As with other Mitsuoka models, the Ryoga is another based heavily on other Nissan models. This one takes its inspiration form the Sunny, Primera, Sentra and Infiniti G20 models, presenting a unique take on an entry-level luxury sedan to be enjoyed by an appreciative crowd looking for something a bit different than the usual mass-produced stuff.
Over Twenty Years Ago…
The first-generation Mitsuoka Ryoga was released back in 1998, and based heavily on the Nissan Primera. The Ryoga overall enjoyed rather a short run of production, only lasting from 1998 to 2004. The second generation was developed in line with the Nissan Sunny, which lowered its engine size and overall horsepower rating, but made it much more fuel-efficient.
As is normal with Mitsuoka cars, and as their fans expect, the style of the Ryoga is hardly uniform throughout. On the first-generation Ryoga, looking at it from the rear end, you’d hardly think you were looking at a fine, hand-made creation of a company like Mitsuoka. From the back, it could just be any other Nissan, with its somewhat conventional boot and rear lights. This was changed on the second-generation model.
The front-end, however, was where the Ryoga really gained its sense of distinction. In a style reminiscent of the Mitsuoka Viewt, the Ryoga takes a Jaguar-like style of prestige at the front end. The ornate features really help the Ryoga to stand out amongst other Japanese imports. From the round headlights to the old-world charm of the front grille, this car is like a message from a bygone age of automotive curiosity.
Key Stats for the First-Generation Mitsuoka Ryoga Sedan (1998)
Curb Weight: 1,200kg
Key Stats for the Second-Generation Mitsuoka Ryoga Sedan (2001)
Curb Weight: 1,200kg
The engine specification on your Mitsuoka Ryoga Japanese imports cars will depend on which generation you own. If you own the first generation, then it could be any one of the following engine specifications:
• 1.8L petrol DOHC 4-cylinder engine – 125hp
• 2.0L petrol DOHC 4-cylinder engine – 150hp
If, on the other hand, you take a second-generation model, then the only engine you could get as the 1.5L DOHC 4-clinder, which outputted 105hp and had a top speed of 110mph.
Wagon or Sedan
The sedan version of the Ryoga is arguably the best-known variant, but it was by no means the only one. Many enthusiasts interested in Japanese imports for sale in the UK may also be seeking out the wagon model, which was made from 2001 to 2004. It was rarer not only due to the smaller production time, but also from the fact that the sedan, by and large, was more sought-after.
The wagon edition had a very similar front end, but with a greatly enlarged rear with additional boot space, as well as roof rails and more. The wagons did sport the larger engine options, however, 1.8 or 2.0L, giving them more power on the road.
Despite what you might think, the general interiors of the Ryoga are unfussy and uncomplicated. There have been, however, some lovely special editions, particularly later in the production run, which have included soft-leather interiors, as well as nicer wooden finishes on the dash and other ornate features.
Not to be Confused with the Ryugi
Another Mitsuoka model is easy to confuse with the Ryoga given the closeness of the names. The Mitsuoka Ryugi is an upcoming concept model from the company that to look at does bear some spiritual similarity to the Ryoga. Perhaps they are more than just similar in name.
The Ryugi sports a Rolls-Royce-like front grille, but with the same distinct round headlights as the Ryoga. Since this model is set only for the Japanese market currently, it may be some time until you can see it among other Japanese imports for sale in the UK. In the meantime, the Ryoga offers classic brilliance.
Attraction as a JDM Import
Why is there such interest in the Mitsuoka Ryoga among other Japanese imports cars? For so many, JDM cars are about standing out from the crowd. Nearly all JDM models will differ from regular models of Japanese brands on sale in showrooms across the UK, but Mitsuoka models differ even among those, and the Ryoga is no exception to that rule.
Fans of the Mitsuoka marque love it for the unique styling, the distinctive look that so blends with the British love of eccentricity and special flavour. That front end in particular is just impossible to resist, and even harder not to simply look at an admire.
Hand-Built Quality And Attention To Engineering
Another great attraction of the Mitsuoka is its hand-built quality and attention to engineering. You get the same top-notch reliability and well-constructed, finely balanced engineering features that you’d expect from a Nissan, but all while enjoying something that you can outwardly and rightly claim was not merely mass-produced by some robot in a factory somewhere. Instead, this machine was designed and built with true care and artistry. It’s no wonder the enthusiasts continue to seek it out.
If you are such a seeker, then check out our own inventory of Mitsuoka Ryoga cars and find your own special connection.