When we pitted the Toyota Aygo against the Volkswagen Up! in our December 2015 issue, the Toyota Aygo 1,0 X-Play was unable to dethrone the Top 12 winning Up!, but what would happen if we were to pit the little VW against this? Toyota's new Pixis Joy kei car.

It starts at ¥1 220 400 (the equivalent of R173 000) and is available in three different trims: C (crossover), F (hatch) and S (hot hatch).

Admittedly, the starting price is a bit more than the Take Up!'s R156 600 (and the Aygo X-Play's R154 600), but standard equipment seems to be a lot more generous, and includes a CVT transmission, a touchscreen infotainment system, a multi-function steering wheel and usable rear windows (electrically powered, at that). Additional options to this model include turbocharging the 660 cc engine or fitting it with an all-wheel drive system.

The F seems to be the entry-level trim while the C makes use of anti-scuff plastic panels and slightly more robust tyres, as well as a 180 mm ground clearance (30 more than the F and S). The interior uses a suede-like fabric material to offer more of a premium appeal. The S trim, on the other hand, makes use of red detailing to accentuate its sporty persona. It also has LED day-time running lights, a MOMO leather-bound steering wheel, paddle shifting for the CVT (with a seven-speed virtual manual mode) and a firmer suspension if you don't opt for the AWD setup.

For those who aren't clued up on the Japanese automotive market, it is filled with kei cars such as these. Other examples include the Honda N-one and the Mazda Scrum. Interestingly, these types of vehicles are almost always exclusive to their native market.