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10 Best Japanese SUVs That Should Be On Your Shopping List

Thanks to brands like Nissan and Toyota, Japan is unparalleled in the production of practical SUVs for the average consumer.

So in this article, let us take a look at the 10 best Japanese SUVs that should be on your shopping list.

What to look for in an SUV?


The SUV’s versatile seating configuration means that anywhere behind the front seats can be loaded with the second and third-row seats folded down. Look for chairs that fold flat to make the most of the space.

SUVs generally have more cargo space than minivans, so it can be difficult to transport heavy items.

Car-based models, on the other hand, usually have a higher maximum payload, allowing the driver to carry more weight. Most offer hands-free power tailgates for easy cargo access.


Almost all SUVs carry at least 5 people. Some mid-size and full-size models include third-row seats that increase passenger capacity to 6, 7, or 8 passengers.

However, many third-party SUVs have limited cargo space when the third seat is in the upright position. Most third-party seats can be folded or nearly folded when not in use, providing additional storage space.


Truck-based SUVs have higher towing capacity than other off-road vehicles. Most large models can carry up to 9,000 pounds or the same weight as a large boat.

Some medium-strength models can carry up to 5,000 pounds, which is enough for a small boat or RV. Buyers should check their load capacity ratings and buy a vehicle that can easily handle the load they need to carry.

Mid-size and full-size SUVs often need an optional lift package to reach top speed.

The technology of safety systems and active driving assistance

Consumer Reports safety ratings include crash avoidance and crash benefit ratings based on government and insurance industry testing. In addition, our system checks for child seat installation problems and light operation.

Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection (AEB) and Blind Spot Warning (BSW) are collision avoidance tools that we believe should be standard on all vehicles. And those should be on the next new or used model you buy.

FCW technology provides visual, auditory, and/or tactile warnings to warn the driver of an impending collision with a vehicle or object in their path. The AEB reacts to the collision and stops if the driver does not react in time. City and highway AEB are available.

BSW monitors the side of the vehicle to alert the driver that other vehicles are nearby and may not be seen.

This can be especially useful for SUVs with blind spots. Other safety upgrades today include radio systems that can alert emergency operators when airbags are deployed, such as GM’s OnStar service.


Demand for SUVs and crossovers has increased in America, and Japan is poised to meet that increased demand. With the availability of high-end SUVs from Europe and America, why would you be interested in a Japanese SUV?

Well, for starters, Japanese cars rank high when it comes to reliability and practicality. SUVs from Japan have proven to be versatile and adaptable over the years.

In addition, these SUVs are more pocket-friendly compared to their competition in Europe and even America. They offer some of the best bangs for your buck thanks to their bulletproof reliability and rock-solid quality.

So in this section, we’ll discuss the top 10 best Japanese SUVs that should be on your shopping list if you’re looking for a great bang for your buck.

Toyota RAV4

Best Japanese SUVs

Toyota’s driving dynamics tend to veer towards the mundane side of the spectrum. Many drivers will find that the 2020 RAV4 is comfortable to drive and handles well. Generous legroom in the front and rear seats will satisfy even adult passengers.

Furthermore, the 2020 RAV4 upgrade is the TRD pro-off-road model, which offers a stiff suspension along with aggressive wheels and tires that improve the RAV4’s ability to take on rough roads.

The 2020 RAV4 is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. This engine pushes 203 horsepower and delivers 184 lb-ft of torque to the vehicle’s drivetrain.

Lexus NX

Lexus NX

Another top-notch Japanese SUV that you should have on your list is the Lexus. It has always had a sweet spot in the American market. As Toyota’s luxury model, it’s no surprise that the Lexus NX is competing for the title of best SUV of 2020.

This ride comes with two powertrain options. The first option is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 235 horsepower and delivers 258 lb-ft of torque to the drivetrain.

The second option has a hybrid operating system that promises efficiency within the budget. Achieve an EPA rating of 35 mpg city versus 33 mpg combined. Lexus offers luxury, performance, and reliability.

Nissan Pathfinder

Best Japanese SUVs

At number 8 we have the Nissan Pathfinder. The Nissan Pathfinder has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 284 horsepower and delivers 240 lb-ft of torque to the drivetrain.

Front-wheel drive is standard on the Pathfinder, but you have the option of all-wheel drive. Pathfinders towing capacity is 6,000 pounds.

Furthermore, this SUV is equipped with the latest safety technologies, including automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and cross-traffic alert, which are also standard on the Pathfinder SV.

Infiniti QX50

Infiniti QX50

One of the best Japanese SUVs is the Infiniti QX50. Infiniti is one of many companies under the Nissan umbrella. It is rapidly entering American homes. Infiniti SUVs are a good part of this crusade.

Since its debut in 2016, the Infiniti QX50 has undergone a remarkable transformation.

Other than that, this SUV is powered by a standard V6 engine that pushes 325 horsepower to the wheels. The Infiniti QX50 has the option of all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive.

Acura MDX

Acura MDX

Acura MDX has to be one of the best Japanese SUVs you should put on your list for various reasons. The work that went into the development of the Acura MDX shows that Acura isn’t just focused on being a premium luxury car brand, it’s also practical.

The MDX also surpasses many similar the best Japanese SUVs in terms of safety features. It’s loaded with advanced safety technology like the AcuraWatch blind spot system and new lane departure technology.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Mitsubishi Outlander

Another SUV you should consider buying is the Mitsubishi Outlander.

The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander is one of the most versatile and practical best Japanese SUVs on the market today. Mitsubishi’s new trim – special edition, sits between the LE and SEL.

The Special Edition (SP) adds more flair to the Mitsubishi Outlander line. The base 2020 Outlander has a 2.4-liter inline-four mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that delivers 166 horsepower.

The Ultra trim for the Outlander is the GT trim, powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 that pushes out 224 horsepower. Front-wheel drive is standard on the Outlander. Nevertheless, there is an all-wheel-drive option.

Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester is one of our favorite Japanese SUVs for many reasons. Subaru has made a name for itself over the years as one of the best rally car companies. However, Subaru decided not to limit itself within the framework of competition cars. So in 1997, Subaru took the plunge and started working on its flagship SUV – the Subaru Forester.

The Ranger carries five passengers in two rows. The Forester’s cargo area measures over 30 cubic feet with a hatch for easy loading.

Toyota Land Cruiser

Best Japanese SUVs

The reason why the Toyota Land Cruiser is so high on our list is that

it is a spacious SUV with incredible four-wheel drive capabilities. The 2020 Land Cruiser comes in two trims. The base and a new Heritage edition that drops the running boards and third row and replaces it with 18-inch special wheels and a roof rack.

The cruiser’s four-wheel drive includes several traction controls, steering to help reduce the speed of turns, and traction control to keep the boat in a fast lane.

Honda HR-V

Best Japanese SUVs

Honda HR-VR is easily one of the two best Japanese SUVs a customer would consider putting on their list. The 2020 Honda HR-V defies small classification with its ingenious packaging, generous passenger space, and folding rear seats that maximize cargo space.

The 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder powertrain delivers 141 horsepower in front-wheel drive or all-wheel-drive for those who choose the all-wheel-drive system. Ride comfort can be difficult on uneven surfaces.

The fuel consumption of the Honda HR-V is economical. Major upgrades to the Honda HVR include a sunroof, remote access, front seats, and various driver assistance features such as cruise control, automatic emergency braking speed, exit warning from a lane, lane assist, and four-wheel drive.

Mazda CX-5

Best Japanese SUVs

Finally, the best Japanese SUV that you should have on your list is the Mazda CX-5. The 2020 Mazda CX-5 is the sportiest compact SUV on the market.

Despite trading family space for good performance and potent power, the Mazda CX-5 boasts a handsome body and interior with well-thought-out ergonomics and an enjoyable driving experience.

The Mazda CX-5 is powered by an inline 4-cylinder engine that produces 187 horsepower.

The Mazda CX-5 engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels. Restrictions do not keep the engine in place in power delivery, even if the firing rate changes most of the time.


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