These Japanese cars never got their fifteen minutes of fame, whether it was due to bad marketing or the fact that they were totally outperformed by the US rivalry.
These are the 10 Most Underrated Japanese Cars On The Used Market
Toyota Mega Cruiser Copied The Hummer?
The Toyota Mega Cruiser wasn’t a rebadged Hummer, but it was still a Hummer with a Toyota badge, which was the problem. The Mega Cruiser, which was introduced in 1995, came off as something of a copycat car, and because we already had the Hummer, there was no need for a Toyota-badged vehicle.
Of course, unlike the Hummer, the Toyota’s 4.1-liter turbo diesel engine came ready to run indefinitely, but only 3,000 were built and sold before production was halted due to poor sales.
Subaru Baja Had Some Big Dreams
The Subaru Baja’s main flaw was that, despite being marketed as a multi-purpose vehicle that drove like a sports car but had pickup truck-like features, it was maybe a little too niche in its thinking. It was reasonably priced, and although it appeared to be lacking in strength, a little tweaking could make it nimble.
However, small-sized pickup truck crossovers have never been popular in the United States, and the Baja did not sell as well as anticipated. However, since it is niche, it has a cult-like following, even though it is also niche.
The Toyota Chaser Never Quite Caught Up
The Toyota Chaser was based on the same chassis as the Toyota Cresta, but it was a cheaper version of the Crown with less fluffy. It was also less of a tax stumbling block, was smaller, and drove sportier than the Crown in this way. However, it stayed hidden in the shadows of the Crown and the Cresta, and it was only drift-driving lovers who chose it.
Despite being a turbocharged and torquey rear-wheel-drive, the Chaser failed to meet its sales goals, and by 2001, it had been phased out and replaced by the Verossa.
The Small Honda S660 Had Big Ambitions
The Honda S660 was a Kei car, which was essentially a small Japanese sports car that had to limit its size and engine displacement to avoid being burdened by high taxes and to remain inexpensive and affordable to survive.
The best thing about this car was how easy and enjoyable it was to drive, even if the 660-cc engine didn’t make it the fastest thing on the road. With its top down, it did get your heart pumping, and considering the 60-something horsepower it spewed, it also looked a lot quicker.
The Toyota Caldina GT-Four Was A Gorgeous Wagon
Given that it was also one of the most affordable of the bunch, the Toyota Caldina GT-Four was one of the best-looking station waggons ever. It was a cross between a waggon and a sedan in terms of size, measuring 177 inches long with four doors and a top-hinged tailgate.
The heavy set car drove balanced, if not the fastest, thanks to a fine, if noisy 2.0-liter inline-four that was turbocharged and jetted out 260 horsepower. It was also a pleasant trip with plenty of space for luggage and freight.
The Mazda MX-6 Was Not A Favorite
For some reason, the Mazda MX-6 was never considered a great sports car, despite its 2.5-liter V6 engine’s ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under 8 seconds. It’s also important to consider the car’s complete affordability, even if it was a little bland in appearance.
It didn’t sell well in the United States because there were better, although more costly, options from Nissan, Toyota, and even Mitsubishi. However, with four-wheel steering and automated climate control, the MX-6 remained a successful car for the 1980s and even the 1990s.
Inhouse Competition Pushed Back The Honda Accord Type R
When a Honda receives the Type R badge, it normally means it has achieved the pinnacle of performance. As a result, the Accord was designated as a Type R in 1998. However, the NSX, Civic, and Integra Type R, as well as the Prelude and S2000, were all sold in the United States at the time, so the distinction didn’t have much of an impact.
The Accord Type R was pushed aside by this entire slew of Honda vehicles, particularly since the Integra Type R appeared to be much more exciting. It’s all on the used car market, despite the fact that it’s a stunning piece of Honda machinery.
The Mitsubishi’s Galant GTO Try
The Mitsubishi GTO benefited from the interest and popularity of the Galant Couple GTX-1 prototype. It was affordable and beautiful to look at, with the fastest acceleration possible. The low front and ducktail rear made it road race ready, and Mitsubishi’s first DOHC engine for cool power was mounted.
The instrument panel was inspired by aircraft, and although it was a runaway success in Japan, the Mitsubishi GTO was not as well received in the United States, and it was largely forgotten for much of its existence, though it appears to be gaining popularity as a JDM.
Want A Cup Of Suzuki Cappucino?
Suzuki no longer sells cars in the United States, and after being slandered by Consumer Reports, although unfairly at the time for the Samurai, they simply gave up and left – and have been making a killing in Asia ever since.
The Cappuccino was another of those Japanese miniature Kei cars, with a turbocharged 657cc three-cylinder engine producing 63 horsepower. If you think it’s too small, consider that it’s still bigger than the Smart ForTwo. Today, you can get this underappreciated JDM for less than $10,000.
The Isuzu Amigo Tried To Be A Good Friend
Isuzu, like Suzuki, eventually left the United States, but not before producing the two-door Amigo and the four-door Rodeo, which were both marketed as the Honda Passport. The Amigo, on the other hand, was a great Jeep-like vehicle with an even better marketing campaign.
Its drawback was the soft-top, which, for a vehicle designed for the outdoors, lost colour and strength much too quickly, often even in the showroom. Even though it had powerful engines, the Amigo was never anyone’s best friend.