Thoughts on buying a Japanese import as a reliable, economic, runaround car

ivorystraws

Registered User
Messages
476
Hi All,
I wanted to get some independent opinions from people with a lot more expertise than me.
We're looking to buy a second car as a runaround. Our budget is around 10k - 11k and we're looking at Japanese imports as they seem to be in excellent condition, have a great spec, low mileage and are quite clean.
We've visited a few dealers so far and have trawled the web to narrow down our ideal options. it's looking like the following would suit our needs:
  1. 2014 Honda Fit (73K miles) - 1.5L Petrol hybrid Automatic (5 door Hatchback) with 2 year NCT and 6 month warranty.
  2. 2014 Toyota Prius L Edition (69K miles) - 1.5L Petrol Hybrid Automatic (5 door Hatchback) with 2 year NCT and 6 month warranty.
  3. 2016 Toyota Aqua DAA-NHP10 (80K miles) - 1.5L Petrol Hybrid Automatic (5 door Hatchback) with 2 year NCT and 6 month warranty.

I was told that the Honda Fit is the name they give to the 'Honda Jazz' in Japan. I'm not sure what the 'Toyota Aqua' is. Anyone any experience of these?
We don't want the car to be too big.... we're looking for something the size of a Toyota Auris.
We have two young children (under 5) so safety and isofix is an important part of the spec. Has anyone any experience of these types of cars, how reliable they are, what I should be aware of any any questions I need to ask the dealer?

Any helpful feedback is welcome. Thanks in advance.
 

DazedInPontoon

Registered User
Messages
291
Be careful in terms of safety. Some Japanese cars don't have immobilisers which makes them very easy to hotwire. This leads to joyriders specifically targeting them. Even if you get something like an Aqua and it has an immobiliser or you fit one to it, they might still break into it assuming it won't have one.
 

roker

Registered User
Messages
1,929
A friend of mine bought Japanese import from a dealer in little Island, Cork.
A Honda Stream, the dealer did the necessary things like changing the radio tuner
 

ivorystraws

Registered User
Messages
476
Be careful in terms of safety. Some Japanese cars don't have immobilisers which makes them very easy to hotwire. This leads to joyriders specifically targeting them. Even if you get something like an Aqua and it has an immobiliser or you fit one to it, they might still break into it assuming it won't have one.
Actually, one of the dealers did mention this to us. Most of the specs I've seen advertised do have immobilisers included but that's good to bear in mind, thanks.
 

ivorystraws

Registered User
Messages
476
A friend of mine bought Japanese import from a dealer in little Island, Cork.
A Honda Stream, the dealer did the necessary things like changing the radio tuner
Another good point, I don't want to assume that all the digital settings would be updated by the dealer automatically so best to confirm, thanks.
 
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