Toyota Pixis Space makes Japanese debut image

Toyota is selling its first “minicar” in Japan as demand increases for the tiny vehicles which are popular for short commutes.

Such tiny cars — known as Kei-class vehicles — have become increasingly popular in Japan and now generate about a third of all new car sales there, the Associated Press reported from Tokyo.

The company said that the new Pixis Space has been designed to meet the needs of car-buyers in Japan and will be sold through more than 200 Toyota dealerships nationwide.

The Pixis Space will sell for 1.12 million yen ($14,670) and has a fuel economy of 25.5 kilometers per liter, the Toyota City, Japan-based company said in a statement.

With the exception of the Custom RS that is powered by a more powerful 660c turbocharged engine, the rest of the lineup is offered with a naturally aspirated 660cc gasoline unit.

All models adopt a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and are offered with either front- or all-wheel drive. It is, however, quite small, with a wheelbase of 98-inches – roughly two feet more than a Smart fortwo.

Toyota was the only Japanese carmaker without 660cc minivehicles, leaving them to subsidiary Daihatsu Motor Co, which along with Suzuki Motor Corp controls about two-thirds of that market. The Pixis Space will be assembled at Daihatsu’s factory in Kyushu.