QotW: What JNC model has been the most consistent?

As more and more models enter the JNC fold, we can see a lineage forming under nameplates that span several decades. Sometimes you can track the rise (or fall) of these nameplates as the design direction or company portfolio evolves over time. Still, there are some nameplates that have continued to consistently deliver on their purpose, whether it be for a sporty drive in the hills; or climbing up them on a new path. Tell us:

What JNC model has been the most consistent?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “How should Mitsubishi have celebrated 100 years of cars?

Last week we asked you how Mitsubishi should have celebrated their 100 years in cars. As you know, they are planning to drop a PHEV Outlander powertrain into their first model, a Model A. You responded with some ideas of going all out, staying the course in the name of turning a profit (and turning the company around), etc. I appreciated Yuri‘s analysis on the need to turn some heads and become dominant in the field or Robin‘s suggestion to pay tribute with the current line-up by make a “back-to-basics” vehicle.

Still the suggestion by Cesariojpn could be the best shot at achieving the above and then some. As manufacturers look at bringing back smaller vehicles such as the Bronco, a 2-door Pajero/Montero/Raider could be the ticket! Add in a sporty new Starion and we could have a revitalized Mitsubishi that isn’t afraid to be an enthusiast company again. Plus, the Gorilla Group 8 intro was a kick to watch!

Maybe do a modern remake of the Guerrilla Group 8 intro with their current lineup.


Okay, so the Pajero is still kicking around, so we’ll use the latest model for that one, or maybe the Outlander. The Debonair would have to be the “rebadged” Nissan Cima………I mean Mitsubishi Dignity. No Gullwing Sports Cars to be had, so guess we’ll slot to the Lancer (Still will be in production till August 17). Other than that…….

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

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16 Responses to QotW: What JNC model has been the most consistent?

  1. Banpei says:

    I would say the Suzuki Alto, Mitsubishi Minica and Daihatsu Mira all have been pretty consistent over multiple decades: too cramped to drive in for anyone over 6 foot tall! 😉

  2. BlitzPig says:

    As much as I want to go with the obvious MX5/Miata or Prince/Nissan Skyline, I’m tossing my hat in the ring of the Honda Civic. From the get go they offered an economical, reliable, yet fun to drive experience, and that goes for every iteration of the Civic lineage. From the early CVCC models, the bare bones base hatchbacks, up through the higher end models based on the Civc, Quints, Acuras, CRX, Si and SiR, and on and on… It’s a car that has brought the fun to drive spirit to people in every price segment, over and over again…

  3. Scotty G says:

    Or, dare I say, a consistent, basic, commuter car? The Corolla seems to fit that description. It may not be sporty or fun, or even on most people’s radar as far as collectibility goes, but it’s hard to argue with the solid record of the Toyota Corolla.

    • Geoff says:

      I was going to suggest the Camry, but you hit the nail on the head – the Corolla has been the gold standard of economical commuters for 50 years. It hasn’t tried to put on any sporting pretensions the way the Civic has, Xr model not withstanding, and has remained a standard-bearer in the market.

  4. BlitzPig says:

    True, but today’s front drive Corolla is a far different car than the early rear drive ones, that I find it hard to say they are even the same line of vehicle, even if they wear the same badge.

    I often wonder how different Toyota’s image would be here in the US if they had let us have some of the early twin cam Corollas that they kept at home for themselves?

    Would Toyota still be the Buick of Japanese cars?

    • Scotty G says:

      But, they’re still “classic” commuter cars: front, rear, or all-wheel drive, no matter the engine, transmission, or body shape. They’re known for being good commuter cars. Of course, I love the old ones the best but I wouldn’t turn down a new one. I wonder if Toyota might have done something sportier with them if Scion wouldn’t have come on the scene?

    • Mark Newton-John says:

      You should know the story why Toyota did not bring the twin cam engines in the early 70s. In a nutshell, it would make the cars cost more, it wouldn’t have been that much more power once it was federalized, and it would add more engines into a market perceived to be just econo cars (except for the 240Z) Not to mention having to stock all the parts for an engine that Japan thought wouldn’t sell well anyway.
      And yes, I was there at the time. If you wanted something with more power than a 2T-C Corolla, you would step up to the 18R Celica. You want more power than a 18R Corona, you got a Corona Mark II with the 4M 6-cylinder motor.

  5. Dave says:

    The Acura NSX.

    That is, if by consistent you mean one that has been (or had been) around the longest with the minimal amount of change. The original NSX was on sale from 1990 (meets the 25-year criteria for JNC) through 2005, which means 16 years for a single model. Even with a facelift in 2002, that’s the longest production run of any single generation of a Japanese car, if I’m not mistaken.

    And it (well, the one with pop-ups, anyway) STILL looks great today.

    • BW says:

      NSX is today as it was then still on my automotive bucket list. The thought of near supercar performance with Honda reliability still gives me goosebumps. Also, it’s the supercar you sometimes never even notice. It’s the one that casual car fans might not recognize, but any petrolhead will knowingly nod at your discrete taste.

  6. DerbyCityGinger says:

    Going to have to go with the Miata… all 4 generations are small, lightweight, rear drive convertibles with nearly 50/50 weight distribution. To have those features in 2017 is quite the accomplishment. And all of them are an enjoyable drive, it would be quite a challenge to find a better handling car.

  7. ahja says:

    Well it can’t be the Miata since only about 4 years of its existence is “nostalgic” at this point by most criteria. And what made the Japanese remarkable and enviable in 1980s terms is the fact that they had a much vaunted cycle which introduced all new models quite frequently and with substantial refreshes halfway through a model run. I would even venture that part of the reason we all got drawn to Japanese cars was their innovation and introducing exciting new variants and then entire new generations at a pace that Europe couldn’t match, and certainly not the flailing American auto industry, which had a 70s/80s/90s policy of re-serving the same warmed over dogshit for like 15 years at a time. Hell, GM -still- pushes their pushrod 2V Chevy V8 except its all aluminum now, and theres nothing more disgusting than people putting those oversized, reheated appliances in Japanese cars. But I digress. Since most Japanese models had fast refresh rates, you know if one stuck around for excessively long there must have been a damn good reason. Therefore I nominate the S30 and S130 Zs. The first gen lasted 8 model years, which was exceptional for a Japanese model, and then the S130 kind of went out of its way to look as an S30 as much as it could while crisping it up and sharpening it up enough for the 80s. But really a 280ZX is so obviously trying to connect itself with its predecessor, not be all “look, our alllll new Z car!” (that happened with the 300ZX). So…13 years, with the same basic shape and indeed more or less the same engine. In a time when Japanese companies were making a point of completely replacing models at like 4 year intervals.

  8. gaijinshogun says:

    Toyota Crown

    Since 1955, the Crown has been the backbone of both the Toyota line up, and arguably, the Japanese automotive industry. The “Crown” also began for Toyota, a naming inspiration for it’s smaller progenitors: Corona, Corolla, Tiara, Camry and others. It also began the tradition of Toyota’s “C” names, including Celica, Century, Carina and Cressida. The Crown has remained through the years with it’s Front Engine and rear wheel drive train, always featuring the pinnacle of Toyota’s engineering such as fuel injection, twin overhead cam engines, supercharging, turbo charging, and four valve heads. Amazingly in the Japanese market, it has represented both the aspirations of personal success, while being the day to day taxi of choice for over 60 years.

    As a JNC, choose a point in time from the past and there is a special Crown to seek and revel in. Sedans, wagons, coupes, and even pickups. The Crown, with it’s ubiquitous stylized emblem, is truly utsukushii (beautiful).

  9. Kane says:

    I would have to say the Toyota Hiace.

    In my opinion now matter how old or how new, They simply look great. They will always be extremely useful, If there carrying goods or people there is no way that they cant do there job. Along with Toyota’s legendary reliability, You cant go wrong.

    I have always loved them as a vehicle, And I beleive they dont always get the attention they deserve. I use to have a 1995 model and I would like to get another one some day.

  10. Jaceracer says:

    Has to be the Nissan Sentra B13. The same model was built and sold for 25 years from 1992 to 2017 in Mexico. The B14-B17 models still have the same basic function as a 4 door commuter. The Get yours now they just released the special edition B13 in March!

  11. Mike says:

    Honda Accord. Born in 1976 to provide high value, comfort, and driving pleasure for American families, the model has remained true to that mission for over 40 years. My 2000 Accord is like a grown-up version of my 79 first-generation Accord. It has grown to accommodate consumer tastes, demand for more convenience features, and government regulations, but it remains the answer to the question, “What family sedan or coupe can I buy that will pass family muster while also offering some serious fun to drive.”:

  12. Keith Measures says:

    Mazda is just consistently great, I love their dedication to their roots. People are saying the Miata but I will chime in and say the RX7. Im not counting the RX8 here, which i think showed some compromise. Throughout its lifespan the idea of the RX7 never faltered from its path. A relatively inexpensive fun rear while drive sports car with rotary power.

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