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This chunk of magnificence was Japan’s best-selling car of 2019

All hail the N-BOX: Honda proves that kei cars still rule in Japan

The UK’s best-selling car of 2019 was, predictably, the Ford Fiesta. Its total of 77,833 registrations meant it beat the Volkswagen Golf by a hefty margin. What if we told you that Japan’s best-selling car of the same period shifted 253,500 units? Yep, exactly. For reference, Japan’s population is around double that of the UK’s.

Still. Two-hundred and fifty-three thousand cars. Or more specifically, two-hundred and fifty-three thousand kei cars – because the best seller in Japan last year was the little Honda N-BOX that you see above.

In fact, the N-BOX has now been Japan’s most popular car for the past three years running, ever since the second-generation was launched in 2017.

The N-BOX embraces its, well… boxy shape in order to maximise interior space, but there’s also a ‘Custom’ trim level with a slightly angrier face that presumably appeals to yoofs. It comes in either front- or four-wheel drive, and features a turbo or non-turbo VTEC engine connected to a CVT gearbox. The cheapest works out at the equivalent of just under £10,000, with prices rising to around £15,000 for a top-spec N-BOX.

Honda Japan celebrated its achievement with some customer quotes on a purpose-built ‘No.1’ web page, which you can see by clicking these blue words.

“I really like the normal face, so I really like it,” said one owner in their 60s. “It was 15 degrees below freezing, but thanks to the seat heater, I was able to spend warmly,” said another.

In other news, we might need to change which free online translation tool we’re using…

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