Features in new minicars: Expanding functions of collision mitigation brakes

Mild hybrid system in Suzuki Wagon R; Smart Assist III in Daihatsu Tanto



Suzuki Wagon R
The Suzuki Wagon R features a mild hybrid system (Photo: Suzuki)

  This report outlines major features available in new minicars released for sale in Japan by Japanese OEMs during the period June 2015 to February 2017. It covers six models including three new and fully redesigned models and three face-lifted models (rebadged cars are excluded). 3 models from Daihatsu and 1 each from Suzuki, Nissan, and Mitsubishi will be examined.

  Suzuki adopted a mild hybrid system for the new Wagon R as a feature for improving driving performance, including fuel efficiency. This system enables the vehicle to creep on a motor when it launches using electricity converted from kinetic energy during deceleration. Among collision safety features, use of side airbags for front seats expanded.

  For driving assistance features, there has been increasing adoption of panoramic view monitors (such as Suzuki's omni-directional monitor) that display a bird's-eye view of surrounding conditions by combining images from cameras mounted on the front, rear, and sides of a vehicle. As for preventive safety features, collision mitigation brakes for vehicles were installed in the all six new minicars covered by this report. Some of the devices operate at mid and high speeds and also respond to pedestrians. Other features that are increasingly available include unintended start-off prevention systems (front) that suppress acceleration when pedals are misapplied, and lane departure warning systems that alert the driver when the vehicle is about to depart from its lane.

  Among visibility enhancement features, Daihatsu installed AFS steering-responsive headlamps in the Move Canbus, a first for minicars. Use of automatic high beams that automatically switch between high and low beams in response to surrounding conditions expanded. As for comfort and convenience features, an increasing number of vehicles adopted the one-touch winker function, which flashes turn signals three times when it is activated. Suzuki installed a heads-up display in the Wagon R, a first for minicars. This device projects driving information on the panel mounted on the dashboard in front of the driver's seat.

Advanced features made available by Suzuki, Daihatsu, Nissan, and Mitsubishi in their new minicar models

(New models launched in Japan from June 2015 to February 2017)

Features Models
Driving performance
(including fuel efficiency)
Mild hybrid system Suzuki Wagon R
Collision safety Side airbags for front seats Daihatsu Tanto/Move Canbus/Cast Sport, Nissan Dayz Roox, Mitsubishi eK Space
Driving/parking assistance Panoramic view monitors
(e.g. Suzuki's omni-directional monitor)
Suzuki Wagon R, Daihatsu Move Canbus, Nissan Dayz Roox, Mitsubishi eK Space
Collision mitigation brakes for vehicles All the six models
Collision mitigation brakes for pedestrians Suzuki Wagon R, Daihatsu Tanto
Unintended start-off prevention (front) All the six models
Lane departure warning Suzuki Wagon R, Daihatsu Tanto/Move Canbus/Cast Sport
Visibility AFS headlamps Daihatsu Move Canbus
Automatic high beams Suzuki Wagon R, Daihatsu Tanto, Nissan Dayz Roox, Mitsubishi eK Space
Comfort/convenience Lane change winker
(with one-touch winker function)
Suzuki Wagon R, Daihatsu Tanto/Move Canbus/Cast Sport
Head-up display Suzuki Wagon R

Related reports:

Features in new Japanese models (1): Toyota, Lexus and Nissan (Mar. 2017)
Features in new Japanese models (2): Honda, Mazda, Subaru, Suzuki, and Daihatsu (Mar. 2017)
Equipment on new European models: PSA, Renault, FCA, GM, Ford and Volvo (Nov. 2016)
U.S. OEMs expanding use of front pedestrian braking on new models (Sep. 2016)
Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi extending active safety features (Oct. 2016)
Increased prevalence of advanced safety packages on new Japanese models (Jul. 2015)
Innovative features in Japanese minicars (Jul. 2015)
Major features of new Hyundai-Kia lineup highlighted by increased use of ADAS (Jun. 2015)