These JDM cars used to be cheap, but only the rich can afford them now

JDM the cars have a cult following behind them, and for this reason they are highly sought after in the used car market. In light of the world’s current financial situation, used car prices are at an all-time high, and that’s not ruling out JDM sports cars either.

Used JDM sports cars used to be the go-to option for those looking for an affordable yet fun vehicle, but the range of options is narrowing by the day. Today we are going to talk about some Japanese-made cars that you might have bought for scrap, but are worth ungodly sums of money today.

ten Toyota Supra (MKIV)

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few years, the Mark 4 Toyota Supra will be on this list with no surprise to you, as well-maintained turbocharged models sell for over $250,000 these days.

The Mark 4 Supra itself is definitely overrated; they don’t produce 1,000 hp from the factory and will lose to almost any modern sports car, but there are more than numbers. The Supra is a tuner icon, and one of the main reasons gearheads fell in love with cars in the first place… after all, it was driven by the legendary Paul Walker in the first Fast and Furious movie.

Related: JDM Legend: A Look Back at the Incredible 1993 MKIV Toyota Supra 2JZ

9 Acura Integra Type-R

The legendary Acura badge was revived in 2022, but it doesn’t quite revive the same obnoxious personality as the original Integra. The third-generation Acura Integra Type-R was and still is a driver’s car, and that’s exactly why you don’t see many low-mileage examples.

Just a few years ago, these four-cylinder, turbocharged, front-drive sports cars could be had for around $20,000, but today you can’t find one for less than $20,000. This is one of the most outrageous actions we’ve ever seen; on Bring a Trailer, this 2000 Acura Integra Type R with just 7,000 miles on the odometer fetched $112,112—we’d say it’s still worth the big bucks.

Related: Why you should get your hands on an Integra Type R

8 Acura NSX (first generation)

The Integra was Acura’s little pocket rocket, and on the other end of the spectrum was the NSX, Acura’s supercar. Until 2021, the Acura NSX was one of the most affordable supercars money could buy, but unfortunately, like all good things are, they don’t last forever.

As of this writing, if you want to pick up one of these amazingly balanced supercars, you’ll need to shell out at least $50,000. If you want one with around 50,000 miles and relatively unmodified, you’ll have to spend upwards of $80,000 – and on the face of it, these NSX models aren’t going to lose their value anytime soon.

seven Subaru WRX STI (bug eye)

With the discontinuation of the WRX STI, all STs increase in value, but none increase as much as the Bug Eye generation. These Bug Eye STIs were produced between 2000 and 2002, and if you know the Subie world, you know that the average Subie owner likes to modify them.

Therefore, an average Bug Eye STI won’t necessarily be ridiculously expensive, but if you’re looking for one that hasn’t been ruined yet, it becomes a challenge. They’ve only been in production for 2 years, so even finding one for sale is tough, but don’t expect to pay less than $15,000 if you find one without a hitch.

6 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4

The Mitsubishi 3000GT was way ahead of its time, especially the VR-4 trim level. It featured variable exhaust, active aerodynamics, all-wheel drive, and a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine that produced 320 hp and 314 lb-ft of torque.

For a very long time the VR-4 was the most affordable part of the JDM line you could buy but in recent years their value has skyrocketed so instead of being able to buy a well maintained one for around 20,000 $, you paid at least $35,000 today.

Related: A Detailed Look at the Mitsubishi 3000GT

5 Honda S2000

There are several reasons for the escalating price of the Honda S2000. It comes with a naturally aspirated 2.2-liter four-cylinder with VTEC that puts out 237 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. While that might not be an extravagant amount of power, it still had a retractable roof, as well as a 9,000 rpm redline.

This lightweight, rear-wheel-drive Japanese sports car has won the hearts of millions of car enthusiasts around the world, and with such high demand prices were bound to soar, we just didn’t expect to see Honda S2000s sell over $70,000 this year. soon.

Related: Here’s What A 2022 Honda S2000 Could Look Like

4 Mazda RX-7 (FD)

The Mazda RX-7 FD is not only a great driver’s car with a ton of aftermarket potential, but it’s also become one of the most recognizable hero cars since making waves in the Fast & Furious movies. All RX-7s were powered by tiny, unreliable rotary engines, and we haven’t seen a proper implementation of a Wankle engine since.

The FD RX-7 has never been extraordinarily affordable, but we’ve hit new heights in auction results. Take for example this 1993 Mada RX-7 with just 5,400 miles on the odometer on Bring a Trailer; it sold for an incredible $105,000.

Related: Mazda RX-7 FD3S Third Generation (1992-1997): Costs, Facts & Figures

3 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (IX)

The Lancer Evolution is one of the most beloved names in automotive history, and we saw the last iteration of it with the Evo X in 2016. Yes, there have been ten different generations of this Lancer Evo since 1992, and each one thereafter has kept the same magic recipe: all-wheel drive, turbocharged four-cylinder engine and manual gearbox.

The evolution that became the most expensive was the ninth generation. Last year, the cheapest Evo IX that sold on Bring a Trailer was just under $20,000, but the cheapest sold this year so far was over $30,000 – not to mention the low-mileage limited editions.

2 Nissan 300ZX (Z32)

The Nissan 300ZX was a revolutionary Japanese sports car as it broke the normal trend of Nissan Z cars by having a turbocharged engine. Sure, the Z32 wasn’t the first to do this, the Z31 300ZX was, but the Z32 improved it in every way.

Not only did the Z32 300ZX feature a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that developed 300 horsepower and 283 lb-ft of torque, but it sported a contemporary design that hasn’t aged a bit since it went on sale in 1989. Unfortunately, the 300ZX isn’t bulletproof and suffers from high maintenance costs, and that’s why these were affordable, but over time, we just made peace with it. So instead of costing just a little over $15,000, you’d have to pay at least $30,000, if not more, to find a decent example.

1 Honda Civic Type-R (EK9)

The Civic Type-R is arguably one of the greatest hot hatches ever created, and even newly released examples stir the pot just as much as its predecessor. However, there’s one Type-R that stands out from the rest – and it’s not the ugly FK8 – it’s actually the EK9 generation.

It was based on the conservatively styled, sixth-generation Honda Civic, but drove like a toddler with a sugar rush as it was powered by a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder that sent out 182bhp and 118 lb-ft of torque at the front wheels. At first glance, you wouldn’t think this Civic is worth six figures, but it turns out that in Japan, people have a different view on the subject.

Lee J. Murillo