Depending on who you ask, the country that makes the best, most dependable, workman-like cars is either Japan or South Korea. Both US News and World Report and Gear Patrol have brands from both countries on their top 5 list. But is that really the case?
Let’s take a look at what the experts say about the cars that come out of each country.
Mazda and Honda are the top brands on US News and World Report’s best car brands list for 2021.
“Honda’s cars land at or near the top of our rankings in nearly every segment they enter…,” the publication notes. “They look good, they’re comfortable to drive, they’re safe, and they’re well equipped.” Honda was the runner-up for Best Cars Brands in 2020.
And when it comes to the Mazda, US News and World Report says that these cars check all the boxes. They’re for people who enjoy driving. The cars handle well, are cheap, and easy to maintain.
Another Japanese car that made it to Gear Patrol’s top 5 list is the Toyota RAV4. It’s described as an SUV with the feel of a sedan. And it has everything new car buyers are looking for — reliability, ease of maintenance, and even resale value.
Hyundai and Kia take 4th and 5th place, respectively, on US News and World Report’s list. But even then, these rankings are really somewhat arbitrary since every Hyundai model is a good car. And they come with a warranty as good as Kia’s, which, according to Motor1, is one of the best.
So, what’s great about Kia? Well, US News and World Report calls it ” a strong competitor in every segment it enters.”The vehicle has lots of great features including all the new, convenient tech that consumers want. There’s GPS, rear cameras, and a Bluetooth connection to your phone. And best yet, compacts like the Kia Forte don’t guzzle gas, have plenty of trunk space and, did we mention, come with a great warranty.
Gear Patrol had the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Elantra as the top two cars to buy if you’re looking for a new car, compact car, or supercompact car. With more and more people looking to downsize, save money on gas, pay less for a vehicle, and have something that’s reliable with good resale value, both these South Korean brands meet the demand.
Which One Is Right For You?
The tie breaker between South Korean cars and Japanese cars has to be resale value. For that, it’s Toyota that makes it onto all the best resale lists, including best minivan, truck, hybrid, sedan, and SUV.
If you’re not looking to drive your car into the ground, and want to get the most money back when you resell, then Japanese cars, particularly Toyotas, are the hands-down winner.