What is a Kei Truck? Why Japanese Used Kei Truck are so popular?

What is a Kei truck? Some business owners or car enthusiasts desire to have one of these cute little vehicles called Kei trucks. It is not just popular in the Japanese Domestic Market but also in other parts of the world because of its rarity, lighter weight, fuel efficiency, versatility, durability, and affordable price. In this article, we will talk all about Kei trucks and why they are so popular in the market?

 

What is a Kei Truck?

A Kei truck is a Japanese mini truck built and produced solely for the Japanese Domestic Market. It is a compact, tiny right-hand drive truck available either in rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive layout and was first introduced in 1949. Kei trucks usually offer a 550cc or 660cc engine or sometimes supercharged because of the Japanese government regulations on the size of Kei trucks. Combine this small lightweight four-wheel drive and you have an agile, fuel-efficient but practical work truck.

 

Why Japanese Used Kei Truck are so popular?

Nowadays, many countries already permit the importation of used Kei trucks, of course with specific rules and guidelines to follow. Because of this, the demand for these little mini trucks continues to increase. Kei trucks are popular because of their multipurpose use, excellent engine performance, load carrying capabilities, and budget-friendly price. It also can be used for various purposes such as agriculture, fisheries, construction, manufacturing, warehouses, mining, transport, industrial businesses, etc. No wonder used Kei trucks become one of the favorite vehicles around the world, it is indeed reliable in many ways.

 

Famous Manufacturers and Model Names

 

Subaru Sambar

BROWSE LOW COST USED SUBARU SAMBAR TRUCK MODELS

The Subaru Sambar is a Kei truck and microvan produced from 1961 till 2012 and manufactured by Subaru which aims specifically for the Japanese Domestic Market.

BROWSE LOW COST USED SUBARU SAMBAR TRUCK MODELS

It has a sixth distinct generation before it ends in 2012 and become a rebadged version of Daihatsu.

BROWSE LOW COST USED SUBARU SAMBAR TRUCK MODELS

The first generation Sambar is fitted with a rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout using an air-cooled engine. The Sambar was also the first Kei truck to use a cabover design and a passenger cabin over the engine.

BROWSE LOW COST USED SUBARU SAMBAR TRUCK MODELS

 

Suzuki Carry

BROWSE LOW COST USED SUZUKI CARRY TRUCK MODELS

The Suzuki Carry is a Kei truck that was produced from 1961 up to the present and manufactured by Suzuki. It is a front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive/four-wheel-drive layout and already in its eleventh generation.

BROWSE LOW COST USED SUZUKI CARRY TRUCK MODELS

In 1982, the passenger van version was released, called the Suzuki Every, and has been sold internationally under different nameplates.

BROWSE LOW COST USED SUZUKI CARRY TRUCK MODELS

It is powered by a 658cc R06A DOHC three cylinders petrol engine with variable valve control and maximum power output of 37 kW (50 hp) at 5700 rpm. It is mated to a 5-speed manual and 3-speed automatic transmission with a fuel consumption of 18.60 km/L.

BROWSE LOW COST USED SUZUKI CARRY TRUCK MODELS

 

Honda Acty

BROWSE LOW COST USED HONDA ACTY TRUCK MODELS

The Honda Acty is a cabover Kei truck car that was produced from 1977 to 2021 and manufactured by Honda which was built just for the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM).

BROWSE LOW COST USED HONDA ACTY TRUCK MODELS

The Acty is a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive layout where the engine is behind the cabin under the bed of the truck. It is a practical, economical, reliable, and durable vehicle that can be used for various purposes such as transporting goods, farming, fishing, construction, mining, commercial, industrial, etc.

BROWSE LOW COST USED HONDA ACTY TRUCK MODELS

The Acty has powered with a 656cc E07Z SOHC three cylinders, a twelve-valve engine with a power of 45 PS (33 kW; 44 hp), a torque of 59 Nm (43.52 lb-ft).

BROWSE LOW COST USED HONDA ACTY TRUCK MODELS

 

Mazda / Autozam Scrum

BROWSE LOW COST USED MAZDA SCRUM TRUCK MODELS

The Mazda Scrum also referred to as Autozam Scrum is a re-badged version of Suzuki Carry which was first introduced in June 1989 and available in four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive.

BROWSE LOW COST USED MAZDA SCRUM TRUCK MODELS

It is a Kei truck and minivan that was built and sold by Mazda, specifically aimed for the Japanese Domestic Market.

BROWSE LOW COST USED MAZDA SCRUM TRUCK MODELS

The Mazda Scrum truck is powered by a 660cc R06A DOHC, 3-cylinders 12-valves intercooler engine that generates a maximum power output of 57.6 hp @ 5500 and 63.4 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm torque with 5-speed manual and 3-speed automatic transmission.

BROWSE LOW COST USED MAZDA SCRUM TRUCK MODELS

 

Mitsubishi Minicab

BROWSE LOW COST USED MITSUBISHI MINICAB TRUCK MODELS

The Mitsubishi Minicab is a Kei truck and microvan built by the Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors from 1966 up to the present, solely aimed for the Japanese Domestic Market but as decades passed, it can now be built and exported worldwide.

BROWSE LOW COST USED MITSUBISHI MINICAB TRUCK MODELS

The Minicab pickup truck was released to replace the 360 trucklet with a codenamed LT30 and was available with cargo gates on three sides to easily load and unload cargo. A van version of the Minicab was introduced in 1968 with four different models and equipment.

BROWSE LOW COST USED MITSUBISHI MINICAB TRUCK MODELS

It is a front-engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive powered with 660 cc 3G83 a 3-cylinder 12-valve SOHC gasoline engine mated either to 3-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmissions.

BROWSE LOW COST USED MITSUBISHI MINICAB TRUCK MODELS

 

Daihatsu Hijet

BROWSE LOW COST USED MITSUBIDAIHATSU HIJET TRUCK MODELS

The Daihatsu Hijet is a Kei truck and cabover microvan manufactured by Daihatsu and produced since 1960. The compact dimension of the Hijet is good in congested traffic for it can easily maneuver and squeeze through any small road.

BROWSE LOW COST USED MITSUBIDAIHATSU HIJET TRUCK MODELS

The Hijet is the basic entry of the Daihatsu so the style is simple with black door handles, black door mirrors, a small bonnet, square headlamps, the bumper where the air intakes are placed, 14-inch steel wheels, and the main engine resides under the front seats.

BROWSE LOW COST USED MITSUBIDAIHATSU HIJET TRUCK MODELS

A hybrid electric van Hijet was introduced in 2002 in Japan, it is called Hijet Cargo Hybrid using a 660cc engine. It is a mild hybrid that was based on the existing non-hybrid Hijet Cargo.

BROWSE LOW COST USED MITSUBIDAIHATSU HIJET TRUCK MODELS

 

Where can we buy a Kei Truck?

Because of the demand and continuous popularity of Kei trucks it is difficult to find a legitimate online store where you can buy used Kei trucks in good condition and at an affordable price. Visit our BE FORWARD store you can ask, browse for more information and buy the Kei trucks you like.

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Written by: WTN Esther Abranilla

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