In 2020 we can import a number of new JDM cars from Japan under the Canadian 15-year import rule. Here are the top 10 cars we think you should consider importing with us this coming year:
- Subaru Forester Facelift
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon
- Lexus GS 350 / GS 430
- Toyota Vitz
- Mazda Speed Atenza
- Mazda Roadster (NC Series)
- Subaru Impreza WRX / STi (Hawkeye)
- Lexus IS 250 / IS 350
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX (Evo 9)
- Toyota Mark X
And if you would like to see what you missed from last year, go back and read the top 10 JDM cars you could start to import in 2019.
Subaru Forester Facelift
In 2005 the Subaru Forester SG5 series was given a facelift, and was available beginning January, 2005 (importable in January 2020). As the Forester STi (SG9) was introduced for the first time in 2004, there was only one production year with the original SG front fascia. The facelifted version of the Forester STi was available beginning in May, 2005 and will be importable in May, 2020. It keeps the 2.5L engine with 265hp, 6-speed manual transmission, and all the modifications from the outgoing year including sport springs and struts, 18-inch alloy wheels, four-piston Brembo brakes front and two-piston rears, STi seats and a smaller leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Average Price – STi: $9,500 to $15,000 cleared customs price.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX Wagon
As one of the most requested vehicles to import in 2020, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX (CT9A) was provided with a sibling, the Evo 9 Wagon (CT9W) which was released in September of 2005. This was the first wagon given the evolution treatment, being provided with the 4G63 turbocharged engine with 280hp in a 6-speed manual transmission (GT) along with a 270hp 5-speed automatic version (GT-A). It also received the Recaro seats, brembo brakes and Momo steering wheel and could be fitted with 18-inch wheels. The active and adjustable center differential was applied, but the super active yaw control was not. In total, less than 3,000 wagons were produced, and only sold in Japan.
Average Price – GT-A: $9,500 to $14,500 cleared customs price
Lexus GS 350 / GS 430
As a successor to the Aristo and aligning with the new Lexus luxury brand, Toyota released the Lexus GS 350 and 430 in August of 2005. It kept the fastback, quad headlights, LED tail lights, and a new mid-size platform. The 350 used a 3.5L 2GR-FSE engine with direct injection, while the 430 kept the 4.3L 3UZ-FE, and they both had a new 6-speed automatic sequential shift transmission, with all-wheel drive being optional on the 350. They came with standard safety features like multiple types of airbags, stability control, and had options like leather memory seats, keyless entry with push-button start and a radar-based pre-collision system.
The Toyota Vitz was redesigned and the second generation was launched in February of 2005 in Japan, also sold worldwide as the Toyota Yaris. It was designed as a mass-produced capable urban commuter, using smaller displacement 3- and 4-cylinder engines with 70-110hp in the RS trim (but weighing only 2,300 lbs / 1030kg). Most were front-wheel drive and automatic / CVT, some had all-wheel drive, but the RS received a 5-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. The Japanese were known to customize their cars, and the tuning culture was alive and well with the Vitz as well. Tuning company Blitz added a supercharger, exhaust and suspension and bumped up the horsepower to 148hp.
Mazda Speed Atenza
In June 2005, Mazda released the Speed Atenza (Mazdaspeed 6). It introduced a turbocharged 2.3L engine producing 270hp with direct fuel injection. It had a revised front end, raised hood and sported a manual transmission with 6 gears and all-wheel drive. The interior had cloth interior, keyed entry and ignition, while the GT trim had leather seats and keyless entry and ignition. A 200W Bose stereo system with a subwoofer, and automatic climate control were standard.
Mazda Roadster NC Series
The Roadster was completely redesigned for 2005. Released in August 2005 and importable in August of 2020, this NC generation kept next to nothing from the NA and NB series. The rear suspension was changed from a double-wishbone to multi-link, stability control and traction control, and a retractable hardtop option were also added. 5- and 6-speed manual transmissions and a new 6-speed automatic transmission were available, mated to the new LV-FE engine producing 170hp for the manual versions. It had 17-inch wheels now standard to the 14- or 15-inch wheels from the previous model.
Subaru Impreza Hawkeye Facelift
The Subaru Impreza is still one of our best selling performance cars for Canada, and in June of 2005 received a facelift, the ‘Hawkeye’ variant for both the sedan and wagons. Aside from cosmetic changes, the WRX (GDA) continued with a 5-speed transmission and the STi (GDB) retained the 6-speed, brembo 4-pot / 2-pot brakes and optional DCCD. Unlike the newly-available STi for North American markets, these retained the 2.0L EJ207 engines but maintained the same 280hp.
Lexus IS 250 / IS 350
In September of 2005, Toyota introduced the Lexus IS 250 and 350 as compact executive sedans as a replacement for the outgoing Altezza model. These came with the 4GR-FSE engine with 215hp in the IS 250 or the 2GR-FSE engine with 318hp in the IS 350. Both were rear-wheel drive with 6-speed automatic transmissions, while the IS 250 had an optional all-wheel drive system. The interiors of this generation were upgraded to fall in line with the higher-end Lexus brand, including leather seats with memory functions, LED accents on the interior, optional wood trim, and keyless entry with push-button start.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX (Evo 9)
In 2005 the Evo IX (Evo 9) replaced the Evo VIII (Evo 8) with production beginning in March 2005 until 2007, and will be importable in March 2020. This model kept the 4G63 but had MIVEC for variable valve timing, and a revised turbo for slightly more power. Three trims were available including the RS (5-speed, gauges, LSD, aluminum roof, removed power options), GT (5-speed, LSD, recaro fabric seats) and GSR (6-speed, gauges, super active yaw control, aluminum roof, recaro seats using leather and alcantara).
Toyota Mark X
As the successor to the Mark II, the Chaser, and the Cresta, the Mark X combined all three vehicles into one top-level mid-size car. Engine size was tailored to the road tax at the time, and the larger engines also received more luxurious options. Two engine sizes were available including the 2.5L 4GR-FSE with 215hp in the 250G series and the 3.0L 3GR- versions were available in 2004 including the 250G with the 2.5L 4GR-FSE engine with 215hp and the 300G with the 3.0L 3GR-FSE and 256hp. It came mainly as a rear-wheel drive with a 6-speed automatic transmission, while all-wheel drive versions of the 250G had a 5-speed automatic. One example of the luxuries it afforded was a LED light for the ceiling running the length of the car that created a sort of mood lighting, which was also near the key and gear shifter. This first generation of the Mark X was produced in November of 2004 until 2009 and is already legal to import in 2020.