DaX: Yeah, the 10 mode is insane. They claim that the Prius can get in the 70MPG range. Anyways, for the average person this would be impossible, but with some skills it might be attainable.
kickflipjr: THAT is the car. Mine is white though, and it came with a one speaker AM radio (speaker was in the actual radio). That is the only option. AC is standard in all Japanese cars... if I am not mistaken. Otherwise the car is the most stripped down thing in the world.
UfoTofU: Why did you used to spend summers in Japan? Do you have family here?
cfg83: I can back that statement up. Kei cars used to be 360CC. I believe that they might have had a previous even smaller engine before that too. I can't imagine having anything smaller than 660 though. Even that is ridiculously underpowered. Having a 1000CC engine would probably end up saving gas. Most people have to floor their Keis in order to keep up with traffic. I can always hear them driving past because the engines constantly sound like they are going to explode!
Welcome to the site. I wish they sold cars like that here. It would be nice to have one comunally owned for zipping to town, and getting 60-80MPG. I think that to get really good MPG with one of those, you would have to keep speed under 40 MPH. Above that, the engine is probably spinning too fast, and aerodynamics get to be a problem. Have you tried the engine off coast? That may help your MPG significantly along with maintaining maximum momentum.
A few years ago I was working for an importer and distributor of Japanese industrial machinery. I was in Osaka walking along the Shinsaibashi one afternoon. In the span of an hour I saw my first F-50, my first V12 Mercedes, a left hand drive Daimler Princess (never officially exported from UK apparently), but these paled to the thrill I got from first hearing the shrill skriek, and then seeing a MMC Minica ZZ with the 5 valve engine.
Maybe it was the mundane sea of "Joy Pop"s and "Sunny Excellent"s that made these others stand out so much.