in terms of reliability, japan cars such as Toyota, honda, nissan, Mitsubishi, subaru, etc definitely better than conti such as volvo, jaguar,
merc, bmw, audi, Volkswagen, citroen, Peugeot, etc
(btw i dont know now volvo is considered china brand or conti brand, likewise for jsguar)
and the maintenance costs is lower as well for jap cars
if u worry about reliability and maintenance costs, stick to jap cars
actually i wont say conti car less reliability then jap car.
both type of them break down all the same.
its only the repair cost for the same type of damage , can be 10 times different.
for example a camry valve cover gasket leaking, just replace the rubber seal, plug seal etc enough.
normally would cost about 100+-.
but if u compare to a conti like passat??
same area leakage, need to replace the whole valve cover.
or say a water pump leakage, normal jap car, just take out the belt and water pump can be access.
but a conti, u need take out another 10 extra parts.
another good example, say a very normal HID for a jap or korea car, easily replace.
u try changing 1 for a VW golf (2017 model ) mostly u will get another 100% cost on the labour alone.
jap car have their fair share of problem also , even new car, try checking the latest vellfire , they got alot of gearbox issue.