Kei cars, the open road, and MANIFEST DESTINY

We start out tale in the Eastern country of the rising sun: Japan. 65% of Japan’s population lives in cities. That’s a lot of people in not of lot of space. Hence forth, real estate is a premium there. So everything’s small, that’s a problem in most cities ranging from New York to Sydney.  Cars from the East tend to be a bit lacking on the size departments, hell, just look at Japanese trucks from the 70s compared to US trucks. But trucks aren’t the point. The point of this post is to explain why Kei cars never could exist in the states.


Each one has to conform to a set of rules

No, not like normal road car rules, Kei cars are special. They’re cheaper to own and insure as long as they fit within a series of rules and regulations. It can’t be a certain length, width, height, weight, and engine size. A lot of limits right? Engineers just go wild. Kei cars are huge in Japan, with nearly every big Japanese manufacturer producing them to this day! Rear wheel drive mid engine, front wheel drive, all wheel drive, turbo’d, rotaries, and everything in between. If you’ve got a taste for something you can probably find it in a fun-sized car shaped box. So they’re good deals for what they provide, a small, typically fun car that’s cheap too. In other words, perfect… Except when a little thing called long, wide, open roads comes into play.

The us highway system and Manifest destiny

“Manifest destiny? I think I’ve heard that term in middle school!” You’d be right, kiddo, manifest destiny was taught in schools. It’s the concept of the US wanting, no needing, to have land from sea to shining sea.  We would lie, steal, and fight our way to the pacific, eventually gaining over three million square miles. That’s a lot of empty space. Of course the US needed to fill it and with the invention (and innovation) of the personal automobile, the US needed a way to get around. Dirt roads ain’t gonna cut it for the US! So came the super highway, 3, 4, sometimes even 8 lanes of glorious straight, open road. A cross  country trip would go from a month to a week or two, maybe even less! So to handle with these roads and what better than big, shiny, rocket inspired cars with giant, lazy V8s to cruise along. This was the way it was and this is the way it will always be in the US of A.

Kei cars don’t work going down the road with big ass 5 ton SUV

You may be thinking, “Whoa there MR. Author, I could drive a kei car everyday” well le’me tell you this champ.

Two cars are going towards each other at the same speed.

one is a 5 ton Cadilac Escalade

The other is a 1.6 ton Honda beat.

Which is going to win. I’ll let you think about it…

If you said honda beat, I bet you failed your basic physics class.

So to summarize, a small car would basically end in a death, killing people in the case of a moderate accident. Yikes, right? Along with that, Americans are just.. .What’s the word… larger people than the Japanese. An Average American might not even be able to fit in a Kei car. And that is why those cars don’t work in the US of A… Some people still bring them over. I would, what about you?