What is it?
Daihatsu is not known for awe-inspiring products, but last year’s Charade impressed hugely with its incredible engine, space efficiency and value for money. So we know that Daihatsu can make great little cars, but is the all-new Ford Fiesta-sized Sirion one of them?
The five-door Sirion appeared in the UK in 1998, and was praised for its generous specification, low price and strong performance from the 101bhp 1.3-litre engine. But more talented rivals, such as the Skoda Fabia and Nissan Micra, left it in the shadows.
What's it like?
The Mk2’s styling is certainly more attractive than the previous model’s. Gone are the gaping grille and oval headlights, replaced by smaller, horizontal grille slats and angular lights.
The new Sirion has more than a hint of the Honda Jazz to its looks. Steroidal wheelarches meld into the bumpers to create a muscular appearance, helped by the increase in size – it is 95mm longer, 70mm wider and 100mm taller than the old model.
When it arrives in the UK, the Sirion will be available with two petrol engines: an all-new 1.0-litre 68bhp twin-cam triple and a detuned 84bhp version of the 1.3-litre four cylinder from the old car. Daihatsu claims the 1.3 has been tuned for low-end torque to suit a European driving style, with 89lb ft arriving at 3200rpm. Diesel engines are in the works, but we won’t see an oil-burning Sirion for a few years yet.