The little Sirion packs a few tricks up its sleeve with nimble manoeuvrability, impressive interior space and lots of standard kit. The car is very well built and has typical Japanese reliability that should be number 1 on any buyers’ checklist. The Sirion is cheap to run and own whilst returning respectable miles per gallon. On the downside the car is a little unstable at speed and suffers from Daihatsu’s typical poor gearchange.
This 68 hp 1.0 variant is built with economy and city driving in mind so performance is just adequate. The 1.0 engine is happy to rev and performs briskly around the city but fast B roads is not the Sirion’s forte as the little engine needs to be worked to keep the engine in the optimum rev range. You also need to have a little mechanical sympathy as it does sound loud when being pushed but what 1.0 engine doesn’t?
The little Sirion is very comfortable erring on the spongy side, this is by no means a good handling car as body roll and understeer are evident on the twisty roads here in northern Ireland and the 175/65R14 tyres can break away with your foot down. The car though is very nimble within the city limits and the steering is finger light making parking an absolute breeze. The overall ride is smooth and the Sirion is quiet enough on the move when not being pushed.
Daihatsu really surprise with the level of build quality and the Sirion is no different. It feels sturdy and well bolted together unlike a certain rival or two. The interior plastics though a plenty feel good and will withstand the test of time. Buttons and switchgear also felt high quality and the overall car felt solid. Daihatsu usually provide a 3 year unlimited mileage warranty but currently offer a free 5 year warranty and 5 years roadside assistance in the very rare event it actually breaks down. It is also worth mentioning Daihatsu came 1st for reliability in the 2009 Auto Express Power Survey.
As with other cars in this class the Sirion features 4 airbags and ABS with seat belt pretensioners. As with its bigger brother, the ‘Materia’ the Sirion managed 4 stars for adult occupancy and 3 stars for children during Euro NCAP crash testing but managed only two stars for pedestrian safety which should be an area of priority for city cars! New leaders like the fiat 500 have made the full 5 stars for passenger safety and that is now the benchmark.
In typical Daihatsu fashion, the Sirion scores high for interior space. The car feels massive inside with lots of leg and headroom. In fact it’s bigger than you would think. The dash is far forward with centre instrumentation providing extra room and features a funky contoured lower shelf handy for storing bit’s and bob’s. Actually the Sirion has lots of storage areas including 4 bottle holders. The boot isn’t that big but perfectly adequate in this class of car and importantly all round visibility is very good.
The base model Sirion is available at £8320 and whilst this is a reasonable whack for a supermini you do get a very well built Japanese car that will run circles around European rivals when the wrinkles appear. The 1.0 SE model on test cost’s £8,795 and features a plethora of equipment from A/C, all round electric windows, electric mirrors, cd player with 4 speakers, remote locking, reversing sensors, the list goes on. Being such a small cc the Sirion also qualifies for £35 road tax and manages over 50 mpg. Like most small cars though depreciation is strong so prepare for big losses in 3 years time.
Submitted: 12/08/2009 11:31:15
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