The suspension has been revised for 2008 and is tuned to suit European roads and tastes.
The suspension has been revised for 2008 and is tuned to suit European roads and tastes. It features MacPherson struts at the front and a semi-independent torsion bar at the back as well as anti-roll bars front and rear. The result is a very good ride and agile handling befitting a more expensive car. The Daihatsu Sirion is blessed with a wide track, which means more shoulder room inside, but more importantly, good stability in fast bends. The electric power steering has been tweaked to offer plenty of feedback and therefore, a confident feel to the drive.
Exploring the Sirion’s capabilities on country roads is rewarding; there is plenty of pulling power in the lower gears and the engine noise is pleasant, too. When it comes to motorway travel, the car is equally capable but there isn’t a great deal left in the pots to allow for swift overtakes.
The Sirion is of the ‘wheel-in-every-corner’ variety, with short overhangs and exaggerated wheel arches. It has a particularly long wheelbase and looks lower than it actually is. It becomes evident when you get in and realise that you are sitting taller than you would expect from the outside.
A brief look at the specification sheet shows that the 1.0 S comes with air-conditioning, a fuel economy readout, power steering, electric windows front and rear and remote central locking. The 1.3S is slightly different and adds rear speakers, electric door mirrors and chrome interior door handles. The SE trim includes alloy wheels and rear parking sensors.
The £9,495, SX has a sportier appearance than either the S or SE, with a deep front spoiler, mesh grille, front fogs, side skirts and a spoiler above the squarish tailgate. It isn’t as brash as it sounds. Daihatsu’s Studio Leader, Yoshihiro Fujibayashi tells us, “We tried to give the car sculpture-like dimensions and a sense of quality.” The end product is an exterior that could never be described as exciting, but it works.
He also had this to say about the interior and instrument nacelle: “As for the interior, we tried to make this as simple as possible. The speedometer is on the steering column. We designed this after the image of a clock placed on a coffee table…”
The interior is indeed pleasantly simple but I can’t see the quirky, oval instrument pod as a clock. The fascia is fairly plain with a slightly bulbous centre console, set into which is the audio system and large comfort controls, within brushed chrome-effect surrounds. The audio system comprises an integrated CD/radio plus an AUX socket for external input, adjacent to the steering column.
Daihatsu Sirion Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Daihatsu 1.5 SX|
|Body Type||5-Door Hatchback|
|Colour||Black Mica Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||10.5 Seconds|
|Top Speed||109 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||54.3 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||n/a|
|Warranty||3-Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 04/02/08)||£9,495|