The Subaru Sambar Is a Cute, Surprisingly Practical Tiny Van

čas přidán 23. 04. 2022
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Subaru Sambar review! The Subaru Sambar is a tiny van -- and it's both cute and practical. Today I'm reviewing the Sambar, and I'm going to show you all the quirks and features of this little Subaru van. I'm also going to get behind the wheel of the Subaru Sambar and show you what it's like to drive -- and I'll review the Sambar's driving experience.
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Komentáře: 3 800

  • 7:58 A supercharger adding only 9hp doesn't sound like a big jump, but in context, that's a 20% increase in power!

    • Mopowa baby 😊

    • Donut media fan

    • It's probably noticable too especially at the low end. Something that small and light benefits a lot from what may seem like a tiny power boost.

    • Yup, and the SC version can actually do highway driving up to 80mph. Many will do mods such as an aftermarket exhaust and oil cooler since going that speed for extended periods will get it hot.

    • @@edwardgreenjr167 it'll still handle like a death machine though, those tiny tires and short wheelbase and big flat surfaces, especially on a windy day....but yeah it would have the power for sure with the SC and xtra capacity oil sump....not to mention....the driver IS the crumple zone, LoL

  • I lived in Japan for almost 10 years. I've owned 2 Kei-cars. In the first one, I had to turn off the A/C and radio to drive up hills. The other, had "turbo". I have no idea what that meant but, it could go up hills with the A/C on as long as the hill wasn't too big.

    • it's twee when turning off the radio helps.

    • @@patricklemire9278 same here i also drive a kei truck and the A/C consumes more fuel when turned on

    • The Alto Works and Turbo RS are pretty brisk though. Which Turbo model did you own?

    • @@not_autistic_336 This is true in all cars my friend, the difference is that more powerful cars already have poor gas mileage in comparison so people don't feel it that much, but AC will consume more fuel in any vehicle , and steal some power from the engine.

    • "Engineering, divert power from life support and communications and route it to the main thrusters!"

  • This was our first car when my Japanese wife and I got married. A present from my father-in-law. Memories of getting married and bringing our first child home from the hospital. We easily had seatbelts installed in the backseats. It was a good car. My children loved the open sunroof in the back.

    • Happy memories. What are you driving now?

    • @@atakan888 I have a Suzuki Swift. Over 12 years old now. It has held up very well. Great blue color, sporty, good pick up. I might consider buying another one but have also been thinking of another van. Camper vans have become very popular here since the virus.

    • @@harrycarley7613 really good and fun car. I hope you get what you want.

    • What a wonderful and practical wedding present!

    • living the dream. I studied and worked in Japan, but never once managed to get a gf, and didn't bother with a car. I may have to make another go at it.

  • What I love about this guy, is that he puts all his enthusiasm into reviewing a vehicle like this, in exactly the same way as he does when reviewing a 500k dollar rolls Royce or a 3m dollar Bugatti! Many people that have the privilege of reviewing and driving so many luxury vehicles would look down their nose at something like this but Doug just doesn't! This makes watching a review of these cheap quirky vehicles just as entertaining as watching a review of the brand new Range Rover sport. I know, because I just watched them both! Love this guy!

    • To me, these reviews are far more interesting. While it's cool to see what an almost infinite amount of money can get you in a car, it's far more interesting to see companies that innovated on/for a budget.

    • A rolls royce is boring. This is much more interesting for a car lover!

    • Supercar vids are boring and uninteresting. The old car vids are better.

    • This is the content we want Doug to produce!

    • I completely agree. I was regular car reviews :-)

  • I am obsessed with this channel, Doug's cadence is so weirdly engaging. He sounds like he's hosting a children's show like blues clues or something, it's endlessly charming and you can tell how passionate he is about the subject matter. I keep accidentally stumbling on these videos but I'm always super happy when I do.

    • He sounds like the Chrono Miner from Red Alert 2 lol

    • OK, you like the guy, we get it. Dully noted, jock sniffer. Any more praises or you done?

    • ​@@danatronics9039 He sounds and acts like a guy trying to explain what he is doing at a child's birthday party that he wasn't invited to.

    • Doug is taking the piss, and good at it

    • @@seebybermo9167 There are other things he's good at taking.

  • This van gives me the same vibes as the Toyota Previa. Very quirky small minivan that was cute, cozy, and utilitarian. I owned one for years and I was always impressed by how comfortable the back seats were on long drives. Also, it blows my mind that this is smaller than a Mini. What a cool car.

  • Thank you Doug for still doing these quirky/older cars despite the lower revenue! There’s a ton of us who love these!

    • i agree but it is kinda sad that we have to congratulate people for doing what they actually like because it doesnt make as much money. i guess it is admirable in a society so focused on making money.

    • I’m sure the owner of that website he was advertising for paid him handsomely as well

    • I'm sure these types of videos generate as much or more money than newer boring cars, it's what got him here after all

    • I feel he wouldnt have done it if not for Cars and Bids though, but we should be glad its going strong

    • @@JALC-x Exactly, I pretty much only watch his "old and/or quirky" reviews - Another brand new modern luxury SUV is really not that interesting for me, especially since I don't live in the US.

  • Had one of those in Germany it was branded as a Subaru Libero. It was brilliant. The interior in the back was completely different with 5 seats in the back and all of them had seat belts. So we could take 7 people over the Autobahn at up to 130 km/h(80 mph). The 4wheel drive was great in the Snow.

    • How did this thing even reach 130km/h? Must take minutes lol

    • Yeah I don't believe a 45hp minivan reached 130kph....

    • @@wingedstring go check the daihatsu HiJet with a 1.3L EFI. That thing pulls easly till 120km/h and up

    • Ist eins der einzigen Autos dieser Art, die hier erlaubt sind

    • The Libero didn’t have to follow Kei car restrictions, so it was a bit larger and had an engine up to 1.2L (almost double!) Kei cars are also limited to 4 passengers, so they couldn’t seat 7 without losing the tax breaks that justify the whole project

  • The first small van I remember being sold in the US was the Subaru. I was a teenager when the Subaru dealership opened in my small Texas town (approx. 1971), and that exceptionally compact van looked like JUST what I wanted back then.

  • the amount of space and the cleverness of the packaging of this car really impressed me. Look at that engine. It doesn't take any space. It is amazing. The engineers who designed this car should be proud of themselves.

  • I live in Japan and these vans have gotten more and more luxurious. Smart cruise control, collision avoidence, you name it! VERY popular due to lower insurance, taxes, and the cost is VERY low compared to other larger vehicles. There are also a WIDE variety of campers built using the K cars.

  • I love this car! I can imagine this being ideal in the narrow streets of Japanese cities, especially as a delivery van. Japanese car makers are masters at designing vehicles appropriate to the needs of their customers.

    • Japan has many single-family homes even in big densely populated cities, so to fit everyone in, the plot of land that each house fits on is going to be smaller, & so is the house's carport. So your car probably has to be smaller too in order to fit. Its true though this cabover design used by the Sambar might be more dangerous though; I once saw a Toyota HiAce (which uses a similar layout) that rear-ended a truck in Malaysia & the front row cabin was crushed into half its original length, killing the driver

  • For those who wondered why it doesn’t have rear seat seatbelts, those rear seats wasn’t intended to be used on a daily basis for starters. Japan applied lower taxes for commercial vehicles, and thus Japanese car manufacturers used this loophole and fitted a removable rear seats so it can be classified as a commercial vehicle that benefited lower tax but still have practicality of a passenger vehicles. Unfortunately, they (the government) noticed this and decided to raise the tax to avoid Japanese car manufacturers using this disadvantage. Also, Dias is a part of the model name; it was given to the van body style while the pickup body style doesn’t. Super Deluxe is what they called for the trim.

    • Thanks for the explanation! Microvans are the definition of quirkiness and childish joy we miss while driving our bland SUVs

    • The rear seat belts were mandatory by the 90s. The previous owner must have taken it away for some reason.

    • Moving to Japan from Australia, where you can potentially lose your licence if passengers don’t wear their seatbelts, it pissed me off when people would get in my car and not put their seat belts on. They seem to be more lax o it here, at least they used to.

    • Also concerned about the lack of head restraints on the back seats

    • The answer we didnt know we needed 😂😂😂

  • Love this era of all Subarus, early 90s. The first generation Legacy had this same low range gearbox option which was very useful and the early 90s Subaru engineering is unmatched. The Sambar seems to be the best of the tiny vans, popular export and this one seems very well preserved.

  • I love Doug's enthusiasm for the original and unusual.

  • As an older retired man, I watch a LOT of Mr. Doug's videos. Actually I watch them all and multiple times each. I really wish that CS-tv allowed me to give another thumbs up after watching something again after a year had past. I have a passion for yesteryear's odd autos. I have an extra special desire for those autos that are new to me even after seventy plus years owning and lusting after these strange pieces of engineering. I wish you all the very best!

  • You forgot to mention (or might not know) that the front seats revolve around themselves to make a nice table-seats interface, with the "rear seats" folded. In the version with 3 seat rows, you could make a central table with front and back seats (3rd row) to make a gathering space. To be honest, we only used this interface once but it's rarely practical

  • Love it! We had a Subaru '91 Fiori K car, which had the same ~700cc 4 cylinder motor, and I can guarantee that was no slouch, particularly around town, the power to weight ration was excellent. Even went on some huge interstate trips in that little hatchback, it could easily pull 110-120kph - though it revved like a bike, and you needed to 'prepare' for longer hills with a wind up lol..

  • The Subaru kei truck/vans in japan are known as “農道のポルシェ” or the farmers Porsche because it’s rear engined and it’s a lot faster then the other kei truck/vans.

    • HA! But these don't use the boxer engines that the bigger Subarus do.

    • @@rturner4205 yeah but it has 4 cylinders unlike all of it's competitors which had 3 which adds an amazing 5 more hp or something so it obviously adds to the Porscheness.

    • You see a lot of these cars in the Japanese countryside.

    • @@sir6037 that’s so cool I would always call my black fc the poor mans Porsche My brother has a 3cy Suzuki every it’s pretty quick feels like my 86 on the downhill! Super responsive !

    • @@rturner4205 But it is flat.

  • You nailed the best US use of this, delivery. I have friends here in Seattle using newer models as cargo delivery for Prime and some third party delivery companies. Mile for miles they tell me the small engine and lightweight design not to mention cheaper price means it is more cost effective than electrics since they can haul twice the cargo at any given time

  • Kei cars have come a long way since the early 90's, with low-blow turbos focussed on torque and in gear response. They can cruise at freeway speeds with ease, have a massive amount of accessories available for them (yes, you can camp in them, see the Daihatsu Wake ad series on CS-tv) and are almost Tardis like on the inside. The AWD systems are super handy in snowy areas. These days, most of them are made by Daihatsu , Suzuki and Honda, rebadged and sold by Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and other brands. Had a sit in a Toyota Tank (!) in Tokyo a few years ago, it was a jaw dropping experience.

  • I'd love to have a van this size if it were electric. Super useful for taking my little business on the road.

  • In the Philippines we use a cousin of that van, a little Suzuki Every and 2e use it as a little passenger jeepney with sidewards facing bench seats which gets the total seating capacity to 9 people. 2 in the front, 3 in the middle, sometimes when the drivers get greedy they seat 4 in the middle and 2 in each of the bench seats at the back.

  • We had similar Sambar with CVT gearbox at our parts shop 15 years ago, and its cargo capacity is fabulous! But when the wind blew to the side, you could feel the van is about to roll. Also, we had hot hatchback Subaru Vivio RX-R with supercharged 660cc 64 HP engine with manual transmission and 4WD - that was a rocket!

  • My grandfather is a small size farmer in Japan and he used to own this. He used this car to haul his vegetables. My uncle loves adventures and he used to own this too. He converted this car to camper van and traveled everywhere in Japan.

    • Are you Japanese? What does the sticker "OBA" on the tailgate door means? Odaiba inspection?

    • @@manaaalsuwaidi3643 Yes but idk which sticker you are talking about. That circle shape sticker on the left bottom side of rear window is a "parking space certificate sticker". In Japan we have to register the location where you park or store your car regularly.

    • Sugoi desu ne

    • @@ZERONEINNOVATIONS it's visible when Doug drives it

  • I'm not going to lie... After watching this, I kind of wanna save up for one as my first car(17 atm). I mean, after looking they go for 5 to 10k and some have good miles on them, I dont know how long they last but I mean it looks so cool!!! I would love to get one and go on a road trip!!! I'm actually considering this

    • I'm 19, and moving across my Province. My Toyota Camry really doesn't have that much space, so I was thinking of purchasing one to help me move. It'd be a really good road trip vehicle, but I'd feel unsafe without at least a moose bumper on the front... I hope you do actually go through with it.

    • "road trip" Dude did you hear him? It barely goes 40 mph

    • I think one of these would make a great little camper for a road trip !

    • If you are seventeen you are going to want the car with a crumple zone...

    • I would definitely not drive a car like this at 17. You want a boring, cheap to run car that is relatively modern and has decent safety. Kei cars are really not suited for the US unless you never leave the city. Even here in the UK where we have smaller cars in general you would be pushing it.

  • In 2010 I imported a 1994 Subaru Domingo to bring with me to Inuvik in the Canadian arctic. The Domingo is that same Sambar van but with a larger 3cyl 1.3L engine (the same as the Justy hatchback); since that meant it didn't qualify as a kei car anymore, it was technically a full sized car, and had to have bumpers too. Mine had three row seating (7 seats!) and seatbelts, CVT transmission, and full time 4WD but no limited slip so any one wheel getting loose was doom. The middle bench folded over itself to become a table, and the front seats spun around (with a safety interlock so the passenger seat couldn't face backward until the driver's seat already was). The middle and rear benches could also fold flat to a very uncomfortable double bed with a metal bar exactly where my hips were. Same twin sunroof! Top level speed with the larger engine was 115 km/h, with acceleration from 90 to 115 taking over a minute. Little machine always started though, it was me jumpstarting the brand new domestic pickup trucks at -37ºC. The 3600km road trip, of which the first 800km was gravel road, leaving the arctic was an adventure - Domingo's greatest accomplishment was getting me out of that terrible place. Weirdly, with all that storage, and very deliberate design decisions like having a special clip in the passenger footwell for the purpose of holding a road flare, there was no place to store the TIRE IRON, it just rattled around in the glovebox.

  • My family owns one of the biggest Subaru dealerships in P.A for 70 plus years and i never seen one of those i cant wait to show them. i had a 3 cylinder Subaru justy it was my favorite car i ever owned

  • This van (or more likely its predecessor) was Subaru's first vehicle sold in the US, in the early 1970s. I remember seeing a 6' tall guy park one and step out of it. Looked like he could have picked it up and carried it off, it was so small relative to the driver.

  • And way back in 1989 I was transported in one of those from Michael Grzimek school in Nairobi to a friends place in the outskirts of Nairobi - we were 11 kids in the back btw. 🙂 what a cooool vehicle! Thanks Doug, keep on doing this kind of unconventional videos!

  • In Finland, there was a company called Elcat who converted these into electric. They were used mainly as mail delivery vans by the Finnish Postal service Posti.

    • The Finns remind me of Kiwis, before we went fully neo-liberal. I wish you and Findland all the best.

    • How long ago was that?

    • @@fosty. when these were new, they converted new Subaru vans into the Elcat Cityvan electric delivery van.

    • Fascinating

    • Are there any left of these or did they rust out quickly?

  • Outside of the power and rear passenger seatbelts this does really feel like all the vehicle most could need

  • "Sambar" is the verb we use in portuguese to the act of dancing samba. It kinda makes me think, specially thinking about the "Samba" VW Van (or Kombi in some countries)... 😂

  • Fender benders seem fun with this trunk.

  • Thank you for finally showing me where to add the blinker fluid my mechanic is always selling me on!

  • my family lived in one of these in new york for 8 months. i still remember my parents pulling out the seats each night to sleep on while i laid horizontally along the trunk, and peering out into the city through the curtains each morning

  • That you do content on the quirkier, older cars is a testament to your loyalty to all of your fans, Doug. Thank you!

    • I'll watch these over a redundant video of another McLaren trim with 14 more hp and power seats removed

    • @@MisterCoolGuy1 same, i dont care about the super cars especially all the boring stuff about the infotainment systems.

    • It's not just the fans but HIMself. He always loved quirky cars and likes reviewing them.

    • @@gaveintothedarkness I'd rather watch a review of an old Saab than the latest most limited super special edition $3M Lamboclarenarri.

    • Are those round drums/boxes in the back speakers ?

  • 14:45 - couldn't agree more about the windows. There's so many and such a good view that it looks like a movie greenscreen behind you!

  • I've been daily driving the Suzuki Carry kei van for the last 15 years. They actually exported them to Australia from new with an upgraded engine - a huge 970cc with a 5 speed gearbox! It makes the highways a little more possible. I try not to hurt it as a general rule, sticking to 90km/h (about 55mph) or so, but I did make it to 130 (80) on a long stretch of slightly downhill freeway heading out to the country. I added a false floor and a mattress when I got it. It's pretty crazy to be several feet shorter than most hatchbacks and still have a double bed in the back.

  • Oh my God, yes, I love these things. Went on a missions trip a few years back to Honduras and they have the Chevy versions of these things everywhere. Fell in love with them instantly.

  • I was going to buy one of these the week after you uploaded this id been saving for quite some time now and they're all sold. Thank you Doug

  • 0:00: 🚐 Review of a 1991 Subaru Sambar, a tiny van with 1990s themed photo booth on wheels. 4:02: 🚐 Features of the Subaru Sambar van include rear heater, storage cubby, and lack of seat belts. 7:54: 🚐 The Subaru Sambar: A Clever, Compact Van with Surprising Features 11:28: 🚗 Practical features and unique sunroofs of the Subaru Sambar 15:11: 🚐 The Subaru Sambar is a small, practical van with limited power and a compact size. Recapped using Tammy AI

  • Funfact: this generation also had a retro version, the Sambar Classic, with round headlights. There's a popular aftermarket kit that makes it look like a miniature VW T2 bus

    • Yeah and u can buy them for like 4k

    • Yep, young chap near me has the VW look a like kit, always makes me laugh.

    • Yep. There is one of those conversions running around where I work. Always get a kick out of it.

    • There's like 4 of them up on ebay right now. One of them has that VW conversion. And the cheapest one is like $9000. Still want a kei van though. This or an Acty

    • I have to search that in the internet to see how it look. I I can say it's worth the effort. So cute.

  • wow, that thing is amazing. I would rock that as a camper van. Looks simple enough, cheap, and lightweight. Exactly what I'd want. Wouldn't do it for the highway though sadly.

  • The rear AC vents are controlled by the front temperature settings. Many cars of that area did it that way. You loose the option to set separate temperatures, but you end up with a much smaller and lighter hvac.

  • 1:26 I love the atmosphere of this video , it looks like a cold and fogy morning

  • I occasionally see a pickup version around town. It always makes me smile. (Spent some time in Japan and saw a lot of the flat bed pickups there. Speed limit was 50 kilometers per hour = 31 miles per hour.) Mr Subaru has one on his channel.

  • Back in 1989 i was in the USAF in Europe for 6 years, i was security, we typically drove humvees, and 1008's...but once in awhile we would get our hands on one of these....it was absolutely the funnest thing to drive, and people would definitely look when we unloaded with rifles and grenades, full battle gear in one of these it was fantastic 👍 ... also other than deuces it was the only manual transmission we ever got to drive 😅

  • Thanks Doug for bringing in these old school quirk machines every once in a while. The internet is full of ferrari's, lamborghini's etc., but THIS!!!

    • Every once in a while is a stretch. Most of his recent videos was older cars

    • AN ‘EXPLOSIVE’ jihaad mobile...

    • @@drippgxd It's good that he listened to his fans. He was concerned about the views of these old, quirky car reviews compared to the newer cars. But people didn't bother. They wanted more quirky cars.

  • Aww, can I adopt it? Seriously though, for the time, this has so many well-thought practical touches that were not found in small vans until fairly recently. That's also in Europe, the UK, and more or less anywhere outside Japan. Remember that the K-car category is for purely urban and suburban driving, in a large city like Tokyo, where speeds off the freeway/motorway are no more than 60kmh (37mph), and usually slower. Here in the UK, it would be 20 or 30mph speed limits, or lower. 45bhp in a little van or car is ideal for that sort of driving.

  • I do enjoy your videos Doug, always interesting cars, and you're so enthusiastic it always holds my attention!

  • First video so yours I watch; it popped in “my recommended”, and I want to see more while I’m only at minute 6:00 in the video! I really like your personality and way of explaining and showcasing!

  • I once had a Subaru Sumo van, very similar to the Sambar, 3 cylinders and didn't have 4wd. It was brillient!

  • Ha! saw one of these in Hamilton ON that the owner had imported from the UK. Dude if you see this (and you might, it's a pretty small community) say hi! It had a factory camper conversion and was pretty cool....bed on the roof....sink in the back and the front seats rotated 180 degrees to face into the van where there was a kitchen table that four people could sit around. It was pretty freakin awesome.

  • Doug, as someone who lived in Japan for 3 years from 1991-1994, I can promise you that a van like this was 99% used by workers going to and from a job site. So, 4 guys/gals going to a construction site, building, whatever, to do cleaning, construction work. NOBODY in Japan used a van like this as a family car. I still have catalogs of all the Japanese cars for sale from the 1990s, that I bought at Japanese book stores (honya). I have always been a huge car fan since 1976, when I was 6 years old, and collected Car Stuff wherever I lived. I worked for a Japanese construction when I lived there, so I can tell you this from personal experience. Kei cars, which had a special license plate that had these yellow license plates and had a maximum engine of 550cc, but has now changed to 660cc. All you got was a tax reduction, when you paid your yearly, or bi-yearly car taxes, which I think was 30-40% off. This website explains it in more detail: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kei_car

    • maybe today, but just watch old animes and movies from the 90s and you will find this vehicle as familiy van often

    • @@johnnykatharsis1985 ah yes, anime, the most accurate reflection of Japanese construction culture

    • The suzuki carry and daihatau hijet was very popular family cars where I live, my dad owned a red hijet zebra We got the 1.0 versions though, not the 660cc since there is no such thing as kei regulations in southeast asia.

    • @@jobet981 yes! ;)

    • Interestingly, you lived in Japan for the entire production run of the MAZDA NAVAJO (which was an identical twin to the first-generation Ford Explorer Sport) which was the first Mazda SUV ever sold, but sadly the Navajo has become a VERY rare vehicle in America today. Most of them were scrapped years ago, but I sure hope there are enough of them still in existence so that Doug can make a Navajo video someday! The Navajo was really NOT a "Japanese" SUV because it not only was designed by Ford, but actually was built alongside the Explorer Sport at a Ford factory in Kentucky! Even though the Navajo had such a short life (and a disappointingly small number of them were sold) the original Ford Escape from 2001 was actually designed by Mazda, but surprisingly Mazda never sold their own version of that vehicle in America! The Escape turned out to be a huge success for Ford, but sadly the Ford FREESTYLE crossover SUV (launched in 2005) was a failure, even though it actually was designed by VOLVO in Sweden! Volvo was owned by Ford at the time (and Mazda was partially owned by Ford during this time period) but Volvo cars continued to be mostly designed by the original Swedish engineers at Volvo. I'm surprised the Escape was such a huge success and the Freestyle was a failure, not the other way around! While sadly I never had a chance to drive a Freestyle, my assumption is that the Freestyle had a smoother ride than the Escape, and I know the Freestyle definitely had a more luxurious interior than the Escape. Perhaps the Freestyle only was a failure because people who otherwise would buy it actually bought a Volvo XC90 (the first-ever Volvo SUV, which was launched during the Ford ownership of Volvo) instead! While the XC90 was much more expensive, it had much better styling than the Freestyle, and while there are so few Volvo dealerships in America (in contrast to the HUGE number of Ford dealerships) the Volvo service experience traditionally was a step up from the mediocre service at Ford and other less-luxurious car company dealerships!

  • My 1987 1.3L 4cycl and 4spd manual Toyota Starlet had an air conditioning button like that too...which really impressed me

  • The fact that Doug can fit in the kei van is a testament of how roomy it is 😂😂 I swear he should be hitting his head on every panel 😂

  • Excellent review and what a great Subaru! God bless you and yours! Praying for you

  • I love this van! And these old car videos!! Thanks Doug!!

  • Doug, in Japan the K cars are more popular in the rural areas where public transport are not easily available. In the crowded cities consumers prefer standard and large sized cars because many of the households can own only 1 car, due to the lack of parking space. (ie. without a registered parking space you will not be allowed to buy a car)

  • You know you are from US when your barbecue grill has the same size as a van.

    • You know you are from UK when your car fits in a cupboard.

    • @@someonesomebody5287 you know your from Canada when ever car you see has more rest on the under carafe than the surface area of this van.

    • @@someonesomebody5287 This is a Japanese Car though.

    • I know I'm from Japan when I feel Sambar isn't that small after all.

    • I mean how else are you gonna roast an entire cow

  • Just found one of these in my small town and freaked out and of course there was a Doug video to tell me all about its many quirks and features.

  • I want one. I have a black 1999 Suburu Legacy, and it's probably one of my favorite vehicles I've ever owned.

  • I would definitely drive that thing, I love it! I worked for Subaru for years and I never heard of it

  • Seeing them in real life is wild, they're so small that the gardener at our college used to drive his on the walking paths with plenty of room to spare

  • I had the pleasure to drive a Delica. The brake pedal seemed like it was pitch control. The more you pressed, the closer you got to the ground!

  • Adding to the "this is only a city van" I was actually going to comment that the 4WD and the "EL" gear are not so much to get out of difficult terrain, but more likely to utilize the most out of the tiny engine so you could get up steeper roads that are common in some towns/cities in Japan, since many of them are quite close to mountains, and even extend into them. You'd need this extra oomf in order to drive up them with a van full of people or heavier cargo, and the 4WD could help when there's water or snow in said hilly roads.

    • there ya go... its mainly for slippery terrain.

    • @@tommurphy4307 mountains! :)

    • There is no central differential so using 4wd on pavement is not advised :)

    • @@stalincat2457 very true. they are pretty bad with the crab walking. the 4wd is mainly for bad weather, but can do very light offroading. if you have a passenger and get stuck, they are light enough where 2 people can actually lift them out of a rut.

    • Makes sense. Dude talking seems like he doesn’t understand Japan isn’t the USA

  • This van is single-handedly responsible for the entire “blinker fluid” meme. Amazing.

  • Nice! I was waiting for this one. Thanks Doug

  • My dad had one of these in Canada. It was a fun little thing. He put big tires and mags on it which made it look like a hilarious matchbox car.

  • I'd put a faster motor in it if possible, some bigger wheels, then the only other thing besides perhaps some seatbelts in the back is some sort of body panel mod to get more air through the radiator, I was lookin at the truck variant a few months back as a sort of mobile home project but the van might just take it's place, really cool little things to play around with, great video!!!

  • My first 'car' had 36hp -a 1961 VW van, and I was quite happy with that (note that the vehicle itself was much larger, too)

  • This video has such a nice vibe, the scenery the car the chill Doug… it’s like a calming early morning trip Love it

    • I dunno if it's my computer or what, but the framerate is really jarring to me. It's unwatchable. The early morning color palette is nice though.

    • Calming? The guy talked non-stop for 18 minutes.

  • One of the first Doug videos I've enjoyed

  • I am in Washington and have 94 Honda Acty truck. These rigs are stupid fun to drive. Tight turn radius, super easy parking, and are all about utility. I replaced an S10 pickup with the kei truck and haven't looked back. Hey Doug, you want to try an Acty? Mine does freeway speeds and is an excellent commuter.

  • I want a kei-class car so badly, and the Subaru Sambar is the perfect one for me! Definitely going to try getting one someday for road trips :)

  • This was surprisingly a great video - love the tiny kei-cars

  • I got say... I am impressed! That's a pretty cool little van! Is amazing how they got creative they are with those "K" cars.

  • This is maybe the most well packaged and functional vehicle I have ever seen. As a DJ and musician in Mexico City, this would be perfect. I would love one of these.

  • Awesome mini van !! I think everyone wanna see more of cars like this!!

  • I had an 80s Subaru station wagon and the heater controls stopped working. After pricing how much it was going to cost to replace it, my dad just stuck a toggle switch to it so the heat was either on full heat and full fan speed or it was off. The air always came out of the dash vents, so for defrost we got some dryer tube and jammed them into the dash vents and pointed them at the windshield. Those were the good days.

  • They are great in the snow. I drove one in New Hampshire/Vermont and the U.P. of Michigan. With winter tires it went anywhere

  • Greatly appreciate the faster transitions between sections, and giving up your promo spot to the owner is a real nice move

  • K-vans fit right in Boston and NYC. Perfect areas for tiny vans. I've seen a few in Boston, one of them is a parts hauler for an auto repair shop. Works perfect for that.

  • It's tiny, I get it. But a barbecue grill of this size could fit a entire cow 🤣

    • Got plenty of room for your mother then!

    • Maybe Doug's dad's grill

    • I was only shocked for a second until I reminded myself that's just how I imagined America.

    • Everything is bigger in Texas

    • I've seen barbecue grills that big outside of grocery stores and maybe some ball parks during the summer, making brats.... commercial sized bbq grills are pretty big.

  • My dad had bought this car as a family car back in 1998. Actually it was the E12 Libero edition (also accompanied with some "superdeluxe" stickers). There were 3 rows of seats, all of them with seatbelts. In the middle row (the one we seeas the rear in the video), the 2 seats had seat belts attached to the floor and inserted through the crack between the seat and its back. They were lower-part seatbelts, like the ones in airplanes. I believe this van could have had seat belts as well, but someone might have cut them from the car floor.

  • Those blinker fluid fill ports are really convenient. No more searching for where the blinker fluid goes!

  • More than 30 years ago, I bought a brand-new car for the first time in my life. That was a Sambar DIAS2 (supercharged version). I chose the model mainly because of its cargo space big enough to store and carry a bike without taking it apart. "DIAS" is a Spanish word which means days. The name "DIAS" had a connotation of being fit for daily use.

  • That's actually a very cool and practical car. Gets the job done!

  • finally! Was looking for the exact model for months now! There's one on my street!

  • Modern safety standards: “Where’s the crumple zone?” Doug: “I am the crumple zone.” i want this!!

    • So car enthusiasts rather drive cars with no safety, yet are scared of crashing them? I guess car enthusiasts don't mind getting killed?

    • RIP

    • Since this is a 90's car, other cars at that time probably didn't have crumple zones either... so RIP legs in a minor accident, and RIP in a major one.

    • @@MrNgMichael most did, in the west certainly. Now saying that, if our roads were as safe as Japan's and our drivers as well trained and behaved, I'd be a bit more lenient on safety standards too.

    • Your feet are just behind the bumper. YOU are the crumple zone.

  • Hello from Switzerland, I had a Subaru E12 in 1987/1988, which actually had the same base/body, just a few differences on the inside: - Seat belts for all seats - 3 rows of seats (front 2 individual seats 180° rotatable, rear 2 benches for 2 people each) - on the one hand, the rear bench could be raised (folded out) and locked in place vertically like a loading wall, so that goods could be stacked in from the rear right up to the top edge, on the other hand, the backrest could be folded down flat and together with the 2nd row this resulted in the perfect one Lying surface (without space) - the windows by the doors were sliding windows - the heater for the rear was behind the 2nd row of seats and even in winter, about 2 minutes after the engine started, warm air came out (!!!) - There was no air conditioning for my car back then (this has only become more and more popular with us in the last 5 years or so) - Instead of the glass roof, we simply had a corresponding (huge) sunroof (or better viewing hatch :-P) - 3 cyl. 1200 ccm engine without injection with 3-way catalytic converter (exhaust gas recirculation) The car was absolutely perfect for me and my needs, a small young family, a cheap car (I paid around CHF 17,500 at the time, which would be around $18,000 today), space for the whole family and our camping equipment large house tent that weighed around 80 kg. The all-wheel drive for the winter, the whole concept convinced me, as you mentioned, fold down the rear bumper and you have access to all the essential components, windscreen washer fluid (only for the tailgate as far as I know), cooling water, oil dipstick and oil filler neck, so easy and clear , you hardly find it in newer vehicles. 4WD, but be careful, it also had a tripping hazard; when the 4WD is switched on, a differential lock seems to be active (I don't know how much %), you can hardly steer on a wet or even dry asphalt road because the resistance becomes extremely high, for someone who has no knowledge of off-road vehicles/differential locks, it can that become dangerous.

  • We used to get these in the UK in the 1990s, very popular with shopkeepers for going too and from the cash and carry the flatbed van was used by small builders.

  • We had one as a family, with three rows of seats! Had bunch of family holidays where three of us slept together in the back! (still a kid back then)

  • This small is maybe too funny for US lifestyle. But it is so practical and maintenance is so low, thus their citizen can do business using Kei Van(no need parking permit at home). It's not fast, but it get the job done! Japanese always arrived on time! Love to see you review cars like this

  • Variants of this vehicle are incredibly popular as taxis in most of the developing world. I have covered many potholed miles in the back of one of these.

  • I'm surprisingly impressed. Really maximizes the space. I was shocked when he said it was 3 feet shorter than a mini cooper.

    • Really make us realize how bloated modern cars are.

    • The rear seats also flip and fold forward down for a 6’ flat cargo area. Doug didn’t know that. And the rear windows roll all the way down after you engage the child safety switch. But yeah smash a whole lot into a tiny package.

    • i drive one and i was shocked as well (though i have always said that the usage of space in that is terribly inefficient) and when i considered what i can(t) fit in the back of it even with the rear seats down i really got to thinking if i should get something a little more practical. not a kei van though...there is a limit xD

    • really depends on the model year of the mini though

    • I'm ded 💀💀💀

  • Subaru made an even smaller van in the late 60s and early 70s. The company had a line called the Subaru 360. It came as a tiny car (smaller than a VW bug), a pickup (the box was about 2ft by 3 ft and maybe 18 inches high with a side loading gate) and a van. They had a 360cc motorcycle engine in the rear, 10-inch wheels, and a top speed of 55mph. My dad owned the car and I saw the pickup at the dealership. That's why I remember their approximate size. The car looked like a mini cream-colored VW bug and weighed less than 1,000 pounds. They never sold well in the U.S. because they were considered too small and dangerous.

  • Perfect for my small Nor Cal town for going to the river with friends... Can drive right to the river with the 4X4 and crawler gear. I need to find one!

  • i had the older version of that van called a subaru domingo back in the early 90's when i was stationed in japan. great little vans.