As Kei (Japanese軽 自动 车, keijidōsha lit. "light automobile", also K- Car) are referred to in Japan microcar. Kei -Cars make up about a third of the vehicle statistics of Japan; they should be within 3.39 meters long and 1.475 meters wide, the motor must have no more than 660 cc. Approved private Kei -Cars obtain a yellow license plate with black lettering, commercial vehicles registered a black license plate with yellow letters. With this approval, accompanied a tax deduction and the exemption from presenting proof of a parking lot. Despite the small outer dimensions the Kei cars are in different body shapes, from small cars to the Microvan to SUV's, available.

Since the standard until 1990 only related to physical parameters (external dimensions and engine capacity), an unusually large variety of models exists in Japan in this design, which are not common in other markets. So they also include features that one would not expect in a small car. So the built in Japan under the name Mira Daihatsu Cuore is offered, inter alia, four-wheel drive, distance radar, ESP, DVD navigation, xenon headlights and more airbags. In addition, turbocharged small engines have been developed which meet the engine capacity restriction and still offer a considerable achievement. The Suzuki Twin from 2003 to 2005, the first kei car with hybrid drive.

Kei cars, which are also offered in Germany, are Daihatsu Cuore, Copen, Trevis and Suzuki Wagon R . However, they are not offered in Germany with the typical Kei -Cars 660 - cc engine, but with larger aggregates.

Generations of the standard

Over the years, the parameters of the Kei -cars were gradually increased slightly until they received today typical dimension of a small car in the format 1.48 times 3.4 meters.


Subaru 360 (1958)

Daihatsu Midget MP (1959 )

Mazda R360 (1960 )

Mitsubishi Minica (1962 )

Honda N360 (1967 )

Daihatsu Copen

Daihatsu Tanto

Daihatsu Move Custom

Suzuki Alto

Suzuki Wagon R Stingray

Suzuki Jimny

Mitsubishi i

Mitsubishi Pajero Mini

Subaru R1

Subaru Sambar Dias

Honda Zest Spark

Honda Life Pastel