes in handling or maneuvering with your local independent mechanic specializing in Japanese imports

At Naylor’s Auto Repair, we strive to go above and beyond, and provide a comprehensive range of services, from engine repair and transmission services to car alignment and routine oil changes. Looking to purchase a used Japanese vehicle model and need to know if it’s a good buy? Stop by Naylor’s for a pre-purchase inspection. We are a one-stop solution for all your car maintenance needs, saving you both time and money.

Visit Naylor’s Auto Repair for Japanese Car Repair

Whether you’ve just bought a brand new Subaru, or your trusty Toyota needs a mechanic who appreciates its value, our technicians at Naylor’s Auto Repair are here to help. As the local experts in Japanese import repair, we can provide top notch service to keep your car on the road for many years to come. Call us or schedule an appointment online anytime.