Japanese mini trucks can haul (up to 1700lbs), climb slippery slopes (with their 4WD and hi/lo selectable range), and even dump (some models, anyway), but some people have another question: How fast do mini trucks go? So let’s answer that here.

How Fast Do Mini Trucks Go … In Japan?

Why “in Japan”? Well, Japanese mini trucks (surprise) are from Japan. But also, in Japan, these mini trucks are sold for on road use. Driving on a smooth road surface keeps friction down, but that doesn’t mean that these mini trucks can go very fast.

You see, a Japanese mini truck is powered by a 660cc naturally aspirated engine. That’s not a lot of power. Even for vehicles as light as these mini trucks. Add on to that the fact that they have the aerodynamics of your average brick, and you can see that these are not Ferrari-beaters by any stretch of the imagination.

Now, in Japan, the maximum speed limit on their equivalent of the interstate is 100 km/h, which is just 62 mph. You will see mini trucks and vans on these faster roads, but they’re not exactly going to be super-fun for those longer journeys. A quick blast at 60 mph is one thing, but a sustained cruise over several hours is likely to leave the driver with a minor headache from the engine and wind noise.

As to an absolute top speed? Well, Japanese mini truck makers don’t advertise that their products can exceed the speed limit (as that would be, ahem, illegal), but a bit of research in the Japanese reaches of the internet reveals that the maximum speed a mini truck seems to have been tested to on a closed circuit is 78 mph. (I bet felt more like 200 mph from the driver’s seat, though!)

How Fast Do Mini Trucks Go … In America?

But … in America.

Yes, that’s a big but, because in the US, Japanese mini trucks are sold for off-road use only under Federal rules. As part of that compliance, those mini trucks that are sold here have to have their maximum speed limited to 25 mph.

Now, that may sound like a major restriction, but think about how you actually use you mini truck. When you’re driving across your fields 25 mph is more than enough. When you’re going hunting, or climbing rocky mountain tracks, 25 mph is absolutely fine.

So, for off road, a top speed of 25 mph is not a problem. And the fact that the mini truck has the safety features and strength of construction of a much faster vehicle? That’s a bonus.

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