Choosing your ideal car

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Choosing your ideal car

There are many different types of cars made for many different purposes. As a minivan is made to ride a large group of people, while a station wagon is meant to load a large amount of cargo, different types of cars have their own unique purposes.


The types of cars to know 車の車種を知ろう

1. Minivan/one-box cars ミニバン/1BOX
What stands out in a minivan is its large interior car space. As you can tell from the shape of most minivans, they are meant to give as much room with its box-shaped exterior and high roof. Being large and heavy, they are not meant for fast driving, but are highly effective when transporting people or equipment. Many minivans have third row seats, accompanying 7-8 people per ride, making them a popular choice for customers with a big family.


2. vMinicars 軽自動車
The greatest incentive of owning a minicar (‘yellow plate’ or kei-car) is its low running cost. While most other types of cars require automobile taxes of 29,500 JPY per year at minimum, minicars only require 7,200 JPY. On top of that, insurance and toll road fees are much cheaper and affordable. Many newer models today have much better interior design and quality equipment installed that will even outdo compact cars in the market.


3. Sedan セダン
Sedans are the most basic type of cars people will often imagine in their heads when asked to draw a picture of a car. Most sedans are separated by engine, riding, and trunk rooms and have 4 doors. Most sedans are equipped with luxurious interior designs with enough legroom to seat four adults comfortably.


4. SUV SUV/クロカン
SUVs stand for Sport Utility Vehicles, and as you can tell from their appearances with their large sized tires, they are based on models that drive rough roads and outdoor environments. However, they are not meant for rough roads in reality and are more meant for quality handling on urban roads. Many SUVs are 4WD (four-wheel drive) and offer a very smooth ride. With a large engine, they have plenty power as well.

SUVは、【Sport Utility Vehicle, スポーツ・ユーティリティ・ビークル】を略したもので、スポーツ用多目的車と訳されます。SUVはその外観からわかるように、本来悪路を走行するオフロード車をベースとしていますので、車高が高くタイヤが大きいのが特徴的です。ただし、本来の悪路を走行することは想定していませんので、見た目だけオフロードで、舗装路を走ることをメインとした都市型SUVです。基本的に4WD(4輪駆動)のラインナップがあり、舗装路でも安定した走りを体感することができます。エンジンの排気量が大きいため、パワーも十分です。

5. Station wagons ステーションワゴン
Station wagons were originally derived from sedans by extending the trunk room on the back of the vehicle. While sedans have completely separated trunks and seating spaces, station wagons have theirs combined. While they have the handling quality of a sedan, they can also carry more cargo. Popular to customers with big families, they have recently offered sportive models like the Subaru Impreza and Legacy.


6. Sports cars スポーツ/クーペ/オープン
Sports cars mainly have 2 doors, are very stylish and offer high performance. Some are convertible while others do not carry a roof. Most of them are best to seat 2 people although they are meant for 4-5. Since they are made to drive fast, not much space is given to passengers in terms of seating. There is basically no cargo space since they are not meant to carry much cargo as well. They are popular for people who like to prioritize high performance and handling, best for seating two adults.


7. Compact cars コンパクト/ハッチバック
As their names go, compact cars are small and easy to drive through narrow streets, and the most popular type of car being sold out in the automobile market today. Nowadays, there are many new models with spacious interior designs and high-end equipment. They are an affordable, popular type of car with a high circulation rate in the used car market, making them a popular and readily accessible genre of cars.


8. Vans/trucks バン/トラック
Mainly used for the transportation of goods, large cargo trucks with a box shaped platform are typically called a panel van, while lighter cargo trucks are called light vans. Those with a loading platform used for the transportation of cargo are commonly known as trucks.


9. Hybrid cars ハイブリッドカー
Hybrid cars use two or more distinct power sources, like electricity and gasoline, to power their vehicles. They are capable of switching between power sources depending on the driving condition. Hybrid cars are thought as leading vehicles today offering advanced energy efficiency and a lower impact to the environment. Some vehicles can drive up to 30km per 1gallon, making them an ideal economic choice for people who drive long distances.


10. Electric cars 電気自動車
Electric cars are cars that use an electric motor as its power source. Mitsubishi, Nissan as well as Toyota all have electric cars being manufactured. They have virtually no noise while driving and cheaper fuel costs in comparison to cars that run with gasoline. However, limited battery life and the need to access rechargers and such infrastructure have to be noted.


Driving on Okinawa

1. Slippery roads 道路が滑りやすい
It is said that roads on Okinawa are quite slippery. To avoid accidents, we highly recommend cars quipped with ABS systems.


2. High traffic 渋滞が多い
Okinawa is said to have one of the highest traffic congestion rates in Japan. Also, with so many streetlights, it is better to purchase a car with anti-idling systems to cut back on your fuel.


3. Narrow, difficult streets 狭いし迷いやすい
Being a small island without so many national highways, Okinawa has a lot of narrow winding roads that make it difficult for drivers. Parking lots also tend to be tight, making it difficult for larger vehicles to park in certain occasions. That is one reason Okinawa has so many kei-cars, all under 660cc in engine capacity.
We also recommend, due to the same reason, that you equip navigation devices to avoid getting lost.


4. ETC
Okinawa has a very low ETC rate, which means that the toll gates of the express ways are usually quite congested. In order to avoid getting stuck at the toll gates we highly recommend you looking into purchasing a car with an ETC, or else installing it your self.


5. Saltwater corrosion 塩害
Due to the high salt content in the winds coming from the ocean, cars on Okinawa are easily damaged by corrosion. To prevent this, many people wash their cars on a regular basis, but we also recommend you ask for grease coating when you first purchase your cars.


With all of this in mind, please enjoy your ideal car life!
If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact us at Ryukyu With Auto. We will take care of all your auto needs!


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