The Nissan Pao is a three-door, five seater hatchback that was produced from 1989-1991. The Pao was a catalyst of the retro fad in Japan. Although made in the late 80’s, the design for the Pao was greatly inspired ‘50s French design. Nissan created this unique gem in limited quantities, only in Japan, as the Pao was meant to enhance the younger generations image of Nissan. It worked too, and the Pao actually ignited a retro fad that went on for years in Japan.
Outside there’s plenty of vintage design elements to love—from the exposed hinges to its cute fascia and retractable soft top roof—and that’s much the same story inside as well.
The Nissan Pao is a four-cylinder engine, which puts the Pao at 34 mpg paired to an automatic 6.9 L, and 44 mpg with the 5.4 manual version. provided 51 horsepower from the factory. Admittedly, that’s not a lot, however these cars were quite light on their feet and weighed only 1,670 pounds (not quite “kei car” small, though). A three-speed automatic transmission came standard, but a five-speed manual was optional.
As mentioned before, Pao production was limited- only 10,000 units were made. Exclusivity has its own appeal, after all, and the Pao was primarily a marketing tool for Nissan anyways.
Interested customers had to submit a reservation between the dates on January 15th and April 14th in 1989. Orders were delivered in accordance with the order placing. The new fashion icon sold out in just 3 months back then, and is now being fervently sought after in the modern JDM community.
If the Pao has likewise stolen your heart, you may actually be able to track one down through a Japanese exporter. They don’t last long on the market however, so I’d be safe rather than sorry and buy the first one you find.
The Pao is currently being sold between $3-5k. If you want my opinion- that is deplorably low!