New JDM Cars Recommended By Consumer Reports

JDM cars are known for their economy and dependability. This makes them a popular choice in any market. 2021 offers a wide range of top-performing Japanese vehicles. Which upcoming models earned a Consumer Reports recommendation?

rows of JDM cars awaiting import
Rows of JDM cars |Getty Images

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A legend among JDM cars

Consumer Reports gave the 2021 Civic an overall rating of 74. This grown-up version of the legendary sedan performed well in road testing. Reviewers noted that the base model gave a smooth ride. Higher trim levels were mentioned as being worth the cost. There’s no wrong choice with this solid sedan.

This sedan’s CVT does tend to whine during hard acceleration, an issue that the pricier turbocharged option avoids. Civic drivers enjoy a lower cost of maintenance, racking up about half of the typical annual repair bill for a compact car.

Continuing a proud legacy

A black 2021 Subaru Legacy crossover
2021 Subaru Legacy | Subaru

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Consumer Reports loves the 2021 Subaru Legacy. The organization awarded the 2021 Legacy an overall score of 84. This earned the sedan a coveted recommendation. Test drivers specifically complimented the Legacies smooth ride.

Engine noise was cited as a pain point; however, upgrading to the turbocharged engine will illuminate this issue. Reviewers also found that some of the Legacies’ controls were a little cumbersome to use. Overall the comfortable ride, well-appointed cabin, and ample trunk space impressed.

An exciting hybrid

Honda designed the Insight with much inspiration taken from the Civic. The hybrid’s best feature is its remarkable gas mileage. Consumer Reports measured 54 mpg. Much like the Honda Civic, Insight owners save big on maintenance and repair costs.

It’s not just Consumer Reports who love this compact hybrid. Multiple organizations have given the Honda Insight rave reviews. JD Power and Associates, as well as Edmonds, both give the 2021 Honda Insight top marks. Testers love its quick acceleration, fantastic fuel economy, and roomy interior. It’s an all-around crowd-pleaser.

A much-appreciated redesign

A red 2021 Nissan Sentra sedan

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Consumer Reports calls this the best Nissan Sentra they have ever tested. The 2021 redesign obviously landed with the organization. With an overall combined fuel economy of 32 miles per gallon, the Nissan Sentra earned Consumer Reports green choice classification. Owner satisfaction ratings had been dismal for this model in previous years. The 2021 seeks to turn that around.

The 2021 Sentra is lower and has an improved rear suspension. Both of these changes are apparent in stride and handling. Consumer Reports calls this hybrid enjoyable to drive. The interior was touted as upscale among competitors. The upper trim levels, in particular, give this car a luxury feel.

Luxury feel at a great price

The 2021 Subaru Impreza impressed Consumer Reports reviewers with its high-end feel. With prices starting just under $19,000, the 2021 Subaru Imprezas’ interior’s luxurious feel is a welcome surprise. Comfortable ride, ease-of-use, and the spacious cabin were all cited as features that made the new Impreza feel expensive.

The Imprezas’ fuel economy, a combined 30 miles per gallon overall, gives it an edge over some comparable models. Each trim package received high marks. Consumer Reports calls any upgrade to the Impreza worth the added cost. All-wheel-drive, optional, EYESIGHT safety features and a versatile hatchback version were all cited as worth the investment.