While perception usually become a general reality with consumers who apply those beliefs everywhere, regardless if what they believe is always supported by facts, you can’t deny that many Japanese cars have proven over time to be extremely reliable. And not in the 60-day new customer satisfaction survey kind of way, but in the long run.
Those beliefs are usually born from vehicles like Toyota’s fourth-generation Supra from the 1990s, one of the most dependable sports cars ever made, especially in base, non-turbo form with the 2JZ-GE I6 3.0-liter inline-six that was used in a multitude of cars like the Lexus SC300 and IS300.
If those 150,000 mile examples being sold on eBay every once in a while haven’t convinced you about just how well-made Toyota’s last Supra was, then perhaps this white A80 (the coupe’s codename) will; owned by a Dale Thomas from Tennessee, it has covered – wait for it – 520,590 miles or 837,629 kilometers since new on its original engine.
“It has over 520K miles on it, with motor never being touched. Car is dirty, as is, with bugs on front, splatter on sides. Absolutely no rust. Love my Supra!!!,” Thomas told the Hoover Toyota dealership on its social media page where he shared these images of his car.
That’s an impressive feat by any standards, but the fact that the Supra was a sports car back in the day, makes it even more laudable. Granted, unlike the genuinely fast and furious 320hp twin-turbo model, the base atmospheric version’s 220 horses won’t light up the rear tires, but it could still run the 60mph (96km/h) sprint in under 7 seconds, which is totally respectable.
Yes, the vaunted Japanese dependability might not hold true every single time, but it’s not an unsubstantiated urban myth either; as with other praiseworthy qualities in the automotive industry, from styling to handling and technology, you just have to apply them to specific eras, brands and/or models avoiding generalizations.
Photos Dale Thomas via Hoover Toyota