The best known Mitsuoka of them all is 30 years old in 2023 – time for a new Yaris-based model
By Matt Bird / Monday, 20 February 2023 / Loading comments
The Mitsuoka Viewt couldn’t come from anywhere but Japan; nowhere else on earth could make something on four wheels so weird and so cute all at the same time. And while it’s been easy to scoff at the absurdity of a supermini made to look like a Jag MkII from the other side of the world, the Viewt has been sufficiently popular to be on sale in one form or another for 30 years now. So Mitsuoka must be doing something right.
This new Viewt Story (to give the cars its full name) is Mitsuoka’s fourth, now based on a Toyota Yaris where the old models were Nissan based. Though 70mm longer than the Toyota and with Mitsuoka’s unique visual overhaul, the proportions of the donor car are just about detectable. As ever, it feels like conventional takes on style and design take a back seat when it comes to a Mitsuoka, but it could be argued that bigger superminis than ever suit its look better than previous efforts. Perhaps. For what it’s worth, Mitsuoka reckons that details like the lights and heart shape grille create ‘a gentle and mature atmosphere without changing the retro and lovely design inherited from the first generation’.
The switch to Toyota running gear means more Viewt engine options than ever, with 1.0-litre, 1.5 and hybrid models available. They’re carried over unchanged from the equivalent Yarises, and the interior is broadly familiar as well, only distinguished by badges and some new trim colours. But then nobody is buying a Viewt for the driving experience or interior ambience, really.
Those that do buy into the Viewt aesthetic – and it would seem there are plenty, judging by social media – will have to pay a pretty penny for Mitsuoka’s coachbuilding efforts. Even the most basic 1.0-litre car is £19,000 (3,080,000 yen), with the hybrid models (which are the only Yarises offered in the UK) kicking off at almost 3.1m yen, or £24,760. Get your Viewt Story in top-of-the-range LX form with four-wheel drive and that asking price exceeds 4.2m, which is currently £26,600. But then nobody knows quite what Mitsuoka customers want more than Mitsuoka itself; it’s already accepting deposits, and demonstrators are due at its Japanese dealerships later in the year.
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