Used Mini Japanese vans are available in several brands and generations. Most of the top vehicle manufacturers have used Japanese manufacturers to create Kei trucks and vans. Knowing about these various vehicles may help you save money and provide you with a unique solution to your driving needs. But are they worth the purchase and how do they compare to the standard sized vehicle? And what exactly is a mini Japanese van? If you have ever wondered about using Mini Japanese Vans, this article is for you.
Used Mini Japanese Vans explained
The Kei van, as it is commonly referred to is a small vehicle which has limitations to the overall height, length, and width of the vehicle. Currently, that standard places the overall length at 11 ft, the width at 4.9 feet, and the height at 6.6 ft. The most notable difference between a standard van and the used mini Japanese van is the width. But this should not deter you from a purchase. There is still room for several passengers within the vehicle. Kei vans just remove the superfluous space, focusing more on the function of the vehicle rather than the additives.
Equipping most of the Kei vans is a 660cc engine. This adheres to the Kei standards. Most of the vans are known as a one box car model, meaning that the entire design is constructed as one piece. The one box car is a small commercial design, similar to that of the passenger vehicle. These designs have a bonnet allowing for taller passengers to ride comfortably. The Kei van one box car is usually referred to by its synonymous name, the wagon.
Engine placement and drive functions
Because of the smaller size of the used mini Japanese vans, the engine could be in one of several locations. The older vehicles will usually have the engine in the vehicle’s rear. This is similar to the placement of engines in larger vans, such as the Volkswagen. Mid generation models are apt to have the engine in the mid-ship. This means that the engine would be located in the passenger or in the middle of the vehicle and accessed by lifting a panel within the cabin or the floorboard of the van. Typically, when this is the case, the engine is located under the front passenger seat. If the Kei van is of a modern generation, then the engine may be in the front.
All the engine placements are in the same category. While this makes it easy for manufacturing classification, it poses a bit of an issue to those wanting to know how and where to access the engine. You will need to have pictures or visually inspect the vehicle to get the precise location of the engine on the Kei van you are importing.
Driving functions of the Van are usually rear wheel and 4WD. Transmissions on the Kei van differ from 3 to 4-speed manual to 5-speed automatic. This too depends on the generation and the make and model that you wish to import.
Brands of Used Mini Japanese Vans
There are several different brands of Kei vans on the market. However, there are some which are considered being the standard amongst the Kei providers. Here are three of the most popular brands of used mini Japanese Vans available.
The first is the Daihatsu Atrai. This Kei van was introduced in 1981 and is known for its boxy white design. Based on the Heisette, the overall design has remained the same for most of the generations. However, the more modern look has adjusted to the needs of the market going to a high 7 person seater van.
Next, the Honda Acty Van is available. This was introduced in 1979 under the name of the Honda Street. The Honda Street has remained as the main Kei van for Honda from 1979 to 2018. In 2018, the vehicle was replaced by the N-Van. Those seeking a used mini Japanese van may wish to seek out an older generation, as the aesthetics are substantially different from the Honda Street to the N-Van.
Last is the Suzuki Carry. Based upon the Kei truck, the Suzuki carry is one of the oldest and most trusted of Kei brands on the market. First introduced in 1962 as a panel van, the Suzuki Carry has continued throughout the various generations of the brand. The most common Suzuki Carry is the fourth generation onward and has the chamfered frond and back. Fundamental changes occurred in the 8th generation, giving the overall vehicle a facelift. This new design corresponds to the newer van look. Currently, the Suzuki Carry van has been discontinued, with the Suzuki Every Plus taking its place.
Why should you purchase used mini Japanese Vans?
Used mini Japanese vans provide you with the smaller vehicle for navigation within a city. They are not as cumbersome or as expensive as a full-sized van. This does not mean that they do not offer the same features as the modern vehicle. You can purchase a used current generation which has similar features to that of base package full-sized vehicles. For those wishing to have a classic on-road vehicle, choosing a Kei van which is over 25 years can provide you with the look and function of a classic car.
Apart from the smaller size and the navigation benefits, many of the Kei vans can be, or have been, converted for camping use. Because of the side and rear access to the van, you can adjust the overall interior layout to meet your needs. Whether you are camping, driving, or just want to have something a bit more original than a domestic van, a Kei Van is a great option.
Importation of used vehicles which are over 25 years of age usually is easier than purchasing a new Kei truck or van. Check with your local and state authority to understand the regulations and stipulations for importation and on-road use of your used mini Japanese van.