Meet Daihatsu Minivan: A Stunning Kei Truck From Japan

When it comes to minivans from Daihatsu, one name that will come out of everyone’s mind is Daihatsu Hijet. That’s indeed true because Hijet is a Daihatsu minivan series that has been produced since 1960. Also, since it was first introduced, this minivan has undergone developments up to eleven generations.

Are you curious and want to know more about the Daihatsu minivan Hijet? If so, then stay tuned to this article. Through this article, we will present a thorough breakdown of this minivan along with the series in each generation. So, start reading!

Daihatsu Hijet: A Daihatsu Minivan that Has Gone Global

Daihatsu Hijet is a minivan as well as a kei car produced and marketed by the famous Japanese car manufacturer Daihatsu since 1960. The word Hijet is interpreted from Japanese, then it has a similar connotation to Midget, another mini truck produced by Daihatsu.

In addition, the first Hijet series car came with a two-stroke engine powered by 360 cc. The use of this engine was in accordance with Japanese laws regarding kei cars. However, since it first appeared in the minivan automotive market, the Daihatsu Hijet series has undergone many developments while still following Japanese regulations.

The most noticeable development is the engine. Previously only 360cc, it then increased to 550 cc in 1976, then further increased to 660 cc in 1990, and so on. Apart from that, the dimensions have also become a benchmark for the development of the Hijet from time to time.

At the beginning of its release, the exterior dimensions of this Daihatsu minivan were 118 inches x 51 inches. Then, along with its development, the exterior design also increased to 134 inches x 58 inches. The dimensions we mentioned refer to the Japanese version, as the export version comes with slightly larger dimensions.

Just as we mentioned at the beginning, the Daihatsu Hijet is a famous minivan. What’s the proof? The proof is that as of November 2020, there were around 7.4 million Hijet minivans sold in Japan. 

This large number of sales certainly has something to do with the eleven generations of Hijet. What are they? Keep scrolling down to find out.

1. First Generation of Daihatsu Minivan Hijet (L35/L36)

The first generation of the Daihatsu minivan Hijet was the L35, a kei truck that used a conventional front engine with a rear-wheel drive format with the driver sitting in the back. Moreover, the engine used is 356 cc which can produce about 17 PS or 13 kW of power with a top speed of about 75 km/h.

2. Second Generation (S35/S36)

In the second generation of the Daihatsu Hijet are the S35 and S36 which were both designed through the cabover approach that appeared in 1964. With this approach, the S35 and S36 series have cargo-carrying space while still following Japanese regulations regarding the kei car class.

3. Third Generation (S37)

In the third generation of the Daihatsu Hijet with the S37 series, there were several changes, such as the presence of conventional front doors rather than rear-hinged doors as before. The design of the S37 was also boxier and more wedgie. Using the ZM I engine, this series could produce 23 PS (17 kW) with a top speed of 85 km/h.

4. Fourth Generation Daihatsu Minivan Hijet (S38/S40)

In September 1971, the fourth generation Daihatsu minivan Hijet appeared with various developments and changes. After all, the engine still used the 360 cc ZM, but the rear suspension, front clip, and rear bumper underwent some minor changes. This series is better known as the S38.

Five years later, in 1976, the Hijet 550 or S40 appeared with a larger and longer bumper design. In addition, the Hijet S40 series uses a 550 cc AB20 engine that can produce around 30 PS (22 kW) of power. The advantage of the S40 series over its predecessor is its carrying capacity of 350 kg.

5. Fifth Generation (S60)

Moving on to the fifth generation starts with the debut of the Hijet Wide 55 or S60. This series is the one that attracts the most attention due to its wider body with a 550 cc engine that is also larger. For the engine, the S60 series uses a 547 cc AB20 that can produce 28 PS (21 kW) of power with a top speed of 105 km/h.

6. Sixth Generation Daihatsu Minivan Hijet (S65, S66, S70, S75, S76)

In March 1981, the Hijet S65 appeared as the sixth generation of the Daihatsu minivan model. This series appeared with a longer wheelbase but still used the same AB20 engine. New to the S65 series was a flat floor option for vans and a high roof option. Later in September 1981, the S65 was sold as the Hijet Atrai Van.

7. Seventh Generation (S80-S89)

The seventh generation of Daihatsu Hijet minivans comes in the S80 to S89 series. This series is a gradual development from its predecessors. The biggest change in the seventh-generation series is the switch to a more modern three-cylinder engine, the EB, and the use of a 1,298 cc engine for up to 72 PS (53 kW) of power.

8. Eighth Generation (S100, S110, S120, S130)

The eighth-generation Daihatsu minivan Hijet entered the automotive market in 1994 through four series, S100, S110, S120, and S130. The S100 series here is intended for the two-wheel drive version, while the S110 series is for the four-wheel drive. Moreover, the S120 and S130 series refer to passenger-oriented minivans.

9. Ninth Generation (S200, S210, S220)

Back in 1999, the ninth generation Hijet appeared with two versions, the Hijet Truck and Hijet Cargo. In this case, the Cargo version uses a front-engined semi-cab design, while the Truck version uses a mid-engined cab-over design.

Meanwhile, the bigger versions of this generation for commercial use are the Daihatsu Hijet Gran Cargo and Daihatsu Extol.

10. Tenth Generation Daihatsu Minivan Hijet (S320, S321, S330, S331, S500, S510)

2004 was the year when the tenth generation Hijet appeared. In this year, only the van or cargo version of the Hijet with the S321, S321, S330, and S331 series appeared. This version has three engine types, including 660 cc Turbo, EF-VE 660 cc, and EF- SE.

As for the cab-over version of the Hijet, the truck only appeared in September 2014 through the S500 and S510 series.

11. Eleventh Generation (S700, S710)

On December 20, 2021, the eleventh generation Hijet was introduced. Two years later, in May 2023, the battery-electric or BEV version of the Hijet Cargo was announced. This battery-electric version is designed to be marketed as the Toyota Pixis Van and Suzuki Every.

Have You Known the Eleven Generations of Daihatsu Minivan Hijet?

In conclusion, the Daihatsu Hijet is a minivan from Daihatsu that has undergone many improvements, changes, and developments since its launch in 1960. In addition, in each generation, this Daihatsu minivan comes with various series to meet the needs of people regarding passenger and cargo transportation cars.

Leave a Comment