Unbeatable Value From Completely New Super-City Charade - Best in Class Refinement | Part Four

Daihatsu Charade


‘Best-In-Class’ Refinement

Daihatsu again used the Renault Clio as its benchmark for NVH with the aim of being not only best in the city car class but also among superminis.

For example, special attention was placed on engine boom, idling shake, running vibration and wind noise – all areas which can contribute to a small car becoming tiring on a long journey.

The Charade’s sector-leading aerodynamics of 0.31 Cd not only improves fuel economy and provides a higher top speed – it also makes the car quieter.

Apart from having a more rigid body than previous Daihatsus, the Charade features a new engine installation comprising three widely-spread mounting points employing soft rubber.

This system better dampens noise and vibration and reduces engine movement or ‘shunt’, especially when moving away from rest. An H-shaped front frame is also fitted, together with a performance rod to further reduce vibration.

Finally, the front floor panel is curved to deflect sound, with a special corrugated felt panel fitted to the bulkhead.

Top-Level Safety Performance

Top-level safety performance is promised for the new Charade with previously unheard of levels of passenger and pedestrian protection for such a small car.

The platform is new and makes extensive use of high-strength steels for areas such as the floor pan, B-posts and front engine-mounting frame. This new energy-absorbing structure better disperses impact forces.

Designed to offer ‘best-in-class’ protection in ‘real-world’ accidents, the new Charade has a straight front side member with its end height at the same level as, for example a Toyota Corolla, Avensis or Lexus. Its car-to-car collision performance was designed around these considerably larger cars.

Other passive safety features include side-impact protection door beams, driver and passenger airbags plus side airbags on the Charade SL. The front seatbelts are height-adjustable and feature both force-limiters and pre-tensioners. Both front and rear seats have adjustable head restraints.

The new Charade features Daihatsu’s impact-sensing release system. During a collision it unlocks the doors and turns on the interior light and hazard warning lights to enable easier escape or rescue.

Pedestrian safety is also well catered for. The engine compartment has been designed to allow it to more effectively absorb crash energy and the front windscreen wiper pivots and bonnet hinges have shock-absorbing spaces for the same purpose.

Performance And Economy
  Top Speed mph 0-62sec Urban mpg Extra Urban mpg Combined mpg
Charade EL/SL manual 99.4 12.2 47.1 68.9 58.9
Charade EL/SL auto 93.1 15.0 38.7 55.4 47.9
Published 11 May 2003 Melanie Carter
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