What Happened To Japan's Inspiration?
I wonder if we're the only ones thinking this but I doubt it. If you're reading this you must already know JDM cars imported from Japan are the best you'll ever get in terms of value, quality, reliability and performance in general.
Just think how the North American market would be different today if cars like Aristo (3.0V I know the Q was here already), Impreza WRX, EVO, Skyline, Mark II etc etc were here in their top turbocharged forms when they hit Japan.
Our guess is that the USDM manufacturers would be all but dead and in worse economic condition than they are today.
Anyway, back to the point. When I look at the offerings from Japan's top manufacturers when it comes to performance sportiness and practicality they had it nailed until arguably the mid to late nineties, but like the Germans they seem to be getting too comfortable with their position.
It seems the older cars which happen to be 10-15 years old may be better in many ways especially when it comes to reliability.
When it comes to sportiness look what's happened, there were such great cars like the Soarer, Aristo, Mark II, Supra and today Toyota only makes econoboxes and even their sporty cars seem more appealing to grandfather's. They have nothing that excites the kind of market that loves JDM cars and they probably never will.
Another example is Subaru, they still have the performance but they killed the look of the Impreza over the past few years and so has Mitsubishi with the EVO.
I guess it's true, all good things come to an end but thankfully at this rate we will have 15 year old JDM's for many years to come. After going JDM you just can't go back.
As far as we can tell most of the Japanese companies have completely lost their way in recent years unless you would be satisfied with driving an N/A Honda or Toyota.
The local car market should be scared because we've never had any decent or inspiring cars compared to what Japan has.