10 Most Overrated JDM Sports Cars Ever Made

Enthusiasts can agree that some of the most iconic cars are built by the Japanese. Their designs are not just straightforward, but they are usually reliable, durable, and practical.
JDM, which stands for Japanese domestic market, traditionally refers to cars that are sold in Japan. However, over time, its meaning evolved, and it now also pertains to vehicles exported by the Asian country. Some JDM cars are solely marketed in Japan while the imported ones are modified to follow regulations.
JDM cars contributed a lot to improving the automobile industry during the ‘70s and enjoyed their glory days in the ‘90s. No doubt, they remain classics and there’s a unique car culture revolving around them. But legends as they are, some JDM sports cars are simply overrated. Sure, many of them deserve all the attention for being unique, but that doesn’t mean they hit all the marks. Be they overpriced, pedestrian, or not that fast, here are some JDMs that are overrated.

10 Nissan 370Z

This old-school JDM might be decent to drive and has comfortable seats, but is it worth it? Priced at $30,090 during its heyday, it might not be a good deal given its poor interiors and outdated dashboard and infotainment system.

This two-seater sports car boasts 350 horsepower but should go much faster just so it can compensate for the hefty price tag. Moreover, the 370z has remained virtually unchanged since its debut, more than 10 years ago. Nissan even released subsequent “refreshed” models that kept the exact same cabin, engine, and even the exterior saw no major improvements. With mediocre handling and an obsolete interior, this is not a car worth $30,000 today.
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9 Toyota Supra MK IV

The Fast and Furious films helped bring light to this amazing car, but over the years, the Supra’s value just kept climbing with no end in sight. Today, the Supra MK4 is a household name, but all the surrounding hype has blinded many to this car’s flaws.

The Supra is surprisingly heavy for a grand tourer and even heavier for the pocket (now costing more than $100,000 on average). Though known for its powerful 2JZ engine, some drivers hate that the design looks old, probably because it has been under production since 1993. Though imperfect and perhaps not worth its current price, the MK 4 is a true JDM legend.

8 Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

A famous JDM masterpiece, the Skyline GT-R R34 is undeniably a classic. It seems hard to pinpoint reasons why it is overrated, but some drivers would agree that the hype started when it was featured in Fast and Furious films and popular video game titles such as Need for Speed: Underground 2.

This legendary vehicle has a cult following and is still sought-after today. Though the R34 has a high-performance turbocharged engine, its technology is outdated, and the car is now also very overpriced. It’s slower than the Supra, and it just wasn’t able to outperform its counterparts.
RELATED: Here’s What The 1999 Nissan Skyline R34 GT R Is Worth Today

7 Mazda RX-7 FD3S

The RX-7 is arguably one of the most recognizable JDMs in the market. Though discontinued in 2002, it remained popular because of its excellent handling and unique design. However, its rotary engine is notorious for oil consumption issues and maintenance woes.

Aesthetically, the RX-7 is a cool car but when it comes to the nitty-gritty, it does not deliver. With an unreliable engine and 250 hp that’s seemingly not enough, this vehicle is an acquired taste.

6 2019 Subaru WRX STI

To put it straight, most sports cars have outdone the WRX. The handling of this all-wheel drive is fine, and it accelerates quickly, but other than that, most of its features are too plain. 300 horsepower used to be impressive for an affordable sports sedan in the early 2000s, but today, it just doesn’t cut it.

Moreover, the car has reliability issues, too, and many drivers can attest to it as seen in a lawsuit against supposed engine defects. In fact, a recall was issued due to this unit’s fuel pump issues. For all possible transmission and engine failure that might happen, the WRX is just not worth the hype.
RELATED: 2019 Subaru WRX & WRX STI Preview & Buyer’s Guide

5 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution XIII & IX

The now-retired Evo is a favorite among JDM fans. This is not a bad car at all since it boasts speed and good handling. However, it has a fair share of issues that some might consider as petty but in the long run, will cause unease. The performance is fine, but it lacks the oomph when talking about its interiors.

The running costs, from fuel to maintenance, are a bit steep. Aside from interiors that look basic, the uncomfortable seats are not helping at all. For a car named Evolution, it lacked the development it needed to become a well-rounded pal on the road.

4 Nissan 240SX S13

Known for its sharp steering and superb handling, the 240SX cemented its name as one of the best drift cars out there. But is it worth the hype? The car is notoriously underpowered partly because of its large engine and unimpressive gas mileage.

For patient drivers who want to improve their experience with this vehicle, they need to put in a lot of work. Primarily, for those wanting a powerful drive, an engine swap is the answer. Sure, this unit is lightweight and aerodynamic but those are not enough for adrenaline-filled drifting.
RELATED: Check Out This Cool JDM Build: 2JZ-Swapped AWD Nissan 240SX

3 Nissan Silvia S15

The last of Nissan’s S platform, the S15 is undeniably the most improved. The Japanese car brand probably gave their all to make this one memorable. It’s a sleek car that comes with 250 horsepower. And yet, it still manages to be underwhelming.

Though it has an improved engine management system and reduced body dimensions, it’s still low-end. Nissan was quite successful in balancing performance and aesthetics in crafting this car though upgrades are needed to make this a spectacular riding companion.

2 Honda S2000

Dubbed as a modern classic car, Honda is proud of its S2000, which they claimed during its launch as the mass production NA vehicle with the highest specific power output. However, some believe that the 240 horsepower it can give is not that fast given its 150 lb-ft torque.

Some also criticize the S2000’s plain interiors and its outdated technology is not helping, too. Though it compensates for the looks with a nice dashboard to boot, this Japanese car’s features are not one for the books.

1 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Miata is undoubtedly a great car, but not perfect. Lightweight, well-balanced, and with good handling, it’s no wonder why this Japanese marvel is the best-selling two-seat convertible sports car in history.

However, some drivers are not a fan of its horsepower and its tiny tires. It’s a good car for anyone satisfied with its speed. As famous as it is, its prominent claim to fame is its handling, and other than that, everything else is plain, from the interiors to its design.



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