How good are you at Japan’s Car Meister Test?

Can you correctly answer 100 questions about cars in one hour? If so, you might have what it takes to pass Japan’s Car Meister Test. Since 2014, the Japan Meister Test Association has held exams to see who qualifies as a certified master of automotive knowledge. Applications for this year’s test have opened, and while we don’t know what questions will be on the 2022 edition, you ca sample questions from previous years below.

The Car Meister Test is separated by difficulty into three levels, with Level 1 being the most difficult. Additionally, there’s a Junior Level for kids (informally called the “Tomica Test”), as well as a Car Life Test that asks similar questions to those one would get on a driver’s license test (traffic rules, basic car maintenance, blood alcohol levels). The questions seem to be skewed toward automotive and motorsports history, rather than engineering. There is a heavy emphasis on domestic (Japanese) cars, naturally, but questions about foreign cars are included.

In order to even take the Level 1 test, one must first pass the Level 2 test. We wrote about the Car Meister Test when it was just two years old. Back then, approximately 5,800 people had taken it and only 14 had passed the hardest level. Notably, in the first year, the Level 1 test was so difficult that not a single person passed. Since then, the tests have gotten easier. A Level 1 test typically has a 20 to 30 percent pass rate. To date, about 60,000 people have stepped up to the plate. It’s been said that some applicants to Toyota even put the fact that they’ve passed on their resumes.

We’ve translated the sample questions to English below. In a real test scenario you would have 36 seconds to answer each question, so give yourself 4 minutes and 48 seconds to answer each 8-question section.

Level 3

Q1. What is the name of the low-pollution engine that Honda announced in 1972 and was installed in Civics and other vehicles in order to comply with US environmental regulations?

  • (1) CVCC
  • (2) VTEC
  • (3) GDI
  • (4) Twin spark

Q2. What is the name of the body structure that integrates the chassis and body, which is the main architecture of modern passenger cars?

  • (1) Monocoque
  • (2) Ladder frame
  • (3) backbone frame
  • (4) Seismic frame construction method

Q3. In 1908, which automaker succeeded in mass-producing automobiles with the so-called “World’s First Popular Car”, the Model T?

  • (1) Toyota
  • (2) Ford
  • (3) Mercedes-Benz
  • (4) Citroen

Q4. Which manufacturer produced the car “DMC-12” that appeared as a time machine in the movie Back to the Future released in 1985?

  • (1) Fiat
  • (2) Toyota
  • (3) DeLorean
  • (4) McLaren

Q5. The recall system prevents accidents and repairs by collecting and repairing products after notifying the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in advance due to problems in the design and manufacturing process. Who decides to issue the recall?

  • User’s own judgment
  • (2) Consensus among car dealers
  • (3) Instructions from the National Police Agency
  • (4) Automakers make their own decisions

Q6. In 1964, which manufacturer was the first in Japan to develop a machine and engine in-house for Formula 1?

  • (1) Toyota
  • (2) Subaru
  • (3) Honda
  • (4) Nissan

Q7. Which of the following local taxes is considered “a type of property tax levied on the ownership of automobiles” with annual statements issued once a year?

  • (1) Automobile acquisition tax
  • (2) Automobile tax
  • (3) Automobile weight tax
  • (4) Automobile environment tax

Q8. What do you call a car that suggests the future vision of a manufacturer, and that is used for technology presentations and for confirming users’ reactions at car shows?

  • (1) Supermodel
  • (2) Concept model
  • (3) Future model
  • (4) Standard model


Level 2

Q1. The image above are all parts of a car from the same manufacturer. Which manufacturer’s cars are these?

  • (1) Toyota
  • (2) Audi
  • (3) Nissan
  • (4) Ford

Q2. Which of the following is not a descriptive name for a convertible model?

  • (1) Spider
  • (2) Convertible
  • (3) cabriolet
  • (4) Ultima

Q3. Which of the following automakers owns Jaguar Land Rover? (2016)

  • (1) Tata Motors
  • (2) Hyundai Motor
  • (3) Dongfeng Motor
  • (4) Holden

Q4. In 1963 an open sports car that was equipped with a DOHC engine was Honda’s first passenger car. what is the name of that car?

  • (1) S600
  • (2) S500
  • (3) S800
  • (4) S360

Q5. Which of the following is the correct operation time for the “overtaking system” installed in the machines participating in the All Japan Championship Super Formula this season (2016)?

  • (1) 3 seconds
  • (2) 20 seconds
  • (3) 60 seconds
  • (4) 100 seconds

Q6. What is the name of the EV that Mitsubishi started mass-producing in 2009 ahead of other companies?

  • (1) Mitsubishi Colt
  • (2) Mitsubishi i-MiEV
  • (3) Mitsubishi Mirage
  • (4) Mitsubishi Forte

Q7. Many high-performance cars were released in Japan in 1989, but which of the following was the output figure self-regulated by domestic manufacturers at that time?

  • (1) 230 ps
  • (2) 250 ps
  • (3) 280 ps
  • (4) 300 ps

Q8. Which of the following Nissan Skylines did not have the high performance model GT-R in its lineup?

Level 1

Q1. What is the name of the car pictured to the right, developed in 1907 by Mr. Shintaro Yoshida and Mr. Komanosuke Uchiyama? About 10 cars were produced.

  • Takuri
  • Gutakuri
  • Otomo-go
  • Atsuta

Q2. When Fiat went bankrupt in the 1970s, who provided a loan to the rescue?

  • (1) Ferdinand Porsche
  • (2) Paul McCartney
  • (3) Ronald Reagan
  • (4) Muammar Gaddafi

Q3. Which of the following is the car in the photo on the right?

  • (1) Nissan Note NISMO
  • (2) Honda Civic Type R
  • (3) Toyota Auris Char
  • (4) Subaru Impreza STI

Q4. Which car’s interior is shown in the photo on the right?

  • (1) Honda NSX
  • (2) Toyota Supra
  • (3) Mazda RX-7
  • (4) Mitsubishi GTO


Q5. Which of the following was entered in 2007 by Toyota Gazoo Racing as its first car in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring?

  • (1) Altezza
  • (2) Prius
  • (3) Lexus SC
  • (4) Lexus LF-A

Q6. Which of the following is the correct order in which the first Toyopet Crown, Subaru 360, and Honda S500 were released?

  • (1) Toyopet Crown → Honda S500 → Subaru 360
  • (2) Toyopet Crown → Subaru 360 → Honda S500
  • (3) Subaru 360 → Honda S500″→ Toyopet Crown
  • (4) Subaru 360 → Toyopet Crown → Honda S500

Q7. Audi has its predecessor Auto Union, an automobile alliance of four companies. Which of the following brands was not part of this alliance?

  • (1) Horch
  • (2) DKW
  • (3) Wanderer
  • (4) Borgward

Q8. Which chassis code was the first Prince Skyline that appeared in 1957?

  • (1) ALSI
  • (2) BLSI
  • (3) S50
  • (4) AISH

Answers can be found in below. So how did you do? Do you have what it takes to be a Car Meister?

Level 3:  1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 2
Level 2:  3, 4, 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 2
Level 1:  1, 4, 2, 3, 1, 2, 4, 1

This post is filed under: Nihon Life and
tagged: .

5 Responses to How good are you at Japan’s Car Meister Test?

  1. Michael K. says:

    Well, to me these are surprisingly easy. The ones that tripped me up were about the taxes and the Formula car overtaking system.

  2. Tofu Delivery says:

    I agree. Super easy on the questions actually about cars. I’d love to try the one that no one passed.

  3. LB1 says:

    I suspect that Ben cherry picked easy questions to give us a false sense of confidence. lol

    • Ben Hsu says:

      These were all the sample questions offered on their website. If anyone is luring unsuspecting test takers with a false sense of confidence it’s the testing organization!

  4. Milo Weeks says:

    Thanks Ben, that was fun! I did well, but lost points as the levels went on (as intended, I’m sure).

Leave a Reply

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