Upcoming Honda minicar to feature stop-start technology, 59 mpg

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After a four-plus-year hiatus, Honda will resume production of minicars (a.k.a. Kei cars, vehicles with engine displacements of 660 cc or less) for Japan. Coming first for the Honda line-up is a yet-to-be unveiled wagon-type minivehicle that's scheduled to roll off the lines this December.

Japanese news outlet Nikkei reports that Honda will use fuel efficiency as a weapon to woo buyers as it re-enters the market. To that end, Honda will incorporate stop-start technology into its upcoming minivehicle range. When equipped with idle-stop, Honda's pint-sized wagon – complete with its tall profile and spacious interior – is expected to return a near best-in-class fuel economy rating of 25 kilometers per liter (58.8 miles per U.S. gallon) on Japan's JC08 evaluation cycle. That's equal to the fuel economy rating of the SkyActiv-equipped Mazda Demio, but it's still well below the 76.7-mpg rating of the Toyota Prius.

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