NEWS: Daihatsu debuts retro-styled Mira Tocot kei car

Daihatsu says that its Mira Tocot is designed for women, but we kind of want one. The styling is appealingly somewhat retro, and reminds of the Nissan Pao. It has the same utilitarian look and comes in cool throwback colors, and as most kei cars now are tall boxes the Tocot still retains a charming hatchback profile. 

The Mira Tocot replaces the Mira Cocoa, one of several variations on the Mira kei car. Because kei jidosha regulations are so strict, limiting not only engine displacement and horsepower but the car’s overall length, width and height, companies rely on interesting design to differentiate models. As a result, cars like the Mira Tocot shares almost no body panels or exterior lighting with other Mira models, even though underneath the skin they are largely the same.

With round headlights, an available contrasting canvas-texture roof, and panel design that recalls bead-rolled steel, it harkens back to a simpler time in car design. The Daihatsu logo isn’t even on the grille, which can be color-matched with the roof. Colors include Sunny Day Blue, Ceramic Green, and Lemon Squash Crystal Metallic.

Inside, the dashboard is cheerful and simple, with white and tan inserts that lighten up the cabin. Even the seats are two-tone, which is a big improvement over typical US-market economy cars, which thrust you into a sea of gray plastic.

Builders of kei cars have to adhere to a formula so there’s little point in going over the specs. To save from having to look them up, though, the Mira Tocot is powered by a 660cc inline-3 making 58 horsepower. It’s available in front- or all-wheel-drive, and a CVT is the only available transmission.

We know the Mira Tocot will never be sold in the US, but its charm extends across oceans. If only our entry-level cars had this much appeal.

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11 Responses to NEWS: Daihatsu debuts retro-styled Mira Tocot kei car

  1. Ant says:

    I noticed this earlier today. Japan has a bit of history designing cars very much aimed at women (or at least, for publicly admitting it).

    It always seems a little odd as in theory, cars aren’t inherently masculine or feminine (even if some design details make them more appealing to one gender or another), but it does seem at least in the Mira Tocot’s case that women were heavily involved in the design and features of the car, so perhaps this will be well-targeted. And it’s certainly better than car companies ignoring women completely.

    It’s a neat little thing though. So few small cars have any real character outside of Japan – Fiat’s 500 and Panda do well on this front and the Smart Fortwo/Forfour/Renault Twingo trio are quirky too, but few others spring immediately to mind. I really think the restrictive kei regulations force designers to innovate a little and it makes for more interesting cars (even if the end products aren’t necessarily great to drive).

    • Johan says:

      Toyota said the 86 Cb was a design aimed at women….if that’s true I might be in need of a sex change because that thing looks great.

      I think when they design a car aimed at women what they really mean is it’s practical. God knows daily driving this thing would make more sense than my 370.

  2. Censport says:

    “an available contrasting canvas-texture roof”

    Wait, you mean the vinyl roof could make a comeback?

  3. Yuri says:

    “Colors include Sunny Day Blue, Ceramic Green, and Lemon Squash Crystal Metallic.”
    I feel like I should chime in that in Japan, “squash” often means an Italian soda-type drink, and not the vegetable. Same goes for squash-scented air fresheners.

  4. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    Squash? Peach Sherbet.

  5. XRaider says:

    “The Mira Tocot replaces the Mira e:s, one of several variations on the Mira kei car” I’m sorry to say this but the Mira e:s will not be replaced by the Mira Tocot. I think you realise you forgot to mention one vehicle: the Mira Cocoa which IS the one you’re looking for

  6. Joe Hornberger says:

    Designed for women or not, I like it. I’ll park one next to my new Jimny… that I’ll also never have. Oh well, let me dream…

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