Who Wants A Kei Car From Japan
Any Kei vehicle is probably the farthest notion away from most car lovers’ imagination. With an average horsepower of around 58 to 65 or so, they don’t really scream get up and go. So why do so many Japanese drive these horribly slow little cars?
I was staunchly opposed to the notion of owning any Kei vehicle until I was somewhat forced to buy one.
I actually replied to this in a previous article which I have since deleted as I tend to get bored with my websites and continually delete thousand of words in frustration due to some other influence within the website, which is normally because Google is not indexing my hard work lol.
Anyway I will keep this short and sweet and offer thoughts on my own personal relationship with a Japanese Kei car and also Kei truck ( yes I have both )
Living In Japan
Here in Japan, I live in the countryside surrounded by rice fields and about 1 KLM from the longest beach in Japan. Yes, it sounds great, doesn’t it? For about 6 months of the year, it honestly is sort of Hawaii like. The rest of the time it’s cold, raining, and shaking from earthquakes. The rice is harvested late summer and the lovely fields turn into brown mud for the next 9 months.
Getting to the store or buying supplies requires driving and the roads are small and narrow. It often makes for an interesting drive. When we first arrived here nearly ten years ago from Tokyo we had a Mercedes Benz ML63 AMG. Driving the Benz 2.5 KLM to the store proved hazardous so it was decided we buy our first Kei Truck.
2007 Suzuki Carry Truck
With an endless list of potential targets to buy from an auction I decided that the best Kei car to grace my drive would be a 2007 Suzuki Carry truck with 660cc. I didn’t need 4wd or dump etc, so my truck was simply a 2wd 5 speed. What a delight this little truck turned out to be. Nimble, economical, and really easy to drive. I paid 150,000 JPY for it with registration. What a bargain! and so was the rust it came with lol.
Anyway, we had this truck for about 1 year and decided to upgrade to a brand new truck which you see below. This truck which was purchased from USS Tokyo new is a 2015 model with an automatic gearbox. Top speed is about 130 Klm an hour at some unknown RPM. It has never missed a beat and starts in any weather conditions.
The truck is a blessing as my wife can drive it and it navigates the rice fields with ease. When not used for the shopping it can be seen carrying very heavy items 🙂
Airbnb Required A New Daily Driver
About 2 years ago now we started an Airbnb service with two houses in Tokyo. We were driving about 350 Klm per week between Chiba a Tokyo for cleaning. The car we were using was a Mercedes Benz 2014 GLK 350.
The Benz was a magnificent car with plenty of pep and not as large as the ML. However, it was chucking back the gas at an alarming rate and the luggage compartment is actually tiny for the size of the car. Many ideas were submitted on an alternative and reluctantly I agreed to the largest Kei car available at the time.
This car is a 2017 Daihatsu Wake with a 660cc turbocharged 65hp engine. The room in the cabin area is amazing and the power to sleep on. There is always a sacrifice. We can easily get 4 adult-sized people in the car and luggage for an overnight trip.
We have been driving this car for over a year now as it was on a dealer yard for about 1 year prior to going to auction. Amazing economy and very comfortable. We recommend a Japanese Kei Car to everyone.