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8 Reasons Why Cheap JDM Sports Cars Are The Best – HotCars

by Oct 21, 2022Blog0 comments

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Built like tanks yet endlessly fun on the road, the more affordable JDM sports cars are by far the best bang for your buck.
For many decades, American cars dominated the roadways. Then, European sports cars were all the rage, with Ferrari and Lamborghini being the peak of sports car performance. Very quietly, though, Japan was putting out great sports car after great sports car, and it took several years for the rest of the world to find out, but once they did, prices started to skyrocket for used '90s and early 2000s JDM sports cars.
What's not to love about these small, quick beasts? Some great engines power them, and they're fuel-efficient and perfect modification platforms. The only limiting factor of JDM sports cars is the owner's imagination. Focusing on performance, looks, and pure fun, there are countless reasons JDM sports cars are the best.
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Japan sees a ton of small cars built for various reasons, including dodging higher tax brackets! As a result, JDM sports cars are made smaller than their American and European counterparts.
Small doesn't mean any less fun, though, as many slick coupes such as the MR2 and MX-5 provide a ride that is unparalleled in enjoyment. Because of the minimalist focus on size, many models are light, aerodynamic, and faster than larger sports cars!
Gasoline must be imported to Japan, and as a result, the gas prices are sky-high, like north of $5.00 a gallon high! To combat this, JDM companies have fitted smaller turbocharged engines into their vehicles instead of larger V8s. This makes many models far more efficient than their competitors.
The smaller turbocharged engines combined with the lighter curb weight allow JDM sports cars to be the fastest. For context, Nissan's GT-R is considered one of the fastest cars globally but sports only a twin-turbo 3.8L V6. For comparison, to achieve more than 200 MPH, the Aston Martin Rapide S needs a massive V12 engine.
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Since the 1960s, sports cars from Europe and the United States supplied power to the rear wheels, providing excellent launch, but experienced some challenges in varying conditions. Enter Subaru. The SVX paved the way for the AWD sports car craze we see today.
With AWD JDM sports cars such as the STi and the Lancer Evo, the car world saw sports cars with standard AWD, perfect in the snow, mud, rain, or tarmac. Many more models would follow in their footsteps by adding AWD, even making the leap on classic RWD models like the Challenger.
Sports cars typically come packed with some of the wildest engines out there. V8s, V10s, and V12s are frequent cylinder numbers used to describe various sports cars, but JDM sports cars decided to say something different.
Take, for example, the Honda Civic Type-R. The Type-R achieves over 300hp from a simple 4-cylinder, pushing it to an astonishing 169MPH! Similar speeds from European or American counterparts require much larger engines.
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What good is having a sports car if it's always falling apart instead of being on the road? Some of the most unreliable sports cars come from Europe. Further, America isn't safe from a stain of unreliable sports cars – we're looking at you 1990s Mustangs!
Though not perfect, JDM sports cars fare better than their competitors in the reliability factor. JDM Glory with sports cars that will last a lifetime! Mazda, Toyota, Honda, Subaru. Just a few names of the highest-ranking reliable vehicles.
You'd be hard-pressed to find an American or European sports car under $5,000. On the other hand, You have the pick of the litter when it comes to JDMs under $5K! Take for example, the MX-5 Miata, the RX-8, the 350Z. All great examples. All quite affordable.
Many great JDM sports cars can be purchased and restored for much less than restoring a classic muscle car. Plus, parts are easy to come by, and the 3rd party market is enormous!
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Many models of cars met their doom in the United States when emissions standards cracked down in the 1970s. Even to this day, models face extinction because of ever-stricter standards. The cool thing is that while not being currently produced, models like the Plymouth Barracuda can still drive on American roadways.
The ultimate rarity comes from the forbidden appeal of owning a JDM sports car that isn't allowed in the U.S. The Skyline, for example, can't be bought stateside. Neither can various models of the Supra, the Silva, or the Type-R. The desire for cars that will never grace American roads adds to the appeal of the JDM sports car.
There is something special about customizing your car to bring out personality. JDM sports cars take customizing and modifications seriously, driving a global car subculture that rivals the popularity of any other nation's sports cars.
JDM sports cars are notorious for providing several models that make the best modification platforms available! Plus, an extensive aftermarket selection exists to give just the right look or performance to match the owner's tastes!
Michael Stroup is a seasoned automotive author with experience in SUVs, Trucks, and JDM sports cars. He credits his passion to gearhead friends and active involvement with car-related ghostwriting assignments. You can find Michael in the mountains, where he dedicates time to snowboarding, hiking, or off-roading!