By Steve & Tamami Laser; with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan
Today the new Toyota Pixis Mega “minivehicle” (also known as a Kei car) has gone on sale in Japan. Except for the badge on the grille, it’s identical to the Daihatsu Wake (click here to see our story about Daihatsu’s clever Wake ad campaign).
Here’s a photo of the new Toyota Pixis Mega G SA (2WD) in the brilliant hue of Tonico Orange Metallic topped with a Pearl White roof.
And this is the Daihatsu Wake. The only difference that we can spot is the logo on the grille (plus the white roof and mirror caps on the Pixis).
Product sharing is not new, especially in Japan where major Kei car makers Daihatsu, Suzuki and Mitsubishi share their vehicles with other brands. The new Pixis Mega follows other Daihatsu models sold by Toyota called Pixis Space, Pixis van and truck, and Pixis Epoch. Since Toyota owns controlling interest in Daihatsu, this is just the latest chapter in a lengthy history of cooperation.
“The Pixis Mega was created to offer versatility matched with the diverse needs and lifestyles of car-buyers in Japan,” says Toyota. “Increasing the cabin height of the vehicle to a class-leading 1,455 mm ensures that four adults can be seated in the spacious interior comfortably. Despite the vehicle’s total height of 1,835 mm, the suspension and body structure have been overhauled to ensure stable handling. The eye-point has been set at 1,387 mm, similar to that of a minivan, achieving exceptional visibility from the driver’s seat and improving the overall driving experience.”
Both sides of the van feature one-touch electric sliding doors. There’s a storage space beneath the rear floor with a capacity of approximately 90 liters (16 liters on 4WD models). This extends the total cargo height to a maximum of 1,485 mm, meaning that large objects can be loaded upright without folding down the rear seats.
Toyota says that despite the vehicle’s height, stability is enhanced through the use of stiffer suspension with larger shocks and stabilizers. Optimized sheet thickness for the roof panel and plastic construction for the back door and front fenders have lightened the vehicle and lowered its center of gravity. Aerodynamic fins, which improve stability at high speeds, are included as standard on door mirrors and rear combination lamps.
Like the Wake, Pixis Mega is powered by a 660 cc normally aspirated or turbocharged engine with eco-IDLE, an idle-stop system designed to conserve fuel. According to Toyota, front-wheel-drive models can achieve 25.4 km/L under the Japanese JC08 test cycle. 4WD models “exceed the Japanese government’s 2015 fuel economy standards by at least 20 percent,” while others meet the Japanese government’s 2020 fuel economy standards.
Built at the Oita (Nakatsu) plant by Daihatsu Motor Kyushu, prices for Toyota’s Pixis Mega start at ¥1,350,000 (about $11,000) for the front-drive D SA grade topping out at ¥1,749,600 (about $14,000) for the 4WD G SA.
News source, photos and video from Toyota Motor Corp. and Daihatsu Motor Co. Ltd. (Prices, features and specifications apply to models sold in Japan and are subject to change without notice by the automakers.)
Story © 2015 CarNichiWa.com