• Dec 22nd 2006 at 11:29AM
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We talk about kei cars whenever we can here on Autoblog because we're fascinated by the little Japanese mini-rides. They manage to be spacious, practical, and even stylish despite the size and power constraints placed on them by Japanese regulations. The newest one to hit dealerships is the 7th-gen Daihatsu Mira, which is noteworthy in that the non-turbocharged version, sporting a CVT and the 58-horsepower 658cc KF-VE 3-cylinder with variable valve timing, has a fuel economy rating of 27 kilometers per liter. That's 63.5 miles per gallon, people -- without any electronic trickery, costly hybrid powertrains, or fancypants alternative fuel source. Color us impressed.

The turbocharged Mira Custom RS is spunkier, generating 64 horses, yet still manages 54 mpg when ordered in the 2WD configuration. No matter what, the driver wins.

Don't think the cars are strippers either. They come with full keyless entry and start systems (to put this in perspective, neither of the Cadillacs that we've recently had pass through the AB Garage offer this). A twist starter is standard, but on some models, it can be upgraded to a push-button unit. The rear seat slides forward and back to maximze passenger room and/or cargo capacity, and the Mira can even be equipped with radar-assisted cruise control. Drivers trade performance for the other benefits, but no matter what the concession, 63.5 mpg is a hell of a compelling argument.

Click here to read Daihatsu's full release, and follow the jump for more photos.

[Source: Daihatsu via Carview.co.jp and Autoblog Spanish]

Daihatsu Mira:

Daihatsu Mira Custom:

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