Japan's Ten Most Lovable Pocket-Sized Kei Cars

There's a lot to love about Japan, not the least of which is its crazy and entertaining car culture. We especially love their pint-sized Kei cars. Here are our commenter's ten favorite Kei cars.

They fit into a box just five feet-wide by eleven feet-long, their engines have slightly less displacement than an average goose and they're cool as all get out, every last one. Picking which are the best is no small feat but you came up with some great answers. Kei cars, is there anything they can't do? (Well, besides carry anything bigger than a tissue box)

This is Answers of the Day - a feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

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Photo credit: Telstar Logistics

Japan's Ten Most Lovable Pocket-Sized Kei Cars


Suzuki Jimny

Suggested By: ShinjukuDLJ

Why It's Cool: In the US we knew the Jimny as the Samurai, a roll-happy pared-down SUV, but in Japan it's still kicking, serving up compact portions of off-roading entertainment. With the right modifications the Jimny is actually a pretty competent trail rider, just make sure not to option it with tires too big, otherwise the 657cc engine might not be able to turn 'em.

Photo credit: Suzuki

Japan's Ten Most Lovable Pocket-Sized Kei Cars

Suzuki Wagon R

Suggested By: zekestone

Why It's Cool: Wagon R, just say it (you should not be reminded by ousted GM honcho Rick Wagoner). It's exciting. The Suzuki Wagon R has been reliably the coolest Kei van in Japan since its debut in 1993. So what if it doesn't really live up to the "R" nomenclature, but with slick styling options and a constellation of aftermarket parts the Wagon R is always a favorite.
Photo credit: Suzuki

Japan's Ten Most Lovable Pocket-Sized Kei Cars

Daihatsu Copen

Suggested By: luisthebeast

Why It's Cool: The Copen is all about style. Mix together Audi TT, a Nissan Figaro, and a melted scoop of ice cream and you end up with a Copen. The car's even got an aluminum convertible top with which to conceal your identity from the car's adoring onlookers.

Photo credit: Daihatsu

Japan's Ten Most Lovable Pocket-Sized Kei Cars

Subaru Sambar

Suggested By: Sportwagons, haulin'

Why It's Cool: The Sambar is really something we thing Subaru should get to selling in the US. A quirky, character-laden trucklet based on a van and chopped down for open hauling utility. It's really just about the coolest thing on the road.

Photo credit: EarlyDatsun

Japan's Ten Most Lovable Pocket-Sized Kei Cars

Mitsubishi Midget II

Suggested By: SynthOno

Why It's Cool: The Midget II's charm is in it's awkwardness. Perhaps never before or since has a vehicle been so designed with function over form as to completely toss asunder the consideration of appearance. It's weird and unquestionably useful and the result somehow manages to be kinda neat.

Photo credit: CarAndClassic

Japan's Ten Most Lovable Pocket-Sized Kei Cars

Anything by Dream Factory Blow

Suggested By: Cabezagrande

Why It's Cool: When you have a name like Dream Factory Blow, you've set some pretty tall expectations. Expectations they completely fulfill by transforming otherwise unassuming Kei cars into kickass miniaturized replicas of vintage American iron.

Photo credit: Blow-net

Japan's Ten Most Lovable Pocket-Sized Kei Cars

Suzuki Every Joy Pop Turbo

Suggested By: snap_understeer_ftw

Why It's Cool: We're not going to lie here, the Suzuki Every Joy Pop Turbo is here for its name. Everything you could want in a microvan name is there, nonsense, levity, turbo. Other than that it's a tiny van, and who doesn't need one of those?

Photo credit: Suzuki

Japan's Ten Most Lovable Pocket-Sized Kei Cars

Mitsubishi Minica

Suggested By: englishwhitetrash

Why It's Cool: Though the Minica has been produced since 1962, we have to go with the LT25 variant. Why? Because it's a tiny Camino with suicide doors and a microscopic 359 cc engine. Football players could wear them as skates.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Japan's Ten Most Lovable Pocket-Sized Kei Cars

Suzuki Cappuchino

Suggested By: ichitaka05

Why It's Cool: Like it's caffeinated name, the Cappuchino gets you where you want to go in a zippy fashion. Probably the most sporting of the Kei cars it's regularly modified and has it's own racing league. It's like a Miata, only shrunken. Think about that for a second.
Photo credit: Suzuki

Japan's Ten Most Lovable Pocket-Sized Kei Cars

Honda Beat

Suggested By: B16CXHatch

Why It's Cool: The Honda Beat is one of those cars with transcends it's segment. So good it's already considered a collectors car amongst enthusiasts, the Beat was Honda at its best. Though only packing a 657cc engine, Honda wrung 63 hp out of the little car, and with lightweight construction, sport-tuned suspension and great styling, it was everything Honda stood for. Fitting that such a great car was the last one Soichiro Honda approved for production.

Photo credit: Honda