Japan’s new car market is divided into more segments than a bluefin tuna at a sushi bar. The so-called “kei“ cars — for the Japanese word keijidosh, which means “light automobile” — is a vehicle whose exterior size and engine power have been shaped to meet strict Japanese size, fuel efficiency, and pollution regulations. Toyota has worked with its Daihatsu Motors subsidiary to introduce the Pixis Space, its first kei car in the Japanese market.
Shorter than the already subcompact Fiat 500, the square microcompact Pixis Space is offered in the base L and X models, and the more fanciful and content-rich Custom X, Custom G, and Custom RS models. Power is delivered by a 660-cc engine in the base models while the Toyota Pixis Space Custom X, G, and RS models get a turbo-charged version, both married to a continuously variable transmission. Fuel economy is estimated to be roughly 60 mpg and all models are offered in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
Driver and up to three adults and their cargo can fit in the Pixis Space according to Toyota. Pricing for the Toyota Pixis Space L starts around $14,000 with the top-of-the-line Custom RS starting around $21,000. There are currently no plans to export the Toyota Pixis Space outside of Japan.