The Datsun 260Z and the Toyota LandCruiser are Japanese, and iconic

I swear on a stack of bibles that this is a genuine, spontaneous result. It’s my first check of the results for this morning after waking up. After seeing that we had a satisfactory number of votes (minimum of 150) I took the screenshot.

It’s our first tie.



As you can see, it was almost a three-way tie with the Mazda MX-5 finishing just 4 votes behind the two winners.

It seems kind of fitting, in a way. Previous polls have revealed a pretty clear winner but as we nominated and then discussed the nominations, it was clear that there was a reasonable cache of admiration for Japanese vehicles, but there weren’t many people with a real passion for them. This website is more European focused then it comes to cars, so that’s understandable, but I guess it’s just amusing to see the results bear this out.

What we have then, is a popular following for a Japanese classic sports car and a popular following for a Japanese utilitarian vehicle with an exceptional reputation for getting the job done.

As I said, a fitting result.

Thanks to all for your nominations, thoughts and votes.




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  1. Interesting to see how the world sees Japanese cars. The same poll, if presented strictly in Japan, would yield vastly differing results (probably similar level of granularity for other countries). My take-away from this is that the recent offerings from manufacturers are less likely to hit the core of enthusiasts (“Cool car!” at best) to be dubbed as an “icon”, and it takes a bit of nostalgia and legacy to push them up to that next level – a tough bar to clear, for sure.
    Maybe I’m just getting old…?

    1. Hey James,

      I guess an icon’s got to have time to build up some cred. I reckon if we did this poll in 10 years from now the 86 would be all over it.

      It would indeed be interesting to see a similar poll done from scratch in Japan. I’m sure we see Japanese vehicles in a different light compared to the home market and your nominations were probably a good indicator of that.

      You know, I was amazed that no-one nominated the original Honda CR-X at all. I thought about it but couldn’t fit it into my Top 5. The NSX got the nod instead. But I was surprised no-one else put it out there.

      1. How could we miss the CR-X? Would have gotten my vote in the absence of the dreadful yet iconic original Corolla.
        Even though I picked the Land Cruiser I’m surprised so many others did the same.
        Boring but reliable or small but powerful is what people seem to want from Japanese cars.

  2. If you ask an average sample of car owners in the world (and not just car nerds), I would be surprised if even 10% know there was a brand called Datsun. And I would be flabbergasted if even 1% could name a Datsun car. Even I, who remember the brand since I was I kid, wouldn’t be able to name a single Datsun car if you asked me a week ago… ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a beautiful car alright and probably interesting as such, but can’t see how it is significant or groundbreaking even in the Japanese automotive history. So, an icon…? Naw… But then again, these are not scientific polls… ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Different countries, different situations. Anyone with an interest in cars here in Australia, even Gen Y kids, could name you a Datsun here (as long as they’re interested, even mildly, in cars).

      I learned to drive in a Datsun 180B and before he had that, my brother in law had a 1600 sedan (which sell for heaps now as they’re used for rally cars quite a lot). I’ve got mates who owned 120Y’s and a 260Z, too.

      Datto’s were very popular here. The recent news that Nissan were going to re-launch the Datsun brand got a lot of people very excited here in Oz. Alas, the brand isn’t coming downunder.

  3. I was surprised Civic didn’t do better so took a peak at the history and it’s quite a new thing (1972) ๐Ÿ™‚ So maybe the Datsun 100A could be the real landmark in the ultra small category? Very popular over here in the 70’s.

    Looks like I’ve missed out on the Nissan Skyline and GT-R thing completely. Crazy performance.
    Knew only of the 300ZX which made a real impression when those hit the streets.