By on September 5, 2017

suzuki alto works rs-r

Anyone with an interest in odd cars probably has at least a passing fascination with Japanese kei cars. As a member of that small subset of enthusiasts, I have a long-held fantasy that involves owning a Suzuki Alto Works, Daihatsu Mira Turbo, Honda Today, or Honda Acty. But the closest North America ever got was the i-MiEV, which Mitsubishi stretched a few inches to comply with U.S. crash ratings — nullifying its official status as a kei.

Sure, most kei cars are utter garbage from a driving perspective, but their utilitarian quirkiness and microscopic road-presence are difficult to replicate on anything other than a moped. They’re also stupidly affordable, which is one of the reasons they’ve persisted in Japan.

However, that’s beginning to change now that their home country has begun taxing them into extinction. The miniature breed, brought to life specifically so budget-minded motorists can have a vehicle and always find parking, lost roughly 25 percent of its yearly volume since Japan targeted them in 2014 — resulting in a sudden annual deficit of nearly 550,000 pint-sized vehicles.  (Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • thornmark: and people that have to get a new car are reduced to shopping Nissan
  • jalop1991: “EVs are improving every year (every month, actually), as is charging infrastructure.”...
  • Tachyon: Living in SoCal, the dirty little secret is that “outside the Tesla ecosystem” Public Charging...
  • EX35: Meh. The one I drove was mediocre and seemed overpriced for what it was. H/K just doesn’t have the value they...
  • Jeff S: I have mentioned the pitfalls of EVs with range, cost, and infrastructure before. Those are givens and those...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber