Is It Better to Buy Japanese Cars or European

January 27, 2012

If you're trying to determine whether it's best to buy Japanese cars or European cars in terms of performance and reliability, there are many variables that will need to be considered. Depending on who you ask, there are proponents for both types of vehicles that will tell you one is better than the other. Japanese vehicles have their fan base and so do European car manufacturers.

However, Consumer Reports magazine - which is one of the most respected and widely read consumer advocate testing periodicals available - has its own opinions. This article will address some of the differences Consumer Reports have found in Japanese and European-made cars.

The Japanese versus the Europeans in Performance

Consumer Reports does extensive testing on almost every new make and model vehicle that is released or manufactured every year. Much of this testing involves how a vehicle handles and performs on a wide variety of road conditions and in different scenarios. In recent years, Consumer Reports testing has revealed that European manufacturers make some of the best handling and performing vehicles available.

Top European car manufacturers like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz often produce some of the best performing vehicles on the road.

These types of automobiles generally have much more power and acceleration than do their Japanese counterparts.

Many Consumer Reports tests show that European vehicles tend to be a little more sturdy in their design and build strength. European vehicles tend to have shorter braking distances and are generally safer in a serious automobile accident. There are, of course, exceptions as some Japanese vehicles are considered to be very safe as well. Comparatively, European vehicles tend to be of higher performance and a little safer than Japanese vehicles.

If You Want Cars that Don't Break Down Then...

On the other end of the spectrum is how reliable a vehicle this. While European vehicles certainly usually offer more in terms of acceleration, handling, performance and steering - they often fall short in terms of reliability of the mark set by Japanese made vehicles. Japanese manufacturers like Honda and Toyota are almost legendary for creating some of the most reliable vehicles on the road.

Reliable car manufacturing is not exclusive to Honda and Toyota. Fellow Japanese car manufacturers Isuzu, Nissan and Mazda also manufacture highly rated vehicles in terms of reliability.

While Japanese vehicles are not usually as fast as or don't handle quite as well as their European counterparts, they generally run for a much longer period of time and require a lot less maintenance. In fact, it is not uncommon for many Japanese made cars to run in excess of 200,000 or 300,000 miles with only very simple maintenance and regularly scheduled oil changes. Very seldom are major repairs or overhauls required with properly maintained Japanese vehicles.

It may be difficult to determine which type of vehicle is best for you. If you're looking for a high-performance vehicle, then buy European. However, if you're looking for something more reliable and easier to maintain, then a Japanese vehicle is the way to go.


Related Questions and Answers

Are Japanese Cars the Most Reliable?

According to several reliability studies, Japanese cars remain the most reliable as of 2010. Cars sold by Japanese automakers took seven out of the top 10 spots for the most reliable cars. According to Consumer Reports, Toyota cars, including those sold under the Lexus and Scion brands, are among the most reliable Japanese cars. It's important to note, however, that not all Japanese cars are considered the most reliable. Some Japanese cars, such as the Nissan Cube and Lexus GS have lower than average reliability ratings.

What is the Average Longevity of a European Engine?

There is no way to gauge the average longevity of a European engine. However, most modern European engines should last in excess of 200,000 miles, provided the engine is well maintained and serviced. Regardless of the country of origin, or how well it is manufactured, no car engine will survive for as long as it can if it is abused, neglected, or improperly serviced. To ensure your European engine lasts as long as possible, change the oil and filter according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Be sure to follow other maintenance procedures in the schedule as well.

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