Top 10: Japanese cars you can't buy in the UK

Cars sold by Japanese car makers in the UK tend to be very good, but typically they aren’t the most exciting or fun-looking vehicles. That might make you think Japanese car makers are fairly conservative but they aren’t, really...

It’s not that fun, mad little cars aren't made by Japanese car makers, it’s just that most of them never appear in the UK. We’ve had a look at some of the current models available in Japan to pick out some of the best, weirdest and cleverest cars available. If you’re upset by the fact these cars aren’t sold officially in the UK then don’t fret – most can be imported and all are right-hand drive.

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Suzuki Alto Works

Japan’s car taxation favour cars below a certain size, with engines no larger than 660cc and power outputs no higher than 64PS. Cars made to this specification are known as kei (or light) cars – but just because they’re small doesn’t mean they’re simple. The Suzuki Alto Works is a perfect example.

It may be powered by a 660cc three-cylinder petrol engine, but it’s turbocharged to improve response, with power sent to all four wheels. Transmission is either a CVT auto or a five-speed manual. Since it’s incredibly light, the Alto Works is agile and eager – perfect for a tight, narrow, twisting British road. It’s just a shame it isn’t available in the UK.


Engineer Andy    on 15 March 2017

Look at that Honda Legend - 5 headlights per side - sinister!!!

Ian Hunter    on 17 March 2017

Funnily enough, I saw an FJ Cruiser in Gateshead just last week. I recognised it immediately as I saw loads while in New Zealand in December. Funky looking vessels.

edlithgow    on 19 March 2017

A few of them in Taiwan, though there isn't really the space.

I know you probably didn't meant it, but "Its retro design is inspired by the original Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser from the 1960s, but with modern and durable underpinnings." sort of implies the FJ40 Landcruiser underpinnings were not durable.

Australians would disagree.

colric    on 26 March 2017

Some very interesting tiny cars here but not the Nissan Jag ....Yuk!
I can hear Sir William stirring!!

diddy1234    on 28 March 2017

I thought the Honda N-cube would be on the list.

Not sure if it's true but I heard the Key cars are declining in sales as they are getting more expensive to buy and the Shenkin (Mot and Insurance) is getting more expensive

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