Introduced in 1999, the Hakaru Meikai was an affordable but generously equipped Multi-Purpose Vehicle sold globally to rival similiar vehicles such as the Seikatsu Grandmaster, but in a more compact package. The Meikai was based off of the platform shared with the previous generation Cren, Carica and Astura. In China, they were popular as small vans due to their easy repair nature, fuel efficiency, build quality and good windshield visibility.
UK models were fitted as standard with parking sensors front and rear, and a black and white parking camera was available as an option, later replaced with a colour screen in 2001. Diesel engines were not an option until the year 2000, and only with automatic gearboxes. For petrol models, two different 5 speed manual options were available, which was slightly confusing for customers.
Upon the new millenium, a special edition run trim model, aptly named the 2000 and fitted with a 2.0L engine to boot, was available in Japan and Europe. USDM Meikai models were sparse, and the range was not as varied and wide as it was across the rest of the world.
Top: 2002 Hakaru Meikai 1.5 GXi
Bottom: 2013 Hakaru Meikai 1.3 VAN CXi CNDM
The Meikai was produced in China under a license until 2014, when legislations changed out of favour for the TXC10 Meikai. The 1.3 L2QR4 powerplant is however still in production for Chinese manufactured cars, under license from Hakaru.