10 JDM Cars That You Can Legally Import In 2024 - SUV VEHICLE

10 JDM Cars That You Can Legally Import In 2024


America has seen a shift in tides with some iconic Japanese cars flooding the market. This is because many of these cars have finished waiting their time under the 25-year import rule, making them legal in the U.S. Many people’s dream cars and childhood favorites are now arriving in the States, which raises the question: What are the top ten JDM cars that you can get right now?

If you’re new to the culture of Japanese sports cars, JDM stands for Japanese Domestic Market. The term’s definition has changed over time, making it a bit confusing and somewhat of a rabbit hole. To cut to the chase, many people in the car community agree that it must be sold in Japan or be a Japanese spec to be a true JDM car. So, no, the left-hand drive Supra sold in the States doesn’t qualify. Which if you didn’t know already, all the cars on the list will come in right-hand drive. Nonetheless, the time is here; the cars have touched American soil, and we are done waiting.

In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from various manufacturer websites and other authoritative sources, including Car And Driver, Hagerty, and Classic.com.

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10 Nissan Stagea 260RS Autech

The Wagon GTR With A Backpack

1998 Nissan Stagea 260 RS Autech finished in Sonic Silver.
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You might be wondering why the Stagea looks familiar. That’s because the front end resembles an R34 GT-R but actually shares most of the R33 skyline platform. For starters, this list isn’t going to be a budget-friendly list. There are going to be cheaper models, but you simply can’t look past a specific trim that has the undercarriage of an R33 GT-R.

Model Highlights

  • Upgraded Brembo brakes, limited slip differential, upgraded suspension, and 17″ BBS wheels.
  • Roughly 1,700 260RSs were made.
  • Unlike the base models, Autech put their own badging on the car due to their unique side skirts, front bumper, and rear spoiler.
  • The last 260RS sold on Bring A Trailer sold for $30,260. The average price is roughly $35,000.
  • Capable of going 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds.

Who doesn’t love a fast wagon? The 260RS came packed with the infamous RB26DETT, a 2.6-liter twin-turbo inline-six engine paired with a 5-speed manual. That’s some serious heat for a Japanese wagon. Auto manufacturers in the 1990s were known to downplay their sports cars’ specifications, especially when it came to power. The RB26 engine is said to have 276 horsepower in its stock version, but it feels like it produces more. Nissan and Autech missed one area when it came to developing the 260RS, and that was not calling it the Stagea GT-R.

9 Subaru Impreza 22B STi

The Needle Within The Haystack

A 1998 Subaru 22B STi painted in rally blue.
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Sure, the Impreza 22B doesn’t exactly come to mind when you think of the top 10 JDM cars to import, but there’s a reason for that. A total of 424 units were produced during a five-month production run, making it one of the most rare Subarus. With the majority being sold in Japan, it wasn’t easy for Americans to keep this car on their radar.

Model Highlights

  • Standard features include 17″ BBS Wheels, 5-speed transmission, and Bilstein Suspension.
  • There are water injectors, controlled by a switch in the cabin, to cool the intercooler down when driving the car hard.
  • The 22B came stock with an electronic locking center differential. The rear wheels received 65 percent of the torque, but switching it to lock mode would give both axles 50 percent of the engine’s torque.
  • Rally Blue Pearl was the only paint produced on the car.
  • Packed with a twin-plate ceramic-and-metal clutch, ideal for heat resistance.

The Subaru Impreza 22B was a commemorative car to celebrate Subaru’s third consecutive title in the FIA World Rally Championship. Under the hood, a 2.2-liter turbocharged engine produced 276 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Unlike the base Impreza, the 22B received a wider body to match the aesthetic of a Subaru rally car. If you’re still not sold on the importance of the 22B, take Doug DeMuro’s word when claiming the 22B is the most iconic Subaru of all time. That being said, they rarely pop up for sale in Japan and come with an astounding $215,000 price tag.

8 Toyota Chaser JZX100

Four-Door Sleeper That Loves Getting Sideways

A parked 1997 Toyota Chaser Tourer
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If you’re not into drifting or blind-sighted with the other JDM cars, then you might’ve missed the Chaser JZX100. Toyota built this sleeper of a car, and is widely prolific within the drifting community for three reasons. The Chaser is affordable, has an abundance of aftermarket parts, and comes packed with the 1JZ-GTE.

Model Highlights

  • A stock JZX100 weighs 3,086 pounds, which is impressive for a sedan.
  • The interior resembles a Lexus ES sedan of the same year. Although the Chaser packs some heat, the interior does the opposite with a design focused on comfort.
  • First Chaser with variable valve timing which creates more torque at low and high RPMs.
  • It’s a solid, reliable platform to get your foot in the door of drifting.
  • The Chaser is amazing in its stock form. Many upgrades can be made with its stock parts and be race-ready.

The 1JZ-GTE in the Chaser was the single-cam version of the 2JZ-GTE, but without spoiling too much, we’ll get to that engine in a minute. The engine alone is one of the most sought-after engines for drifting or car builds because of its potential to upgrade and boost. Even though the Chaser looks like a boat with wheels, it surprisingly handles very well when going side to side. It is common to see these cars drifting on YouTube channels such as Adam LZ. Unlike most of the cars on the list, the Chaser averages around $25,000, which won’t put a huge dent in your pocket.

An Overlooked JDM Sports Car That Can Finally Be Imported Into The United States

Turning 25 this year, the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VI can now be legally imported into the U.S., and here’s why this JDM icon is worth every penny

7 Honda NSX

The Classiest Car On The List

1990 Honda NSX

For some, putting the NSX in the middle of the list might seem like a crime, but everyone can agree that it belongs in the top 10. No other car on the list was developed with the help of the F1 legend and champion Ayton Senna.

Model Highlights

  • The NSX is the only car on the list with a mid-engine.
  • Honda focused on more than just performance when building the NSX. The team built the car to be a reliable daily driver.
  • It was the first of its kind, building a car made primarily of aluminum.
  • Extensive testing at the Nürburgring helped develop the car around a rigid chassis.
  • The average price for a 1991-2005 Honda NSX is $89,579.
  • The Acura NSX was the U.S. spec NSX.

The NSX has a great story with Honda developing a car based on the Ferrari 328. Aspects such as performance and luxury were the main concerns when building this ’90s icon. The NSX came with two engines – the C30A 3.0-liter v6 without VTEC and the C32B 3.2-liter V6 with VTEC. The 290 horsepower and 224 pound-feet of torque might seem low, but when you take into account the development of its power-to-weight ratio, you’ll see why the Honda NSX was built light. Honda’s revolutionized design was achieved through a lightweight aluminum body, which can be seen in modern performance cars such as the Tesla Model S and Audi R8. When looking at the history, the sheer amount of dedication, trial and error, and research is apparent in the Honda NSX.

6 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI

The Evo Everyone’s Been Waiting For

dark-red 1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 6
Shadman Samee / Flickr.com

The Mitsubishi EVO VI is one of the top three anticipated cars you can legally import in 2024. Mitsubishi Evolutions is centered around the sport of rallying and formed a famous rivalry against the Subarus Impreza STIs in the World Rally Championship. Without getting into too much detail, the EVO VI was the car that reached the climatic point against its competitor, Subaru.

Model Highlights

  • The Evo VI received a new ECU, a larger intercooler, and newly designed taillights.
  • The FIA had rules over homologation for producing 2,500 units to be sold to the general public when racing in the WRC. This is the last pure homologation of Mitsubishi’s Evo.
  • The Evolution VI had a desirable trim called the Tommi Mäkinen Edition. Considered the most collectible Evo with exclusive features and a lightweight design.
  • The rally-bred sedan continues to show its strengths in racing events such as autocross, rallying, and time attack.
  • In its base form, the Evo VI weighed 2,778 pounds, and fully loaded, it weighed 2,998 pounds.

Similar to its predecessors, the sixth-generation EVO was never sold in the States. The Evo VI entails the legacy of Mitsubishi’s win in the 1999 Group A World Rally Championship. All Lancer EVO generations besides the tenth shared the same 4G63T engine. This 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four produced 276 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. With the car being produced from 1999 to 2001, the 1999 models will be available to be imported this year. It won’t take long for one to sell when it pops up due to it being one of the most sought-after EVOs of all time.

5 Mazda RX-7 FD

Brap Brap Brap

Front 3/4 of a Mazda RX-7

Well, there wouldn’t be a JDM list without the RX-7. It is seen as one of the top three cars to represent 90s Japanese car culture. Surprisingly, most of the cars on the list come with a great history lesson, and the RX-7 FD is one of them, displaying Mazda’s development and ambition.

Model Highlights

  • The RX-7 came in many trims, some of which were more desirable: the Type RZ, Type R, Type R-II Bathurst, and Spirit R.
  • An average price of $50,000.
  • When it comes to being reliable, it’s the BMW of Japan. Instead of replacing your rod bearings, the apex seals are the issue that might kill compression within the engine.
  • Another car on the list made famous for its appearance in the Fast and Furious franchise.
  • Showcases Mazda’s decades of research into rotary engine technologies.
  • The 1.3-liter twin-turbo rotary engine produced 255 horsepower and 217 pound-feet of torque.

Without going into too much detail about Mazda’s history, the RX-7 illustrates the hard work put into building this unique sports car. Mazda decided to import RX-7s to the States but held onto some of their other variants. America had a two-year gap in production, while Japan produced the RX-7 FD from 1991 to 2002. By now, you probably think this article is about Japanese engines.

You’re right in a sense, because you simply can’t skip over some of these legendary platforms. To save you some time, the Wankel rotary engine was like no other engine listed. Although it doesn’t receive praise like its cousins, it can’t be ignored that Mazda created a JDM icon with a timeless silhouette. You might’ve seen some U.S. spec versions on the road, but get ready for a wider variety of RX-7s to enter the market.

The 20 Most Important Classic Japanese Cars

As some of the most significant models of all time, find out how the following classic cars laid the seeds of Japanese car culture around the world.

4 Nissan R32 GT-R

The Car That Kick-Started Nissan’s Racing Legacy

A 1994 Nissan R32 GTR V-Spec ii painted in Black Pearl.
Top Speed

The R32 GT-R was a game changer back in 2014 when it was finally legal to be imported into the States. The legendary RB26DETT was making its way over to America, and R32 Skyline prices began to rise. Compared to the other cars on the list, the R32 has gone down in price recently and remains steady, with the help of the R34 GT-R stealing the attention.

Model Highlights

  • The R23 GT-R, along with the 33 and 34, had the HICAS system providing the rear wheels to steer at certain speeds and angles. This was done through speed sensors and computers.
  • The average price of a R32 GT-R is $51,690.
  • A standard 5-speed transmission and all-wheel drive drivetrain.
  • Back in 1989, the R32 GT-R set a lap time of 8:22:38 at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
  • Nissan developed two trims around their success in racing and are the more desirable models; the V-Spec and V-Spec ii.

Here’s the car that brought the word “iconic” to GT-Rs. The good thing about the R32 is that it had a higher production rate of more than 40,000 units, putting it at a different price point from that of its siblings. You might’ve heard people calling the GT-Rs “Godzilla,” but the car that started it all was the R32 GT-R.

Going back into history, Nissan made headway while competing in the FIA Group A Racing. Nissan also dominated its competition in the Japanese Touring Championship by winning all of its 29 races. Over two years, these feats have coined the iconic nickname ‘Godzilla’ for future generations. If the legacy didn’t sell you on this Nissan Skyline, the performance and looks may persuade you better.

Here’s a more in-depth look at the history of the “Godzilla” R32 GT-R

3 Nissan Silvia S15

The Last Of Its Generation

White Nissan Silvia S15
Chawapon Wongchuen via Shutterstock

The Nissan Silvia’s are some of the first cars you think of when you look back on Japanese sports cars. There’s a solid reason for that through its powertrain, aesthetically pleasing exterior, and affordability. Well, the time has come, and the wait is finally over for the S15 to come stateside.

Model Highlights

  • Base models came with a 5-speed manual, a 4-speed automatic was available for the Spec-S and Spec-R trims, and turbocharged models received the six-speed manual.
  • A wide array of aftermarket parts available for the S15 are still being produced today.
  • The S15 is one of the most recognized chassis in the drifting community.
  • Only three trim levels were available: Spec-S, Spec-R, and the special edition Autech Version.
  • It’s the only model on the list that came in a convertible. Dubbed the Silvia Varrietta, around 1,100 were produced.

You might’ve seen the S15 in video games, like Forza Horizon, or movies like Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. The Silvia S15 was produced in 1999-2002, making the first batch of cars ready to be shipped to America. Under the hood of the S15 was the highly praised 2.0-liter, straight-four SR20. There were two versions, one being naturally aspirated and the other being turbocharged.

The turbo version produced 247 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque. Although there aren’t many characteristics of the S15’s exterior with its minimalistic design, it somehow managed to age beautifully. It is the last of its kind in the Silvia lineup and will continue its legacy of experiencing a new set of land to drive on.

2 Toyota Supra Mk. IV


A Silver 1993 Toyota Supra MK 4
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It was clear that the Supra would be a top contender on the list. With the help of Toyota, gracing us with the Supra 30 years ago, it didn’t take long for Americans to see how great of a car it was.

Model Highlights

  • The stock 3.0-liter inline-six 2JZ-GE produces 220 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque, while the stock 2JZ-GTE produces 267 horsepower and 318 pound-feet of torque.
  • The cast iron block is one of the main reasons the 2JZ can take on absurd amounts of power.
  • Although the Supra Mk. IV was discontinued in America by 1998, Toyota continued making models in Japan until 2002, adding more options, features, and trims.
  • A reliable engine that can be easily modified and nearly double its power on stock internals.
  • Most base Supras were paired with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic, but the twin-turbo 2JZ came fit with a 6-speed transmission.

You saw the 2JZ was coming when discussing the Chaser, and you won’t be disappointed. The Supra came with two engine variants: a naturally aspirated 2JZ-GE and a turbocharged 2JZ-GTE. They share some of the same components, but the engine you’ll want is the turbo version. Without going into too much detail about the beast of an engine, just know there’s a reason it’s one of the most legendary tunable platforms.

For the exterior, the front end showcased an aggressive bumper, and the rear displayed its aesthetically pleasing taillights. Somehow, Toyota hit the mark when creating a unique body for the Supra to match its capabilities. If you want a car that attracts countless people’s attention, then the Supra is the perfect car to buy.

JDM Icon: A True Hidden Gem Of 1990s

Despite its competent performance and technology, find out why the 3000GT is overshadowed by other Japanese sports cars of the 90s

1 Nissan R34 GT-R

The King Of JDM Has Arrived

Blue R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R
WildSnap via Stutterstock

Of course, the R34 GT-R was saved for last. The R34 marks the end of the golden era of Japanese 90s sports cars. Some say you should always go out with a bang, and that’s what Nissan did when building its last Skyline GT-R.

Model Highlights

  • Shared the same powertrain as the R32 and R33, but a six-speed manual came standard instead of a 5-speed manual.
  • Only Skyline with a 5.8-inch LCD dash display. The display gave readings on oil temps, lap times, and more.
  • The R34 had two past generations to help its development be centered on being light, responsive, and fast. Nissan was able to find the faults in prior generations and make it better on the R34.
  • The R34 GT-R came in several exterior colors, but the three most desired are Millenium Jade, Bayside Blue, and Midnight Purple.
  • While the rear wheels could have 2:98 power, a computer within the car could signal to apply more power to the front, which had a max of 50:50 power split.
  • Seen as the ultimate JDM car.

It’s no surprise that Nissan decided to revamp the RB26DETT along the way. The R34 GT-R received changes, like a new transmission and reworked differential gearing. The interior also received some attention, but you’re not buying this car for the interior; you’re buying one for the looks. The market for this Skyline isn’t looking too great, with an average of $135,175 and reaching upwards of $675,000 for certain trims and features.

One of the biggest reasons the R34 received so much recognition was from Paul Walker and his role in the Fast and Furious movie franchise. After waiting roughly 20 years, the first production years are legal to import. The R34 had big shoes to fill with its older siblings, but it’s safe to assume it carried on the legacy of Japanese domestics.

Honorable Mentions: R33 GT-R, 180SX, RX-7 FC, S2000, Sprinter Trueno AE86, Integra Type R, 240Z Fairlady, 2000GT, and the Skyline 2000GT-R.


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