Japan

2020 (Full Year) Japan: Best-Selling Car Models

In 2020, the Toyota Yaris and Raize were the top-selling car models in Japan for the first time ever. The Prius slipped out of the top ten.

© Toyota

In full-year 2020, the Toyota Yaris was the top-selling car model in Japan for the first time ever while the new Toyota Raize was the second most popular car. The evergreen Corolla rounded out the top three places for Toyota. The Honda Fit recovered to fourth place as the most popular car in Japan not produced by Toyota. The Toyota Prius dropped out of the top-ten list of best-selling car models in Japan in 2020.

Japan Car Sales Statistics: 2021 — Q1, Half Year; 2020 (Full Year) — Brands, Models, Minicars; 2019 (Full Year) — Brands, Models, Minicars

List of the Top 20 Best-Selling Car Models in Japan in 2020 (Full Year)

The 20 best-selling car models in Japan in full calendar year 2020 were as follows according to Jada:

BrandModelSales 2020Sales 2019% 19/20Sales 2018Sales 2017
1ToyotaYaris151,766[81,554]New[87,299][90,248]
2ToyotaRaize126,038NewNew
3ToyotaCorolla118,276104,40613.389,91077,466
4HondaFit98,21074,4103290,72097,939
5ToyotaAlphard90,74868,70532.158,80641,923
6ToyotaRoomy87,24291,650-4.886,26578,690
7HondaFreed76,28385,596-10.984,121104,405
8ToyotaSienta72,689110,880-34.494,04896,847
9NissanNote72,205118,472-39.1136,324138,905
10ToyotaVoxy69,51788,012-2190,75986,772
11NissanSerena68,64892,956-26.299,86584,433
12ToyotaPrius67,297125,587-46.7115,462160,912
13ToyotaHarrier66,067NA82.344,95258,732
14ToyotaAqua59,548103,803-42.6126,561131,615
15ToyotaRAV454,84853,9651.6NANA
16ToyotaNoah45,43452,684-13.856,71958,729
17SuzukiSorio40,34244,488-8.344,88449,742
18SubaruImpreza36,65843,780-16.354,19473,171
19ToyotaTank35,59174,518-52.273,79970,839
20HondaStep Wagon34,44152,676-34.656,87246,457
Source: JADA

Note: [Yaris Sales data before 2020 for the Vitz]

Japan’s Ten Favorite Car Models in 2020 (Full Year)

The list of Japan’s top-ten favorite cars frequently change as the Japanese car buyers are keen to buy the latest models with cars often falling out of favor if an update is due. However, even by Japanese standards the changes in the composition and rank order of the top ten best-selling cars in Japan in 2020 were extreme.

In 2020, not a single top-ten car was in the same rank position as in 2019. The top seven cars were all new or improved rank position. The top five car models were either new or increased sales volume while the bottom five sold in lower numbers.

Top Three Car Models in Japan in 2020 (Full Year)

It was a clean sweep for Toyota of the top three most-popular car models in Japan in 2020:

The Toyota Yaris became the favorite car of the Japanese for the first time. The Yaris previously sold as the Vitz in Japan but with the new model, Toyota changed the nameplate in Japan to the Yaris used in most international markets. Although the Vitz was a regular in the top-ten list in Japan, it rarely made it to near the top.

Even without the 10,491 Vitz models sold in early 2020 (enough to place the outgoing car as the 46th best-selling car model in Japan in 2020, it was tenth in 2019), the Yaris was the clear best-seller. However, the top-selling vehicle in Japan in 2020 was the Honda N-Box mini car that sold 195,984 vehicles.

The second-best-selling car model in Japan in 2020 was the Toyota Raize. It increased sales by more than 500% as it was introduced in the final weeks of 2019.

The third-best-selling car model in Japan in 2020 was the evergreen Toyota Corolla. The often conservative design of the Corolla usually sell well in Japan, especially with businesses, but it was the first time in years that the Corolla reached the top three. It was fourth last year but out of the top-ten list in 2017.

Japan’s Favorite Car Models in 2020

The new Honda Fit was well received and the Fit re-entered the top-ten list from 12th a year ago. The Toyota Alphard similarly moved up from 13th to fifth. Both cars increased sales volumes by almost a third. Despite weaker sales, the Toyota Roomy moved up one position and the Honda Freed two places.

Sales were sharply lower for the other top-selling car models in Japan in 2020. The Toyota Sienta slipped from third to eighth. The Nissan Note slipped from second to ninth with sales down almost 40%. The Toyota Voxy slipped two places with sales down by a fifth.

The top-selling car model in Japan in 2019, the Toyota Prius, slipped from first to only 12th in 2020. The Toyota Aqua dropped from 5th to 14th. Sales of both models nearly halved.

Japan Car Sales Statistics: 2021 — Q1, Half Year; 2020 (Full Year) — Brands, Models, Minicars; 2019 (Full Year) — Brands, Models, Minicars

Published by
Henk Bekker