Nissan Moco: Don't Turn Your Nose Up At This Unfortunately Named Microcar


The Nissan Moco may be a successful Suzuki-based microcar now in its third generation but you can bet potential buyers of the Spanish-speaking persuasion won't elect to... pick it. 

If you haven't guessed yet (or no hablas espanol), a Moco by any other name will still smell (and look, and drive) the same. In Spanish, however, “moco” is a word describing a piece of dried nasal mucus... a booger!

One is tempted to pity (or at least warn) the smilingly oblivious woman in the ad image above, surrounded by Mocos, one of which is even green *shudder*... but to paraphrase the MST3K theme song, just repeat to yourself “It's just a name, I should really just relax.”




Unfortunate moniker or not, the Moco has served Nissan well since it made its debut in April of 2002. The company even saved on development costs since the car was/is basically a badge-engineered Suzuki MW Wagon marketed by Nissan under an OEM agreement.

The third-generation Nissan Moco debuted in February of 2011 and sported the boxy bread-wagon styling typical of its microcar class. Only 133.7 inches long and weighing under a ton, the Moco is powered by Suzuki's 658cc R06A VVT DOHC I-3 engine (turbo version optional) driven through a CVT (continuously variable transmission).

The 2013 model year Moco got a boost in economy thanks to stop-start and other technologies designed to reduce both fuel consumption and emissions. The modifications helped the Moco become the most fuel efficient Kei class wagon in Japan. All very nice and certainly nothing to sneeze at (sorry, couldn't resist), but it'll take a lot more than that to scrape the Moco of those Worst Named Cars lists.