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Daihatsu Hijet Kei Truck Review

Kei truck minivans tend to appeal to small-scale, specialist transporters. Yet, these compact pickups are practical, agile, and cheap to run.

This review of the Daihatsu Hijet 4x4 pickup details the benefits and disadvantages of running a light commercial vehicle that's only 1.5 metres wide and 3.4 metres long.

History behind Daihatsu Hijet Kei Trucks

The Daihatsu car company has been producing a line-up of microvans and kei trucks since the 1960s.

They use the name Hijet (translated to "midget") for a range of trucks, vans, pickups, and tippers.

In Japan, kei car laws connect restrictions to engine size and vehicular dimensions.

As a consequence, the first ever Daihatsu Hijet light van had a 360 cc two-stroke engine.

According to the evolution of expressway-legal vehicle regulations in Japan, they increased the engine size to 550 cc (AB20) in 1976 and then again at the beginning of 1990 when they launched the 660 cc.

When the national rule changes permitted it, Daihatsu also increased the exterior dimensions of their microvans, pickups, and passenger vans.

For example:

From the 1960s, first generation Hijets measure three (3) metres long by 1.3 metres wide (118 × 51 inches). But, the new Hijet 4x4 mini truck is 3.4 metres long by 147 centimetres wide (134 × 58 inches).

Pro Tip: By and large, Hijet models built for export are "slightly" bigger, due to the fitment of wider body panels and bigger bumpers.

Daihatsu DNGA Platform

A quieter performance, and notable improvements in fuel efficiency, are the two main benefits from the updated Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) platform.

For example, most of the recent Hijet models, with a 10 US gallon tank capacity, are getting a fuel consumption rate around 58.8 mpg (at 60 km/h).

Plus, the Daihatsu Hijet Cargo has the largest loading space in its class. Whereas, the Daihatsu Atrai passenger car version is spacious with a high-loading capacity luggage space.

Here's the thing:

Maneuverability is good, and you have to agree that its agility is useful for navigating tight spaces. But, it's also fair to say the market for light commercial vehicles is competitive.

Daihatsu Hijet 4x4 Mini Truck Review for the United KingdomPut another way, In Japan the Hijet is competing with the likes of:

Hijet Van Engine and Performance

The eleventh generation offers a choice between the 658cc KF-VE I3 and the 658cc KF-DET I3-T gasoline engines.

These fuel-efficient engines cover up to nineteen (19) kilometres per litre. Furthermore, carrying out regular car repair and maintenance tasks help to improve their longevity.

Maintenance and Reliability

As you might expect, the general maintenance requirements of the Hijet 4x4 mini truck are rudimental and cost-effective. A list of routine tasks would include:

There's no mistaking the Hijet's adaptability for commercial use. It's durable, reliable, and a car derived van that's definitely built to last.

Accessibility for Spare Parts

In fact, sourcing spare parts for Daihatsu Hijets shouldn't be a major problem. Most Hijet spares are obtainable in the United Kingdom.

Pro Tip: Conducting routine inspections can help you detect any potential issues early on. It can also reduce the frequency of garage visits and costs.

Transmission and Steering

Like most 4WD SUV cars, transmission type and gearing ratios tend to influence the overall handling, control, and performance. The Hijet is equipped with a 4-speed manual transmission gearbox.

The Hijet power steering is generally responsive and easy to facilitate. It produces a smooth ride and it navigates congested zones and narrow streets with ease.

Braking System and Suspension

The suspension system is structured for ride comfort and stability. The brakes are dependable and they deliver a sufficient amount of power for safe stopping.

The benefits of mid wheel drive (MWD) are apparent and the wheelbase measures 181 centimetres. The improved ride height and ground clearance is especially handy when driving on uneven terrain.

Daihatsu Hijet 4x4 Interior Features

The driver and passenger will appreciate the extra headroom that comes from having elevated front pillars. Plus, the improved cabin height lends room for an overhead shelf to use as an additional storage compartment.

Daihatsu has enhanced the seat fabric and updated the dashboard layout to be more "driver-friendly". But, it still remains somewhat of a legroom challenge for really tall drivers.

But wait - there's more:

Taking a look at the outside design. They split the front bumper into two sections. The advantage is being able to replace the lower part as a separate task (e.g. reducing repair costs).

The standard palette of seven colour choices also has three new additions, namely:

The designers also moved the placement of the rear emblems over to the right hand side. It's fair to say doing so provides extra panel space for advertising or branding for business users.

Daihatsu Hijet Safety Features

Besides the standard safety features of seat belts and airbags, the Hijet also gets an anti-lock braking system and electronic stability control (ESC).

Advanced Safety and Technologies

Further advances in safety technology have also incorporated lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and blind spot monitoring.

Global Vehicle Standards Compliance

The Daihatsu Hijet kei truck complies with all the necessary global vehicle standards according to (and others):

In Conclusion

Car Review Conclusions - Plus PointsPlus Points

Car Review Conclusions - Minus PointsMinus Points

Daihatsu Hijet 4x4 Mini Truck Price in the United KingdomDaihatsu Hijet 4x4 Mini Truck Price Range in the United Kingdom: £14,995* (OTR)

Related Information and Help Guides

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