Daihatsu Materia

Daihatsu Materia Review

Daihatsu Materia ReviewDaihatsu Materia Road Test

Daihatsu Materia Review

The rear seats have a 60:40 split but also recline and slide fore and aft by 160mm.

24 October 2007 Melanie Carter

The rear seats have a 60:40 split but also recline and slide fore and aft by 160mm. They can be flattened to form an impromptu bed, together with the front seats and the range of movement allows between 181- and 294-litres of space. Alternatively, the seats can be folded in order to increase the load capacity to 619-litres with a space for a bottle at the side and a compartment under the rear floor.

It has to be said that driving the Materia is little like being in your own personal cave. There is plenty of space but the black fabric-covered seats, black headlining, fascia and doors together with the high shoulder line and darkened rear windows makes for a very dark interior, even in daylight. On the other hand, the lack of distracting colour schemes, improves concentration.

It isn’t all gloom as, in quirky Daihatsu fashion, there are thin, blue, neon-like circles that surround the speaker in the front doors and a blue glow emanates from behind the front armrests, which can be switched off, if preferred.

The fascia is unusual, too. A stadium-like arc stretches the width of the car and concentrates all the important functions in a central, layered stack. At the top of the dashboard is the shrouded, main instrument panel with 3D-like display, while the next level down has the centre air vents for the air-conditioning system. Below this is the integrated audio system, comprising a radio/CD with MP3 functionality. It’s not the best on the market but is adequate enough. The audio panel has a glossy black surround that matches the outer air vents.

You only get one engine choice and that’s Hobson’s. The 1.5-litre, petrol engine is mated to either a 4-speed automatic ‘box or a 5-speed manual, as in the test car. The 4-cyclinder unit features Dynamic Variable Valve Timing (DVVT), which helps with the low-speed torque and high rev responses, a chain-driven cam-shaft, that won’t stretch or snap and the catalytic converter regenerates itself, so it lasts longer, which means that the 169g/km (176g/km, auto) CO2 doesn’t increase as the engine ages. Apparently, this last feature was a ‘world first’ on the Daihatsu Sirion, in 2005.

Daihatsu Materia ReviewDaihatsu Materia Road Test
Daihatsu Materia Road Test Data
Model ReviewedDaihatsu Materia 1.5-litre
Body Type5-Door Hatchabck
ColourSilver Metallic
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph10.8 Seconds
Top Speed 106 mph
Transmission5-Speed Manual
Fuel TypeUnleaded Petrol
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban31.7 mpg
Extra Urban46.3 mpg
Combined39.2 mpg
Insurance Group8
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty3-year/unlimited mileage warranty
Price (when tested on the 24/10/07)£10,995

The information contained within this Daihatsu Materia review may have changed since publication on the 24 October 2007. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Daihatsu dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2015