What do you drive in Japan?

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dayunbao
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What do you drive in Japan?

Post by dayunbao »

So I'm a bit of a car guy, and I have to admit that one of the things about living in Japan the interests me is the access I'd get to all the cool cars that aren't sold in my country. At the moment, I'm thinking I'd buy a Daihatsu Copen after moving to Japan. I'm actually not a fan of convertibles, but it seems like all the fun, sporty kei cars are converitbles (like the Honda S660). There are tons of used Copens on Goo-net Exchange ranging in price from 200,000 - 2 million yen. By the way, I know you don't need to own a car in Japan (if you live in a city), but I'd like to have one.

For those of you who currently live in Japan, and own a car, what do you drive?

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Re: What do you drive in Japan?

Post by starting_the_dream »

Subaru Forester. It has enough room in the back to haul most things and AWD for the winter. Now that we have two kids, the Mitsubishi Delica might be the next car.

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Re: What do you drive in Japan?

Post by dayunbao »

starting_the_dream wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:07 am
Subaru Forester. It has enough room in the back to haul most things and AWD for the winter. Now that we have two kids, the Mitsubishi Delica might be the next car.
Subarus, especially the Forester, are one of the most popular cars where I grew up. I see WRXs all the time where I live now.

I saw a Delica parked on the street the other day. Someone must have had it imported because they were never sold new in my country. It's pretty unusual to see one here, actually. They have a bit of a cult following, from what I understand.

It would be super cool if someone on this form had an Autozam AZ-1.

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Re: What do you drive in Japan?

Post by gonbechan »

I have driven kei cars but to be honest, they are more for just popping down to the conbini rather than taking one's life into one's hands on the open road.
They have lower safety standards than regular cars.

Other than that, have driven a variety of makes and models. I tend to prefer station wagons and like a bit of vroom. I might be a bit of a petrolhead.

Favorites over the years for various reasons:
Subaru Legacy Touring Wagon( 2L twin turbo,MT), for the performance and for the space in the back. Absolute shite fuel consumption but high on the fun scale. Amazing on snowy and icy roads, considering its more of a sports beast.Rather noisy in the exhaust region but good if you like that thing.

Nissan ElGrand (3L diesel turbo,AT), obviously for the endless space inside but also for the surprisingly reasonable fuel consumption (bio Deisel) quietness for what it is and also astonishingly good handling for its size. Very easy to park despite being the size of a construction site prefab office. :lol:

Mitsubishi Legnum VR4,(Hybrid Trans) just for the absolute fun of it. It was a quirky but blast of a car to drive. Bad fuel consumption. Even though it is a station wagon, it is quite squeezy inside. Definitely not for tall people to sit in the back seat.

Last but not least, Nissan Stagea 260RS Four (MT), which is basically a skyline GTR in a stationwagon. Possibly my favorite.
Fuel consumption really bad, definitely like the Subaru and the M. Legnum, need to be driven with a radar detector.
But great car, lots of space, amazing performance if that's your thing.

IMHO, recent cars have really good fuel consumption are stupidly easy to drive, but they are all rather boring and a much of a muchness. Most of them even look the same. Functional but bland.

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Re: What do you drive in Japan?

Post by Shizuman »

I got myself a Suzuki super carry kei truck
things a little ripper! can carry just about as much as a standard kei and has
a fair bit of cab space. The seat even reclines, useful for when the wife kicks me out!

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Re: What do you drive in Japan?

Post by dayunbao »

gonbechan wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:51 pm
I have driven kei cars but to be honest, they are more for just popping down to the conbini rather than taking one's life into one's hands on the open road.
They have lower safety standards than regular cars.

Other than that, have driven a variety of makes and models. I tend to prefer station wagons and like a bit of vroom. I might be a bit of a petrolhead.

Favorites over the years for various reasons:
Subaru Legacy Touring Wagon( 2L twin turbo,MT), for the performance and for the space in the back. Absolute shite fuel consumption but high on the fun scale. Amazing on snowy and icy roads, considering its more of a sports beast.Rather noisy in the exhaust region but good if you like that thing.

Nissan ElGrand (3L diesel turbo,AT), obviously for the endless space inside but also for the surprisingly reasonable fuel consumption (bio Deisel) quietness for what it is and also astonishingly good handling for its size. Very easy to park despite being the size of a construction site prefab office. :lol:

Mitsubishi Legnum VR4,(Hybrid Trans) just for the absolute fun of it. It was a quirky but blast of a car to drive. Bad fuel consumption. Even though it is a station wagon, it is quite squeezy inside. Definitely not for tall people to sit in the back seat.

Last but not least, Nissan Stagea 260RS Four (MT), which is basically a skyline GTR in a stationwagon. Possibly my favorite.
Fuel consumption really bad, definitely like the Subaru and the M. Legnum, need to be driven with a radar detector.
But great car, lots of space, amazing performance if that's your thing.

IMHO, recent cars have really good fuel consumption are stupidly easy to drive, but they are all rather boring and a much of a muchness. Most of them even look the same. Functional but bland.
Safety is important, so I can understand someone not feeling safe with a kei car as their DD. I have a 1973 Volkswagen Fastback (that I'm about to get rid of, actually), and I wouldn't drive that on the highway for safety reasons. I'm in America, and anything smaller than monster trucks and giant, bloated SUVs are disappearing from the roads. If either of those kinds of vehicles hit me in a car that old, it'd crumple like a paper cup.

A little while ago I sold my 2000 Volkswagen Beatle TDI and got a sports car. My fuel consumption doubled! Fun seems to come at a price, lol.

I agree with you about modern cars. They generally have no character. With very few exceptions, I think car styling hit its peak in the 60s. I rarely see modern cars that I think look good. The EV movement seems to be bringing interesting looking cars into production, though.

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Re: What do you drive in Japan?

Post by dayunbao »

Shizuman wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:03 pm
I got myself a Suzuki super carry kei truck
things a little ripper! can carry just about as much as a standard kei and has
a fair bit of cab space. The seat even reclines, useful for when the wife kicks me out!
Lol. The car enthusiast website I read had a bunch of articles about the Suzuki Jimny recently. That's another car we don't get here in the States, which, along with looking like a mini Jeep, probably adds to its appeal. I've heard that despite their tiny engines, a lot of kei cars don't have trouble hitting freeway speeds and feel quite fast. My VW Fastback, despite having a realtively small engine that produced under 100 HP, didn't feel slow.

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Re: What do you drive in Japan?

Post by Zasso Nouka »

We have a couple of vehicles, our main one is a 40kwh Nissan Leaf. It's a lovely drive but the main benefit for us is not having to buy petrol anymore. Previously we used to spend around 30,000円 a month on petrol, now we spend 2,000円 on Nissan's ZESP2 card and have unlimited use of public fast chargers. Although Nissan fitted a 200v socket at home for us we hardly ever use it as the public chargers are plentiful and easy to use when you are out shopping or running other errands.

Pro Pilot makes driving on highways and large roads really easy as it takes over driving for you. It steers the car and maintains speed and brakes for you, all you have to do is keep your hands on the steering wheel. Long highway journeys are nowhere nearly as tiring as normal manual driving.

Being able to turn the HVAC system on from your mobile phone is a nice feature on frosty winter mornings so you don't get into a freezing car and the heated steering wheel and seats are also pretty comfy.

Acceleration has to be experienced to be believed, floor the pedal and it's like driving a missile. Proper thrown back in your seat kind of stuff, the torque is instant and as there are no gears to step up through it's continuous. Great for merging on a motorway.

If you get a Leaf2Home fitted it can act as a house battery which can be pretty useful during typhoon season or other emergencies or if you have solar fitted and want to use that power at night.

We also have a Daihatsu kei truck much like Shizuman's but ours doesn't have reclining seats :crying-yellow: and it's a real workhorse. We use it for hauling all sorts of things and it can get seriously overloaded at times yet still manages to make it home. It's a real trooper and the 4 wheel drive option means it never gets stuck no matter how muddy or snowy the terrain can be.

Previously we had a Daihatsu Move which was a really fun car to drive, it had a massive front window which gave great visibility and unlike many older kei's had loads of room inside. You could really stretch your legs out inside and didn't feel cramped at all, even with 4 people inside, you could even lay the seats out flat and use it as a camper. We never felt like the engine was straining on the highway, ok a sports car it is not but it could hold it's own quite easily.

If you are looking for a nice 2 person car with plenty of luggage space and occasionally needing to accommodate 4 people then a Move could be a good choice. We took ours all over the place and had some great trips up into the mountains to visit hot springs.

My only criticism would be that the engine isn't designed for longevity, once they get to around 160,000 - 200,000km they start to get very expensive to keep going.

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Re: What do you drive in Japan?

Post by Shizuman »

dayunbao wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:25 am

Lol. The car enthusiast website I read had a bunch of articles about the Suzuki Jimny recently. That's another car we don't get here in the States, which, along with looking like a mini Jeep, probably adds to its appeal. I've heard that despite their tiny engines, a lot of kei cars don't have trouble hitting freeway speeds and feel quite fast. My VW Fastback, despite having a realtively small engine that produced under 100 HP, didn't feel slow.
Yea i mean it can go on the freeway, the little thing is screaming its guts out at 100 but i can do it
gotta drive to tokyo this weekend in it, might take hearing protection though

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Re: What do you drive in Japan?

Post by gonbechan »

dayunbao wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:25 am

Lol. The car enthusiast website I read had a bunch of articles about the Suzuki Jimny recently. That's another car we don't get here in the States, which, along with looking like a mini Jeep, probably adds to its appeal. I've heard that despite their tiny engines, a lot of kei cars don't have trouble hitting freeway speeds and feel quite fast. My VW Fastback, despite having a realtively small engine that produced under 100 HP, didn't feel slow.
The Jimny and the Pajero Mini both have really bad center of gravity problems. They are both rather tippy overy, but thankfully it only takes 2 or 3 people to put them right side up again.