Kooky Luke profile picture Kooky Luke 4 years ago 1
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10 of the Worst Cars to Come out of Japan

10 of the Worst Cars to Come out of Japan - Blog

In the recent list of worst American cars over the years, this sparked my interest to see if (contrary to popular CarThrottle opinion) there were bad cars to come out of Japan. I have thoroughly tested all of these cars with science. What kind of science you ask? Chemistry, biology, astronomy, you name it. I know the comments will be filled of “This car should’ve been!!” or “Why isn’t/is this on there!!!” or “Rabble Rabble Rabble!!”.

1. Infiniti QX56

"The behemoth"
"The behemoth"

Want to replace your brakes every time you get an oil change? This car is for you! The QX56 was Nissan’s attempt to compete with the Range Rover. So what was their recipe for success? How about a new factory to make the car (in a different country as well), new platform, new vehicle, and new factory workers. What could go wrong?! Consumer reports that some of the rotors would warp in a matter of weeks and the brakes would wear out every 2500-3000 miles. The main reason for this is the massive 5,600 pound curb weight and small brakes ( and you thought the Hellcat was heavy). However, there is light at the end of the tunnel because more recent years have been much better.

2. Suzuki Samurai

The Japanese Jeep
The Japanese Jeep

While this SUV is actually an SUV, unlike the fake ones of today. Nice manual gearbox, off road capabilities, rag top, etc. However, this car would actually roll over like Jeremy Clarkson’s Reliant Robin in any kind of emergency turn or if the wind blew a little too strong. Not to mention the build quality that of a middle school technology education class. I personally can attest to this fact because I have driven one off road and even though I didn’t flip it, but buddy soon rolled it onto it’s side like a beached whale later that day.

3. Suzuki X-90

"Is it coming or going?"
"Is it coming or going?"

Two door, T-tops, 4x4 what’s not to love? Except for the fact that it was built on the same platform as the Geo Tracker and that you can’t tell which side is the front and which is the back. The car never really had reliability issues or anything like that, just terrible sales and it’s way too 90’s look put it on the list.

4. Mazda 626

What even is 626?
What even is 626?

If you still see this car on the road today, it’s probably driven by that guy you went to high school with that posts pictures on social media of him with a stack of twenty one dollar bills with the caption “Neva stop hustlin’”.

The car itself actually wowed reviewers with it’s good handling, comfortable ride, and a decent interior. However, these cars especially the 93-97 models the transmission was pretty far from good. Things would start out just fine, but as time went on, it seemed to develop a mind of it’s own. It would start downshifting randomly, poor upshift timing, clunking, flashing warning lights, and failure to respond to anything you told it to do. I can hear you right now reader “Just get the manual and you’ll be fine!!”. Well yes, except for the fact that this car ate motor mounts like a fat kid eating cake. If you owned this car you probably know too well of the other issues like failing alternators, distributors, CV joints, oxygen sensors, and cooling problems.

5. Eagle Talon

Does anything not break on this car?
Does anything not break on this car?

DSM. Yes a cross between 90’s Chrysler and Mitsubishi. Some people may say this car didn’t come out of Japan, but it was partly made by Mitsubishi and that makes it qualified. If you have owned one or knew anyone that has, you probably walked a lot because if anything could go wrong, it did. Gaskets, ball joints, radiators, alternators, steering, differentials, turbos, A/C, all seemed to plague the car. But honestly did you expect anything less from something partly created by Chrysler in the 90’s?

6. 1979 Datsun 280ZX

Disco Inferno
Disco Inferno

Everyone loved the 240Z. So natually Datsun thought it should make a heavier, slower, and less appealing version of it. With the 145 hp you would think it would be faster than the original 240, but it wasn’t until ‘81 when they slapped a turbo on it.

7. '74 Mazda Rotary Truck

"WHY IS A ROTARY ON THIS LIST JAASDJRQUWOEJFGHA!!1!1!!"
"WHY IS A ROTARY ON THIS LIST JAASDJRQUWOEJFGHA!!1!1!!"

You mad, I know it’s okay. Let me explain. The rotary engine should not be in a truck. Mini trucks are cool, rotary engines are cool, but they should not go together. The point of a truck is to be practical. This truck wasn’t. You could haul and tow more with a shopping cart than you could this truck. The low torque of the early rotary engine just made it pretty much pointless, other than looking awesome. However, you could throw an Olds big block in the truck and immediately run 10s at the strip. (See Roadkill)

8. '76 Honda Accord

Bondo not included
Bondo not included

This car rusted faster than Might Car Mods street cred VW. I’m almost positive in the early Honda days they thought galvanized metal was not necessary. It showed. Along with the rust bucket it already is, the car only had two forward gears even though it was advertised as a 3 speed. Imagine trying to go more than 40 in second gear while trying to hear your girlfriend tell you about her day. …Wait maybe they were on to something with that.

9. Datsun F-10

The Pinto of Japan
The Pinto of Japan

With Nissans first front drive car in America they rolled out one of the ugliest cars know to man. It was ugly in style and in terms of engineering. You have to wonder too how the designers thought the front end was good. It just all looks very sad.

10. Subaru XT

I want to be a Prelude so bad
I want to be a Prelude so bad

I know this is the 80’s and everything was questionable then, but this car looks like it was designed with a cleaver. The steering wheel might be the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen and the car is trying way to hard to be a Prelude/MR2/Night Rider. This was also the predecessor to the famous SVX, which was a pretty notorious flop in the automotive industry. They should’ve just stopped with the XT.