I’m gettin a new-ish car! A Japan story.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Jupiter, Jul 23, 2021.

  1. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    26,453
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    Currently I drive a Suzuki Palette. Sure, the name is ridiculous, like lotsa Japanese car names (like Trueno and Joypop). Also ridiculous to some people is the 3-cylinder 649cc engine belonging to a whole, very common, class of vehicles in Japan known as “kei (light) cars”. It even looks fairly ridiculous:

    74FBAED7-B9A4-494C-8BDE-013651628AF4.jpeg

    Furthermore, as you might guess from looking at it, it handles kinda like a shoebox stood on its end. I live on a very twisty road up in the hills, and on every corner it feels like it’s going down on one knee. Those front tires just get eaten up unless you go like 20mph...

    ALSO, it was apparently NOT QUITE ready when they released it: I’ve had 4-5 recalls on it, to fix the seatbelt latching system, the steering column lock/ignition system, and even the routing of the brake lines for the front brakes, and more recently there has been some wiring weirdness with the brake lights.

    BUT it’s 4WD, and turbo, and it has a winter package that included heated mirrors and heated driver’s seat (which I had never experienced before, and which I will never again do without!), and it has those sliding doors that made it really easy to get kids and gear in and out of it, and it felt surprisingly roomy thanks to the high roof and the way that the windshield goes way out over the engine compartment. Extremely practical and even handled icy roads such that I never had to get winter tires for it.

    So I don’t hate it, but I’m tired of it, and it’s getting pretty tired on its own, and the kids are old enough to be careful not to whang the doors into other cars at the grocery store, and when my ma passed a couple years ago, I came into a bit of money that allowed me to pay off a property loan, with enough left over to replace this vehicle with something a bit more fun.

    My requirements were:
    • 4WD
    • Heated seat for me at least
    • Not white or black (ideally I was thinking khaki, so road dust wouldn’t show up so easily)
    • Smallish/compact (has to fit in the same little parking spot—actually this is a formal legal requirement)
    • About 20thousand bucks

    Less important but still important:
    • Bluetooth for my iPhone
    • Back-up camera
    • Fun to drive

    As it turned out, that dang heated seat, and then to a lesser degree the 4WD, really limited my options here in Osaka, which is mostly flat and urban, except for the northern spur where I live. The next biggest obstacle was lack of inventory; new car dealerships HAVE NO CARS for sale in Japan. I am not exaggerating this: they don’t make the car until you order it. And then it’s SEVERAL months—like 6 months—before you can take delivery, could be even longer for a popular/new model. Even used car dealers often don’t have many vehicles on the lot, and so in many cases, you go into the dealer and they go onto the Web and look through their network.

    I looked at a lot of pictures of cars; perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s hard to get excited about 2in x 3in pics on a monitor.

    Finally I stumbled on a used Subaru dealership that had the biggest inventory I have seen here: they had DOZENS of vehicles! lol Because they are Subaru, they have several models with 4WD and on the compact side.

    I found one of these:
    12F52158-CBA5-4B06-85DA-3A1067A5496C.jpeg

    B3A42ABB-E13A-4D1B-948F-63ADD550DAF4.jpeg

    It’s a Subaru XV—I think they are called Crosstrek in some places.

    “Hyper Blue” wasn’t really in my top five color choices, but it’s okay: not too gaudy and not too boring and not too dark/not in the summer. It’s a bit older than I initially wanted (2016) and the 2000cc engine is a bit bigger than I really wanted (gas mileage is a concern), but pretty low miles (about 12k), and really clean and doesn’t smell like cigarettes (you still gotta worry about that in Japan). It has all the specs I wanted, and a few other perks like cruise control and power seats, which I’ve never felt the need for but generally come with the options package that gets you heated seats. AND it was about 4 grand under the top end of my budget! That’s like a washing machine and a PRS SE right there! :D

    Now, I’m finding out that locating the car is NOT in fact the biggest obstacle to owning it...o_O Once I chose it, and this is after actually sitting in it, and with it parked just 3 meters away from me, the salesman tells me that it will take about a month for delivery. :eek: There are a bunch of hoops to jump through, including going to the city office and getting a certificate authenticating my chop (“inkan”: my personal stamp/seal that they use here instead of a signature), and going to the police station and getting a certification from the police that I have a legitimate parking space for the vehicle (they will literally drive out to my house and make sure the spot is big enough), and the dealer needs to get new plates for it and put it through the biannual vehicle inspection process, etc. etc. Turns out that PAYING for the car will be the most painless step...

    Anyway, now we wait. For a month.

    EDIT: had the V and the X backwards...
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
  2. IanMoss

    IanMoss Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    545
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2021
    Location:
    Australia / NZ
    VX? Or XV?

    Looks very similar to the XV I drive.

    We bought an XV a few months back. Safety being our main concern.

    Gets along ok.
     
  3. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    26,453
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    Oh you’re right! I keep getting those backwards. I just have to remember “15”.

    Does yours have the “I-sight” thing? How do you like that? I haven't driven a car with any of those driver-safety features before...I’m a bit uncomfortable with the idea that it’s gonna hit the brakes for me under certain circumstances...
     
    DeepDangler likes this.
  4. nvilletele

    nvilletele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,327
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    California
    Is it too soon to say おめでとうございます?
     
  5. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    26,453
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    Yes, yes it is, but thanks! lol
     
  6. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    26,453
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    I’ve started googling the “Eye-sight” system (a little late, I guess), and I’m happy to see there are ways to at least temporarily disable parts of it. Some parts of the road home are so twisty it’s pretty hard to avoid setting off the “stay in yer lane” alarm, but it’s just a 2-second push of a button to turn it off until the next time you start the car. If I’m ever driving long distances on straighter roads I guess I’ll keep it on.

    Man cars have CHANGED since I last bought one...
     
  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    28,992
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Location:
    Montana
    I liked the name, “Fairlady” that they changed for exporting.

    The vehicles in Japan for over the last half century should have been the example.
     
  8. IanMoss

    IanMoss Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    545
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2021
    Location:
    Australia / NZ
    Yes it does.
    And it is one of the reasons we bought it.

    We've only had our car (a 2017 model btw) for about 4 months. Done around 5000 km so far.

    Before the car brakes it beeps. And with one exception I've already been braking (or within a nanosecond of braking) every time it has beeped.

    The auto-braking thing did kick in once, just after we got the car (so in my defence I was still getting used to the accelerator). I was reversing up the driveway a bit quick for the car's liking and a bit closer to the garage door than I realised.

    Beep. Brake. Oh.

    Better than having to say to my lovely wife "Honey we need a new garage door".
     
  9. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    71
    Posts:
    2,630
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    Location:
    The Land of Plenty
    Ours is called a lane keeping system. It's 7 miles up the pot holy highway to the bank. We have never made it without that stupid thing telling the driver to take a rest.
    I guess your supposed to drive straight through the tank trapso_O

    Congrats
    Enjoy
     
    Jupiter likes this.
  10. richiek65

    richiek65 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,204
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney NSW Australia
    We just returned an XV loan car, wife's Peugeot had some minor work done that turned into major work by the pug dealer who didn't get it quite right.. Took months to get the parts from France so in the meantime they gave us a brand new XV Hybrid to drive (they are a bigger Subaru agent than they are Peugeot).

    Good car!
     
  11. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    59,190
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    Congrats! We were considering a Crosstrek but they don't export the hybrid to Canuckistan, those dirty ...

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    26,453
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    I’m pretty sure this will be the last pure-gasoline car we’ll ever buy…
     
    richiek65 likes this.
  13. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    26,453
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    Good lord what is that thing??
     
    drf64 and richiek65 like this.
  14. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Holic

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    610
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2020
    Location:
    Mequon, WI
    My company car is a 2020 Subaru Outback with the eye site system. It handles adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and emergency braking.

    Adaptive cruise control rocks! Makes highway driving a breeze and makes driving a regular cruise control car annoying.

    Lane keeping assist is frustrating. The car will making micro adjustments to stay in lane for you as you drift toward the line. If my brain wasn’t programmed to do this while driving, I might be able to appreciate it. You can remove your hands from the wheel and it will stay in lane for 10 seconds until it warns you to grab the wheel. As it stands, I disable the lane keeping assist.

    Emergency braking assist has saved my bacon a few times and almost caused a collision one time. It will beep if your on course for impact and it will slam the brakes if it decides it’s necessary. The beep was helpful on multiple occasions. There was one time I had to switch lanes between some trucks and it made me break check a semi… not as fun! Overall still a good feature but understand it’s limitations.

    I’ve driven extensively through snow and all kinds of weather with my Subarus. I can’t recommend them enough and the new safety features, while sometimes annoying, are going to protect most drivers as long as you avoid driving more aggressively than the system can account for.
     
    richiek65 likes this.
  15. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,962
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    I dunno. Based on the name alone, I'm intrigued by the Joypop. Sounds fun, or maybe dirty. Maybe even dirty fun.

    Please don't post a photo that will just ruin it for me.
     
  16. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    26,453
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    It absolutely WOULD. :lol:
     
  17. richiek65

    richiek65 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,204
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney NSW Australia
    I think we will all be driving EVs of some kind way sooner than we ever expected.

    The XV hybrid was nowhere near as economical on fuel as a RAV4 hybrid my wife had for a time (8l/100km vs 5 for the RAV), but the RAV was painful with all its technology.. Glad to have the wife's Pug back, it's a 2011 model so old school enough to not annoy me! My own car is a decade older still and I'll be very sorry when the day to move it on comes.
     
    Jupiter likes this.
  18. HoodieMcFoodie

    HoodieMcFoodie Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    20,828
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Tamworth, 'straya.
    Jupiter, slightly off topic but I've heard there is a legal requirement in Japan that cars cannot be driven if they (the cars, not the drivers) are over a certain age. Is that true?
     
  19. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    26,453
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    Hmm, I don’t think so; I mean I occasionally see cars from the eighties and rarely a real classic, but the problem is they have to pass the sha-ken, which is a biannual check-up/registration process, and the older your car is the more likely it is that expensive stuff is gonna pop up. My current car is due in October and last time they warned me that some bigger stuff was gonna need replacement this time, so I definitely wanted to make my switch before then. So functionally it does encourage people to buy newer cars—and I’d wager that’s not exactly accidental…
     
  20. HoodieMcFoodie

    HoodieMcFoodie Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    20,828
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Tamworth, 'straya.
    Thanks. Somehow I heard that there were no cars older than 5 years in Japan, but your Subaru XV purchase blows that out of the water. Must be an urban legend...
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.