To put this into context, the considerably slower 1.0 litre Vauxhall Corsa 5-door’s figures are 61.4 mpg and 129 g/km.
Equally highly competitive is the Sirion 1.3 litre which boasts a 106 mph top speed in manual form and 0-60 mph time of 10.9 seconds. Fuel economy is also impressive at 58.9 mpg Extra Urban.
This compares with 57.6 mpg Extra Urban for the less brisk Ford Fiesta 1.25 which produces 147 g/km versus the Sirion’s 137 g/km.
The new Sirion 1.3 litre engine also has the world’s first self-regenerating catalyst.
Apart from ensuring a longer working life - and therefore reduced maintenance bills - the system means the car will retain its low emissions over a much higher mileage than other cars.
Massive European Sales Growth
The new Sirion is the first of a new range of cars designed and developed for European tastes.
For example, much of the chassis-tuning was done on European roads resulting in especially long-travel suspension matched to firm damping and stout front and rear anti-roll bars.
Combined with one of the widest tracks in its class, the new Daihatsu has an especially secure feel on the road with an absorbent ride yet strong straight-line stability. This is aided by power-steering which - despite being fully electric - has impressive feel with good self-centring.
Toyota’s small car specialist will gradually reduce its dependence on the Japanese market. Out of 780,000 vehicles sold worldwide in 2003, 550,000 went to home-market customers.
From now on, the needs of the European customer will grow in importance for Daihatsu. European sales are planned to increase from 28,000 in 2003 to 70,000 by 2008.
Model Range And Prices (All OTR)
|Sirion 1.0 S||£6,995|
|Sirion 1.0 SE||£7,695|
|Sirion 1.3 S||£7,795|
|Sirion 1.3 SE||£8,395|
|Sirion 1.3 SE Automatic||£9,190|