Buying a car in Japan

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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by MacGyver » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:53 pm

Actually the Mazda Axela Sport, which is the hatchback version, is also on my radar. Do you have the hatchback or the sedan version? Although it doesn't stack up to the Blade (at least in my opinion so far). But having said that the Blade is more expensive on average so when I do some serious shopping and test driving, who knows. I've never driven a Blade so it may drive and handle like a dog. The other thing I'm not sure of vis-a-vis the Blade is that it has been discontinued due to lack of popularity so not sure whether that'll affect the price or not seeing as there is now a limited stock as none will ever be made again.

You got yours new, right?
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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by allblacks » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:58 pm

Yup. brand spankers. Its the sport hatchback in black. 20S without the Skyactiv transmission.

One of the negatives for this car is the leg room in the back seats. Pretty much non-existent! And I never use it and dont like it but the flappy paddle gear shift can be annoying. As can the I-stop if you let it.

The good thing about the Axela is you can grab a 1.5 litre one if you prefer. I personally wouldnt but sure people do to pay lower tax.

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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by MacGyver » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:08 pm

Yeah the 1.5l sounds underpowered for a car that size for sure. And the lack of leg room in the back should rarely, if ever, bother me as I'll never be sitting in the back! :D

Plus we trading in the Crown to get a smaller car for short runs to save on fuel. DIL has a Gaia (7 seater) and MIL has a Crown Athlete so if we need a car for size or a long run we can use one of them. Although it can't be too small cause my 189cm frame still needs to fit in it!
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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by allblacks » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:13 pm

MacGyver wrote:Yeah the 1.5l sounds underpowered for a car that size for sure. And the lack of leg room in the back should rarely, if ever, bother me as I'll never be sitting in the back! :D

Plus we trading in the Crown to get a smaller car for short runs to save on fuel. DIL has a Gaia (7 seater) and MIL has a Crown Athlete so if we need a car for size or a long run we can use one of them. Although it can't be too small cause my 189cm frame still needs to fit in it!
Im 194cm mate. No problems at all driving it. I think they built it for people up to around 199cm. That said about the back, I have been in it a few times. Not too bad at all.

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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by MacGyver » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:23 pm

allblacks wrote:Im 194cm mate. No problems at all driving it. I think they built it for people up to around 199cm.
Good to hear. Sometimes I'll mention a small car to the wife and she'll remind me, "Remember, you do have to be able to fit in it." So yeah it is definitely an issue for us big blokes when buying a car.
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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by MacGyver » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:02 pm

So instead of working this morning, I've been doing some research on the Mazda Axela Sport. Defo a slick little car. And seems cheaper on average (by a few hundred thousand yen) than the Blade altho to be fair the base model Blade is a 2.4l engine. And not surprisingly considering the Blade was discontinued there are more of them second hand which means greater choice. I would prefer one with Bluetooth so I can stream songs directly from my phone but I suppose if the navi (altho a lot don't seem to have navi so the system I end up buying) has a HDD then I can just store all my songs on it anyway. And don't need my phone for a navi if it has a navi! :wink: Altho would be preferable if it has a navi with back camera already installed.

Yeah I'm a fussy carnt but I buy a car and drive it for 5 to 10 years so it has to have what I want. While some things can be added on later, its usually cheaper and easier if they are already pre-installed.
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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by MacGyver » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:12 pm

allblacks wrote:20S without the Skyactiv transmission.
Do you think that the technology is BS and not worth the extra cost or you just happened to get a model that didn't have it?

And is it me or do consumers/car manufacturers in Japan have the worst taste in colour? I reckon 50% of the cars I see on the road and on used car websites are either white or silver. Almost every time I see a car online that I think might match my criteria I see the colour and its either farken white or silver.... :anger:
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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by allblacks » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:50 pm

I just got lucky I guess. Normal transmission. Apparently the skyactiv one is more economical or something. I dunno.

In regards to colour... In summer yes its hotter inside. But I wouldnt have silver or white. No thanks!
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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by MacGyver » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:13 pm

allblacks wrote:I just got lucky I guess. Normal transmission. Apparently the skyactiv one is more economical or something. I dunno.
Yeah the limited amount of research on it I've done suggests that in theory as well but no idea how it pans out in real world driving.
allblacks wrote:In regards to colour... In summer yes its hotter inside. But I wouldnt have silver or white. No thanks!
I have a white car atm and honestly I don't think the colour makes a hell of a lot of difference. The car still gets effin hot sitting in the sun and once the a/c is running you wouldn't feel it I reckon.
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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:10 pm

When car hunting at the weekend and ended up getting a (second-hand) Prius. I wasn't actually looking to buy a hybrid and I thought if I did it would be an Aqua, but was impressed with the car we looked at so decided to buy it. Was a little more than the wife wanted to spend and she wanted to buy an older than this one model that was 300K less but luckily my FIL and BIL (both in the car game their whole working lives) said that the newer, more expensive model was a better bet and worth the extra money so that is the one we got.
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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by sirwanksalot » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:51 pm

MacGyver wrote: I have a white car atm and honestly I don't think the colour makes a hell of a lot of difference. The car still gets effin hot sitting in the sun and once the a/c is running you wouldn't feel it I reckon.

It does and I've painted a black roof white to stop that. There was about a 20 degree fahrenheit difference tested before and after with a thermometer. 20 degrees cooler on a hot day is still hot. Surfboards will delaminate and twist in high heat.

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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:56 pm

sirwanksalot wrote:Surfboards will delaminate and twist in high heat.
As does plastic as any Aussie or someone who has been to Tatebayashi knows... :wink:
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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by sirwanksalot » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:00 pm

MacGyver wrote: As does plastic as any Aussie or someone who has been to Tatebayashi knows... :wink:
There you go. I'm assuming you fit in both categories, Wozzie.

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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:11 pm

Indeed. I had lost a few CD covers over the years in Oz but never in Japan until this summer when I had a cricket camp in tatebayashi and left a plastic container in the rear dash under the window. Half the bloody thing melted to an unrecognizable pile of plastic!
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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by RalphWiggum » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:33 pm

MacGyver wrote:When car hunting at the weekend and ended up getting a (second-hand) Prius. I wasn't actually looking to buy a hybrid and I thought if I did it would be an Aqua, but was impressed with the car we looked at so decided to buy it. Was a little more than the wife wanted to spend and she wanted to buy an older than this one model that was 300K less but luckily my FIL and BIL (both in the car game their whole working lives) said that the newer, more expensive model was a better bet and worth the extra money so that is the one we got.
I've had both versions of the Prius and the newer one is far superior in terms of handling, performance and economy (economy is about 25% better). Sadly I have to give mine back on Friday... :(
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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by allblacks » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:34 am

Prius is not a car. It is more like a status symbol for tree huggers. :FU:

But anyway, congrats on your new purchase. Gotta say I would never buy one of those. When my shaken comes up in a few years I think I will buy a Mazda Attenza or maybe a Premacy or something a bit bigger. Might go to something a bit older even since I have already bought the new car I promised myself I would buy once in my life.

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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by MacGyver » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:26 pm

RalphWiggum wrote:I've had both versions of the Prius and the newer one is far superior in terms of handling, performance and economy (economy is about 25% better). Sadly I have to give mine back on Friday... :(
The one we bought is actually the 2007 model (the 10th anniversary edition model) and the other one we were considering was a 2004 model. I have no doubt newer models are better for many things, including fuel economy. But one always has to way up the improvements against the extra cost. Wife didn't want to spend more than a million yen on a car and this was just over it.

ABs, I know your feelings on cars but personally I couldn't give a toss about cars. Its something to get from A to B so while its nice to have a nice looking car, I am more interested in what it has in the interior to enhance my ride and I was actually really impressed with the tech and layout of this car. I also couldn't give a toss about engines so long as its economical. I'm most definitely not a rev head and I'm hoping my next car (5 to 10 years from now) will be an EV. In fact I think cars are a waste of money and a terrible investment (hence I would never buy a new one unless I had a ton of money to throw away). We only have one now cause the wife had one when we got married and decided to keep it for trips out of town but even then it was really a bit of a luxury. And we'll need one when we move cause where we're going is a car society and we'll use it a lot more, hence I wanted an economical car.
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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by allblacks » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:39 pm

Here's a car I picked up at auction for 100 000 yen!

2006 Nissan Cube Cubic. 90 000 kms. Nice little driving experience and 7 seater!

It is for export and is probably going to NZ.

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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by Edogaijin » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:43 pm

Nice read...
Always interested in how to buy a cheap car...

Have had 4 cars in Japan.
Honda City 10,000 yen.
Honda Acty 40,000
Honda STPwagon (new) Forget how much it cost.
Subaru Forester (new) on special 186man with all the extras 246man. (best car--love driving it) Will be hard to go back to the shitty feel of 'normal' cars after the sporty feel I've become accustomed to. (been 5 years now and have done 82,000km ).

Got my eye on a big Toyota Hiace next. (will be second hand).

Had Aussie mates do car sales to Aus and Kenya. The guy in Kenya did well out of it.

I live a stone's throw from the USS auction site in Noda and would like to go and watch one day... Heaps of Pakistani like guys around there buying and selling...

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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by allblacks » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:22 pm

My twin turbo Legacy was something else mate. I know exactly how you feel.

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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by sirwanksalot » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:19 pm

allblacks wrote:My twin turbo Legacy was something else mate. I know exactly how you feel.
My friend was generous enough to let me drive his a few weeks ago. 6 on the floor but didn't get it into fourth. He was encouraging me to gun it too! Too much fun.

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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:34 pm

2 mates of mine have owned Legacies here. Both loved them. One took his back to Oz. I have a mate who just got a job with Subaru (technically Fuji Heavy Industries). Not sure what he'll be doing though. He's just graduated uni so no doubt shit kicking for a few yrs.
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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:46 pm

So picked up the Prius on Friday and drove it back to Tokyo yesterday. Initial impressions are good. Drove well and having cruise control is nice, although granted is tough to use for long periods here. Harder ride than the Crown, but then considering the Crown is considered a "nice", even "luxury" ride, even though it was 14 years old, no surprises there. Wife commented that cars are now "eletrical appliances" which I thought was a pretty fair comment, cause they increasingly are, in particular cars like this that are loaded with tech. Our old Crown didn't even have a navi tho so compared to that anything is high tech! Was easy to upload phone numbers into the HDD from my phone via Bluetooth and the hands free function on the car works fine, although granted call quality isn't as good as it would be using the phone at your ear. Predictably, with a 1.5l engine, its a little gutless a low speeds but considering where we live, who needs a racing car at low speeds, or frankly at any speed? Have to laugh at dummies driving around in sports cars here.

Taking it up to Fukushima this weekend so will get an even longer ride in it and see how it goes. Would have liked to have started to upload all my CDs in the on-board HDD on the trip, seeing as that is the best time to do something time-consuming and monotonous like that, but the wife has already packed up all my CDs! Dammit! :anger:
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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by sirwanksalot » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:20 pm

I've sat in a Prius before and was pleasantly surprised with the ample leg room. Great tall guy car! Enjoy your new toy.

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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:36 pm

Cheers. Yeah there's no dramas with legroom on either the passenger's or driver's side for me (at 188cm). I believe you can also move the seat vertically as well (from what the owner's manual said) but haven't messed around with that yet. Not sure what its like in the back seat but as a rule, I don't ride in the back of any car! :P :lol:
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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by T.D. » Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:01 am

Allblacks, you ever get any Skylines in that you could export to the US? I've been wondering if it would be possible to bring them here and resell them for a little profit.

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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by allblacks » Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:01 pm

I doubt they would allow you to register them if the were RHD. A long time ago they were letting in Kei trucks. That loophole ended all of a sudden. No real explanation given.

I really wouldnt try that if I were you.

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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by T.D. » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:11 am

Thanks AB.

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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by allblacks » Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:29 pm

Old thread bump. I'm on my third Legacy at the moment. When I got it maybe one year shaken left. Down to a few months right now and have been thinking about either buying another car or getting another full shaken.

My legacy is the STI tuned version and is a pretty rare car. So I'm kinda attached to it and don't really wanna sell it. Having said that, I have my eye on a few cars. The problem is parking. If there was enough space I would have two cars but where I live you only get one parking space! Damn!

Guess I'll have to make a decision fairly soon.

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Re: Buying a car in Japan

Unread post by In The Know » Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:41 pm

allblacks wrote:I'm on my third Legacy at the moment. When I got it maybe one year shaken left.
AB, I've never owned (or driven) a car in Japan. For me, a single guy with no kids, mass transit was just too cheap and efficient. :clap:

Question: is the shaken system merely a money grab of the government or does it serve a useful purpose for society (like real road safety, etc.)? The shaken costs are fucking outrageous as a car gets older, I know. My theory: the government and auto makers have colluded to make it prohibitive to keep and maintain a vehicle (and Japanese cars last forever!) and keep up the shaken. Both the government and auto makers want you to keep buying a new car every 3 years.

If you do keep the Legacy and do another shaken how much will it be? Just curious.

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