Having driven several different japanese and european models, these are my observations:
japanese cars are more comfortable at slow speeds (city driving)... easier to drive, and the suspension smoothens out the road, giving it a plush feeling.
european cars are not very comfortable to drive a slow speeds. however, once i am on the highway, it feels supremely safer... it feels planted to the road more, like it was built for high speeds (which it is)/
Current: 2011 Mini Cooper R56 MT 'Justa'
Previous BMWs: 2008 E92 328i MT Sport / 2005 E83 X3 2.5i