Car Talk

Top 5 Japanese Kei Trucks You Should Consider Owning

Avatar Adie Tinkle -

Do you want to get your hands on a perfect truck that is robust and compact in size and can offer you perfect strength and agility without being heavy on your pocket? If yes, then the Japanese kei trucks are the perfect choice for you. kei trucks, also known as Japanese mini trucks, are very easy to maintain and offer durability. 

The best part about these mini trucks is that they are budget-friendly and offer you a cost-effective solution to your driving needs. Moreover, kei trucks are easy to handle and drive, so you can use them to run your daily errands.

They are not only practical and handy and also come in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive versions. You can use these vehicles for multiple purposes and enhance your driving experience. 

If you are looking for the best kei trucks for sale, check out these top five Japanese kei trucks that are worth your investment. 

Honda Acty

Honda makes one of the best vehicles that offer both comfort and reliability.  They introduce the most reliable range of vehicles that are durable, affordable, and can quickly grab attention worldwide. 

Honda Acty has a three-cylinder engine that makes between 35hp to 45hp. It is small, sturdy, and specially designed for country roads. Honda Acty was unveiled in July 1977 and lasted until 1988. In 1979, Honda introduced its van model based on the Acty truck platform. Besides its small size, it is packed with amazing features. These offer reliable performance and efficient engines with robust features making them a perfect choice for people on a budget. 

SpecificationDescription
Engine 656cc, 3-cylinder, SOHC, liquid-cooled, gasoline engine
Transmission5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic
Fuel Efficiency27-29 mpg city, 32-34 mpg highway
Power38 horsepower at 5,500 RPM
Torque40 lb-ft at 4,000 RPM

Features 

This vehicle is equipped with air conditioning, power windows, anti-lock brakes, power steering, AM/FM radio, traction control, driver and passenger airbags, electronic stability control, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and forward collision warning. 

Pros 

  • Spacious interior 
  • Available in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive options 
  • Suitable for multiple applications and driving conditions 

Subaru Sambar 

When you are looking for affordable used Japanese cars, you will definitely come across Subaru Samber. Belonging to the first generation of vehicles, Subaru Samber achieved massive success and fame. This ideal pickup truck is sleek, stylish, and can also be used for commercial purposes. 

Its basic interior is quite decent and it provides ample space for transporting goods. These models offer excellent fuel efficiency and exhibit amazing performance regardless of what you plan on carrying around. This mini truck is the perfect blend of practicality and affordability. It was promoted as the first-ever kei vehicle as it managed to pass the stringent vehicle test in Japan. Not only did it make mini trucks highly popular, but it also allowed the Subaru Samber to become one of the best-selling mini trucks in Asia. 

SpecificationDescription
Engine 658cc, 4-cylinder, SOHC, gasoline engine
Transmission5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic
Fuel Efficiency56 mpg (U.S) 67.2 mpg (UK)
Power44-53 horsepower at 6,500 RPM
Torque44 lb-ft at 4,000 RPM

Pros 

  • Powerful engine.
  • Stylish and spacious interior. 

Suzuki Carry 

When looking for affordable kei trucks, do check out the Suzuki carry truck. It was the prime competitor to Honda Acty with a 4WD option and an engine under the seat. Its previous name was Carry which then switched to “Every.” Suzuki carry is one of the longest-running trucks since 1966. It is one of the best small pickup trucks. 

The most recent model that we can import is the ninth generation and it is available as a 5-door van or a minivan. The 1.0-liter inline-three engine produces 63 horsepower and is available in manual or automatic transmission. It has wide-rimmed tires and offers remarkable fuel efficiency. It can also be found in rear-wheel and four-wheel drive configurations making it an amazing option for all types of drivers and roadway conditions. 

Though new models of Suzuki Carry are not available, you can easily find used Suzuki kei trucks from reputable dealers. It is an economical model and you can drive it for miles without any trouble. 

SpecificationDescription
Engine VariantsSuzuki Carry (regular) and Suzuki Super
Transmission1.5-liter gasoline engine (K15B), 96 horsepower and 135 pound-feet of torque, 5-speed automatic transmission
Fuel Consumption
12 KM/L in the city, 14 KM/L on the highway, 36-liter fuel tank
Price Range$8,000 to $25,000

Features: This vehicle has air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, a business card holder, a radio with one speaker, powered doors, and a pen holder.

Pros

  • Compact in size, yet efficient for extended routes. 
  • Ample space for storing luggage. 
  • Smooth and comfortable ride making it an excellent fit for freeway driving. 

Nissan Pao 

When seeking for best Japanese kei trucks for sale, you will find Nissan Pao at the top of the list. It is one of the most selling trucks with narrow steering wheels and exposed hinges. There is no insulation or airbags present, so the inside is pretty spacious. 

It has a rear bench for two to three passengers. Moreover, it has a great carrying space and you can use it for various purposes and chores. Overall the vehicle is reliable, durable, and most of all affordable. 

After its launch, it was sold out within 90 days with a waiting list to be purchased. This car from 1989 looks like it is from the ’70s except for the stereo buttons and vents. Though it doesn’t have safety features like insulation and airbag, it is spacious and suitable for road experiences. 

SpecificationDescription
Engine VariantsNissan Pao
Transmission1.0-liter carbonated four-cylinder engine,  5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic 
Horse Power
38 kW (52 HP)
FuelPetrol
Fuel Tank40 Liter

Pros 

  • Ample car space 
  • Lightweight, allowing the engine to maintain a steady speed.

Daihatsu Hijet 

This amazing vehicle has been a go-to mini commercial since 1960. The truck’s physical design has evolved and been improved over a great stretch of time. Its latest models include Airaoi, Hijet Truck, and Cargo which were launched in 2021. These models contain multiple features making them one of the best kei trucks for commercial purposes. Some of the features include a radio, carpeted flooring, manual windows, head restraints, a glovebox, a locking fuel cap, and two-speed wipers.

SpecificationDescription
Engine Variants658cc gas engine, 659cc gas engine, or a 998cc gas engine
Transmission 5-speed manual, 3 or 4-speed automatic, or continuously variable transmission
Safety FeaturesOptional driver and passenger airbags, brake assist, power windows and steering, centralized door lock, side impact bar
Cabin SpaceReasonable, comfortable for up to 6 feet
Price Range$7,000 to $22,500

Pros 

  • Versatile and easy-to-maneuver design.
  • Exceptional basic performance and safety features.

Other Features: This vehicle is equipped with a radio, carpeted flooring, manual windows, head restraints, a glovebox, a locking fuel cap, and two-speed wipers.

Final Thoughts 

When purchasing kei trucks, it is essential for you to consider your needs and preferences. You can find numerous options to choose from. Check out every aspect, from the engine to the interior, exterior, functionality, and body size. Considering these factors will help you make the right choice. If you are looking for Japanese mini trucks, the ones mentioned above can be surely be considered. All these trucks come in amazing quality and can carry heavy loads. Best of all, they can also survive in rigid and challenging road conditions.

Similar Blogs