Different people are attracted to specific types of cars: both German and Japanese cars have a huge fan base. Both countries produce machines that meet their high quality standards, with carefully thought-out performance characteristics and a range of effective special tools to best unleash the talents of each piece. If you are thinking about which car to buy, then both German and Japanese brands have advantages.
Which is better - German engineering or Japanese engineering? Both have been leading the auto industry for decades. They have different target markets, but there is endless debate among adherents about whose cars are more solid.
German car brands versus Japanese
German manufacturers are renowned for their attention to detail, performance and precision, while Japanese manufacturers are renowned for their affordable prices and rugged units. History aside, has advanced technology, market share, and time changed anything about the opposition? To determine who will be at the top, we compared a number of important factors.
1. Unit cost
It just so happened that Japanese cars are cheaper than prestigious "Germans". Part of the reason has to do with the underlying “big economies of scale”. Japan, according to the UN (economic rating 2020-2021), is the third largest economy in the world after the United States and China. The ability to sell their goods cheaper in the local market gives its automakers an edge. There, the population changes vehicles faster, selling old ones cheaply.
The Germans have been assembling cars longer than anyone else. They have also dominated racing history by offering engines that push their limits. German brands do not just strive for strength, but for its relevance and authenticity.
For example, BMW is known to design every car with a 50:50 weight ratio - that's attention to detail. Germany prioritizes craftsmanship and technology, and when its engineers get to work, the results are exceptional. “The car is for the driver” and “Best or Nothing” are just a few slogans describing their philosophy of arrogance with a specific purpose.
It is believed that Japanese cars last longer than others. To be honest, this is a myth. The service life ends when the cost of repairing the vehicle exceeds its market value.
German brands are high-tech, their machines require specialized service, quality parts and tools, which inevitably increases the cost of ownership and leads to early decline. Any automotive expert will attest that Mercedes-Benz Field Guides are works of art, incomparable in detail with Toyota's instructions.
"Japanese" are more durable, since they are made simpler, they do not have fatal flaws or mass recalls due to problems with the gearbox and suspension, failures in electronics and sensors, like German brands.
German brands often outperform Japanese brands in performance. They prioritize power and luxury, while the Japanese thrive on sales, reliability and affordability.
German cars are well-engineered, stunning performance and high-tech features - take a look at the Porsche Carrera GT, Audi R8, Mercedes SLR McLaren and BMW M3 - peerless production sportsmen.
The notion that Japan makes more boring vehicles is true in many ways, but they also know how to build awesome sports cars. Among them Lexus LFA and Mitsubishi Evolution - on the list of their talents and speed, and sharp design, and precise handling, giving an immersive driving experience.
5. Safety ratings
Dealers joke, "If people ever drive a German car, they'll want to buy it." There is logic in this. But what about security?
Both German and Japanese cars dominate the ratings of IIHS, NHTSA, Euro NCAP, ANCAP, etc. For example, at the 2019 IIHS awards ceremony, Korean and Japanese models dominated most categories, along with German brands BMW, Mercedes and Audi.
The large SUV category was generally purely German territory - the 2019 Audi e-Tron and Audi Q8 took over all the seats. Many commentators said that the German rivals earned medals only because of the huge number of nominations covered by the applications.
6. Driving experience
The German units are unconditionally superior to the Japanese when it comes to driving experience. Their cars are great on the city road and much more fun on the highway. The reason is one - their target audience strives for an exciting experience and luxury, and not just for banal movements between points A and B.
German manufacturers are constantly pushing the boundaries when it comes to automotive design and high-tech innovation. Great emphasis is placed on performance, ride quality and luxury. Driving an Audi, Mercedes, BMW and Corolla, Lexus or Miata are different poles. It is important to note that if the car runs smoother, it is not always superiority.
7. Maintenance and repair costs
Japanese car manufacturers are volume-driven and often strive to build vehicles to meet market demand. They place less emphasis on sophisticated design as their target consumer is primarily looking for affordable prices. It is for this reason that Japanese cars occupy more than 35% of the American market - the largest in terms of sales and the number of brands / models to choose from.
On the other hand, German cars are synonymous with power, strength and wealth, not affordability. Inside and under the bonnet of a prestigious Merce or Porsche, you'll find details that are unlikely to be seen anywhere else. It's inspiring, but when it comes to maintenance, owners have to look for specialized services, and the German price lists are much higher than Japanese ones.
Japanese cars have a reputation for being extremely hardy. You can chase them "in the tail and in the mane" - they are made to endure blows, get up and run on. This is partly due to the special processing technique - a number of improvements before launching on a specific market.
Most manufacturers publish several versions of their models, adjusting the line to the needs and budget of buyers, while the Japanese spend more time adjusting to the operating conditions in a particular region. As for German brands, their cars are not worse than any global competitors in terms of reliability, but Japanese ones are almost always ahead.
"Germans", despite first-class materials and masterful assembly with meticulous fit of every detail, fail more often. Not because they were wrongly designed, but because the Germans love rules. They strictly follow them and naively expect that others will also comply with them.
The Japanese, when they develop a product, ask themselves the question - how will their customers use it and what can they, as manufacturers, do to prevent the breakdown of their products? This makes their cars special. When you debate about Japanese cars, you may come across all sorts of unpleasant opinions - but not with the claim that Japanese technology is unreliable.
9. Aesthetics and design
There is a simple reason why the "Germans" are significantly more expensive than their Japanese counterparts - their creators take significant measures to ensure that they meet the highest standards of quality, comfort and beauty. Many of the most sought-after German models, including Porsche, BMW and Audi, are equally powerful and luxurious. Observers define their appearance as sleek, shiny, elegant, expensive, dynamic and insanely attractive.
Japanese cars also often embody similar characteristics. However, part of their philosophy is minimalist style, which significantly influences aesthetics, style and design. It's hard to imagine a Japanese car driving a crowd in Miami or Vegas - unless, of course, it has some eccentric tuning. German cars, on the other hand, do not need a parade props to arouse admiration and attract selfie lovers.
10. Value for money
More than 30 years ago, Japanese car brands taught the rest of the world to create simplified models that last long and rarely break. Since then, many global automakers have been trying to catch up with them.
If you are looking for the best value for money without particularly high performance or driving pleasure, explore Japanese brands. They continue to receive prizes for their reliable and trouble-free devices, their products are reasonably priced and have a robust design that is much easier to repair than their German counterparts. There are many positive factors, but inexpensive spare parts and the rarity of serious breakdowns will convince anyone.
Comfort is on the other side of the scale. The Japanese love the compact and simplified tools for moving from point A to point B. Few people care about things like legroom, massage chairs and expensive accessories - they prefer functionality to excessive luxury. For those who like to stretch out and relax, the German versions will certainly seem more adequate. The final decision comes down to what is closer to you - utility or sophistication.
Apparently, it is premium German and Japanese models that can become a target for car thieves who can take possession of a car. hacker methods.