- "The perfect car to go with your flesh tunnel earrings, frosted spikes, and oversize jeans. Buy this and you'll never fail to be mistaken for a small town drug dealer again."
- ―Southernsanandreassuperautos.com description.
The word "kuruma" means "car" in Japanese (車, くるま), which may suggest that the car is of Japanese origin. "Kuruma" may also be a reference to the Toyota Camry, the bestselling midsize sedan in the United States, with "Camry" being an Anglicized phonetic transcription of the Japanese word kanmuri (冠, かんむり) for "crown". (Toyota has a naming tradition of using the word "crown" for primary models, starting with the Toyota Crown in 1955, continuing with the Toyota Corona and Toyota Corolla, the Latin words for "crown" and "small crown", respectively.)
The GTA III rendition of the car is strongly based on a 2001-2006 Chrysler Sebring sedan or a 1998-2004 Dodge Intrepid (both the design and the fact that the car has a longitudinally mounted engine in Xbox version), and it comes with uncolored (gray) bumpers and trims, giving it the appearance of a base model. The Kuruma in GTA III is also said to bear some resemblance to a 1997-2001 Honda Accord. For GTA Liberty City Stories, the Kuruma has slight cosmetic changes to make it look like a generic Japanese sedan during the late 90's, the front appearing to resemble a 1992-1995 European Toyota Corona or a 1997-2000 Nissan Altima, the taillights from an Opel/Vauxhall/Holden/Chevrolet Vectra C and its bumpers and trim are body-colored to give it a more upscale look, although there still are base Kurumas with unpainted trims and bumpers, especially if the car is sprayed white or grey. It has styling cues from the 1995-2000 Hyundai Elantra.
When originally introduced in GTA III, the car is not seen driven on the streets of Portland Island, but is parked in various locations on the island. In GTA Liberty City Stories, the car is present in Portland traffic.
During development of GTA III, the Kuruma was originally known as the "Sentinal", not to be confused by the Sentinel which is another sedan in the final version of the same game that was previously known as the "Beamer" during development.
The Kuruma comes back in the Heists Update for Grand Theft Auto Online, and is now manufactured by Karin. The overall shape of the car seems to be based on the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, however the hood scoop and rear spoiler look to be based on a 2015 Subaru WRX STI. It is available in both the normal version and the armored version.
In GTA III, the Kuruma has a turbocharged four cylinder engine and a FWD powertrain. Whilst the engine is powerful enough to propel the light Kuruma to high straight line speeds, the front wheel drive layout causes understeer. Players may therefore favor using the handbrake to swing around turns at high speed. In GTA Liberty City Stories, its engine is naturally-aspirated and emits a same engine sound as the Manana, Idaho and the Perennial.
The Kuruma's steady handling makes it a good choice as a "beginners' car", and it is the first car the player drives in both GTA III and GTA Liberty City Stories (in the missions "Give Me Liberty" and "Home Sweet Home" respectively).
The Kuruma possesses almost identical handling properties to the GTA III rendition of the Taxi.
According to Southernsanandreassuperautos.com the car has 6 gears, a top speed of 147mph and weighs 2866lbs. It also has 4WD capability and is very maneuverable. Even with the Turbo already equipped, the player can add another Turbo for a significantly higher acceleration. Due to the lightweight chassis on both versions of the car, it has the tendency to lift onto two wheels and even flip during sharp, high speed turns. It is slightly bested by the Sultan in terms of top speed. However, in terms of grip, the Sultan stands a heavy ground when attacking corners at high speed. The Kuruma tends to slide attempting to attack corners at similar speeds, making it feel as if the Kuruma has a non-existent ABS.
- "The perfect car to go with your flesh tunnel earrings, frosted spikes, and oversize jeans. Buy this and you'll never fail to be mistaken for a small town drug dealer again. This edition helps prevent a mistake turning into a tragedy with armor plating."
- ―Southernsanandreassuperautos.com description.
The performance is slightly different from the stock Kuruma. It shares the same traits as the normal Kuruma, but it is much more durable against collisions and gunshots, due to its bulletproof windows.
- A law enforcement variant appears as the FBI Car, seen during wanted levels.
- A unique blue Kuruma appears in the mission Salvatore's Salvation. It can be obtained by parking it in the garage of the Portland Safehouse and shooting at the trunk.
- Head Radio Studio, Hepburn Heights, Portland Island.
- Greasy Joe's Café, Callahan Point, Portland Island.
- Docks, Portland Harbor, Portland Island.
- Momma's Restaurante, Saint Mark's, Portland Island.
- Capital Autos, Harwood, Portland Island.
- Liberty Tree parking lot, Bedford Point, Staunton Island.
- In a car park, near the apartments, in Wichita Gardens, Shoreside Vale.
GTA Liberty City Stories
- Parked outside Vincenzo's warehouse in Atlantic Quays, Portland Island. The car is uniquely black.
- In Saint Mark's, parked where you dropped off the drugs for Salvatore from the Cartel in the mission Contra-Banned.
- Spawns regularly on all three islands.
- Capital Autos, Harwood, Portland Island (only before completing Car Salesman to level 4).
- A few blocks from Momma's Restaurante.
- Can be purchased from Southernsanandreassuperautos.com for $525,000 after completing The Fleeca Job.
Prominent Appearances in Missions
Grand Theft Auto III
GTA Liberty City Stories
- Vincenzo Cilli owns a black Kuruma, which can be found parked outside his warehouse in Atlantic Quays. This car still appears after his death.
- Claude drives an unique teal Kuruma during the first mission. This vehicle can be saved in the player's garage.
- Kkangpae owned a black Kuruma (Armored) until it got stolen by GTA Online Protagonist in order to use it as a getaway vehicle during The Fleeca Job.
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Requiring improvement: default radio stations
- The Kuruma was also cut from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories and Grand Theft Auto IV.
- The Kuruma has appeared as both a wreck and a working car in Manhunt and Manhunt 2, respectively (see also Kuruma article at Wikihunt).
- The Kuruma was meant to appear in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, but cut during development. This is evidenced in the handling files and it is probably replaced by the Admiral, probably a leftover from GTA III.
- Kuruma also exists as a car manufacturer in another popular Rockstar game Midnight Club. It has one model called the Faasuto (based on a Mazda RX-7 and a Nissan 240SX) with 3 variants: The GR, GS, and GT. It should also be noted that this is a hidden car and in order to unlock it and its versions, you have to find 3 hidden markers in the city of London.
- The Kuruma is referenced in an episode of crime drama NCIS where a witness tells Agent McGee that a getaway car was a "Kuruma", and later explains to his confused superiors: "Kuruma is the name of a car in Grand Theft Auto III. It’s a Chrysler Sebring sedan." A video of the exchange can be found here.
- The default radio stations for the Kuruma are:
GTA III & GTA Liberty City Stories
- The Kuruma in GTA III has more spawn locations in Portland than anywhere else in the city, despite rarely appearing in traffic.
- The GTA Liberty City Stories rendition has 3-speed transmission. This can be heard when driving at straight line, and the engine makes three shifts.
Grand Theft Auto V
- The Kuruma in GTA Online does not deform when crashed; it can only be scratched or lose doors. The same is true with the Panto and Coquette Classic.
- However, The Kuruma's bodywork deformation from collisions can be seen, but to a lesser extent.
- Both the Kuruma and the Intruder are the only two vehicles made by Karin that do not take up resemblance to any real-world Toyota vehicles.
- The Kuruma shares its stock rim design with the Gallivanter Baller II.
- The Kuruma has two extra sets of brake lights on top of the roof.
- When opening the hood, the engine can be seen. However, when rolling the car over, there is no visible engine from the bottom, only an empty space and the "upper" side of the engine bay.
- In Grand Theft Auto Online, the Kuruma's armored variant is similar to the Duke O'Death.
- Despite having armored windows players can shoot out of the car without damaging the car and without gun animations.