In recent years we have seen the popularity and prices of 90’s JDM cars skyrocket. One of the reasons is that people finally have money to spend for the cars they have always looked up to. The same will happen with the 00’s cars. Some of them already started to go up in price significantly (e.g. Honda S2000 and Civic Type R FD2). So if you would like to buy some iconic 00’s JDM car before they are too expensive, what are good options now? On this page there will be shown several cars you should buy now before you cannot afford them anymore.
1. Honda Civic Type R EP3
This hot hatch gained a lot of popularity in the United Kingdom and Europe after its introduction. The Japanese got an even better version which made it the number one sporty front wheel drive hatchback in its class at the time. Details of why the JDM version of the EP3 Type R is better can be found here.
The past popularity in Europe will certainly cause nostalgia for many people in the future. Then there is the fact that this car model was never sold in the United States, so image that when the 25 year import rule is compliant for these cars, Americans certainly want to get a taste of these 00’s hot hatches. And finally there is the heritage, prices of the EK9 already started to climb significantly in past few years and the recent FK8 is a great success around the world as well. For sure this EP3 Type R will be future classic!
2. Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart Version R
Ralliart is the motorsports division of Mitsubishi Motors. One of the cars they got their hands on is the Colt for the Japanese market. With an 1.5 turbocharged engine, aggressive exterior and sporty interior, this was an hot hatchback enjoyed by many Japanese.
The Colt Ralliart could be had with a manual transmission or a CVT. The manual has a bit more horsepower and is more engaging to drive, therefore expected to be more valuable in the future. A large range of colors were available though the majority was sold in red. When picking one with the other brighter colors, you’ll be sure to have an unique car.
3. Nissan Primera 20V
If you are looking for a rare and special styled 00’s Japanese midsize sedan or wagon, the Nissan Primera P12 generation might the car for you. At the time of its introduction, it was a very futuristic looking car and yet today, the design still looks fresh. The most interesting grade which was only available for Japan is the sporty 20V grade. It used the SR20VE engine with 204 horsepower and a 6-speed manual transmission.
And if you are after an even more rare grade, the wagon was available as a Rider grade by Autech with a 150 horsepower engine and automatic transmission. Or, you can try to find an Impul 203S and 203W, which a full vehicle with tuning parts by Impul based on respectively sedan and wagon. Most likely the Primera P12 cars will not become very pricy in the future but the rarity will certainly increase. If you do not want to wait years for a good example to pop up, it is better to buy one sooner than later.
4. Toyota Origin
For its 50th anniversary, Toyota created this classic looking luxury sedan in a limited run of 1000 units only. Under the skin it was basically a Toyota Brevis using a 2JZ engine and automatic transmission. The body however was full newly developed and crafted with a lot of attention to detail. More technical details you can find here.
At the time of release, the price of the car was 7 Million Yen. The prices now are ranging from 2 Million Yen for a high mileage example to 4 Million Yen for one with around 50.000 kilometers done. A reasonable price for such an exclusive and well built car as no other luxury limousine with suicide doors can be had for that money.
5. Suzuki Alto Lapin SS
In the early 2000’s, the kei cars in Japan got modernized quickly with a lot of new model introductions. One of these models was by Suzuki, called the Alto Lapin which was positioned as a more cute version of the regular Alto. The most special version of this model was the sporty grade called SS. A turbocharged 660cc engine in this light chassis made this a rapid little car.
While many of the manufacturers already gave up on manual transmissions in these little car, the SS grade could still be had with 5-speed manual. In addition there was even a choice between front wheel drive or four wheel drive. This entry level sporty hatchback was quite a success and the low cost of ownership these cars still aren’t very cheap and probably are not getting any cheaper anymore.
6. Toyota Soarer
Around the world this Toyota Soarer 430SCV was sold as Lexus SC430. The main unique JDM part about the Soarer are specific badges on the front grille, in the seats and on steering wheel. For the rest it is mainly the same car as the Lexus, a comfortable all weather cruiser.
Originally sold for 6 Million Yen or more, these cars can now be had for a 10th of that price. That is why it is currently one of the best choices for an affordable yet reliable luxury convertible. It will never be a classic like the Toyota Supra or Nissan Skyline, but clean examples will likely become more pricy in the future.
7. Nissan March 12SR
The Nissan March, or Micra how it is called in other countries, came in a special sporty version for the Japanese market. The 12SR, was developed with contribution of Autech Japan under the concept of “entry sports with driving enjoyment”. In addition to the tuned 1.2 engine, suspension settings and a sporty interior made this an affordable and sporty small hatchback.
Prices were around 1.8 Million Yen when new. Nowadays, pristine examples with well under 100 000 kilometer are still half the new price because the car is a popular tuning platform. As such it might be difficult to find a clean example and this will likely be reflected to the prices in the future for well kept examples. Especially the 3-door version as this was only available for the first two years of sales.