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Top Ten Cheapest Japanese Cars to Repair

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 1 year ago

4 min read

  • Advice
  • Repair
  • cheap

WhoCanFixMyCar reveals the average cost of repairing some of the most popular Japanese cars on the road today

Japanese cars have an impressive reputation for unfaltering reliability thanks to their sturdy builds and high quality parts. They might not be the most flashy vehicles on the road, but that doesn’t matter when you can drive carefree thanks to the knowledge that a breakdown or hefty repair bill is probably many, many miles away.

Nevertheless, if you’re on the hunt for a reliable car, it’s always a good idea to factor into your considerations how much a particular model is likely to cost in the event that something does go wrong. 

That’s where WhoCanFixMyCar comes in. We’ve taken a look at our data from 2021 to work out which Japanese cars cost the least when it comes to repairs. For the sake of brevity, we have focused in this guide on three common repair categories: cambelts, clutches and brake pads and discs.

#10 - Toyota Rav-4

The Rav-4, a mid-sized SUV that has been around for an impressive 25 years, makes it onto our list by the skin of its teeth. It scores well on brake pads and discs, costing just £179.01 on average, but the price of a clutch replacement lets the Rav-4 down, pushing it to the bottom of the pile.

Toyota Logo

Given the expensive price tag that accompanies this model, anyone looking for a budget buy would be better off focusing their attention elsewhere.

Toyota Rav-4Average Cost
Brake Pads and Discs£179.01

#9 - Honda Civic

The 10th generation Civic, which has recently undergone Honda’s most expensive model replacement programme ever, takes 9th place on our list with an average total repair cost of £1,014.84.

With a new turbo-charged engine and high equipment levels, the Civic offers an attractive proposition for drivers with a little more cash to spend (it is, as AutoCar put it, “quietly upmarket”) - but, again, there are plenty of other Japanese cars out there that are both more reliable and more affordable.

Honda CivicAverage Cost
Brake Pads and Discs£215.82

#8 - Lexus IS

Recent iterations of this compact executive saloon by Lexus have been met with mixed reviews. It aims to compete with the BMW 3, a tricky model to beat given BMW’s dedicated fanbase, but there’s one area in particular where we’re sure the IS does come out on top: repair costs. 

It isn’t the cheapest of the Japanese cars to repair by a long stretch, but the IS’s total average repair cost of £994.87 is still pretty competitive, and it would definitely wipe the floor with the BMW 3. 

Lexus ISAverage Cost
Brake Pads and Discs£151.48

#7 - Mazda 2

The Mazda 2 is the first model on this list to achieve a total average repair cost of less than £900. Add to this the Mazda’s good looks and modest price tag and you have a car that’s able to hold its own in the highly competitive supermini segment.

Mazda 2Average Cost
Brake Pads and Discs£180.71

#6 - Nissan Micra

Once an eye sore that few people under the age of sixty would voluntarily buy, the Nissan Micra has, in recent years, made a very respectable (and surprising) comeback with a totally overhauled look and feel.

Nissan Micra

Not only is the Micra relatively cheap to repair - it has an average total cost of £883.34 across the three categories we have focused on in this guide - it’s also economical to drive and much easier on the eye than it once was. 

Nissan MicraAverage Cost
Brake Pads and Discs£174.11

#5 - Toyota Aygo

The Toyota Aygo is undoubtedly one of the most popular city cars out there, and this is no surprise given its bold, modern styling and very affordable price tag. It falls short of some of its competitors - for example, the VW Up - when it comes to suspension and overall ride, but nevertheless it offers an attractively low total average repair cost of £869.26.

Toyota AygoAverage Cost
Brake Pads and Discs£161.95

 #4 - Nissan Note

Only slightly more expensive than the Aygo when it comes to average repair costs is the Nissan Note, a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) that prizes economy over pretty much everything else. It’s about as frugal as you can get, and it certainly isn’t a head-turner, but for practicality the Note can’t be beaten. 

It’s no surprise that the Nissan Note has a very reasonable average total of £865.48.

Nissan NoteAverage Cost
Brake Pads and Discs£141.98

#3 - Mazda Mx-5

When we started researching for this guide, we never expected to see a sports car like the Mx-5 on the list - let alone make it into the top five! With a total average repair cost of just £852.10, it’s easy to see why this sleek roadster is one of the best loved, most recognisable and (relatively) affordable sports cars in the country. 

Mazda Mx-5Average Cost
Brake Pads and Discs£133.15

#2 - Honda Jazz

With an impressive five-star rating on WhatCar?, the ever-growing popularity of the Honda Jazz is clear. It might not have as much of a cult following as some of its small car competitors like the Volkswagen Polo and Vauxhall Corsa, but what it does have is very affordable repair costs, making it a sensible choice for drivers who care more about practicality and price than they do about mass appeal. 

Honda Jazz

Honda JazzAverage Cost
Brake Pads and Discs£199.96

#1 - Suzuki Alto

Congratulations to the Suzuki Alto which won the title of cheapest Japanese car to repair by a landslide, with an average total cost of £772.16 across brake pads and discs, cambelt and clutch! 

We already knew that, as a city car, it was cheap to buy and cheap to run - but now we have confirmed that it’s cheap to repair, too. What’s not to love? “Super Suzuki” has more than earned its name. 

Suzuki AltoAverage Cost
Brake Pads and Discs£150.28

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