Suzuki Carry vs. Daihatsu Hijet vs. Subaru Sambar

The Suzuki Carry, Daihatsu Hijet, and Subaru Sambar are known as being quality Kei Trucks. Each of the models has proven themselves to be a reliable truck, showcasing several generations spanning over the years. This raises the question of which is better. Is there a model which is best suited for the consumer? Are they all the same? This article will look at some of the key features of the Suzuki Carry, Daihatsu Hijet, and Subaru Sambar to help you decide which option is best for you.

Suzuki Carry vs. Daihatsu Hijet vs. Subaru Sambar which is better? This is a blue Subaru Sambar

Subaru Sambar’s experience

The Subaru Sambar is one of the oldest Kei Trucks on the market. Established in 1961. There have been six generations of the Subaru Sambar. This differs from other Kei trucks on the market. Many have undergone several generations. What does this mean for the truck? First, it shows that the company has focused on creating a Kei truck which can stand the test of time. Second, it proves that consumers are happy with what is produced (as there is no need to create a new generation to meet consumer demands).

Subaru Sambar – current features

The current models of the Subaru Sambar include a 3 speed auto transmission or a 5-speed manual transmission. There is also inter-cooling and a supercharger. Construction of the Subaru Sambar is different from most Kei trucks on the market as it is a 2 pc body. Most of the competitor trucks, such as the Suzuki Carry, are unibody. By having a two-piece body, the Subaru Sambar matches the chassis of most of the modern full-sized options on the road.

Both the unibody and the 2pc body have their advantages and disadvantages. Primarily, the 2pc body allows for easy bed customizations. The Unibody helps with the drive train. Depending upon the model that you choose and the features that you wish to have, the cabin could also be affected. Mainly this is based on the unibody or 2pc chassis. In the current model, the design is a remodeled Daihatsu. This lends to the question of whether it is better to just purchase a Daihatsu Hijet.

The Daihatsu Hijet’s experience

The Daihatsu Hijet has been around for several years. It has undergone several changes over those years. In comparison to the Subaru Sambar, the Daihatsu has 8 generations instead of 6. In many of these generations the engine and the basic functionality of the Kei Truck was addressed. Additionally, the market demands changed. The Daihatsu found itself needing to meet such a demand. Specifically, the Daihatsu had to update the engine to the 2-stroke, remove the business of the design, and redesign the cabin.

This is not to say that the Daihatsu Hijet is not a top quality Kei Truck. Rather, the brand focused more on meeting the current demands of the market over creating a truck that could withstand various shifts in the market. That being stated, there is a reason why the Subaru Sambar is a remodel of the Diahatsu Hijet. It is because it is a superior model to other Kei Trucks on the market.

Daihatsu Hijet Current Model

The current model of Diahatsu Hijet is more in line with modern aesthetics and design. The cabin is offered in a high top. Dash options have been updated. The engine, as with most of the generations of this model, has been updated. Its equipped with a turbo engine, giving more power. Alongside the boost to power is a focus on the safety features and performance of the Diahatsu. Sensors have been added to the model to help with breaking.

Compared to the Subaru Sambar and the Suzuki Carry, it is one of less popular models. The overall design has become sleeker. However, there are still some boxy features. Some may find off-putting. Yet, if you need to have a good Kei truck for deliveries, agricultural use, or just for off-road use, the Daihatsu Hijet is a great option.

Suzuki Carry vs. Daihatsu Hijet vs. Subaru Sambar. This is a Suzuki Carry in white.

The Suzuki Carry

The most popular Kei on the market is the Suzuki carry. Celebrating 60 years of manufacturing, it has established itself as one of best Kei Trucks on the market. There are two options which are offered for the Suzuki Carry. These two are the Suzuki Carry (standard) and the Suzuki Super. With the super, you have more features such as collision detection, brake sensors, etc.

Suzuki Carry’s basic model includes a high cabin. Within there are several features within, such as the 40ᵒ and 20ᵒ chair laybacks. Also available are power windows, doors, and power steering. Depending upon the model and generation that you choose, you will have the option of either a 3 or 4 gear 5 speed shifting.

Which is better the Suzuki Carry, Daihatsu Hijet, or Subaru Sambar?

All the models discussed are worthy of purchase. It really depends upon your needs and expectations to determine which model is the best for you. If you just need a simple Kei truck for basic work and enjoyment, then the Daihatsu Hijet is the perfect choice. Those seeking customization to the cabin and more interior options may wish to purchase the Suzuki Carry or the Suzuki Super. These models have more modern interior and design features. Last, if you are seeking to have a model which can be converted into a dump bed or a scissor lift, or if you need superior loading and unloading on a flatbed, the Subaru Sambar may the best option.

Regardless of the model that you choose, you should check to see which features are available on the generation you desire. With each generation of the Suzuki Carry, Daihatsu, and Subaru Sambar have features not available on prior or post generations. When choosing your Kei Truck, it is strongly recommended that you check with your local and state importation authorities. Because there may be restrictions for on-road use for kei trucks under 25 years of age, a classic may be preferred. But with the quality and durability of the models, even an older Kei is a great choice.

Dump bed vs. Flat Bed Japanese Mini Trucks

Japanese Mini Trucks come with two basic bed options. These two are the flat bed and the dump bed. While you can have the scissor bed, it is less common. You can have the bed covered. Yet, at that point, you have a van and not a truck. So, which bed is the best option? Should you purchase a flat bed Japanese Mini Trucks or Dump beds? This article explores the pros and cons of ownership of both. Read on to find out more.

Japanese Mini Trucks are available in flatbed as well as dump bed.

The construction truck

Dump bed Japanese Mini Trucks are primarily for construction. The bed is smaller than that of the full-size dump truck. This means that you should purchase the truck for small to mid-size jobs. You could also use the dump bed truck on a major construction job, but only as a companion to other full-size members of the fleet.

One of the positives of having dumb ped Japanese Mini Trucks is that they can navigate hard to access construction site points. Because of their narrower frame, as well as their ability to drive at angles of 30ᵒ, they are the best solution over full-sized vehicles.

The versatile truck

Unlike the dump truck Japanese Mini Trucks, Flat Beds offer versatility. The trucks, such as the Suzuki Carry Mini or the Subaru Sambar, can be used in the same fashion as a larger truck. The number of uses is limited only to the truck’s load capacity and the driver’s imagination. Like the dump truck, the flatbed truck can navigate to the most strenuous of inclines or the narrowest of alleyways.

The Flat bed Japanese Mini truck is better for importation as the truck can be classified as agricultural use. Agriculturally classified Japanese Mini Trucks may have permissions to use on the road. Dump beds would be harder to have classified, making their use primarily for off-road use.

Weight load management on Japanese Mini Trucks

When considering which truck bed is appropriate for your needs, you must consider the weight loads and how the loads are managed. Both options have the same limit to weight. Depending upon the type of Japanese Mini Trucks that are used, the limit is around 1500 lbs. (a ton and a half). Where the fundamental difference comes in is in the weight management. Dump bed mini Kei trucks manage the weight better. You also have the functionality of the dump bed which allows for quick unloading. Flat beds must be loaded with the weight distributed evenly to minimize the risk of tipping and other related weight issues.

Consider the primary use of your truck bed before purchasing. If you need containment of your material, then a dump bed would be the best option. However, if you want the ease of loading and unloading, use the flat bed. Most flat bed Japanese Mini Trucks have fold down sides which allow for quicker access to cargo.

Driving Considerations

Many Japanese Dump beds are converted flat beds. There are a few which were manufactured as part of that model’s generation. Know the difference. Should you find the dump bed is an addition to an existing model rather than the factory model, you must consider the driving capabilities.

Japanese Mini Trucks can be 2WD or 4WD. When using a dump bed, you do not want to have a 2WD front wheel drive option. This would mean that you are pulling the weight. While the truck may handle the load, the strain on the engine could limit the overall lifespan of the vehicle. For a dump bed, you really want to have a 4WD Kei Truck. Flat beds do not have to take this into consideration as the model is specifically designed to handle the weight on the bed, regardless of whether it is front or rear wheel drive.

Flat bed truck with the sides down

Part availability

Dump beds are great to have as a construction site companion. You should note that parts for the dump bed may be scarce, depending upon the model that you choose. If you wish to have one of the dump bed Japanese Mini Trucks, it is strongly suggested that you choose a model from the current generation. Current generation models ensure that should you need work on the hydraulic lift, or replacement parts, that they are available. While older generation Kei trucks may have stronger aesthetics and a lower price point, if you cannot find the parts for the vehicle, is it really worth it?

Flat bed Japanese truck parts are common. As each generation produces an enormous selection of the model, such as with the Mazda Scrum Truck, finding parts is easy. Where you will more than likely find issues with the flat bed truck is in the fold down joints. These are easily repaired or replaced. Besides the part availability, is the construction of the flatbed. Most flatbeds are unibody, meaning that the bed and the cabin are on the same chassis. This also reduces the risk of having issues with the construction.

Are Dump bed or Flat Bed Japanese Mini Trucks better?

Both the dump bed and the flat bed offer advantages and disadvantages. Dump bed Japanese Mini Trucks are ideal for those who have small to medium construction jobs and do not want the expense of renting or purchasing a full-sized dump truck for the task. They are also great for managing the weight load if that load does not have to be secured.

Flat bed trucks offer versatility and ease of use. With their fold down sides, loading and unloading of cargo is easy. As the truck can be used for agricultural uses, it gains preference over the dump bed, which can only be used off-road.

No matter which option you choose, you will get great usage from your Japanese Mini Truck. Before purchasing any of the Japanese Mini Trucks on the market, it is important to check with all importation authorities as to the stipulations regarding import. Most Kei trucks over 25 years are easily imported.

The Eco-Friendliness of Kei Trucks

Have you ever considered the Eco-Friendliness of Kei Trucks? In today’s economy, it is extremely important to note how much of an impact your vehicle has on the environment. So much is the need for economic vehicles that a bill has just been introduced which would monitor the carbons of key cities. As a result, cities will be more prone to regulations on vehicles, ensuring that they meet the standards set forth in the bill. One way in which you can lower your footprint is with a Kei Truck. The eco-friendliness of Kei Trucks is explained further below.

The Eco-Friendliness of Kei Trucks spans the years as most are extremely durable as with this blue Kei Truck.

A durable and timeless Truck

Unlike some standard-sized vehicles, the eco-friendliness of Kei Trucks can be seen in their construction. Many of the models, such as the Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck, have lasted for over 25 years. The first generation models are close to 80 years old and running. These are true classic trucks. Though there have been new generations introduced, the older generations are not forgotten.

Most of the generations are made from sheet metal. The cabins and the beds of the trucks are unibody, meaning that the chassis and the bed are not two separate pieces. Fold downs are typical on the bed of the truck. The hinges and the lower body are the only actual areas where there are typical signs of age. But, considering that most of the first-generation models from the different manufacturers still run, a bit of age showing is not that big of a deal.

The Cost is low

Owning a Kei Truck is easy to come by. The cost is lower than that of a standard full-sized truck. On average, a full-size truck costs around $30k. This is for a base model. If you wish to have a full-sized and fully loaded truck, like the F150, then you can expect to pay $78,945 before financing. When financed, the cost of one of these trucks can be close to $100k (when you add in interest). Kei trucks are far less expensive. For a new Kei Truck, you can expect to pay between 5K and 8K, depending upon the brand and the features you wish to have. Older models are extremely cheap selling for as low as $800 sometimes.

With the low cost of ownership, the eco-friendliness of Kei Trucks is shown. Less money spent on the truck and less of a cost obligation open the user up to put the savings back into the economy and stimulate economic growth. Low cost of ownership and a reliable vehicle, what is not to like?

Load Capabilities for everyday use

Let us be realistic. Unless you are a construction worker or someone who is involved with major industry, you do not need to have a 42,000-pound weight load on your truck. It is excessive. Kei Trucks have a standard capacity of around  1500 lbs. This is a ton and a half. Most people do not need to use more than that for their loads. Because you are using less of a load and because the overall size of the bed and the truck is smaller than that of the full-sized truck, there is less strain on the vehicle. Less strain on the vehicle means that there is less fuel consumption.

It is important to note that even though the weight load of the bed is 1500 pounds; it does not mean that it is limited to that weight. Many Kei Trucks have the capacity for towing, which can add additional weight to the vehicle. When loading a Kei Truck, as with any truck, make sure that you load the truck evenly to avoid any tipping or other common issues which may occur.

Most Eco-Friendliness of Kei Trucks are capable of 1500 lbs. Especially like this orange flatbed Kei Truck.

The Fuel efficiency of Kei Trucks

Perhaps the greatest way in which the Eco-Friendliness of Kei Trucks can be seen is in the fuel efficiency and engine design. Most standard-sized trucks get only 8 to 10mpg, depending upon the model. This is for trucks that do not reach the 20 ft mark. Once a truck gets over 20 ft, the fuel efficiency drops to 4 to 6 mpg. This is horrible for the environment as it means more fuel consumption is needed even for the shortest of trips.

Kei Trucks are fuel-efficient. Most models have 36.7 mpg ratings. Some vehicles such as the Mazda Scrum, previously the Autozam Scrum, have a fuel efficiency of 45mpg. The Scrum, like many of the Kei trucks, has a 660 cc DOHC three-cylinder engine while providing 25 KW. That cannot be said of modern full-sized vehicles which pride themselves on the bigger is better mentality. While you may get a bit more power, your fuel consumption plummets. The Kei Truck offers great fuel efficiency and speeds which are in line with most small to midsize roads.

The Eco-friendliness of Kei Trucks

When considering the points above, it is easy to see the Eco-Friendliness of Kei Trucks. They are small and reliable. They are fuel-efficient, while powerful enough to handle most jobs. Not only this, but the price point of the vehicle allows for most buyers to purchase the Kei Truck with no financing, allowing for more money to be spent elsewhere. Besides this, they are multipurpose. For example, if you have a Daihatsu Hijet Mini Truck with a flatbed, you can later add a cabin to the bed of the truck and turn it into a van. Or you could order the truck with a dump bed or scissor lift. That is just one brand and one model. Most of the brands on the market offer variations and packaging to meet your needs.

If you wish to purchase a Kei Truck, check with the importation authorities in your area. Most Kei trucks that are 25 years old or older are easily imported for off-road or agricultural use. Newer models may have stipulations to the importation.  

Daihatsu Hijet Mini Truck

The Daihatsu Hijet Mini Truck has been produced since 1960. Known in Japanese as the Midget, the truck is one of the most popular Kei Trucks on the market. The Kei truck is not in the same family as the Toyota, which bears a similar name. The production of the Daihatsu outdated the Toyota Hijet by twenty years. There have been 10 generations of the model. Knowing the differences between the generations is important. Here is what you need to know about the Daihatsu Hijet Mini Truck.

Not just a truck

 While the first Kei Truck bearing the name Daihatsu Hijet was introduced in 1960, it is not the only type of vehicle to have the name. In 1961, the company introduced a cab over micro-van. The van held similar traits to the Kei Truck. Both the truck and the van of the first models had a two-stroke engine. This meant that the rider sat behind the engine. For both of the first-generation models, the top speed was 47mph.

The early models were boxy in appearance, choosing functionality over aesthetics. However, in 1964, the first generations received an update. Giving the vehicle a chromed unit and a more robust body, the model took on a more competitive appearance. However, the vehicle still kept the square headlights and boxy grill design. It was not until the mid-generation changes that the boxy design of the body was reduced.

Early Generations of the Daihatsu Hijet Mini Truck

After the first generation, the next few offered various changes to the Daihatsu Hiject Mini Truck. Rehanging the doors was done to fix the issues with the rear-hinged design of prior generations. Additionally, a ZM engine was implemented giving the mini truck a boost to 53 mph. This increase does not apply to the all-electric version, which was also offered at about the same time. In 1971, the Daihatsu Hijet Mini truck was redesigned with an all Sheetmetal truck. This produced a lighter vehicle with a less boxy design from the prior models.

The van also saw changes over the years. Specifically, a side van design was introduced in the early 70s, offering side door access. This design gave the van the aesthetics of the Volkswagen without the size of the vehicle. Bumpers were revamped to allow for full sized license plates.

Early Generations of the Daihatsu Hijet Mini Trucks were boxier. This shows a late 80s which changed some o f the features.

Mid Generation Changes and features

The late 70s showed much change for the Daihatsu Hijet Mini Truck. First, the truck received a longer and wider body. This longer body meant that the overall chassis had to be redone. The design used in the mid generations was also wider. As such, the engine was moved back. Accessing the engine became as simple as lifting the front seat. Overall, the mid-generations helped to change the look to a rounder design. Headlights were replaced with rounder options. The front clip was also replaced a few times, especially when there were changes to the chassis.

Mostly, the engine remained a two stroke, though there was an introduction of a four-stroke engine. In the early 80s, the engine was changed again. This change allowed for a four-wheel-drive transmission. In 1986, the engine was replaced with a three-stroke. This was something not offered in prior generations. As the vehicle was wider and longer, the vehicle received the nickname of the Hijet Wide for a time.

The Daihatsu Hijet Mini Truck also changed its van versions during the late 70s and early 80s. One of the most substantial changes was the introduction of the panel van. Unlike the slide van and the cab over, the panel van was simply a box placed upon the bed of the Dauhatsu Hiject Mini truck.

The Ninth and Current generation

Perhaps the greatest changes to the Daihatsu Hijet Mini Truck occurred in the ninth generation. First, the truck’s body changed to a semi cab design rather than the mid-engine cab over design of the prior generations. The truck also got refined to have a rounder design to match the demands of the market. The design followed with those of the industry and therefore there are several options available for the ninth generation.

The current generation started in 2004. Unlike other generations, this is the first generation not to offer the Daihatsu Hijet Truck until late in the 2020/21 years. Only the van is available. The van is offered with a turbo engine and is rear wheel driven. Both the ninth and the tenth generation is offered in Japan and in Indonesia. Toyota has also marketed the truck, though they call it the Toyota Pixis Van. Though the current model is slide door, there is the option of the panel van on certain models.

Tremendous changes to the dash, cabin and to the technology are seen in the newest models. This includes the brake sensors and other electronics, high cabin design, and digital radio options. Sleekier and filled with curves, the current generation brings the Daihatsu Hiject Mini Truck to being one of the top selling Kei trucks on the market.

 Daihatsu Hijet Mini Truck current generation.

Should you purchase a Daihatsu Hijet Mini Truck?

There are several reasons a Daihatsu Hijet Mini Truck may be the best option for your automotive needs. First, the vehicle is small, which allows for quick and precise navigation. This is ideal for those which need to navigate tight alleyways, construction sites, or get around on one-lane streets. The bed of the truck has a substantial weight load, making the vehicle ideal for agricultural uses. And, as the Daihatsu Hijet Mini Truck can navigate steep terrain, it makes for a great off-road vehicle.

When considering your Daihatsu Hijet Mini truck, check the import and export options. Some districts only allow for trucks which are 25 years old or older to be imported, though new importation regulations may allow for certain models. Tax and registration should be checked with both your state and your local offices. Some areas offer on-road options for the Daihatsu Hijet Mini Truck if it is used for agricultural purposes.

Mitsubishi Minicab Kei Truck

Produced in the 1960s to now, the Mitsubishi Minicab Kei Truck is in its sixth generation. The vehicle has established itself as a prime choice for both rural and urban use. This is primarily because of its small size. Able to navigate even the smallest of spaces, the Mitsubishi Minicab Kei Truck offers solutions that full-sized trucks cannot solve. Which generation is right for you? Is it the older generation or the new? Read on to find more about the older generation, the 80s and 90s, and the current sixth generation.

Mitsubishi Mini Kei Truck for the 2021 generation.

The older generation of Mitsubishi Mini Kei Truck

The older generation of Mitsubishi Minicab Kei Truck includes the first, second, and third generations. In 1966, the minicab pickup was introduced into the market. This had a two-stroke engine. It was small, lightweight, and easy to drive. However, updates were made in 1968. They included the launching of the first Mitsubishi Minicab Kei van. The van’s design kept with the front cab design of the truck, but added to the metal bed covering.

Second generation models were introduced in 1972. The major difference between the first generation models and the second generation model was a new interior and a longer cargo area. Unlike the first generation models, the second generation of the Mitsubishi Minicab Kei Truck was only offered in truck form. The new model included a new suspension system. Also, a standard and drop side bed was added. Second generation models are offered in Standard, Deluxe, and Super Deluxe.

The transitional generation of the third generation

Between the second and the fourth generation, a substantial change occurred in the Mitsubishi Minicab Kei truck. First, there was a larger engine introduced. This was a 471cc as opposed to the older generations. Because it had the 28PS engine. Although there was a change in the second model to include the Mitsubishi MCA technology, the engine did not include a timing belt. The third generation models have timing belts after 1981. Prior to that year, the engine remains as the second generation. With the new Mitsubishi Minicab Kei Truck, there is an increase in horsepower. Yet, it is not just the engine that saw changes. Third generation models included defrosters for the windshield, console boxes, and AC.

Mitsubishi Mini Kei Truck from the fourth generation.

The 80s and 90s Mitsubishi Mini Kei Truck

In the 80s, the fourth generation of the Mitsubishi Mini Kei truck was introduced. In the past the changes were primarily focused on the power and performance. With the newer models were oriented more to the leisure and enjoyment of the vehicle. This was done by adding features such as angular headlamps, window wipers, and an electronic rear locking gate. The fourth-generation minivans are also the first to offer a sliding sunroom and an available high roof. In terms of the power and performance. There were a few upgrades to the model. Primarily, the fourth generation of the Mitsubishi Mini Kei Truck included options for a supercharged engine.

Increased dimensions and tax regulations factored into the fifth generation model. The fifth generation began in 1991. It offers a larger vehicle. While still conforming to the look and feel of the Mitsubishi Mini Kei Truck, the new model expanded to be more like modern cars. The engine has also been replaced in the fifth generation with a 660 CC engine. With the fifth generation, the high roof has been discontinued.

The sixth generation, or the U60 series

The current model of the Mitsubishi Mini Key truck is the sixth generation, also known as the U60 series. This series has many features which are not seen in the previous models. First, you notice that there is a rounder and a sleeker design to the front end. The trim is offered in various packages, all of which have around design. Features on the trim vary and include:

  • TL – an automatic transmission option and air conditioning.
  • TD- is the base trim option and offers power steering and an AM radio
  • TS – considered the entry level trim and has been approved as an imported vehicle for off road use.

Because of this, keep in mind that the off-road use may be waived in certain states depending upon the intended use. For example, Kei trucks can be used in the state of Georgia if the vehicle is intended for agricultural use. Also, states allow for Kei trucks based on the year in which it was made. Check with your local tax and registration for more information.

More features on the current generation

Apart from the trim options and upgrades to the engine, there are several driving and leisure changes to the Mitsubishi Mini Kei Truck sixth generation. Features on the sixth generation models include power steering, automatic transmission, 4WD, diff lock, driver airbag, passenger airbag, ABS, air conditioning, dump bed, and tailgate lifter.

There is a van version of the sixth generation which is called the Town Box. This minicab conforms to the wagon aesthetic of prior generations while at the same time integrating with modern styles. The van, as with most generations, has sliding doors and high roofs. The current generation has larger headlights and additional safety features.

Which Mitsubishi Minicab Kei Truck should you buy?

Every generation of Mitsubishi Minicab Truck has something unique to the owner. Whether you are looking for a vintage look, or need something small and reliable for your business or personal use, a Kei truck can help. Buyers should note that importing models which are less than 25 years old may prove to be slightly problematic if intended for on road use. Models which are older than 25 years old tend to do well. Therefore, it is recommended that those wishing to import models choosing a Mitsubishi Mini Kei Truck from the first to the fourth generation. If you wish to purchase a Kei truck from the fifth or sixth generation, it is strongly recommended that you check with both your state as well as local tax and registration offices to find the regulations currently in place.

Suzuki Carry Mini Kei Truck

The Suzuki Carry Mini Kei Truck is celebrating 60 years of being manufactured this year. It is one of the most popular of Mini Kei Trucks on the market. Why is this vehicle so popular? We feel that the Suzuki Carry mini truck is popular because of its indoor space, loading performance, safety equipment, driving experience, and additional features. Read on to find out more information about each area.

Suzuki Carry Mini Truck shown in a farm field.

Two Available options

While there are several packages available for the Suzuki Carry Mini Truck, there are two basic options which are offered. These two are the Suzuki Carry and the Suzuki Super Carry Mini Truck. Aesthetically, they are similar. Yet, there is a tremendous difference between the cabin space of the two. In the Carry, you have a single passenger and driver option only. On the Super Carry, the cabin is extended to allow for additional space or for additional passengers. The bed of the Suzuki Carry Mini Truck is shorter than that of the Super Carry, but not by much. The fundamental difference is the interior space.

A ton of interior space for a Kei

Usually, when you purchase a Kei truck, there has to be a specific focus on the interior space. Some models limit the amount of cabin space for the truck, hoping that the desire to keep with traditional design features will counter the limited space. Where you find that the space is limited in the first and second generations of the Suzuki Carry Mini Truck, the newer generations do not have this limitation.

The interior of the Suzuki Carry Truck has a carpet riser to allow for texturing of the room. The seat can move forward and back to allow for all profiles of all sizes to fit comfortably. If you need to relax in the truck, the 40ᵒ on driver’s side and 24ᵒ laybacks on the passenger side are a welcome feature. Height in the interior space ceiling allows for most people to sit comfortably, even when wearing a hard hat.

Loading Capabilities of the Suzuki Carry Mini Truck

The flatbed of the Suzuki Carry Mini Truck is much like that of other models. The bed extends 2030mm from the back of the cabin with a width of 1,410mm. It is the number one truck on low loading bed surfaces, allowing quick and easy loading and unloading of heavy cargo. According to Suzuki, the truck can easily load 54-60 milk crate size containers. Need a little more room? Do not worry, the sides of the Suzuki Carry Mini Truck fold down to allow for either quicker loading or for loading irregularly sized objects with ease. The clearance from the top of the tailgate to the ground is 650 mm, more space for a mini truck.

Remember when loading your truck to disperse the material. While the truck has great driving performance, loading the Kei truck unevenly can cause it to tip and wobble. This is standard for any truck of this size. Although equipped with safety features, safety procedures should be observed.

A Suzuki Carry Mini Truck being loaded.

Built in Safety Features

They focus the overall design of the Suzuki Carry Mini Truck on the safety of the passengers and of those around you. First, the windshield on the truck is maximized so that you have a clear view of the road. When coupled with the large driver and passenger windows, the driver has a panoramic view of their surroundings. Second, the seat design is made to provide comfort and ease fatigue. This is accomplished by having the pedals within proximity, encouraging proper posture and operability. Third, the dash of the Suzuki Carry Mini Truck is equipped with easy-to-read layouts. This minimizes the risk of injury due to misinterpreted information.

Depending upon the package that you choose, you may also have the option of lane departure warning, wobble alarm function, advance car start notification, and high beam assist. Choose the best package to increase your driving experience.

Driving performance of the Suzuki Carry Mini Truck

Equipping the Suzuki Carry Mini Truck is an R06A Engine with a variable valve timing. This gives an obtainable stable torque in the low and medium speed range. They equip new generation models with a 5-speed auto gear shift. Older models have a 3 to 4 gear manual transmission. It is possible to use a 2-speed smart mode and normal mode. Keep in mind that you will need to consider your loading and road conditions before engaging the 2nd speed smart model.

Streamlining the vehicle, allowing for faster speeds while maximizing the safety of the vehicle is the high-tensile construction. Coupled with the drivetrain, a Suzuki Carry can get anywhere from 14.2km/L up to 17.12, depending on whether you have 2WD, 4WD, 5MT or 3AT. You may shift between 2WD and 4WD if you have the selected one-touch drive select feature installed.

Driving the Suzuki Carry Mini Truck is perfect for navigating most roads. When approaching you could climb even the narrowest of hills. Standard climbing capabilities are 23ᵒ. However, this could change slightly depending upon the weight load. Even when fully loaded, the truck supersedes many of the full-size trucks, as they can navigate narrow spaces, accessing areas which would typically prove to be problematic to other vehicles. When select features are added, the driving conditions are vastly improved.

Extra Options

While there are a ton of standard features and packages available, add more modern features to your Suzuki Carry Mini Kei Truck. Some of the features include accessory sockets, air conditioning, CD player or AM/FM radio, power steering, power windows, and power door locks. These features may not be available for older generations. Check with the provider of your Suzuki Carry before purchasing to determine which packages you can use.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons the Suzuki Carry Mini Kei Truck has lasted as the top Kei truck for 60 years.

Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck

The Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck is the oldest of Kei trucks on the market. Established in 1961, the vehicle has shown tremendous success as a miniature automobile. Currently, it is designed under the rebadged version of the Daihatsu. With past ties to the German-based Volkswagen, it has diversified the Kei market. But what has contributed to the overall success of the Subaru Sambar Japanese Truck? It is due to its many generations of models? Or is its variety of features, and its versatility? Read on to find out more.

Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck is shown here in yellow.

Multi-Cultural Production

The Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck was designed for the Japanese market. It has branched out to other countries. China and Finland have both started to produce the truck. This is a partnership with Eclat Automotive. This is the most popular of Kei trucks on the market. It is estimated that other countries will follow suit and join the venture.

Currently, the Subaru Sambar Japanese truck is offered in a flatbed design. There is a microvan which is offered under the name Sambar. The selection is an effort to meet the Kei car guidelines. It also seeks broadening of the market for the brand. The Sambar is in its 7th generation of production. The first generation was produced up to 1966. The was to second to 1973, third till 1982, fourth till 1990, fifth till 1998, and sixth till 2012.

Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck Features

As is with most vehicles on the market, there are common features that are present in the Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck. Primarily, the key feature is the rear engine design. There is an option in newer models to have a front engine and 4WD third-generation vehicles on. Additionally, the vehicle offers:

  • 356CC and 544cc displacement
  • 3 automatic and 5 Speed manual Transmission
  • Intercooling
  • Side impact resistant power windows
  • Supercharger

Keep in mind that some of the older models will not have the same features available. Check your preferred model to see what standard features are available on your Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck. For example, first-generation trucks will not have power windows.

Beds and rear fittings

Perhaps one of the reasons why the Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck is the most popular of Kei trucks is due to the bed’s functionality. The flatbed offers a plethora of uses. With its fold-down sides, the bed’s design can be fitted to accommodate many more uses. Specifically, the option for a dump bed, scissor bed, refrigerated bed, and power lifts, make the truck a solution for any worker. Scissor and dump beds are hydraulic. Unlike the full-sized options, the mini-truck can perform in even the tightest and secluded areas.

Sambar trucks differ from other Keis on the market in their design. Most of the Kei trucks available are unibody. This means that the cabin and the bed are made from the same body. This is not the case for the Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck. The Chassis is made from two pieces.

Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck with dump feature added.

Weight Capacity

Depending upon the bed that you choose for your truck, the load capacity will vary. As such, the base model (that being the flatbed), features a payload weight capacity of 1200 lbs. Scissor lifts are slightly lower. Dump bed trucks remain around the 1200 lb weight limit. Towing capacity for the Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini truck is 1300 lbs. This makes the combined weight load 2500 lbs. This is lower than the full-sized truck weight load. Because of this, it does offer adequate payload and towing day-to-day operations.

Other Unique Features

There are several features that are unique to the Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck. Many of these features have been implemented by other manufacturers. The Subaru was the first to use them. These features include an air cooling engine and cabover designRear wheel drive

Please note that the newer generation uses a water-cooled system and does not use the air cooling system. The older models use the air cooling system. Subaru Sambar was the first to use this method and still has some models on the market with the rear-engine, air-cooled feature.

Diverse Designs

Those seeking more of an aesthetic feature will be pleased to know that the Subaru Sambar is offered in a top trim package similar to the Volkswagen Type 2. Additionally, the vehicle even sports the logo on the front of the cabin. The design is so close to the Samba. The advantage of the Subaru Samba is that you get the look, but you do not have the high fuel consumption. The Samba is very fuel-efficient.

Apart from the top trim package, the Samba is one of the most versatile in designs. This includes the boxy look of the older generations to the slick and stylish curves of the newest generation, the overall design has multiple variations. In addition to this the van option, the color schemes, and the bed customizations offer one of the most diversified designs in automotive history.

Is the Subaru Samba Mini Japanese Mini Truck right for you?

Those who need a truck but do not have the finances to purchase a full-sized option may find that the price point for the Samba to be more in their budget. Able to handle 57 HP, the vehicle is ready for most roads. Businesses that require a smaller vehicle to perform day-to-day tasks, such as those in the construction industry, or those in agricultural fields, may find that the Subaru Samba Japanese Mini Truck offers the advantages of a larger vehicle without the access limitations.

If you wish to purchase a Subaru Samba Japanese Mini Truck, check with your local transportation authority as to the registration, importation, and regulations concerning the truck. Also, it is recommended that you look for a truck that is 25 years old or older to minimize any importation regulations which may currently be in place for the Subaru Sambar Japanese Mini Truck.

Businesses can benefit from Kei vehicles – Here’s how

Businesses can benefit from Kei Vehicles by incorporating them into daily functions. As businesses are driven toward finding measures which increase capital while decreasing spending, the Kei is an excellent choice. While there are several reasons a business may wish to use a Kei truck. Here are a few of the top ways a business can benefit from Kei vehicles.

A low-cost fleet

Vehicle price points continue to rise. Currently, the average cost of a full-sized truck is around $33K. This is the cost of a basic, no packages or upgrades added, truck. The benefit from Kei vehicles on the price point is substantial. On average, a Kei truck costs around $5K for a basic truck. That is the cost of 6 full-sized trucks! Because of the reduced cost, a business can quickly build a fleet of vehicles at a fraction of the normal cost.

Businesses can benefit from Kei vehicles like this delivery truck.
Image taken from:

Use a Kei vehicle for delivery services

The world has become more and more secluded because of the pandemic. More businesses must turn to delivery services if they wish to stay open. Services such as DoorDash have shown that consumers are seeking goods and services which can be delivered right to the doorstep. Going alongside the fleet is the ability to use the vehicles to efficiently provide delivery services.

The fuel economy of the cars, vans and trucks is one of the primary ways you can benefit from Kei vehicles. Kei trucks such as the Honda Acty can cover 50 mpg. Compared to some of the full-sized vehicles on the market which get 24 mpg, this is a tremendous benefit. Theoretically, a Kei can deliver twice as much goods. More goods delivered means more profit for the business.

Delivery usage for a Kei vehicle

While there are innumerable ways in which you can use a Kei truck, car, or van, there are some which favor better than others. Some ways in which you can really benefit from Kei vehicles in delivery include:

  1. Food to door
  2. Packages and mail
  3. Materials to construction site
  4. Hay to livestock

Keep in mind that larger packages can be delivered without the same restrictions that a standard size truck encounter. Most Kei vehicles have fold-downside panels on the bed of the truck. Larger packages can be loaded and unloaded from any angle. As the bed of the truck is lower than full-sized competitors’ vehicles, loading and unloading is easier.

Use a Kei Vehicle for Security

Golf carts have been used as a security vehicle in many industry parks. The problem which has arose from this is that they are both conspicuous and are very low speed. Perpetrators can easily identify who is watching them and flee, as the golf cart cannot possibly keep up with the average vehicle. A business can use a Kei vehicle for security. The vehicles look just like any other car, truck, or van, just smaller. Patrolling tight spaces is easy as the vehicles have a sharp turn radius. If used in a parking deck, the incline of the ramps does not slow the vehicle down as most Keis can handle slopes up to 20ᵒ. And as the average Kei has similar mph as that of a standard size vehicle, you can easily follow, and record tag numbers as needed.

Kei Vehicles for construction

Apart from business use after the business has been erected, is the use of the Kei during the construction of the building. Depending on the type of model that you choose and the features, it is quite possible to have a diversity of services offered by the Kei truck. For example, you could have a Kei truck equipped with a scissor lift. That truck can haul materials to workers where a full-sized truck cannot go because of other site conditions. When arriving at the location, the scissor lift can hoist the goods to the level of the scaffolding, where workers can easily unload what is needed.

Another option is the dump truck bed. The best benefit for Kei vehicles with dump truck beds is for sites requiring minimal construction. They are not intended for major construction sites.

Agricultural use of a Kei vehicle

You may find that the best use of your Kei is for farming and agricultural purposes. Many states offer street legalization for Kei vehicles which can prove that they are for such. Agricultural purposes include farming, mixed farming, produce, crop fields, as well as any job associated with those fields. This may include transportation of workers to the job site, hauling hay for cattle, and transportation of fruits and vegetables to the local farmer’s market.

Using a Kei vehicle in the fields is beneficial because there is less risk of damage. The lighter weight and narrower body allow the user to avoid trampling or side swiping crops such as cotton, corn, or fruit trees. If the vehicle must navigate in muddy conditions, there is less potential that the vehicle will become logged in the muck. Even if it gets stuck, the lightweight makes it easy to pull out, minimizing the risk of damaging fields.

As the laws pertaining to on-road usage differ from state to state, it is highly recommended that you check with your local and state transportation services.

Other Kei vehicle uses for businesses

Other usage of the Kei vehicle for business include tourism, chauffeuring, catering services, laundry pickup and delivery, and more. Any business can benefit from the use of a Kei. As the vehicles are a low cost, highly efficient, and able to navigate even the smallest of spaces, what is not to like.

Please note that importation of Kei Vehicles to the United States is regulated. Vehicles, which are over 25 years of age fair better in the process than some of the newer models. That being stated, newer models can be imported if the use of the vehicle is clearly stated. Ensure that you know your state’s standards for importing a Kei prior to importation.

Classic Kei Trucks – Are They Worth Buying?

Classic Kei trucks have a unique style to them. The United States does not allow for the importation and registration of Kei Trucks less than 25 years old unless they are being used for off-road purposes (21 states allow this). Because of this, many people have turned to the classic Kei. But are they worth buying? We think so.

Classic Kei Trucks can have either smooth or boxy design. Many have a combination of both.

The Styles are amazing

If you are looking for a vehicle that has the look and feel of an older Voltz wagon but does not have the size or the price tag typically associated with the full-sized vehicle, then the classic Kei trucks are the option for you. Customizable and aseptically pleasing, they give the user versatility in the design. Most of the older models could be turned into Kei campers, further enhancing the style of the vehicle. Don’t want to change your Kei truck? No problem, some of the classic Kei trucks have accompaniment to campers and/or trailers available.

If you choose one of the classic Kei trucks to turn into a camper, keep in mind that you will need to maintain the weight distribution. As most of the Kei trucks are unibody, meaning that the cabin and the bed are made from one chassis, customizations should not alter the overall weight balance. When looking at the classic Kei trucks, you find that they have a smoother design than many of their modern competitors. Even the trucks have rounded edges instead of the boxier design associated with the Kei.

Great Working Vehicles

There is a reason the government has stated that the Kei must be 25 years old to import. They have proven their reliability and durability. The standards of the Kei are made for great working trucks. Small and versatile, the trucks can navigate the smallest of alleyways or the steepest of hills. The trucks can handle inclines up to 20ᵒ. With a variety of Kei beds for the truck, such as the flatbed, dump bed, and scissor lift, you can have a classic look that also meets functional needs. Regardless of usage needs, the Kei truck can help in most cases.

Keis are versatile. The classic Kei truck is ideal for construction jobs, agriculture, storage and supply, and general everyday use. There are state limitations for on-road use. Check with your state and local registration office to know the limitations of use. Off-road use has many functions, from material transporting on a farm to leisure riding.

Classic Kei trucks go off-road

The off-road ability of classic Kei trucks should not be underestimated. Besides the trucks’ ability to navigate steep inclines and narrow passageways, is the ability to go where full-sized trucks would have difficulty. For example, if you have a truck that needs to navigate the muddy terrain, you risk getting stuck. Towing would be required to get the truck loose. However, because of the lighter weight of the Kei truck, you are less apt to get stuck in the mud. Another example would be navigation along creek beds, hiking trails, and dirt roads. These are problematic to full-size vehicles but are not an issue for the classic Kei trucks.

Easily repair common issues

While we do not want to have our vehicles break down, inevitably, service and repair will be needed at some point. When this occurs, it is better to have one of the classic Kei trucks than it is to have a standard classic or modern vehicle. Modern vehicles have several computer-related sensors which make working on them difficult. Also, the alternator, spark plugs, and other components are hard to get to and repair.

The classic Kei trucks are very easy to repair. Most of the vehicles have an engine in the vehicle’s rear. They allow for quick and easy access. Though the various components, such as the fuel line and fluid locations, may differ once you know where to look, service and repairs are simple.

Should you need to replace parts on a Kei truck, you will find that the overall cost of the parts is far less than that of the modern day full-sized truck. Most of the repairs and replacement parts are so simple to change that even the novice can perform service and maintenance without any trouble.

Low HP but high fuel efficiency

In today’s world, the focus on vehicle efficiency has increased. Modern vehicles have struggled to keep up with the demand to produce fuel-efficient, low emission vehicles. However, the classic Kei vehicles tend to already have the features needed to meet fuel emission testing. The design of the classic Kei trucks also allows for high mileage (km) before refueling.

Due to the lack of modern electronics in the classic Kei truck, there is less of an electronic footprint. Compared to modern vehicles which emit a substantial amount of electronic emissions, the Kei truck is the best all-around option economically.

Classic Kei Trucks–Are They Worth Buying? Yes. Look at this blue Kei truck. Stylish and still running after 25 years.

Classic Kei Trucks–Are They Worth Buying?

If you require a truck that is versatile, easy to work on, and can navigate to most areas, then choose a classic Kei. There is little risk that you will have trouble importing the vehicle. Most classic cars must be at least 25 years old to gain that status. When you have your vehicle imported, 21 states allow a level of on-road navigation. True, there are limitations depending upon which state you live in, but all states allow for off-road use.

We believe that the classic Kei trucks are a brilliant investment. They have stood the test of time and still perform as though they were manufactured less than 10 years ago. Small, stylish, and economical, what is not to like?

Although we love classic Kei Trucks, there are stipulations to importation. Classic Kei trucks that are over 25 years tend to have less trouble then those which are under 25 years of age. To find out more about the legality of your Classic Kei truck, contact your state or local tax and registration office.

Best use of a Kei truck in Georgia

There are many ways in which you can use a Kei Truck in Georgia legally. Georgia law states that you can drive the Kei truck on the road if you can prove that the truck is being used for agricultural purposes. Knowing various agricultural uses for the Kei truck is therefore necessary to ensure legality. There are three key areas in which you can focus your attention these are mixed farming, cotton/peanuts, and fruit and vegetables.

Mixed farming supplies and produce

Georgia is an agricultural state. From Peanuts to the Georgia peaches, the state has become well known for the crops they produce. Mixed farming is the growing of food, feed crops, and livestock on the same farm. This is common for the state of Georgia. If you have a mixed crop, then you can use a Kei truck legally.

One use for the truck on a mixed farm is to haul feed to pasture. Toting feed across multiple acres is inconceivable for many farms without a truck. Purchasing a full-sized truck costs thousands of dollars. You can purchase a Kei truck for a fraction of the cost. When compared to the full size, the loading capacity is similar. Whether you use the truck to haul feed, fencing material, harvested produce, or seed, the Kei truck can handle the load.

Mixed Farming, Livestock

Short-range transport can be completed using a Kei truck. The truck can be customized to accommodate small livestock with ease. It should not be used for larger animals, as this could cause you to have an uneven load which could affect the balance of the bed. However, chickens and goats would do well in the bed of a Kei truck. Ensure that you meet local and state laws for transporting if you plan to use the truck on Georgia’s roads.

When customizing your Kei for livestock, it is strongly recommended that you weld the fold-down sides of the bed. Livestock are apt to bump and kick against the sides of the bed. The last thing that you want is to have the sides fall down and the cage become dislodged.

Kei truck in Georgia showing how you can use the truck for livestock.


Cotton and Peanuts remain Georgia’s top produce. You can easily use the Kei truck to transport harvested bushels. Because of the small size, the Kei vehicle can get between the rows to make harvesting easier. Steep inclines are not an issue for the trucks as most can handle up to a 20ᵒ incline. Worried about the Georgia clay? Getting stuck happens. Yet, with a Kei truck, you do not have the same weight as a full-sized vehicle and so getting out of the mud is easier.

As cotton bushes and peanuts tend to grow in tighter clusters than other crops, having a full-sized vehicle can become problematic. With the larger vehicle scratches, dings, and other damage may occur. And while there is no guarantee that the Kei truck will go without such, the risk is far less. Alongside the considerations for the truck are the cotton and peanut crops. In many instances, larger vehicles pose a huge threat for cotton and peanuts. This is a navigational issue. Plants are far more likely to be crushed or damaged by a large truck trying to navigate the field than a smaller and lighter Kei truck.

Fruits and Vegetables

Harvesting fruits and vegetables require that you have an abundant flat space in which to put the crates or barrels. As the bed of a Kei truck is lower than that of a full-size truck, there is less loading strain upon workers, making for a more productive day. They also equipped many of the Kei trucks with fold-down sides, giving access to the full bed and eliminating the need to line up to load the produce.

While loading produce and hauling is the primary function of the Kei Truck, being able to get the product on the roads and highways is critical if you wish to sell your produce. As a large stack of fruits and vegetables is obviously agricultural, you should not have any issues in going to a farmer’s market. Just be sure to register your truck for agricultural use when purchasing your tag and registration.

Use a Kei Truck in Georgia

You do not have to have a farm in order to use a Kei truck in Georgia. For example, if you have a restaurant and want to have the freshest of ingredients, you could register your truck as agricultural and only use the truck to visit the local farmer’s market or surrounding farms to purchase your product. So long as the truck is used primarily for agriculture, you can use it on the roads of Georgia. Another example would be those who harvest hay. While you may not have any livestock or produce on the land, your property can be considered a feed crop and you can register the vehicle as agricultural.

When registering for on-road use, you may need to update the vehicle with the proper seat belts, lighting, and other standard vehicle equipment. Most Kei vehicles come equipped with such. However, older models may require you to customize the vehicle to meet local and state regulations.

Showing an agricultural field of Georgia.

The best use of a Kei Truck in Georgia

You can only legally use a Kei truck in Georgia for agricultural purposes. However, if you have private property and want to own a Kei truck, you can do so legally. Because of its small size, you can also transport trucks to use on jobs, such as construction. There are various uses and types of Kei trucks available.

To find out more about the use of a Kei truck in Georgia. If you wish to register your Kei vehicle in the state of Georgia, contact your local tag and registration office. Importing of a Kei has regulations within the state of Georgia and so you are encouraged to research all the laws, regulations, and import/export guidelines before you purchase your vehicle.