The Mitsuoka Viewt is a supermini that is among the most recognizable and distinctive of the eclectic Mitsuoka range. The company is known, of course, for adopting the principal design of mass-produced models and modifying them with a whole new character and spirit. The Viewt is a car based on the Nissan Micra, also known as the Nissan March but also modelled to look quite a bit like the 1963 Jaguar Mark 2.
Key Stats for the First-Generation Mitsuoka Viewt (1993 – K11)
Curb Weight: 870kg
Key Stats for the Second-Generation Mitsuoka Viewt (2005 – K12)
Curb Weight: 1080kg
27 Years of Retro Splendour
The Viewt has sold well over 12,000 units, which for a hand-built custom model is an impressive figure. The production run for the Viewt started back in 1993 and is still going today. Drivers quickly fall in love with the unique styling, but also immediately discover upon driving that it’s actually a rather excellent road car as well.
In its 27 years of production, the Viewt has come in two versions, the K11 and the K12. The first generation K11 in 1993 was based on the K11 March, and the main shape and form of the March can clearly be seen in the K11’s design. That being said, the Mitsuoka was built with some very noticeable differences that set it far apart from the Nissan March. The first version came with a 1.0L and 1.3L engine, and the K12 had 1.2, 1.4 and 1.5L choices with either automatic or manual transmission.
Updates and models of the K11 and K12 tended to follow along with the development trends of the “sibling” model from Nissan. Features like new dashboards, a convertible version in 1997 and more. The updated K12 arrived in 2005, with some updates to the shaping, especially the rear door, and a two-door version the 12SR.
What people love most about the styling of the Viewt, and starting with the K11, was the inclusion of so many classic and prestige elements from brands like Jaguar. You wouldn’t be blamed for catching sight of the Viewt and believing that some smaller version of the Jaguar Mark 2 was coming toward you.
From the old-world round headlamps to the beautiful rounded grille and overall metallic finishes, the front-end of the Viewt is one that no one forgets in a hurry. The rear of the vehicle was also changed to distinguish it from the Nissan. The K11 featured a fixed rear window and full rounded boot instead of a hatchback. You could also get leather seats and wood finishes on the surfaces for a little extra cost, and many of those models are still around today.
Design, Not Cutting-Edge Function
The Viewt is among the most iconic in the Mitsuoka range, and typifies the company philosophy beautifully. President of the company, Aiko Mitsuoka, told Bloomberg news back in 2016, “Our priority is design, not cutting-edge functions…It has to be cool. It has to be cute. It has to be adorable. Just like fashion.
The Viewt is a great car to drive, and has enough features to make it desirable to any modern driver, but there’s more to it than that. As a Mitsuoka car, the Viewt is built for a particular kind of buyer — one that wants to set themselves apart from the crowd.
Anyone can go to a Nissan dealership and pick up a Nissan Micra/March. It’s a mass-produced model designed to be affordable and as functional as people want. They don’t tend to stand out so much because so many people drive them. The Viewt is the polar opposite of this. It evokes nostalgic feelings of high-class parties, old-world charm and the irresistible pull of attention that cars like Jaguar and Rolls-Royce have.
The handcrafted features represent the human touch. The Viewt was made by another person; a person with a beating heart and a vision of great beauty. The Nissan March, while a fine car in its own way, is mostly built by faceless and soulless robots. It’s function, not fashion.
Japanese Imports: The Viewt in the UK
Japanese imports are a great choice for British buyers because firstly they are built for the British road, with the steering wheel on the correct side. Second, the Mitsuoka Viewt evokes something of a sense of patriotism owing to its design roots in brands like Jaguar. The founder of Mitsuoka was a real Anglophile when it came to cars, and that is shown in the rest of the company’s range.
Mitsuoka’s Homage To The Jaguar
The Viewt may be based on the Nissan Micra, but the homage to Jaguar is palpable, and that’s what makes it one of the best Japanese imports cars for sale in the UK today. Set yourself apart from the crowd by owning one of these magnificent examples of custom, handcrafted Japanese automotive architecture. Explore our range of Mitsuoka Viewt cars and start expanding your automotive horizons today.