These limitations may put some people off at first glance, but here's the catch: Japan taxes only 3 percent of the purchase price of a kei car, but customers also save some 30 percent on automobile weight tax when compared to normal passenger cars. Kei cars also benefit from smaller insurance fees and annual road tax. The kei car's only drawback is a tax known as the Light Motor Vehicle Tax, which is ¥7,200 for kei cars or ¥4,000 for kei commercial vehicles such as the three trucks recently unveiled in Japan.
As its two other sibligs, the Toyota Pixis is powered by a DOHC 63 horsepower 660 cc three-cylinder engine, which is mated to a five-speed manual or an optional four-speed automatic. Available with either two or four-wheel drive, the Toyota Pixis in its most basic trim level weighs just 1,630 lbs (739 kilograms), which translates to a fuel economy of 46 mpg on the combined cycle. With prices starting at $5,758, the Toyota Pixis, Daihatsu Hijet and Subaru Sambar can be used for virtually everything, including farm duties.