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The Toyota Pixis Joy kei car has been launched in Japan, with sales having started yesterday at the company’s Corolla, Netz, Toyopet and Toyota dealers nationwide. If the car looks familiar, that’s because the Pixis Joy is essentially a rebadged version of the Daihatsu Cast, following in the wake of the, uh, Daihatsu Wake (Toyota Pixis Mega), Mira e:S (Pixis Epoch) and Move Conte (Pixis Space).

Available in C (crossover, based on the Cast Activa), F (fashion, based on the Cast Style) and S (sport, based on the Cast Sport) variants, the Pixis Joy’s round head- and tail lights and sleeker profile set it apart from other boxy, space-maximising kei cars.

The Pixis Joy C is differentiated through rugged front and rear bumpers, a more angular hexagonal grille and 15-inch wheels wrapped in 165/60-section tyres; ride height has also been raised 30 mm to 180 mm, in order to improve driving performance on snowy and mountainous roads. Meanwhile, the F model gets chrome trim on the front and rear bumpers and side skirts, along with suede-like material on the full-fabric seats.

Clockwise from left: Toyota Pixis Joy C, Pixis Joy F and Pixis Joy S

On the other hand, the S model receives a bodykit with red pinstripes, red C-pillars and door mirrors, red instrument dials and a Momo steering wheel with paddle shifters for the CVT’s seven-speed manual mode. A sportier suspension setup is also included in the kit list, albeit only on the two-wheel drive variant.

Under the bonnet sits a 660 cc KF-series three-cylinder engine, with the naturally-aspirated version producing 52 PS at 6,800 rpm and 60 Nm at 5,200 rpm, and the turbocharged variant kicking out 64 PS at 6,400 rpm and 92 Nm at 3,200 rpm. The S model is only available with the latter, and all come exclusively with a CVT.

Prices start at 1,220,400 yen (RM48,200) for the base C X and F X variants, with the Smart Assist II system that adds features like autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, false start suppression and preceding vehicle start warning (alerts when the car in front moves forward, such as when the traffic lights turn green) bumping the price up to 1,285,200 yen (RM50,700).

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The C G “SA II” and F G “SA II” variants, which pile on items like alloy wheels, bi-beam LED headlights, LED fog lights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are priced at 1,414,800 yen (RM55,900), while the C G Turbo “SA II” and F G Turbo “SA II” models retail at 1,517,400 yen (RM59,900).

The S model comes in a single trim level, priced at 1,620,000 yen (RM69,400). Four-wheel drive costs an additional 124,000 yen (RM4,900) on the F and S models, and 130,000 yen (RM5,100) on the C models.