One Week with my Imported JDM Toyota Crown Athlete: A Comprehensive Review

As a car enthusiast, I was thrilled to finally import a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) vehicle to Canada. After months of research and planning, I settled on a Toyota Crown Athlete as my first import. This article will provide a comprehensive review of my first week with the car, including an overview of costs and my first Canadian oil change.

Overview of Costs

Importing a JDM vehicle comes with a variety of costs, including transportation, import fees, custom clearance, and taxes. Here is a breakdown of the costs I incurred:

– Car purchase price (in Japan): ¥800,000 (approximately CAD $9,600)
– Ocean freight (shipping from Japan to Canada): CAD $2,500
– Customs clearance: CAD $500
– GST (Goods and Services Tax): CAD $855
– PST (Provincial Sales Tax): CAD $720
– RIV (Registrar of Imported Vehicles) fee: CAD $295
– A/C (Air Conditioning) excise tax: CAD $100
– Duty (tariffs): N/A (Canada-Japan trade agreement exempts duty on passenger vehicles)

Total cost: CAD $15,570

In addition to these expenses, there were also other costs associated with buying and owning an imported car, including insurance, registration, and maintenance. However, I was willing to pay these costs for the unique driving experience and the satisfaction of owning a rare, Japanese luxury vehicle.

First Impressions

When I finally got the keys to my Crown Athlete, I was thrilled to get behind the wheel. The car felt solid and well-built, with smooth handling and responsive steering. The engine purred to life, and I could feel the power of the 2.5-liter V6 engine as I drove.

Inside, the car was spacious and comfortable, with plush leather seats and plenty of legroom. The dashboard and controls were all in Japanese, but I had done my research and was able to figure out most of the functions after a few days of driving.

One of the most noticeable features of the Crown Athlete was its advanced technology, including an integrated navigation system, automatic climate control, and a high-quality sound system. The car even had a built-in TV tuner, although I didn’t get the chance to try it out yet.

Driving Experience

Over the course of the week, I took the Crown Athlete on a variety of road trips, from city driving to highway cruising. Here are some of my impressions of the car’s performance:

– Acceleration: The V6 engine had plenty of power, and the car accelerated smoothly and quickly.
– Handling: The suspension was tuned for a comfortable ride, but the car still felt stable and nimble around corners.
– Braking: The brakes were responsive and effective, with good pedal feel.
– Fuel economy: The Crown Athlete wasn’t the most fuel-efficient car I’ve driven, with an average of around 10.5 liters/100 km (22 mpg) in mixed driving conditions.

One of the most interesting things about driving a JDM vehicle in Canada was the attention it attracted. The Crown Athlete is a rare sight on Canadian roads, and I received many compliments and questions from curious onlookers.

Maintenance and First Canadian Oil Change

Like any car, the Crown Athlete requires regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly. Since it was imported from Japan, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of parts availability and service costs.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Crown Athlete used many common Toyota parts that were readily available in Canada. In addition, there were several dedicated JDM import and performance shops in my area that specialized in servicing imported vehicles.

One of the first things I did after getting the car was to schedule an oil change. Since the car had been driven in Japan, it still had Japanese-spec oil and filter installed. I wanted to make sure I was using the right oil for Canadian conditions, so I took the car to a local Toyota dealership for its first Canadian oil change.

The dealership was able to provide me with the correct oil and filter for the car, and the service was performed quickly and professionally. The cost of the oil change was CAD $100, which was in line with what I would expect to pay for a similar service on a domestic vehicle.


After my first week with the JDM Toyota Crown Athlete, I can confidently say that I made the right choice in importing this unique and powerful vehicle to Canada. While there were some initial costs associated with importing and registering the car, the driving experience and attention it attracts more than make up for it.

If you are considering importing a JDM vehicle to Canada, it’s important to do your research and understand the costs and challenges involved. However, if you have a passion for unique and high-performance vehicles, the experience is well worth it.]


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.