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All-New Toyota Passo Goes on Sale in Japan

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Toyota Passo

The new Toyota Passo

Some compact cars are so unremarkable that they tend to blend into the background. Then, there are others that catch the eye and invite comments and compliments from other drivers. The Toyota Passo, which was just released in the automaker’s home country of Japan, is somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.

Toyota has completely redesigned the Daihatsu-designed Passo for 2016. Japanese drivers can choose from one of two available grades—X and Moda. Both models come with either front-wheel or four-wheel drive and the choice of a number of packages, including S, L package, L package S, G package (X grade), and S and G package (Moda grade). Whichever option you choose comes with a 1.0-liter engine and a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Prices range from 1,150,200 yen to 1,830,600 yen (approximately $10,545 to $16,780).

Toyota Passo

Almost all Passo models come equipped with Smart Assist II, which is a Daihatsu-developed collision avoidance assist system. This system also offers collision warning, brake assist, a false start control function, Line deviation warning, and notification that the vehicle ahead has moved forward. These features, which are mostly unheard of on compact cars in the US, are things we should start seeing on more models in the next few years.

In total, the Passo is available in 12 colors, five of which are brand-new offerings. These colors include Magenta Berry Mica Metallic, Dark Emerald Mica, and Lemon Squash Crystal Metallic.

Fuel efficiency is a big reason why people choose compact cars, and the Passo doesn’t disappoint. Front-wheel-drive models yield 28 km/L (approximately 66 mpg US), while all-wheel-drive versions are good for a still-impressive 24.4 km/L (around 57 mpg US). Both grades achieve 75% lower emissions ratings than Japan’s 2005 standards, making them easy on the environment as well as the wallet.

The Passo is unlikely to make its way Stateside, but with Daihatsu poised to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota this summer, it could be a sign of small cars to come.