When people in the United States think of right hand drive cars, they think of Nissan Skylines or S15 Silvias. But there are tons more vehicles that were only sold to right hand drive countries, some of which are even more unique than an R33 or S15. One of those vehicles is the Honda Beat.
The Honda Beat is the perfect example of the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. In Japan, there are tax breaks for cars with under 660cc engines. These cars are called kei cars. While you would think the answer to that would be to strip all the fun bits out of a car, reduce it’s engine size and dimensions and sell it as a kei car, the Beat does quite the opposite. The Beat is a fun two-door roadster that happens to fit in the size and displacement qualifications to be a kei car. The Beat takes the idea of a Miata (Lightweight, low power, but fun to drive 2 seater) and takes it to the 100th degree. Not to mention, it was $8 to fill the tank of the Honda Beat. Eight dollars.
My only problem with the beat was the passenger room: there really isn’t any. Granted, I’m a pretty big guy, but even a junior high student would feel the lack of room for the passenger. The driver gets more space than the passenger, luckily, but there still isn’t much. So room is not plentiful in the Beat, but then again, it’s a kei car. It’s purpose is to be small. So while its cramped, there’s no helping it.
The Honda Beat is an amazingly unique car, and a great government decision. Why don’t we implement that sort of thing here in the states? Give the consumers incentive to buy smaller cars that rock on gas, and help cut down on traffic jams and city parking problems. It just makes sense. If anyone in power is reading this post, please consider bringing kei cars to the us. We need them.