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Daihatsu Charade (1987- 2000) Car Review

 

If youХre shopping for a secondhand supermini, you probably havenХt considered DaihatsuХs Charade. Like most small car buyers, youХve probably set your sights on a mainstream model such as a Ford Fiesta or a Vauxhall Corsa. However, if your priorities are quality and value for money, a Daihatsu Charade might be worth tracking down. The Charade started life as a rather uninspiring looking hatchback (offered in three and five-door form) with lacklustre 1.0 and 1.3-litre engines.

These were replaced in 1993 by altogether more modern machines. This expanded range included 1.3, 1.5 and 1.6-litre hatchbacks and a 1.5-litre saloon. They were better equipped and offered buyers greater value for money.

Though now almost completely replaced by the smaller one-litre Sirion, the Charade remains an affordable supermini alternative and makes sense as a good second-hand buy.



History

While the earliest Charades (1987-1989 CX and the hot-hatch GTti models) are practical and affordable vehicles, post-1990 cars are a far better bet. From September of that year even the entry-level 1.0 CX added power assisted steering to its already comprehensive list of standard equipment. Creature comforts on both variants included electric door mirrors, an internal fuel filler and boot release switches as well as a good quality stereo.

Later that year, the range was extended to include a 1.0-litre, five-door turbodiesel CX version. Then, in 1991, this trio was joined by another variant, a 1.3-litre petrol-engined five-door hatch that was available in three different trim levels: CX, CXi and GXi.

However, the newer the Charade the better and the revised 1993 line-up is superior to anything that came before it. It includes an economy version (the 1.3 petrol GSe), plus a trio of three and five-door hatches with a single point fuel injected version of the 1.3-litre engine. There was also a luxury 1.5-litre variant called the GLXi SE (which boasted air conditioning and metallic paint) and a flagship 1.6 GSXi three-door hatch.

In 1996, the whole range was given a makeover and gained cheeky front end styling that singled it out from a number of more anonymous-looking competitors. These models are also longer and much roomier than their predecessors. ThereХs more leg space for both front and rear-seat passengers, while greater glass area and careful changes to the interior have given the cabin a more airy, less claustrophobic feel.

Luggage space is improved, too.

Three-door models were dropped after a couple of years and, at the end of 1999, the 1.5-litre saloon and the automatic and anti-lock brake options were deleted. The range continued as a single 1.3-litre LXi SE hatchback with generous equipment including dual airbags, central locking and electric windows and mirrors. This model was deleted at the end of 2000.

Opinion

As already mentioned, equipment levels are better than average. Standard features of the revised 1993-on cars include a rear wash/wipe, a heated rear window and a removable stereo. All have side impact beams in the doors for added safety. (A driverХs airbag became a cost option in 1996 and standard on later cars while the latest LXi SE has a passenger bag as well.)

Further up the scale, the 1.3 LXi five-door comes with power steering, electric mirrors and a rev counter. Move up to the GLXi and Daihatsu has added electric windows and central locking as well as extra speakers for the stereo.

Cost

Prices for the earliest 90G Charades start very low and you can bag a 1993K 1.3 CXi for Ј,400. Our money would go on the new 1.3-litre Charade, though. Prices for these start only slightly higher at Ј600 for a 1994L GSe. A mid-range LXi that was first registered in 1995 should cost around Ј700.

If you prefer the nearly new option, expect to pay between Ј1,400 and Ј1,600 for a 2000V model of either the 1.3 hatch or the 1.5 saloon.

Problems?

Rust can be a problem on older models, as can worn engines, particularly on the complex GTti version, which weХd advise buying only with a full service history. There are far less worries on post-93 cars which have proved generally reliable and durable.

Parts

(Approx for a 1.3-litre 1993 model excl VAT) A clutch assembly will be around Ј130 and brake pads for the front and rear are around Ј40. An alternator should be close to Ј200 and a radiator around Ј110.

A replacement headlamp is close to Ј100, a full exhaust system excluding the catalyst will be around Ј190, and a starter motor can be up to Ј170.

Road

Under the bonnet of the last generation of hatchbacks thereХs a choice between 1.3, 1.5 and 1.6-litre power. However, youХre far more likely to end up behind the wheel of one of the most popular mid-range 1.3 cars.

This is no hardship though, as it is one of the most refined engines in its class. Indeed, tests showed that the Charade’s interior noise levels at 50mph are equal to those of Nissan Micra at just 30mph. The other emphasis with these powerplants is fuel economy: the LXi model, for example, is capable of over 60 miles to the gallon.

Around town, it can average 43mpg.

Fuel economy was even a priority on the automatic version, which uses a sophisticated electronically-controlled four-speed system codenamed `ESAT`. Left in `auto` mode, the computer selects gear change points to maximise fuel efficiency. Should you need swift acceleration, though, simply plant your foot hard down on the throttle and the transmission switches to `power` mode.

Overall

Often overlooked and under-rated, the Charade is a capable and durable supermini that is certain to appeal to anyone buying a secondhand car with their head as well as their heart.

By CLAIRE EVANS.

Daihatsu Terios (1997 — to 2006) Car Review

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How much road space do one … and two kids need on the school run? The Renault Espace takes up 81.8 square metres and a Land Rover Discovery 103.1m. A used Daihatsu Terios will cast a shadow over only 60.1, the same as ToyotaХs baby Yaris. How can a proper 4×4 look this funky, be so manoeuvrable and yet so inexpensive?

ItХs part of DaihatsuХs aim to target buyers in the family hatchback market and offer them something completely different. The 4×4 fashion market is still growing hugely, and the Terios has been one of a number of small 4x4s such as the Suzuki Jimny, Kia Sportage and Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin that have aimed to reap a share of it. The idea has been to steal sales from warmХ hatches, mini MPVs and also from sectors where buyers were purchasing utility they didnХt need.

Part of the appeal is low pricing, and in the used arena this usually means nearly new cars at bargain prices. In this respect the Terios doesnХt disappoint. Interested?

HereХs the background on DaihatsuХs baby.

History

Though it sounds as if it could have been named after a mythical Greek God of Lifestyle 4x4s, Terios was in fact named after the Latin derivation of GroundХ. In fact, ground zero for UK Terios sales was in August 1997, with two trim levels being made available, the base model and the Terios+. Both models shared the same 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine developing 82bhp.

The following April saw the launch of a limited edition SE version, which was on sale until August.

Two months later, in October 1998, Daihatsu decided that the SE was, after all, a good idea, and installed it as a part of the range proper before withdrawing marketing support for it shortly afterwards. Since then the Terios range has remained largely unchanged, benefiting from a price cut of over Ј2,000 in autumn 1998.

The first major changes came in August 2000. This new model boasted styling that was a whole lot beefier, especially around the front end. There was a more aggressive looking grille, bigger bumpers, aerodynamic spoiler lips on the front bumper and revised headlamps. The most significant change however, was reserved for the engine Р now a state-of-the-art 1.3-litre 16v all-alloy unit borrowed from ToyotaХs little Yaris. As well as revising the interior, Daihatsu also unveiled a different logic with trim levels.

Out went the Terios and Terios+ designations: in came Terios E, EL and range-topping SL. A Terios Tundra special edition made a brief appearance but the range was thoroughly rationalised in April 2003.

The E model was dropped, the EL became the Tracker and the SL became the Sport. Prices were slashed and the Terios was in the best shape of its life. The all new Terios hit the streets in Spring 2006 replacing this model.

Opinion

You may have noticed the terms lifestyleХ, sports activityХ and 4×4Х being used a fair amount when discussing the Terios. One term noticeable by its absence is off-roaderХ. As you may have guessed, the Terios doesnХt make a convincing case for itself as a rugged mud-plugger.

The driverХs handbook makes this abundantly clear, threatening all kinds of bodily injury should the vehicle be driven inappropriately. As this includes most heavy off road work, it is perhaps not surprising that the Terios isnХt fitted with a low range gearbox. There is a differential lock that will enable exit from muddy fields, but thatХs about the extent of the TeriosХ off road remit.

As you would expect from a vehicle taking up less road space than a Toyota Yaris, the Terios is, as eighties estate agents once crowed, compact and bijou. ItХs narrowness Р only 1715 mm Р makes seating four people a task best reserved for intimate friends. ThereХs a fair amount of standard equipment considering the price.

A driver’s airbag, power steering, central locking, an engine immobiliser, tinted glass and a Pioneer audio system all come as standard. The Terios + adds air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, a passenger airbag, alloy wheels, electric front windows and mirrors, plus stylish roof rails. All this plus the three-year unlimited mileage warranty that’s standard on all Daihatsu models and which can be transferred to the new owner.

Daihatsu Electric Cars
Daihatsu Electric Cars
Daihatsu Electric Cars

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