As USNews.com’s perceived no.1 country for technological expertise, we’re not surprised to know that Japan is the third-largest vehicle supplier in the world. They have the machines, some of the world’s smartest people, and machinery that some countries don’t even have yet. All these things and more make Japan one of the most favored and trusted car brands that people run to for reasonably-priced vehicles.
Whether it’s Toyota, Isuzu or Nissan, trust that the Japanese carmakers have competitive offerings even when it comes to sports cars. But unfortunately, they don’t always hit the home run. Just like any auto manufacturer you know, these Japanese brands also have a lot of flopped sports car stories they wish we would forget.
The good news is it didn’t take long before they reclaimed their reputation with some of the coolest affordable sports cars you can buy today. Don’t forget to spot the 5 sports cars Japanese manufacturers regret making.
10 Best – 2020 Honda Civic Type R
The 2020 Honda Civic Type R is the 5th update of the high-powered variety of the Civic hatchback. Looking back to the previous year’s model and we see a good people-carrier that barely made it to the US, the good news is that the 5th gen is made even better.
For starters, it received an upgraded suspension, aero and bumper changes, and availability in a new Boost Blue color. There’s also a slight change in terms of the grille. Lastly, the 2020 Honda Civic Type R is expected to carry a 2.0L DOHC turbocharged engine with over 300 horsepower.
9 Best – 2020 Mazda Miata MX-5
Though some may call it a girl’s car, under the hood of the Miata, is the perfect combination of dependable build and reasonable pricing that’s perfect for all.
For 2020, they decided to lose their 30th Anniversary Edition which hurt a lot of feelings. But they still did leave us three variants to choose from. Though the Sport, Grand Touring, and Club all have the same engine and power capacities, the Grand Touring version is the most expensive due to special features ticking in at $31,670.
8 Best – 2020 Toyota 86
People often wondered why Toyota kept hyping the 86 even though it’s not as fast as the leading cars in its class. Though if you got to try it, it really wasn’t all that bad, although slow, it was a fun sports car to drive.
Fortunately, Toyota just kept on improving the 86 – proving everyone wrong. For 2020, Toyota gives us all the reasons to buy the 86. It’s capable of 205 hp, comes in 7 color options, and can be bought in two variants with the base model starting at $27,060.
7 Best – 2021 Toyota Supra
First introduced to the market in the 1970s, the Toyota Supra is one of the best proofs that Japanese automakers definitely knows what they’re doing – even when it comes to sports cars.
For their most updated 2021 model, the pricing definitely took everyone by surprise. Instead of the 2020 model price of over $50,000, Toyota figured they’d make the 2021 model a four-cylinder Supra instead while dropping the price to $43,945 for the base price. The 2021 Toyota Supra is capable of 255 hp – way lower than the 2020 model’s 355 hp capacity.
6 Best – 2021 Nissan GT-R Nismo
Anyone who knows great cars knows what the hype is about the 2021 Nissan GTR. And if you’re as excited as us for the latest model update, we’re sure you’re also looking forward to the 2021 Nissan GT-R Nismo.
For starters, the GT-R Nismo looks divine outside and looks and feels even better once you actually get inside. In terms of power, the Nismo has more than enough muscle to satisfy your need for speed. It comes with 600 hp and 481 lb-ft of torque.
5 Regretful – 2006 Honda Insight
The 2006 Honda Insight looks weird but we’re not listing it here solely because of that. In fact, we find it questionable that this was even classified as a sports car because of a few reasons.
First, is because those hubs don’t look sporty at all. Second is that it only has 96 hp which can hardly compete with other cars in its class even if it was produced years ago. The third reason is that people often buy sports cars because they’re fun to show off and are even more fun to drive. Unfortunately, the 2006 Honda Insight just fit in any of that.
4 Regretful – Honda Del Sol
The Honda Del Sol may claim to be a sports car, but we all see it as a half-vehicle, half-disappointment. Originally marketed as a convertible, it may not leave you satisfied if you’re looking for that slow retracting motion. Rather, to achieve the cool drop-top look, you’d have to exert a bit of effort to remove the hardtop and put it in the trunk.
Aside from that, the Del Sol also has tons of problems under the hood. These include leaks in the condenser or evaporator and oil from the engine.
3 Regretful – Nissan Pulsar NX Sportbak
Novices would find it hard to categorize the Nissan Pulsar NX Sportbak. But we find it even harder to believe the Nissan actually managed to mess up an already-great sportscar.
From the original design, the gorgeous Nissan Z had undergone a few tweaks that ultimately lead to the birth of the Nissan Pulsar NX Sportbak. The multiple “improvements” ended up turning the sporty vehicle to a car that looked like a coupe and pickup hybrid. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, they added a canopy that further slowed the car down.
2 Regretful – Nissan 350Z
Now, why would an awesome-looking car be in this list as one of those that manufacturers regret? Well, if only the Nissan 350Z worked as good as it looked, this handsome car may have had a better reputation.
The thing is, it was once recognized as the deadliest car by IIHS. Apparently, the Nissan 350Z is responsible for up to 148 deaths of people from 2005 to 2008. The 350Z has also been recalled in October 2008 because the passenger airbags may be suppressed and could fail to do its job in the event of a crash.
1 Regretful – Toyota Sera
Butterfly doors used to be present in only the most expensive and most luxurious cars out there. Not only did they look good, but the right butterfly door fixture can also amp up the elegance and luxuriousness of the vehicle.
But that is if they were used right. Unfortunately, if they were just randomly slapped on to cars in the hopes of making a phenomenal bestseller, something like the Toyota Sera would happen. It also barely had enough power to be classified as a sports car.
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