Toyota or Honda? What Are the Most Popular Import Cars in the US?

November 13, 2018Fun Facts and Lists
Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

Have you decided to buy one of the most popular import cars anytime soon? Buying a new vehicle often brings quite a few questions to the table that need to be answered to make a fully informed decision. You might be wondering What automobiles can be imported? What are JDM vehicles? What is the most popular JDM car? What is the cheapest JDM car? The good news is that we have the answers to these and more details about particular vehicles you might be interested in.

To start with, you should know that any foreign-market car older than 25 years can be legally imported. This is good news for all lovers of JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) vehicles who have been waiting for a long time, as several JDM vehicle models turned 25 in 2019. Thus, they are now eligible for import. Let’s find out which type and model of a car is the right choice for you to be ready when the time comes to purchase one.

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Nissan Skyline GT-R Is Now Among the Most Popular Import Cars

If you think it’s time to buy a sports car, Nissan Skyline GT-R might be the best way to go. It partly owes its popularity to various movies and video games in which it was featured. The GT-R model is particularly popular due to low production numbers. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged inline-six engine and equipped with a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. According to the US News, this is the 15th best vehicle in the category of Luxury Sports Cars. This was the first car to use Nissan’s RB26 twin-turbo engine and feature a 4WD system. Today, this fantastic Skyline GT-R (R32) can be yours for about $30,000-$40,000.

Often recognized as an automotive icon, today, Nissan Skyline is still one of the most desirable import automobiles.

Hyundai Elantra Is One of the Best for Those Looking for an Affordable Option

According to US News, Hyundai Elantra was ranked 7th best compact car and 11th in the Small Cars category. In addition to great fuel economy, it also has a lot of tech features that make it a good choice. If you go for this model, you can count on a smooth and comfortable ride. What could be considered as a con is that it delivers a somewhat dull driving experience. The cabin is well-built, but the materials used are still better in some rivals. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to buy it. So, those who need an affordable solution will be happy to hear that Hyundai Elantra has a base MSRP of close to $19,000.

Consider Hyundai Elantra if you’re looking for a compact car with excellent fuel economy.

Should You Go for Toyota or Honda?

These two world-known Japanese manufacturers of automobiles are often compared in an attempt to determine the superior one. It seems to be a never-ending battle, considering the two largest Japanese car companies still succeed in producing something extraordinary year after year. Whichever of the two producers you eventually go for, you can be sure you’ll get a high-quality, durable vehicle with plenty of features that make it better than its rivals in this or that way.

Depending on your expectations and personal preferences, you’ll like one better than the other. To help you make up your mind and pick what’s best for you, we will mention some of the major features that single out each brand.

Pick Toyota If You Have Your Eyes Set on a Hybrid Model

When it comes to gasoline-electric hybrid models, this brand is often considered the absolute winner. Toyota’s models are at the top of Hybrid and Electric Cars rankings. So, if you’re looking for this type of vehicle, this world-class brand is the best way to go.

In addition to a wider range of hybrid models, you might also want to pick this brand for high reliability. Many of Toyota’s models have become popular for their reliability, such as Toyota Prius and the Scion iQ.

If you’re looking to save a few bucks, Toyota might be a better choice. For instance, in this case, you’ll get its Safety Sense equipment as a part of the standard gear. Honda, on the other hand, charges extra for the safety gear.

Rely on Honda’s High Performance

When it comes to performance, the rankings say that Honda produces better performance cars than its rival (8.3 out of 10 ratings compared to Toyota’s 7.6 out of 10). As a matter of fact, Honda is regarded as a more dependable brand than most auto manufacturers. It is also the largest engine-maker worldwide.

Another reason why this brand might be a better choice is the fresh design of interiors and the soft-touch materials used. More importantly, this brand often ranks higher if we consider safety, which is one of the crucial factors when buying a vehicle.

Finally, this should be your choice if you need a small car. Honda’s vehicles rank rather high in the category of compact automobiles.

Whether you decide to buy Toyota or Honda, it is highly unlikely that you’ll regret it, as both have top-notch models.


If you are one of the many JDM vehicle enthusiasts, we can only imagine just how thrilled you must be knowing that these can finally be legally imported now. Have you chosen your perfect model yet? If you’re still having second thoughts, do consider some of the previously mentioned. Whether you eventually go for Toyota or Honda, you can be sure that you’ll get top-notch quality.

If you need someone to deliver your new vehicle to your address, you can always rely on professional shippers to do so. You can have your precious vehicle delivered on an open trailer, or choose an enclosed trailer for extra protection. Pick the option you find more convenient, depending on your needs and personal preferences. Then get ready to enjoy the ride in your new vehicle.

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