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The 2007 Tokyo Motor Show ended last week, but today we're cleaning out our closet of yet-to-be published posts from this biggest of biannual Japanese auto shows.
click above image to view just how much legroom this truly mini vans have

Pity poor Suzuki. Japan's vast market for mini vehicles has been dominated by the company since the creation of kei cars in the '50s, but ever since the turn of the millennium, Toyota subsidiary Daihatsu has been taking some serious chunks out of Suzuki's market share. The final straw came at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show when Daihatsu premiered the Tanto -- a kei with minivan-style sliding rear doors and simply astounding amounts of leg room and interior space. Suzuki had to react, so at this year's Tokyo Motor Show it unveiled the Palette (shown above), a car strikingly similar to the Tanto in profile, but with a smidge more legroom.

So balance has been restored to the kei car market then? Nope. Daihatsu has upped the ante by removing the B-pillar from the Tanto (shown at right), creating a mammoth hole through which struggling toddlers can be passed. The ball is back in your court Suzuki.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I went to the show last weekend and loved every minute of it. I have some pics up on my site http://www.neilduckett.com

      I'll put some more up soon.

      Best regards.

      far jr
      • 7 Years Ago
      Also remember that a vehicle weighing in at 2,000 lbs will be pushed, bounced, or deflected away from an impacting vehicle more easily. Not to mention that the structure on these cars can be quite rigid due to the compact dimensions. (try bending a yardstick in your hand, then move your hands in until they are one foot apart. Much more force is needed to bend it.) As long as the floorpan and roof of these cars are rigid and the doors inneract properly, they could do quite well in side impact or a deflecting impact. But I still wouldn't want to be on the recieving end of a bad hit in either one.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What is the mpg on these? Are they available with automatic transmissions? What is the price?
      When will they be sold in America? Will they be going electric or hybrid or both?

      Ron Wagner
      • 7 Years Ago
      I doubt Japan has the same side-impact requirements as the USA. I would never want to be t-boned in something without B pillars, even by another kei car.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Some b-pillarless cars (the Honda Element as an example) have a "false" pillar that can take an impact quite well. Combined with a high hip point and copious airbags (which Japanese cars do have), they do quite well.

        One serious problem with side-impact collisions is the disparity in ride height that the popularity of SUVs has caused. I can't think of any more obvious a statement of aggression than having a bumper at most people's head height, and it's distressing to see how even Land Rover (who's traditionally had a low point) has risen with fashion.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota does not care about problems and failures of his cars. But the worst: Toyota says that sell QUALITY cars.