5 Most Popular Cars in Japan

Japan is renowned for being a significant player in the car industry and being the home of the most loved cars on the globe.

The 2021 National Car Life Survey is based on a survey of 1,000 male and female car drivers. To participate in the survey one’s age should be between eighteen to fifty-nine. The Honda N-Box , Daihatsu Tanto, Toyota Prius, Toyota Aqua, and Honda StepWgn, are among the most popular automobiles in Japan in 2021.  

Japan is almost always mentioned when it comes to automobiles. Japan is well-known in the global market for producing dependable, well-made, and reasonably priced automobiles. It is also well-known for being the home of the world’s most famous sports and race cars, as well as for car customization.

The results of the National Car Life Survey 2021 were revealed on August 24th. The poll is conducted every year. This year it was held online. The poll collects data from male and female car drivers of all generations who drive at least once per month to determine consumer trends such as the most popular automobile models. 

5 Most Popular Cars in Japan in 2021 

The poll results for 2021 were based on a sample of 1,000 male and female respondents aged 18 to 59 years old. The survey includes inquiries about the exact cars that participants presently drive, as well as what types of cars they would like to drive in the future.  

These inquiries concern not only the type of vehicle and its precise make, but also the amenities accessible.  

For example, the poll inquires as to which luxuries they do not believe they require. Here we will talk about the five most desired cars in Japan in 2021. Let’s look at some of the other poll findings, such as what fuels the most popular cars and what features people believe they do not require.  

5. Honda StepWgn

Honda StepWgn car

2020 Honda StepWgn. Image sourced from Honda.

The Honda StepWgn is a semi minivan that is the fifth most popular model in Japan in 2021, according to 2.2 percent of respondents. Honda has been producing it since 1996, and it seats eight passengers. Its boxy shape gives the impression that it is considerably bigger within.  

A redesign of the car was made in 2017 which now comes with the function which uses Honda Sensing Technology to park itself. 

4. Toyota Alphard & Toyota Prius 

Toyota Pirus car

2020 Toyota Prius. Image sourced from Pressroom.Toyota

Two Toyotas, the Alphard and the Prius, tied for fourth place. With 2.4 percent of respondents owning both, the Alphard and the Prius tied for second place. The Pirus has gained worldwide acclaim since its introduction in 1997 and 2001, and it is also available in the United States. But unfortunately, the Alphard is not available in the US. 

To begin with, the Prius has long been regarded as an environmentally friendly vehicle. It’s a small car with a sedan or hatchback body style. It now has several models, including the Prius Plug-in Hybrid and the Prius V. Since 1997, the Prius has accounted for 61 percent of Toyota‘s global hybrid sales.  

The Alphard is a 7-8-seater minivan that has been on market since 2002 and is named just after the largest star in the constellation Hydra. It is available with both a gasoline-powered and a hybrid engine.  

Toyota Alphard

2020 Toyota Alphard. Image sourced from Ihwanburhan.

Both automobiles are popular with families and have been for a long time because they come in hybrid eco-friendly versions.  

3. Toyota Aqua 

Toyota Aqua car

2020 Toyota Aqua. Image sourced from Motor-Fan.

The hybrid Toyota Aqua is in third place. 2.9 percent of those polled own an Aqua. The Prius family’s supermini hatchback has been on the market since 2011. While the Aqua is  available only in Japan, in the United States it is sold as the Prius C. After the Prius, it is the 2nd most common Toyota hybrid. 

2. Daihatsu Tanto

Daihatsu Tanto car

2020 Daihatsu Tanto and Tanto Custom. Image sourced from Car-Repo

With 3.3 percent of respondents driving one, the Tanto is in the second position. The Tanto is a Kei engine vehicle that debuted in Japan in 2003. In Japan, it is classified as a light vehicle. Kei automobiles must adhere to a particular size and weight restrictions. They are Japan’s most fuel-efficient and inexpensive automobiles.  

Tanto’s most recent model was introduced in 2019.It is available in three trim levels: L, X, and X Turbo. The Tanto custom is available in three versions: L, X, and RS, with the latter including a turbocharged engine!  

The classic boxy appearance of Tanto is rare to find outside its home country, Japan.

1.Honda N-Box

Honda N-Box car

2020 Honda N-Box. Image sourced from Kakaku.

The Honda N-Box has been the most famous car in Japan in 2021, with 5.1 percent of respondents owning one. The N-Box, an automobile dating back to at least 2011, is a Kei car. Honda N-Box has become the most preferred automobile in Japan, over the past two years.  

It is available with four-wheel drive or front-wheel drive, as well as a turbo option. It has five doors and is shaped like a traditional Kei car, making it suitable for almost any customer, including families, because Kei cars get excellent mileage. It’s also wheelchair accessible and has “refresh mode,” which makes the chairs flat like a bed.  


According to the survey, the most popular cars in Japan were Toyota Aqua, Daihatsu Tanto, and Honda N-Box. But if we consider the list of a gender then there is few dissimilarities between the list of male and female. The N-Box remained the most popular car among both men and women, while the Daihatsu Tanto was the 2nd most popular car among women only, while the Toyota Aqua was the 2nd most popular car among men overall.  

 The Prius Plug-in Hybrid, a plug-in hybrid-powered automobile with a somewhat more sporty, sleek, and aggressive design than the normal Prius, is the third most popular car among Japanese males.  

The Toyota Voxy, a huge seven or eight-seater minivan comparable to the Alphard but not as “luxurious” according to Toyota, is the third most popular car among Japanese women. 

What Is It That People Don’t Want?  

When asked which conveniences they thought were unnecessary, 31.2 percent said in-car lights. Next, 24% said they wouldn’t require a sunroof in a vehicle in the near-future. Following that, 17.9% of respondents think that seat position memory features is not necessary.

Surprisingly, 13.3% of people said they didn’t need a CD or DVD player. This is most likely due to the increased use of Bluetooth technology in current automobiles. When was the last time you listen to a CD, for example?  

What are your thoughts on the popular automobiles in Japan this year? Also, let us know in the comments of the facilities that you didn’t believe people don’t need!