Next year, my family and I are planning to buy a new car. So who better to ask about that than a guy known for creating "The Real Driving Simulator".

Japan makes it hard to own older automobiles. I'm not talking about classic cars, but just regular cars. The Japanese motor-vehicle inspection system requires car owners to have their cars checked more often for older cars.

This is why you see mostly new cars in Japan. And this is why my family and I want to buy a new automobile.

Kazunori Yamauchi knows cars. He lives and breathes them. Gran Turismo features over one thousand cars. That's a thousand cars that Yamauchi is knowledgeable about. He should know what car is right for me, no?

The only parameter I set what that the car must be able to comfortably seat four people. I asked for his recommendation for a foreign car and a domestic Japanese car. Here are his recommendations:

• For a domestic Japanese car, Yamauchi recommended a Mazda Axela, which is known abroad as the Mazda3.


• For a foreign car, Yamauchi recommended a Volkswagen Golf. (He also recommended the VW Scirocco, but noted that it was a two-door car.)

When I asked him why he didn't recommend the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Yamauchi replied, "Yes, yes, that's good, too!"