2019 (Full Year) Japan: Best-Selling Car Models

In 2019, the Toyota Prius regained the top position as the best-selling car model in Japan. The Nissan Note slipped to second.

Toyota RAV4 - the 16th best-selling car model in Japan in 2019.

In 2019, the best-selling car model in Japan was the Toyota Prius. Last year’s favorite model, the Nissan Note, slipped to second. The Toyota Sienta was third while the Toyota Corolla surged to fourth. Seven of the ten most-popular car models in Japan in 2019 were made by Toyota. The top-selling minicar, the Honda N-Box, sold twice as many cars as the Prius. The Japanese new vehicle market in 2019 contracted by 1.5% to 5,234,166 vehicles.

Japan Car Sales Statistics: 2023 — Q1; 2022 — Brands, Models, Minicars; 2021 — Brands, Models, Minicars; 2020 — Brands, Models, Minicars; 2019 — Brands, Models, Minicars

Best-Selling Car Models in Japan in 2019 (Full Year)

The 20 top-selling car models in Japan in 2019 were as follows:

BrandModelSales 2019Sales 2018% 18/19
1ToyotaPrius125,587115,4628.8
2NissanNote118,472136,324-13.1
3ToyotaSienta110,88094,04817.9
4ToyotaCorolla104,40689,91016.1
5ToyotaAqua103,803126,561-18
6NissanSerena92,95699,865-6.9
7ToyotaRoomy91,65086,2656.2
8ToyotaVoxy88,01290,759-3
9HondaFreed85,59684,1211.8
10ToyotaVitz81,55487,299-6.6
11ToyotaTank74,51873,7991
12HondaFit74,41090,720-18
13ToyotaAlphard68,70558,80616.8
14HondaVezel55,88659,629-6.3
15ToyotaC-HR55,67776,756-27.5
16ToyotaRAV453,965NA
17ToyotaNoah52,68456,719-7.1
18HondaStep Wagon52,67656,872-7.4
19SuzukiSorio44,48844,884-0.9
20SubaruImpreza43,78054,194-19.2
Source: JADA

Note: The numbers exclude foreign car (irrelevant anyway) and minicars (kei) – see below for the combined list.

Top-List of Japan’s Favorite Car Models in 2019 (Full Year)

There was only one new entrant on the list of the ten best-selling car models in Japan in 2019 but remarkably not a single car model was in the same rank position as a year ago. Seven of the ten favorite car models in Japan were produced by Toyota.

The Toyota Prius was the top-selling car model in Japan in 2019. The hybrid-only Prius regained the top slot that it also held in 2016 and 2017. Prius sales were up by 9% to move up to first from third.

The Nissan Note, the best-selling car in Japan in 2018, slipped to second place in 2019 with sales down by 13%.

The Toyota Sienta moved up from fifth and the Toyota Corolla up from eighth. Both Toyota models increased sales strongly. The evergreen Corolla was the best-selling car model in Japan for the final three months of 2019.

The Toyota Aqua slipped from second to fifth with sales down by nearly a fifth. The Nissan Serena slipped from fourth to sixth. The Toyota Roomy improved from tenth to seventh while the Toyota Voxy slipped from sixth to eighth.

The Honda Freed was the only new entrant on the top-ten list – it was eleventh a year ago. The Toyota Vitz slipped one place to round out the top ten.

The Honda Fit slipped out of the top ten – from seventh to twelfth. The new Fit is due in February 2020 and should have a positive impact on sales.

The Honda Vezel and the Toyota C-HR were the only top-20 cars in Japan to have maintained the same rank positions as a year ago. The Toyota RAV4 and Suzuki Sorio were the only new entrants on the top-20 list.

Top-Ten Car and Minicar Models Sold in Japan in 2019

Honda sold twice as many N-Box minicars than Toyota sold Prius cars in Japan in 2019.
Honda N-Box © Honda

JADA’s sales data of the best-selling car models in Japan does not include minicars (kei). Mini cars (kei-jidousya) in Japan are vehicles defined by amongst others being shorter than 3.4 m with a maximum height of 2 m and a maximum width of 1.48 m. The engine capacity is restricted to 0.66 l measured by the Japanese standard.

The combined top ten best-selling minicar and regular car models in Japan in 2019 were as follows:

BrandModelSales 2019
1HondaN-BOX253,500
2DaihatsuTanto175,292
3SuzukiSpacia166,389
4NissanDays157,439
5ToyotaPrius125,587
6DaihatsuMove122,835
7NissanNote118,472
8ToyotaSienta110,880
9ToyotaCorolla104,406
10ToyotaAqua103,803

Source: Zenkeijkyo & JADA

Only half of the ten top-selling car models in Japan were minicars but that included the four best-selling cars. Honda sold twice as many N-Box minicars than Toyota sold Prius cars in Japan in 2019.

See also Best-Selling Minicars in Japan in 2019.

The Japanese new vehicle market in 2019 contracted by 1.5% to 5,234,166 vehicles.