QotW: What’s the best JNC for NYC?

Honda City Turbo II 03

JNC is in NYC this week for the New York International Auto Show. If you want to follow along, check us out on Facebook and Instagram. While in the Big Apple, we’ve come to wonder:

What’s the best JNC for NYC?

New York is a terribly inhospitable environment for cars. There are maniacal cabbies, suicidal pedestrians, and potholes large enough to swallow an off-brand Elmo costume. Add to that traffic, endless roadwork, and approximately 12 parking spaces for a population of 8.4 million, and you almost want to give up driving altogether. Almost. For the die-hard driver, there’s the Honda City. It’s easy to park, has that awesome 1980s Honda visibility for zipping between taxis, and is available in a peppy turbo version. Plus, it comes with its own foldable motorbike that you can deploy in seconds to make you the envy of every hipster in Brooklyn.

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your springtime JNC ritual?” 


The winner this week is Evan Serilla, whose detailed springtime ritual made us want to get into get every little thing right on our cars and go out for a spin.

spring ritual? you mean DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!!!
I never stop working on my cars, and do all the major work over winter so when spring time comes i can tune my carbs, do all of those final adjustments, make sure every bulb shines, fine tune the engine to idle smoothly and respond, then nothing else but drive it. there is no better ritual for me than to drive my car that has been sitting in my garage for months enduring the cold and then experiencing the fruits of my labor and making it last as long as i can, by mostly finding any excuse to run into town and drive my Z.

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

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14 Responses to QotW: What’s the best JNC for NYC?

  1. Banpei said:

    I couldn’t agree more on the Honda City Turbo II (aka the Bulldog). It makes total sense in a town of madness (pun intended here) like New York City.

    If I have to choose another car I’d pick the Mitsuoka Bubu 501:
    Why? It is the second car Mituoka designed and it looks way better than the incredibly cheap Shuttle 50. Its design was inspired by Giorgetto Giugiaro. The Bubu 501 was also sold in California as the Honda Zoe Zipper so you could potentially find USDM examples and there will be no need to import the car from Japan.

    It was created in an era where Japan allowed anyone to drive these micro cars without a driving license but as the popularity increased a law enforced a license on these cars as well. Dunno about the necessity of the license in the US though.

    As its underpinnings are nothing more than a tubular chassis with a 50cc Honda moped engine it should be agile enough to steer around NYC traffic and probably allow you to park nearly everywhere. If the electric motor (reverse “gear”) still functions and you can boast about its eco friendliness with 112MPG and hybrid reverse. Beat that with any Insight or Prius. Also when painted in bright red or yellow it would suit your hipster-beard as well.

  2. nIGEL said:

    You also need to mention that every 2nd or 3rd car has collision damage.
    (Kei cars with a turbo are the way to go in NYC).

  3. Joe Cepeda said:

    1993 Suzuki Swift Turbo would come to mind as my choice of an everyday NYC JNC get-around car. I know NYC streets very well(born and raised in Williamsburg Brooklyn) and I’ve been JNCing NYC streets since the early 90’s with a rotary powered 69 Datsun 510 as my first car and countless of daily driven TE72s, Ae86s, and all series RX-7s. The 3 cylinder Suzuki Swift turbo is perfect for boosting around the cabs, small for the tight parking spots, and not a car to worry about people breaking into at night since it would get overlooked by most.

  4. John M said:

    In the morning, a Cappuccino. In the evening, a Crown Royal followed by a Chaser.

  5. gaijinshogun said:

    Black Toyota Century Limo with gold SSR reverse mesh, and my driver. I would escort Carrie to sushi and a show, drop her off, and then pickup Samantha for the real fun.

    • dickie said:

      Agree. The BEST car to drive in NYC is a car that you don’t actually have to drive.

      Pop the passenger seat open to stretch your legs while enjoying a chilled Asahi from the icebox, secluded from the ubiquitous city noise by the bunker-grade sound insulation. don’t want the plebes to get too nosy? pull your doily curtains shut with the flick of a switch. speaking of flick, why not take one in on your small, grainy CRT television? mute it to take some imaginary calls on your Yakuza boss car phone.

      the driver can exit on the curb side of the car, meaning less time to get to your door, open it and grant you a most excellent entrance to whatever event you happen to be attending.

  6. Randy said:

    NYC? Classic/Nostalgic NOTHIN’.

    Jacked up something with 1/4″ thick u-channels bolted on – with the “U” facing OUT. So I guess that’d make them “C” channels… Whatever – you know what I mean.

    Maybe a pimped-out Pathfinder.

  7. Will B. said:

    The best car for NYC living would be the AW11 MR2.
    cheap, economical, reliable, super small and therefore easy to park, and super reliable. Having owned one for a number of years, i can confirm that it will fit in those compact/Smart car parking spots you sometime see in the city. and when you can get up and moving faster than a crawl through the traffic of NYC, it will handle like a pro and rev to the sky with that 4age. What it lacks in cargo space it makes up for with character and popup headlights

  8. Ricky Poole said:

    I think a great city jnc would be the Subaru justy. Although the one I personally own is a 93 so mine doesn’t qualify the model itself is old enough. Its small and compact size makes parking and manuevering a breeze. It will even fit the compact car parking spaces. Inspire of its diminutive size as a hatchback you can carry all the gear you would need for a show or just a weekend out. I don’t have the backseat in mine and have managed to carry a dirt bike home in the hatch! Its 3cyl engine may be low on power but as light as the car is it has no problem hauling itself around all while getting excellent fuel economy. And last but definitely not least it is available in awd! Perfect for getting around in the snow.

  9. james said:

    As a Native New Yorker, I’d have to say the Nissan March or Daihatsu Charade would be the best suited cars to traverse NYC.Both had high-performance models and are quite light so that you can actually have a twinge of enjoyment driving in a chaotic metropolis.

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