Despite the SUV and hatchback gaining market share across the world, the four-door sedan still remains the most popular body type for cars. If you are contemplating buying a sedan, read on to find out about all the merits that have made this car category so enduring, the various considerations you should make when purchasing one, and the best offerings from Japanese manufacturers that are currently on the market.
Why Buy a Sedan?
There are good reasons to choose a sedan over popular options like an SUV, minivan, or hatchback. Since sedans are lighter than most other body types and require fewer materials to build, they offer greater cost savings in terms of both fuel economy as well as the upfront cost of purchasing a vehicle. Their lower ride height and smaller turning radius also mean better maneuverability, handling, and aerodynamics.
What to Consider When Buying a Sedan
Sedans don’t come in just one size. There are a variety of factors to consider when determining the best type of sedan for your needs.
There are five main sizes of sedans: small, subcompact, compact, midsize, and full-size. Most sedans on the market will typically be able to fit five adults comfortably. However, a larger size sedan does not always equate to more seating room, so it is best that you do your research, especially if you plan to regularly use all of the available seating.
Cargo / Trunk Capacity
If you are considering a sedan over an SUV, cargo capacity probably is not a pressing concern. With that said, there are sedans that come with generous trunk room and the ability to make more space thanks to foldable second-row seats.
Engine and Fuel Efficiency
Many sedans now come with hybrid powertrain options in addition to the standard gas and diesel engines to give you better fuel efficiency.
Most sedans come with a standard array of safety features like ABS, EBD, and airbags. Depending on the model, more advanced safety devices like lane-keep assist might also be available.
Best Japanese Sedans to Consider Importing
The Toyota Crown is a long-running sedan in the carmaker’s lineup, which has built a name on luxury, reliability, and security. The Athlete Series line offers greater performance while the Royal Series Crowns are designed with a welcome touch of regalness.
Though not as long-running as the Crown, the Prius is the first mass-produced hybrid and one of Toyota’s best-known models. Some variants of the economical and environmentally friendly Prius can achieve stellar fuel efficiencies of up to 38 km/l.
Yet another sedan produced by Toyota is the Corolla, a household name synonymous with reliability and fuel efficiency. It offers an impressive variety of features, body styles, and more to fit the needs of almost any driver.
Finally, the stylish and powerful Camry is another favorite from Toyota. All-wheel drive is available, as is a hybrid drivetrain.
Other popular Toyota sedans in Japan that are worth considering include the Allion, Belta, and Century.
The Nissan Skyline is a sporty compact sedan that is also available as a coupe. Some Skylines produced between 2002 and 2005 come with a 3.5L engine that is mated to an Extroid CVT (continuously variable transmission) with an eight-speed manual mode.
If you want to indulge when buying a Japanese sedan, you will want to take a look at the Fuga, Nissan’s flagship luxury sedan. The bold and stately Fuga blends traditional luxury with high-end driving performance and high-quality exterior and interior components, such as 19-inch aluminum wheels and rear active dedicated suspension steering.
Other noteworthy Nissan sedans sold in Japan include the Altima, Sylphy, and Sunny.
The Honda Accord is a sporty middle-class sedan loved by many because of its user-friendly features that continue to keep up with the changing times. Honda’s other beloved sedan is the fuel-efficient, mid-sized Civic that incorporates futuristic monoform features for an elegant and stylish look.
If you are specifically looking for a hybrid sedan, Honda’s answer to that is the Insight. The Insight is at the forefront of Honda’s technology, being the first Honda model to get the Integrated Motor Assist system.
The Atenza, better known as the Mazda6 outside of Japan, is Mazda’s upper range of vehicles that comprise the four-door sedan, five-door hatchback, and sports wagon. For even more luxury, take a look at the 23 EX trim that gets a black wood interior, advanced keyless entry, eight-direction power seating with memory settings, as well as cruise control.
Mazda’s take on the sporty sedan is the Axela, also known as the Mazda3. The Axela's sporty design and great fuel economy place it in the conversation among the best in its class.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is a progressive sporty sedan with powerful turbocharged engine options and also the first domestically mass-produced car to receive aluminum roof paneling.
The Subaru Legacy B4 is Japan's most popular sports sedan, named after its boxer engine and all-wheel drive. Another popular Subaru sedan is the Impreza, which needs no introduction — the high-powered machine is renowned worldwide as well for its safety and reliability. Rounding out the Subaru sedan lineup is the high-performance WRX S4 that sets the standard for all sports sedans.
Suzuki’s Kizashi offers four-wheel drive and sharp handling. It is available only in a Sport trim with a 2.4L gas engine and a CVT gearbox.
The pinnacle of craftsmanship, the LS full-size luxury sedan is Lexus’s flagship model, which spares no expense. Lexus’s IS "Intelligent Sports" model is the carmaker's luxury sports sedan with engines ranging from 2.0L up to 5L. Last but not least is the entry-level ES "Executive Sedan" that offers luxury without the high price tag that Lexus is known to command.
Where to Get the Best Deals on Sedans from Japan
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