American vs European vs Japanese cars: which do you pick?

The competition between the American, European and Japanese automotive industries has been happening for the last hundred years. If you find very ardent fans and listen to their discussions, it will be similar to a debate between presidential candidates from the Republicans and Democrats.

In the era of globalization, it is tough to find the differences between all three types of vehicles. Especially, when your competitors take your technical achievements of the past and improve upon them. Even so, this allows the automotive industry to move forward. Moreover, it pushes them to develop new types of engines and make their cars more economical.

Also, keep in mind that we are near a future where vehicles will begin to take you to the right place without interaction. So, during the trip, you can scroll through your feed on Twitter or Facebook or check your business reports before the beginning of the working day.

Wait a minute! We digressed a little bit from the topic. So, what is the actual difference between three different approaches to the creation of cars? Which is better? We won’t have a competition between them today. Instead, will try to understand what every type of car can give its owner. We have identified seven categories that are relevant to current customers. In each of them, we write out the pros and cons of American, European and Japanese cars.

man designing a car


  • American: For Americans, the design of the vehicle does not play such an important role as for the Europeans. For the Yankees, the most important thing is what is hidden under the hood of the car. Americans are in love with cars from the 1960 and 1970. Today American car manufacturers try not to deviate from the design of their old vehicles, only upgrading some parts from time to time.
  • European: When we talk about European cars, we are talking about beautiful cars. Competitors in this aspect are far behind. Automotive manufacturers from the Old World don’t often change the design of their cars. Instead, they are always experimenting, which sometimes results in unusual looking vehicles.
  • Japanese: The approach of the Japanese is more conservative. They don’t like to change the look of their cars very often, instead preferring to upgrade the visual appearance as little as possible. However, Japanese design is recognizable around the world. Every new model embeds a level of attention no less than Europeans do and their design won’t be outdated anytime soon.

quality assurance


  • American: U. S. markets are aimed at creating more straightforward and more durable cars than their competitors. However, the emphasis again is on the technical part of the car rather than visual appearance. Sometimes it is reflected in the appalling quality of the paint or interior of the vehicle.
  • European: For the automotive manufacturers from Germany, Italy and other European countries, quality matters in everything, starting from the chassis to the side mirrors. However, there is one significant disadvantage here – the cost of the car will be several times higher than the competition.
  • Japanese: These car manufacturers once again go in separate ways, different from the others. They rely on the reliability of each individual part of the vehicle, making them virtually indestructible. The quality is not inferior to European cars on almost all counts.

man filling up the tank


  • American: This is clearly not the strongest aspect of American cars at the moment. Although Tesla has already started to change the situation on the market. If we talk about petrol engines, they are inferior in this component of European and Japanese cars. They obviously need to think about investing in more fuel-efficient vehicles in the coming years.
  • European: The Europeans are not the first who began to build fuel-efficient engines, but they were able to achieve notable successes in the last decade. Now they have successfully tested new types of engines that save fuel without loss of power. However, they are still not at the level of the Japanese.
  • Japanese: After the oil crisis in 1973 began, so did a production of small, but very fuel-efficient engines. Today, Japanese car manufacturers are leaders on this indicator. Many vehicles were initially developed for use in urban areas and with reduced fuel consumption.

car in black night


  • American: Power, power and more power. Nothing is more important to Americans than the amount of horsepower in their car. These vehicles are designed for real fans of drag racing and driving on highways. No one else can deliver the same experience as an American muscle car.
  • European: These cars are not far behind regarding power, but they uniformly prefer to pay attention to the different components. This gives us the opportunity to drive a powerful and very responsive car. It’s comfortable to ride on almost any surface starting from an urban area to race track.
  • Japanese: Unlike its competitors, the Japanese believe that driving pleasure comes first. So, they are trying to make their cars extremely responsive and pleasant to drive. Even racing cars from the Land of the Rising Sun we can characterize with the same words.

car breakdown


  • American: Unfortunately, we can’t return to the past when American cars were able to drive 500 thousand kilometres without severe breakdowns. Today we need to admit that these vehicles are not as reliable as we want. After a decade, the car can simply become a piece of scrap metal.
  • European: Modern trends have come to Europe in recent years, where the life cycle of vehicles continues to fall with each passing year. This is mainly due to the need to sell more of them each year. However, these cars will live a little bit longer than the Americans.
  • Japanese: The Japanese put the reliability of the car at the head of everything. These vehicles will be able to serve their owners for decades and then become a gift to their children as a first car. Thus, this type will suit best those who don’t want to spend a lot of time at service stations.

two cars crash


  • American: American car manufacturers in the last few decades are paying close attention to safety. Their cars can offer everything you need in basic configuration, but you need to pay extra for more safety features and I am not sure that it will be very appreciated by the customers who want more for less.
  • European: Many manufacturers in Europe really put safety first, but only some of them, like the Volvo, get splendid performance. So you should be careful with the choice of the brand of your car because the difference can be significant.
  • Japanese: In Japan, safety plays a crucial role. Car manufacturers are trying to maximize the usage of its resources and funds to provide the highest protection level for drivers and passengers. It is Japan that dictates new safety trends in the automotive world.

man paying for car


  • American: Among an extensive selection, you can find vehicles that can be purchased at a reasonable price. Although, the market is mainly dominated by mid-priced cars in America.
  • European: Europeans have always differed from the competition not for the better if we are talking about the price. Their machines are expensive, but the quality matches the price. The primary focus in the market is on mid-priced cars and luxury models (Ferrari, Porsche, etc.)
  • Japanese: In Japan, manufacturers are trying to make cars for everybody. They have a lot of models in the low price segment, which still is not inferior in quality to competitors. These machines are real workhorses, which more than pays for itself within a few years.

After reading this article for many, it may seem that we took a specific region’s side. Yet, the final choice when buying a car should only depend on the personal preferences of the customer.

Some people prefer powerful and fast cars while others are ready to abandon power for comfort and convenience. For some, safety comes first, but for others it’s reliability. There is no right or wrong option. However, we should not abandon other options because of personal bias.

If you have any difficulties with the financing aspect for your new vehicle, we at CarLoans411 will always be happy to help you even if you have bad credit.

Have fun shopping and driving your new car!

By | 2017-08-10T00:38:30+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Lists, The411|

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