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.