Exported Vehicles

Subaru Domingo

A Seven Passenger Micro Van / Mini Van. Hauls Mega Loads into Micro (Parking) Spaces. Full Time 4WD for Full Time High Capability.
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
  • Subaru Domingo
Year: 1995
Make: Subaru
Model: Domingo
Mileage: 118,424km / 73,585mi
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Drivetrain: Rear Engine, Full Time 4WD
Engine: 1,200cc straight three engine
Exterior Color: Green
VIN Number: UCF-018****

Actually, the first time I saw a seven passenger Subaru Domingo micro van was not here in Japan, it was in England, in my office parking lot. “Nice looking little van,” I thought to myself. “Hmmm…….Big windows for good visibility….I like that….high seating position, can see over other cars on the road…that’s good…..But…What?…Am I looking at seven full-sized seats in that little guy?…I am indeed! Well, Bob’s your uncle. I’d go for one of those. Charming little fellow.”

That little “cab-over micro-van,” to give it its correct technical type classification, was not a private import from Japan: Subaru themselves marketed the vehicle in the UK (where it was called the Subaru Sumo) and also in continental Europe (where they called it the Libero). But I never saw many of them there.

After I came to Japan, of course I saw many examples of the Domingo’s Kei class brother, the Subaru Sambar Diaz Van, all over the place (in fact, I bought one), but there were lots of the “white number” Domingos on the roads here, too.

What makes the Domingo Van different from the Sambar Van? And what’s all this “white number” stuff?

Very simply, there are two main classifications for private cars in Japan: The “Regular Class” vehicles which have white license plates, and the “Light Class” vehicles that have yellow license plates. The Light Class are the famous Kei Cars, including well-known Kei Trucks like the Daihatsu Hi-Jet and Suzuki Carry, the Mitsubishi Mini Cab, and, of course, the Subaru Sambar Truck itself. Kei vehicles have certain limitations on engine size (660cc max), a limit on engine horse power, which the makers ignore and the government ignores that they ignore it, so we are all happy (no limit on engine torque), and limits on the exterior dimensions of the vehicle. From March of 1990 to October of 1998, Kei vehicles could be up to 3,295mm long and 1,395mm wide. After October of 1998 they became 100mm longer and 80mm wider. To find more about Japanese Kei vehicles, have a look on our site here, here, and here.

For more info and reviews of the best Kei trucks to import from Japan, have a peek at our blog. Part One starts here And if you want to see what happens in the sports car world when Kei sports cars ignore the power limits, have a look on our blog starting with Part One here.

Check out those pocket rockets! I had one of those, too. Man, was it great!

Unlike Kei vehicles, Regular Class vehicles have no limits on engine size or exterior dimensions, although there used to be a limit on horse power which, you guessed it, the car makers ignored and the government ignored that they ignored it, and we were all very happy driving around in our 300 horsepower station wagons like my Subaru Impreza WRX STi Version III, thank you very much.

The Domingo, being a Regular Class vehicle, is free from Kei limitations and so Subaru made some nice little changes that our customers who have imported a Domingo through us here at Japan Car Direct appreciate very much. First off:

Bigger Engine

Rather than running a 660cc straight four (the EN07 “Clover Four”) as in the Sambar, The Domingo has the EF12 1.2 liter straight three. The EF12 puts out 61ps at 5,600rpm and 9.8 kg/m of torque at a nice low 3,600rpm; and it’s obviously a less stressed, less highly tuned unit than the Sambar’s EN07 which puts out 46ps at 6,400 and 5.6kg/m of torque at 4,800rpm in N/A trim, and 55ps at 6,200prm with 7.1kg/m of torque at 3,800 in supercharged form.

An important take away for us from these figures is that the Domingo’s larger engine has the luxury of being a bit lazier than the Sambar’s power plant and can run a fairly low 9.1:1 compression ratio which means that it is more tolerant of low octane gas and crappy gas in general. You can also expect it to have a rather longer engine lifespan, but even the 660cc motors last very well, indeed. I’m approaching 200,000 km in my Kei car and no problems or significant signs of wear yet.

Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers

Another benefit of being freed from Kei car limits is that the Domingo could be longer that the Diaz, and Subaru used this freedom to mount bigger front and rear bumpers on the Domingo for added safety. And with forward control vehicles like these, the more crumple space and strong steel we can have up front, the better. Just look at a side view photo of each van and you’ll immediately see the difference in bumper size and thickness. Having said this, however, forward control van-type vehicles give us very good forward visibility which is itself a major safety plus.

“Sociable Seating”

Another really neat feature that you’ll get if you decide to import a nice used Subaru Domingo from Japan rather than a Sambar Diaz (although I confidently recommend either van) is what I have nicknamed “sociable seating.” The 7-seat Domingo gives a cozy but not cramped interior and, when you feel like chatting up your passengers, you can turn the two front seats (both driver and passenger seats) around 180 degrees and you can face rearward to be face to face with the people sitting in the middle row of seats. Totally sociable, eh? (But, like, obviously you only do this when you’re parked, right? Not when you’re driving, guys, no matter how good looking she is.)

So have a look at the photos we have here and you’ll see why I’ve always been charmed by Subaru Domingos (and Subaru Sambar Vans).

(Interestingly, the Domingo is not the only “white number” version of a Kei vehicle. Many models of the excellent Kei class Suzuki Jimny also came with larger engines and larger external dimensions. We talk about them on our Suzuki Jimny page here.)

Two little points to keep in mind about these very original Subaru micro vans: 1) I don’t really recommend the CVT (continuously variable transmission) auto transmission option. The CVTs don’t seem to last as long as I’d like and some of their quirky flaws can be difficult to diagnose. The manual transmissions on Domingos and Sambars are rock solid. Stick with manuals. 2) When you want to pull the spark plugs, be sure to first clean well around the area where the plugs go into the cylinder head; either vacuum it out or blow high pressure air around there to blast away all the dust and grit that builds up in and around the plug wells. This happens because the engine is laid on its side with the plugs facing rearwards, and so, as you drive along, the air behind the car is all filled with dust and grit and such, a bit of which makes its home around your plugs. So, with plugs, blow out or vacuum out before you pull out.

If you’re thinking: “I want to import a clean used Subaru Domingo (or Sambar) from Japan,” just contact us here at Japan Car Direct and we’ll be very happy to find you a fine charming, practical, and good condition micro van.

 

google-review
  • It was my first time buying a car online, let alone overseas. These guys are legit!!!
    Yoshi has been very patient, transparent and prompt with all queries. The car was exactly...
    read more

    Bobby Capa Avatar
    Bobby Capa
    11/22/2022

    FIRST TIME BUYER
    So…. I have just ordered my second car from Yoshiro Nakajima at Japan Car Direct. Keep in mind my first car has only just gotten to the port,...
    read more

    Alpesh Patel Avatar
    Alpesh Patel
    9/11/2022

    Great service. This was my first time importing a car from Japan. Everything was well explained and the whole process went very smooth. Would highly recommend!! Thank you Yoshi!

    John Power Avatar
    John Power
    9/08/2022
  • Importing through Japan Car Direct has been a great experience through and through. Their assistance in the auction and bidding process and arranging shipping is top notch. More importantly their... read more

    Peter Hagemeyer Avatar
    Peter Hagemeyer
    9/07/2022

    Awesome experience working with Taylor, he was extremely helpful and patience. It was my first time exporting a vehicle and he walked me through step by step and didn't... read more

    Eric Southerland Avatar
    Eric Southerland
    9/06/2022

    Japan Car Direct made buying a car from Japan dangerously easy. 🙂 Yoshiro was a great help. He was responsive and supportive through the whole process. They have... read more

    Tim Meunier Avatar
    Tim Meunier
    9/04/2022
  • I had an excellent experience working with Matthew at Japan Car Direct. I was a first time auction buyer and importer to the United States. Mathew walked me through... read more

    Alex Spiegel Avatar
    Alex Spiegel
    8/11/2022

    A great experience for my first time importing a car from Japan. Mike’s customer service was second to none and all the paperwork was in order.

    Bobby Crumpley Avatar
    Bobby Crumpley
    8/03/2022

    Matthew at JCD is the man. I’ve now imported three of my own cars through him. JCD was able to accommodate my unique needs, everything from short turn around inspections,... read more

    Chan Shin Avatar
    Chan Shin
    7/29/2022
  • I highly recommend Japan Car Direct. They help you find exactly what you are looking for and are with you throughout the entire process. Import was seamless. Mike was great... read more

    Sir Selrahc Avatar
    Sir Selrahc
    7/14/2022

    Before this I have never imported any vehicles to NZ let alone one from Japan! I decided to give these guys a shot and bought a JDM Tesla into the... read more

    Edward Yuan Avatar
    Edward Yuan
    7/11/2022

    Great experience. Extremely easy process and Kept me well informed. Highly recommend them if looking to purchase a vehicle from Japan.

    Antonio Sevilla Avatar
    Antonio Sevilla
    7/08/2022
  • It's hard to say anything that hasn't been said from other reviewers! This was my first experience importing a vehicle. Mike Nguyen was super patient with me and my indecisiveness.... read more

    Law_of_the Za Avatar
    Law_of_the Za
    6/30/2022

    I used Japan Car Direct's services to import a Nissan Silvia from Japan to Australia. Mike was very helpful from start to finish and definitely made the process stress free.

    The...
    read more

    matthew martin Avatar
    matthew martin
    6/24/2022

    Just picked up my car that I bought through JCD. I was a complete newbie about buying a car overseas and Mathew was kind enough to basically hold my... read more

    TK Mad Avatar
    TK Mad
    6/18/2022
Japan Car Direct provides friendly, honest, efficient service. Get the vehicles you want today at a price you can afford!!

We accept refundable deposits by PayPal to ([email protected]). Log into your account, and lets start working together today!

  • There are no features available
Back to top
Let's find the ideal car for you today!!
Let's find the ideal car for you today!!
JCD Menu logo