In Japan, there are many car brands which are popular worldwide such as Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and others. The materials and systems used in Japanese cars are of state-of-the-art technology. So, what kind of cars do the Japanese drive? We are going to share with you the Japan car sales ranking according to the data from Japan Automobile Dealers Association*, as well as the secrets behind the popularity!

*Established in 1959, it is an association comprising car dealers which provides monthly car sales ranking.

Eco-friendly with low fuel consumption! Toyota PRIUS
Frankfurt, Germany, September 13, 2017: metallic blue Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid at 67th International Motor Show (IAA).
Photo by Grzegorz Czapski / 

Eco-friendly with low fuel consumption! Toyota PRIUS

The NO.1 highest sales between January ~ December 2017 was Toyota PRIUS, with a total of 160,912 units. “PRIUS” is the first mass-produced hybrid car launched in 1997 by Toyota and was a hot topic during that time. A hybrid car is a car that has an “engine” which uses gasoline and a “motor” which uses electricity. It requires less gasoline consumption and is friendly to the environment. The price depends on its grade, but 1 unit is about 2.5 million yen~.

First in the world! Hybrid car that is almost like an electric car! Nissan NOTE
SINGAPORE - JANUARY 14, 2018: Nissan Note at motor show in Singapore.
Photo by Faiz Zaki /

First in the world! A hybrid car that is almost like an electric car! Nissan NOTE

The No.2 highest sales ranking car in 2017 is Nissan NOTE with annual sales at 138,905 units. The feature of NOTE is that it is equipped with the “e-POWER” which turns energy from the power-generating engine to electric to move the motor. As the only motor is working when the car is moving, just like an electric car, there is no engine sound and it is very quiet. The other charm is its smooth acceleration. The price depends on the specification and grade, but 1 unit is at 1.5 million yen~.

Smaller and cheaper that PRIUS! Toyota AQUA
NAGOYA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 13, 2016: Toyota Aqua at Toyota Showroom in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japanese automotive manufacturer.
Photo by Takashi Images / 

Smaller and cheaper that PRIUS! Toyota AQUA

The No.3 highest sales ranking car is the Toyota AQUA, with annual sales of 131,615 units. It was launched in 2011 as a compact type hybrid car by Toyota. Depend on the specification, it costs about 1.8 million yen and is cheaper than the No.1 ranking PRIUS. Furthermore, its design, preferred by many, is also one of the secrets of its popularity. During its debut in 2011, it became a hot topic that the production was not able to keep up and people had to wait for the reservation.