Are Japanese Mini Trucks Good Off-Road?

Japanese mini trucks have been making headlines from one auto magazine to the other over the years. When you come across a Japanese mini truck, it surely turns heads. These conspicuous small and compact vehicles have become popular over the years. It is not just their unique and amazing appearance that makes the vehicle popular. The Japanese mini trucks, also called kei trucks are small workhorses that will deliver on a lot of instances. Some people have even compared them to the standard pick up trucks. But are they really that good? In this guide, we even go beyond that. We aim to understand are Japanese mini trucks good off-road as many people say?

Are Japanese Mini Trucks Good Off-Road?

It is obvious that these Japanese mini trucks can run well on paved roads and urban cities. This is why they were created. They were used in maneuvering tight Asian streets and saw them become a success. However, they are being adopted by other people in other fields and are being used on different roads including those that are in tough terrains and those that are sometimes impassible with other vehicles. So, are Japanese mini trucks good off-road? Are they built to survive this?

Let us look at some of the good things that makes the Japanese mini truck good off-road.

Strong Springs & Suspension

Suspensions and the springs in a vehicle are very important. It is these suspensions that determines how a vehicle handles the road. And with weak suspensions that can break when stressed, the vehicle might not be able to survive the stress undergone in a rough rugged terrain. luckily, the Japanese mini trucks have been designed to handle such. They have capable suspension and springs that would tackle any road.

Heavy Duty Body

For a vehicle to survive tough roads, there is need to have a solid construction and body. Japanese mini trucks have just that. They were built to last and they have stayed true to their mission even with their modern designs. The uncompromising design and body materials used in these Japanese mini trucks makes them outstanding and dependable in different terrains.

4-Wheel Drive Transmission

A vehicle can either have 2 wheel or 4 wheel drive transmission. A 4-wheel vehicle means that it can engage all the four wheels and therefore increasing the grip and traction. With increased traction, the vehicle becomes more stable and capable of handling pretty much any road regardless of the condition. So, if you plan on using a vehicle in rough roads where it can be marshy, it should definitely be a 4 wheel drive. Considering the fact that Japanese mini trucks have this capability, it is safe to say that they are good off-road.


To wrap it up, there are some things that are required from a vehicle to be considered capable of handling off-roads. Shared above are some of them. The Japanese mini trucks have been well designed with all these things in mind and are definitely capable. You should therefore consider buying a Japanese mini truck.

When Do You Need A 4X4 Mini Truck?

If you have been watching the auto world, then you already know how the Japanese mini trucks are getting popular day by day and becoming a favorite to many of us. Some of the features and capabilities that makes the Japanese mini trucks stand out includes the 4 wheel drive capability which augments its drive-train and take performance to the next level. Having the 4X4 capability, a vehicle is able to move easily and handle pretty much any kind of terrain roads seamlessly since all the four wheels are operational.

In a bid to help you decide on if you should get a 4 wheel drive mini truck, we will go outline some of the things about these Japanese mini trucks as well as give you some basic maintenance guides on how to handle them.

4 Wheel Drive Japanese Mini Truck Overview

Below are some of the reasons why one would need a 4X4 mini truck.

Excellent In Reliability

The capability to engage all wheels in the 4X4 mechanism increases the vehicle’s traction which means that the vehicle can easily drive through muddy and all weather roads where 2 wheel drive vehicles wont perform of drive through. This is a feature that usually comes in handy if you regularly take the off roads carrying some loads from one place to the other. Anyone who has always has their doubts on the vehicle reliability should consider getting the 4X4 Japanese mini truck and expect nothing short of excellence.

High Quality And Performance

Fact has it that these state of he art vehicles have been in use for many generations and they are made by some of the leading automakers that rule the industry. With this in mind, these car makers have a good track record of making vehicles is an assurance that the mini trucks are also excellent when it comes to performance and quality. They have been built to last and their bodies are very solid and will endure work on any kind of terrain even the harsh ones.

They Come Cheap

We all love cheap things, and that is a fact. However, visiting local car dealer will just make you go crazy just by looking at the figures quoted for any new vehicle. Most mini trucks are high when it comes to their carrying capacity, but you will rarely need to haul stuffs that a mini tuck won’t be able to handle. So why should you waste more money on a vehicle that costs you an arm and leg to buy while a Japanese mini truck comes cheaply?

But why are they so cheap? Will they last, or just cheaply built to last a while? In Japan, mini trucks are being dumped at throw away costs by their owners who are seeking to get newer vehicles that attract less tax which the Japanese government does on older vehicles and this is why they come in cheaply.

Maintenance Costs Are Low

We all love vehicles that don’t cost a lot when it comes to maintaining and running them. Anyone who has experienced a vehicle that guzzles up a lot of fuel and also expensive to maintain doesn’t want to go through the same nightmare and if so, you should consider getting a Japanese mini truck. Lucky enough, the Japanese mini trucks (kei) have a good reputation for being economical and low when it comes to running them.

Whether you want to carrying construction materials and equipment from the site or need one that will endure the harsh terrain of an off-grid environment, Japanese mini trucks are for you.

Simple Mini Truck Maintenance Tips

Here are tips to get your vehicle running perfectly;

Wiring and lights maintenance – Something that you’d want to ensue is spot on and the entire wiring system also need to be checked to ensure they are in good condition. The experience of pushing your vehicle downhill to get it to start, simply because the battery is low is one that is unpleasant.

Regular tire change – A 4X4 vehicle should have the best tire conditions for better traction while the wheels should also offer the much needed grip to go through any road and condition. Experts always advises one to change your tires when the treads have started to wear out by half deep or after six months (whichever comes first). This will also improve the safety of the vehicle and reduce the chances of accidents.

Check your oil regularly– Anything that involves moving parts need lubrication which can be achieved by oiling and greasing them. This is simply because from time to time, they start losing their efficacy and need to changing. Doing this will ensure that you get better performance and avoid parts breaking or easily wearing out.

Shared above, are the most common maintenance tips that you need to get your vehicle running normally. You should also consider learning the basic mechanical tasks of doing simple fixes.

Final Word:

We at times find ourselves needing a vehicle that is able to withstand and work under harsh weather and bad off-roads. Whether you need to carry some light to medium sized loads, then you need a reliable vehicle that can handle the work with ease. While Pick-up trucks are considered an ideal option, they are very costly and maintaining them is another problem and for that mater,  you’d better off getting a Japanese 4 wheel drive mini truck.

Anyone who wants to get a 4 wheel drive Japanese mini truck, should check out some that we have in our listing page. We have tons of mini trucks ranging from dump bed, caravans, flatbeds, skylift, scissor lift mini trucks as well as dozens of minivans. Get in touch with us if you have questions or need to inquire on any particular vehicle that you can’t see in our listing.

Choosing Between 4 WD Japanese Mini Truck And A 2WD Mini Truck

If you’ve been eyeing mini trucks or just any other vehicle for a while, then you must have come to a crossroads at some point and asked yourself whether you should go with a 4 Wheel drive vehicle or a 2 Wheel drive one. Mini trucks have become the rage these days and with the industry going crazy with vehicles pricing as well as fuel, you need a vehicle that comes cheap and one that also demands less maintenance. Japanese car makers have always been ahead in providing affordable mini trucks yet high performing. One can easily get themselves good high performance mini trucks such as the Suzuki Carry or the Daihatsu Hijet which are among the best-selling ones in the market.

If you have been coming across the terms 4X4, 4WD, AWD and 2WD, then this article is for you. It is meant to help you understand what they are all about and if you are looking for a Japanese mini truck, you can easily decide on which one to go with.

What Is a 4WD Vehicle?

4WD is a vehicle drivetrain that is used to transmit power to all the 4 wheels of a vehicle so that they start running all together through both axles. While often confused with All-Wheel drive (AWD), the 4 wheel drive (4WD) is different although they function similarly. To differentiate them, 4 Wheel drive are disengaged and engaged when its need arises. This is usually done with the use of an automated switch that changes the vehicle from a 2WD to the 4WD. On the other edge, an AWD (All-wheel drive) vehicle is always on and doesn’t need one to switch anything.

Engaging all wheels when driving increases grip and traction, therefore making the vehicle more persistent when the road is either impassable or in a bad state. The 4WD functionality is the ideal way to get through this and simply put, it gets the job done. If you therefore live in a snowy area where snow is a common thing or perhaps you live in an area that experiences heavy rains causing the roads to swell or get muddy, a 4X4 mini truck is ideal for you.

What about 4 WD Hi and 4WD low? If you have been inside a Japanese mini truck or just any other 4 wheel drive vehicle, then you might have noticed something such as 4WD Hi and another 4WD low. These two differ in that 4WD Hi is meant to add substantial grip and traction for roads that are fairly easy to moderate. 4WD low on the other side is for ultimate grip when you are in a situation where the road is in technical conditions. Usually running the vehicle on 4WD low tends to be slower than when in 4WD Hi but it offers better grip.

When Are 4 Wheel Drive Vehicles Ideal?

4 wheel drive vehicles are designed from high performance regardless of the condition of the roads or the load been hauled. It is therefore a crucial functionality that will come in handy when you are carrying a lot of goods under such roads.

It is also important to keep in mind that since these vehicles are meant for high performance, the 4X4 functionality could demand the use of more fuel as compared to low performance vehicles such as family cars. It is thus important to keep in mind the cost factor and only use it when budget makes sense.

What Is A 2WD Vehicle?

Two wheel drive vehicles are those that are powered by only one axle where only two wheels run the vehicle. 2 Wheel drive doesn’t however mean that the vehicle cannot move through snowy or all-weather roads. 4 Wheel drive have added advantages but with a few tweaks such as using high traction tires and modern traction systems, a 2 WD vehicle can perform amazingly.

When it comes to the active axle, the 2 WD can either be the front wheel or the rear axle, although there isn’t much difference. In fact, many drivers might not easily fell the difference between any of the two.

If you live in an area with mild climate that doesn’t experience a lot of snow, heavy rains and not in a remote area with off-roads, then a 2 wheel-drive vehicle is ideal.

When To Get A 2WD Mini Truck

You should go for a mini truck if you are on a low budget, but also when you can withstand the condition of the roads that you will be using the mini truck on. If you will be using your mini truck to carry some chicken feeds from the nearby town which doesn’t get you into an off-road situation, then you will be good with a 2WD mini truck.

Since carrying heavier vehicle also demands grip and traction, you should consider using a 2WD when you are going to be carrying and hauling light loads. This will ensure that you have the best performance from your vehicle.

Final Word:

For decades, the debate of choosing between 4WD vehicles and their 2WD counterparts has been on and on. From the guide above, the 4WD which always come with a higher price tag than the 2WD is an ideal vehicle if you are going to be handling heavy duties under some bad roads that are hard to maneuver and get along with on normal vehicles. Some of the best Japanese mini trucks that you should consider for this include the Suzuki Carry mini truck, Daihatsu Hijet, Mitsubishi minicab mini truck and the Subaru Sambar.

Check out our inventory listing page to get the best Japanese mini truck for your needs. You will find both 4X4 mini trucks as well as 2WD in the listing. Get in touch with us for more details and information on a mini truck that you are interested on. Japanese car auctions are also a good place to find affordable mini trucks which are in good condition and we can help with that. We also do the hard work of shipping to your preferred port.

4×4 Mini Trucks For Sale – Buying Guide For Buying Japanese Mini Trucks

Looking for a 4X4 mini tuck (Kei truck) for sale? These vehicles have received a lot of attention across the globe and owners love them for a number of reasons. The mini trucks have been undergoing evolution over the decades and they have stayed true to their purpose, which is to deliver satisfactory service. There are a few vehicles that can closely compare to the Japanese mini trucks and they come at a way lower price tag.

This post is dedicated to providing you with info on mini truck sin general, why you should go for them and how to choose the right one when buying.

Why Buy The 4X4 Mini Trucks From Japan?

Are you wondering why people are so into Japanese mini trucks? Here are some of the reasons why the 4X4 mini truck is an ideal vehicle worth having.

High Performance

Japanese mini trucks have a long history and have been used in Japan for many years. Having being made by some of the leading car makers in the world, this is something that you’d expect to serve you for long, with the same consistency in quality service. These vehicles are made under advanced engineering and they are made to be hard bodied and tough. The fact that it is also 4 wheel drive also improves the performance.

Use It As A Multipurpose Vehicle

Mini trucks come in different styles. You can have a dump bed mini truck, a skylift mini truck, a scissor lift-dump bed mini truck, a caravan mini truck and other custom mini truck designs. With mini trucks, you can get the vehicle you need which perfectly meets your requirements.

Reliable In all Weather Roads

How many times have you found yourself in an impassable road while hauling goods? If you’ve found yourself in such a situation, it is time to get a vehicle that gets you out without any problems. With a 4X4 mini truck, there is nowhere you can’t go. You can go over those muddy roads, and steep one while carrying heavy loads without any problems.


With Japanese government demanding higher taxes for older vehicles, owners of older mini trucks are forced to sell them at throwaway process. Now, if you are someone who is keen enough to take advantage of a good opportunity, then this is it. You can buy a mini truck straight from Japan and have it shipped to wherever you are. Here at Substar, we have been shipping to many countries across the globe including the United states, Australia, Canada, UK and New Zealand. If you are in one of these, then check out our listing page and find a mini truck that you would like us to ship to your nearest port.

What To look For In A 4X4 Mini Truck

Just like with any other thing that you buy, there are risks of either getting a faulty mini truck or one that doesn’t meet your expectations. As such, you need to do a thorough inspection and ensure that everything is spot on. Below are some of the things that you should look at when you are deciding on a mini truck to buy.

Ensure You are dealing with a legit company – There are many scams online which has also affected the auto industry. Many people use false misrepresentation to lure unknowing clients to buy from them and then disappear without giving them the vehicle they need. On that account, one needs to be extra cautious when doing online transactions to buy their desired vehicle. You should dig deep into the company and make sure that you are communicating with them through the contact that they have officially put on their website.

Don’t pay to an overseas account – Many scammers online aren’t even from Japan and they will tend to come up with stories telling you that they would like you to deposit the money to their offshore account. If you come across such, you need to run. Such is definitely a scammer who is from another country and you will never hear from them again after sending them the payment.

Get A detailed video and answers – Before going ahead and placing an order for your mini truck, there are many things that you should check and among them is to first get all the details that you need to assess the vehicle and find out if it really is the vehicle that you need. Getting a video of the vehicle will also be great in letting you know more about the vehicle. Knowing how the mini truck starts and also how it idles can tell you many things. It will also help you to stay away from bad surprises that you may come across when you get the vehicle.

Consider getting a customs broker – sometimes it could get hectic and confusing, but that doesn’t meant that you should stop your quest for the mini truck. There is the option of hiring a broker o help you do many things. Although we do the shipping for you here on Substar, we are free to work with any broker.

Some of the best 4X4 mini tuck models that you will come across and should be considering includes Daihatsu Hijet, Honda Acty, Subaru Sambar, Mitsubishi Minicab and Suzuki Cary. These are the most common Japanese mini trucks that you should be considering.

Final Word:

Whether you need a vehicle that will help you get your sacks of corn from the farm or a vehicle that will help you haul sand for your construction site, these 4X4 mini tucks from Japan are the ideal vehicles to do that. With their unchallenged performance and the fact that you get them at a bargain, these mini trucks are the best you can get.

We have tons of mini trucks in our listings page which you can check out and get yourself one. You will also get to choose from a variety of custom designed mini trucks which can help in doing various tasks. To save you the hassles and complications of dealing with shipping brokers, we will also do the shipping for you.