The popularity of imported cars in New Zealand has been on the rise dramatically, with 32,800 imported cars arriving in March of 2017 alone. Used cars make up a huge proportion of these imports. In May 2017, 19,579 used cars were imported into NZ – remarkably, 94.2% of these were imported from one country: Japan.

The Land of the Rising Sun has long been renowned for manufacturing reliable and long-lasting cars, so it’s no surprise to see their worldwide popularity. Of the 10 most popular cars in NZ in 2016, seven are Japanese – Toyota Hilux, Toyota Corolla, Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara, Mazda CX-5, and Suzuki Swift – with three coming from just one Japanese car company.

Here’s our look at the 5 most popular Japanese imports from 2016.


The Toyotas

The fact that there are three Toyota vehicles on this list should be no surprise. Toyota is the third largest car manufacturer in the world and the Toyota Corolla has been the world’s most popular car since the 1990s.


Toyota Hilux

The Toyota Hilux is a rugged off-road vehicle, popular with tradies, 4WD fanatics, and families that are ready for weekend adventures. The Hilux comes as a single-cab ute, a 4-seater double cab version, and a very roomy double cab model. This flexibility is a big part of why the Hilux has remained so popular for so long.


Toyota Corolla

As noted above, the Corolla is the world’s most popular car, so it’s little wonder it was such a popular import in NZ in 2016. Toyota is known for reliability, fuel efficiency, and practicality. The Corolla embodies these qualities perfectly, which is why it has remained popular ever since the 90s.


Toyota RAV4

While the RAV4 may not match the prestige of luxury SUVs, it has remained popular since its release for a lot of good reasons. RAV4s last for years, making them a great investment. They offer unbeatable safety features, impressive storage for a smaller SUV, and a very impressive range of features for their relatively low cost.


Other Models


Mitsubishi Triton

The Mitsubishi Triton is a pretty remarkable car, offering amazing value for money. When it comes to price, fuel efficiency, off-road capability, cabin features, gadgets, and practical accessories, the Triton delivers more results for less money than other vehicles in its class.


Nissan Navara

Like the Mitsubishi Triton, the Nissan Navara is another car that offers more for less. The Triton combines a tough working pedigree, premium ride comfort, smart technologies, amazing fuel efficiency, and sleek, modern styling to rival its luxurious European competitors.


Find Out More

2 Cheap Cars has a great range of Japanese imports available at unbeatable prices. Contact us on 0800 223 370 to enquire about our fleet or ask any questions about Japanese vehicles.