Welcome to Sunday Matinee, where we highlight classic car reviews or other longer videos we find on YouTube. Kick back and enjoy this blast from the past.

For as much as Americans buy Japanese cars, they have almost no experience whatsoever with some of the most popular cars made in Japan โ€” the micro-compacts known as kei cars. And that's kind of a shame, too.

Kei cars are some of the most innovative and interesting cars sold anywhere in the world, and their small size and efficient engines make them well-suited to the crowded, busy streets of Japan's cities. They range from vans to roadsters to tiny retro-mobiles and everything in between.

The trouble is, kei cars may be on the way out as automakers work to find ways to cut costs and synchronize their lineups across their different markets. This makes it tough for them to justify these Japan-only kei cars, even if Japanese buyers love them and depend on them.


On this edition of the NHK documentary series BEGIN Japanology, the subject is kei cars, and when it's over, you're gonna be sad you can't drive some of them... But I can, and I already have. Aren't you jealous?