1984-1999 Mitsubishi Minicab: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia Entry

July 3, 2023 1:08 PM

1984-1999 Mitsubishi Minicab

The 1984-1999 Mitsubishi Minicab, often referred to as the "kei truck," is a popular and versatile microvan/truck produced by Mitsubishi Motors, a renowned Japanese automaker. The Minicab was specifically designed to navigate the narrow streets and meet the demands of crowded urban areas in Japan, making it a perfect choice for various commercial and personal purposes.

Design and Features

The Mitsubishi Minicab featured a compact and boxy design, maximizing its interior space while ensuring easy maneuverability. With its sliding side doors and relatively low ride height, the Minicab offered effortless ingress and egress, making it a practical vehicle for deliveries, small businesses, and daily commuting.

The rear bed of the Minicab could be customized to accommodate different needs. It provided ample space for transporting goods, equipment, or even passengers. Its versatile design made it a desired option for various industries, including construction, farming, local businesses, and more. The Minicab was also equipped with foldable rear seats, allowing it to be used as a small passenger vehicle as well.

Under the hood, the Minicab featured a range of efficient and reliable engines. Most models were equipped with a small-displacement four-cylinder engine, specifically engineered to meet Japan's kei car regulations. These engines offered an optimal balance of power and fuel efficiency, further enhancing the Minicab's economic appeal.

Performance and Capability

The 1984-1999 Mitsubishi Minicab thrived in congested city environments. With its compact dimensions, tight turning radius, and agile handling, it could effortlessly navigate through narrow streets and crowded parking lots.

The Minicab was front-wheel drive, which provided good traction on paved surfaces. It was not intended for off-road adventures but was capable enough to handle light-duty assignments on unpaved roads.

Thanks to its efficient engine options, the Minicab delivered solid fuel economy, which was a crucial factor for cost-conscious businesses relying on these vehicles for their operations. Its lightweight construction further contributed to its economical performance.

Improvements and Iterations

Throughout its production period, Mitsubishi continuously refined and improved the Minicab to keep up with evolving market demands and regulations.

In 1987, a significant update to the Minicab lineup introduced a refreshed exterior design along with several mechanical improvements. These updates included enhanced suspension, improved braking systems, and refinements in the engine technologies, enabling the Minicab to offer a more comfortable and reliable driving experience.

In 1991, Mitsubishi introduced the "Wide" version of the Minicab, featuring a wider body to further increase cargo capacity without compromising maneuverability.

The 1994 model year saw the introduction of the fuel-injected engine, further improving fuel efficiency and overall performance. This update also brought additional comfort and convenience features, including power steering, power windows, and air conditioning in higher trim levels.

Legacy and Popularity

Due to its exceptional utility and practicality, the Mitsubishi Minicab earned a strong reputation both in Japan and other markets. Its popularity extended beyond commercial use, with many individuals opting for the Minicab as a personal vehicle due to its affordability, fuel efficiency, and versatility.

Outside Japan, the Minicab found its way to various countries through importers specializing in Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) vehicles. Although regulations and availability may differ, enthusiasts and small business owners appreciate the Minicab for its distinctive JDM charm, compact size, and reliable performance.


The 1984-1999 Mitsubishi Minicab, also known as the "kei truck," remains an iconic JDM vehicle that left a significant mark in the automotive industry. Its compact size, practical design, and economical performance made it a reliable choice for various commercial and personal purposes.

With its continued popularity and legacy, the Mitsubishi Minicab is a testament to Mitsubishi's commitment to producing innovative and adaptable vehicles that cater to the specific needs of different markets.