This Quirky Car Is Japanese. But There’s ‘Something Very British’ About It.

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LONDON — It just might be the most adorable thing on four wheels. People smile when one cruises by. They point, they wave, they use the word “cute” a lot, and they ask, “What is that?”

The tiny Nissan Figaro has an almost cartoonish design that is guaranteed to stand out. To an American living in Britain, who regularly spots pristine Figaros, it would appear to be a highly popular model that was made recently.

Every part of that guess is wrong: The Figaro is rather old, built for the 1991 model year, and there never were large numbers anywhere. Nissan never even exported it from Japan.