Small or so-called “Kei” cars remain popular in Japan and one of the most successful brands in the category is Mitsubishi that has launched the third generation of its eK series, the name of which stands for “excellent Keijidōsha”, or “excellent minicar”. According to Mitsubishi, the previous version of the eK sold more than 750,000 units in Japan from 2006 through 2012.
The new eK is offered in two flavors, the more feminine Wagon and the sportier and more masculine (if you can use that term for a kei car) Custom, with the main visual differences being the front end designs plus the body and interior trims.
The boxy-shaped minicar from Mitsubishi is 3,395mm (133.7 inches) long, 1,475mm (58.1 inches) wide and 1,620mm (63.4 inches) tall, riding on a 2,430mm (95.7 inches) wheelbase.
For its motivation, the eK series utilizes a 657cc (0.7-liter) three-cylinder gasoline engine available in (49hp / 50PS) naturally-aspirated and (59hp / 60PS) turbocharged forms paired to a CVT, driving either the front or all-four wheels. The eK employs Mitsubishi’s Auto Stop & Go idle-stop system and other fuel economy technologies to return a fuel consumption as low as 29.2km/l, equal to 3.4l/100km, 68.7mpg US and 82/5mpg UK.
The eK Wagon and eK Custom‘s suggested retail prices range from ¥1,050,000 to ¥1,335,000 (US$10,600-US$13,500) and from ¥1,269,000 to ¥1,546,000 (US$12,800-US$15,600) respectively.
Nissan will also sell re-badged version of the Mitsubishi eK as part of a wider agreement between the two companies.