Kei cars may be small in size, but they're big business in Japan. The latest arrival to the category is the little hatch you see above, the Toyota Pixis Epoch.

It's the fourth vehicle produced by the Daihatsu division but sold under the Toyota brand. As with other keis, power comes from a 660cc engine. It's mated to a continuously variable transmission driving either just the front wheels or all four. In both configurations, the Pixis Epoch features a stop-start system that helps its emissions and fuel efficiency figures come in well below even the Japanese government's stringent standards.

The whole package measures just 3,395 mm (133 inches) long, 1,475 mm (58 inches) wide and 1,500 mm (59 inches) tall, but offers a relatively spacious and utile interior, plus a tight turning radius of just 4.4 meters. Pricing ranges from 795,000 to 1.2 million yen – that's less than $10,000 (and no more than $15k). Further details in the press release after the jump.
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TMC Launches 'Pixis Epoch' Minivehicle in Japan

Toyota City, Japan, May 10, 2012-Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) today launched in Japan the "Pixis Epoch", the second passenger minivehicle to be sold under the Toyota brand. The vehicle will be sold through more than 200 Toyota dealerships nationwide.

The Pixis Epoch returns to the fundamental appeal of minivehicles: day-to-day transportation with high fuel efficiency at an affordable price. For a starting price of just 795,000 yen, the Pixis Epoch boasts top-level fuel efficiency for a gasoline-fueled vehicle*1 with a fuel economy of 30.0 km/L*2 and outstanding everyday utility.

The Pixis Epoch represents the fourth vehicle supplied by Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. to TMC under a minivehicle OEM agreement reached in September 2010.

Assembly Plant: Oita (Nakatsu) Plant, Daihatsu Motor Kyushu Co., Ltd.

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices

Grade Engine Transmission Driveline Price*1
(660 cc)
CVT*2 Front-wheel drive 795,000 yen
L 895,000 yen
X 995,000 yen
G 1,120,000 yen
Lf Four-wheel drive 995,000 yen
Xf 1,095,000 yen
Gf 1,220,000 yen
*1Includes consumption tax, does not include recycling fees and differs in Hokkaido; *2Continuously Variable Transmission

Vehicle Outline
High Fuel Efficiency and Affordable Price
All models are equipped with the eco-IDLE*3 system-an idling-stop function that shuts off the engine as the vehicle comes to a stop (approximately 7 km/h or less)-and other fuel-saving features to achieve a fuel efficiency of 30.0 km/L under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) JC08 test cycle and CO2 emissions of 77 g/km.

All models exceed the MLIT 2015 fuel efficiency standards*4 by 20 percent, and in combination with certification for emissions levels 75 percent lower than the 2005 standards of the MLIT approval system for low-emission vehicles, the Pixis Epoch is eligible for tax reductions under the Japanese government's tax incentive program for environment-friendly vehicles.

Simple, Universally-Appealing Design
Available in eight pleasing colors such as Cotton Ivory, the Pixis Epoch sports a simple form without extraneous elements, giving it an air of sophistication with advanced and vibrant styling. The simple silhouette features low, flowing lines that hint at outstanding aerodynamic performance, while the logical design of the high-quality interior emphasizes innovation.

Everyday Utility
The compact body (length of 3,395 mm, width of 1,475 mm and height of 1,500 mm) enables the Pixis Epoch to park in low-clearance parking areas, while the roomy interior still allows plenty of space for four adults.

The compact interior dimensions (length of 1,920 mm*5, width of 1,350 mm and height of 1,500 mm) feature a generous 930 mm of legroom between the front and rear seats, providing ample space for rear passengers. Many simple-yet-functional, easy-to-reach interior storage spaces and features, such as a hook on the instrument panel (in front of passenger seat) for shopping bags and other items, enhance occupant convenience.

With a minimum turning radius of 4.4 m, the Pixis Epoch comfortably navigates sharp corners on narrow roads, minimizes fuss when parking and provides excellent maneuverability in everyday driving.

*1Excluding hybrid vehicles
*2Front-wheel-drive models, four-wheel-drive models: 27.0 km/L fuel efficiency and 86 g/km CO2 emissions
*3Registered trademark of Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.
*4Specified under the Japanese Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy
*52,000 mm on the "G" and "Gf" grades

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Corolla Axio's debut is more interesting, mostly because it's stylistically so bad.
      • 3 Years Ago
      that's a NEW car?! it looks at least 6 years old!
      • 3 Years Ago
      This car is crap so it would fit the Scion brand perfectly .
      • 3 Years Ago
      cannibalizing Suzuki's market...
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm not sure why this is getting featured on AB. Each of the major Japanese automakers have tons of kei cars that get refreshed and renewed just as often as any other car, and most of these never make it to the front page of Autoblog. There's nothing special about this one. It's a rebadged version of a Daihatsu that's been on the road here in Japan for 6 months already.
      Julien Brundrett
      • 3 Years Ago
      The design isn't great, but its not awful either - main problem I see is the color is atrocious. Looks like this car could potentially compete with the Nissan NV200, although in more of a Japanese market.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's hard to believe autoblog just miss the Corolla (JDM aka Yaris Sedan) debut.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yaris sedan is called Vios, Corolla size and displacement are bigger than them.
          • 3 Years Ago
          That would be true, except the new JDM Corolla Axio has 1.3 and 1.5 litre engines... And is smaller than the existing model.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Seriously, who cares!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Plenty of elbow room for one American in the front and back seat.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks like a 2008 Chevy Aveo5... which was a 10 year old Daewoo...
        Antonio K. Piech
        • 3 Years Ago
        You got it,and people think is real Chevrolet ......what it is is a real joke,but this one on the other hand is a Toyota wich means quality and good trade in value over the years
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's kinda hard to associate the name "Epoch" with something this tiny. I think the name would be more fit for something huge like a 1971 Cadillac or Lincoln or Imperial, landau roofs and all...
      • 3 Years Ago
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