2021 (Full Year) Japan: Best-Selling Car Models

In 2021, the Toyota Yaris, Roomy, and Corolla were the top-selling car models in Japan – eight of the top-ten cars were Toyotas.

In 2021, the Toyota Yaris, Roomy, and Corolla were the top-selling car models in Japan - eight of the top-ten cars were Toyotas.
漏 Toyota

In full-year 2021, the Toyota Yaris was the top-selling car model in Japan for the second consecutive year. The four most popular car models in Japan were made by Toyota with the Nissan Note and Honda Freed the only top-ten models not produced by Toyota.

Latest Japan Car Sales Statistics: 2023 — Brands, Models, Minicars; Data for 2022 – 2009.

List of the Top 20 Best-Selling Car Models in Japan in 2021 (Full Year)

The 20 best-selling car models in Japan in full calendar year 2021 were as follows according to Jada:

BrandModelSales 2021Sales 2020% 20/21
1ToyotaYaris212,927151,76640.3
2ToyotaRoomy134,80187,24254.5
3ToyotaCorolla110,865118,276-6.3
4ToyotaAlphard95,04990,7484.7
5NissanNote90,17772,20524.9
6ToyotaRaize81,880126,038-35.0
7ToyotaHarrier74,57566,06712.9
8ToyotaAqua72,49559,54821.7
9ToyotaVoxy70,08569,5170.8
10HondaFreed69,57776,283-8.2
11NissanSerena58,95468,648-14.1
12HondaFit58,78098,210-40.1
13ToyotaSienta57,80272,689-20.5
14HondaVezel52,66932,93159.9
15ToyotaRAV449,59454,848-9.6
16ToyotaPrius49,17967,297-26.9
17SuzukiSorio44,71340,34210.8
18ToyotaNoah44,21145,434-2.7
19HondaStep Wagon39,24734,44114.0
20NissanKicks35,044NA91.2
Source: JADA

Japan’s Ten Favorite Car Models in 2021 (Full Year)

The list of Japan’s top-ten favorite cars frequently changes as Japanese car buyers are keen to buy the latest models with cars often falling out of favor if an update is due. In 2021, only two top-ten cars were in the same rank position as in 2020. (In 2020, not a single top-ten car was in the same position as in 2019!)

It was a clean sweep for Toyota of the top four most-popular car models in Japan in 2021:

The Toyota Yaris became the favorite car of the Japanese for the first time in 2020. 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. Sales of the Yaris increased by 40% and total sales were almost 80,000 cars more than the second-placed Roomy.

The Toyota Roomy — a compact minivan — increased by 55% to improve from sixth to second.

The evergreen Toyota Corolla was the third-best-selling car model in Japan in 2021 for the second consecutive year. The often conservative design of the Corolla usually sells well in Japan, especially with businesses.

The Toyota Alphard, another minivan, improved another sales position from a year ago. In 2019 is was only 13th.

The Nissan Note improved from ninth and was the best-selling non-Toyota car model in Japan in 2021.

The next four cars were all Toyota models. The Raize slipped from second to sixth, while the Harrier improved from 13th and the Aqua from 14th. The Voxy was up one place.

The Honda Freed, a small minivan, was the most popular Honda in Japan in 2021 and only the second non-Toyota model in the top ten. Sales of the Honda Fit slumped by 40% and the Fit slipped from fourth to 12th. The Honda N-Box was again the most popular minicar in Japan in 2021.

Sales of the Toyota Prius, for many years the best-selling car in Japan, were down by another quarter and it slipped from 12th to 16th in the popularity ranking.

Latest Japan Car Sales Statistics: 2023 — Brands, Models, Minicars; Data for 2022 – 2009.

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.