Daihatsu Sirion -

Used Car Review

Daihatsu Sirion, interior

DAIHATSU stopped importing cars into Britain in 2011 because the exchange rate meant they made too little profit.

So the youngest - apart from a very few far eastern imports - dates from then.

It was a shame they stopped selling here, because the Sirion in particular was a great small car well worth considering against any of the other superminis on the market.

And although they are no longer sold, spares are still available because they are still on the market in many other countries, and most garages can service them.

If you're looking for a seven or eight-year-old five door supermini that stands out from the crowd and has an excellent reliability record, the Sirion is well worth considering.

It only sold in fairly small numbers here so there aren't that many about, but they are amazingly spacious inside, and have a very comfortable ride.

They're all based n the Toyota Yaris of the period and have the same 1.0-litre, 1.3 and 1.5 petrol engines, with power outputs of 68, 86 and 103bhp.

All are economical, but the willing and lively 1.0 and 1.3 models are the best. The 1.5 is a little gruff and only marginally quicker than the 1.3.

Chunky good looks are backed up by very good ability and you get a more practical five door for the same price as other car makers' three doors.

Performance is fair in the 1.0-litre and better in the 1.3 and it's matched by very safe roadholding, with strong grip even though there is some roll.

The handling, with positive and direct power steering and safe road manners, is good enough to match many others in the class.

I once drove 500 miles in a day in one and was still enjoying it when I got back home. It was reasonably refined, comfortable for that long period and very capable even on the motorway.

Equipment is good as standard and the interior quality is up with the best. The cheapest Sirion 1.0 S comes with four airbags, air conditioning, height-adjustable steering, remote locking, four electric windows and colour keyed bumpers.

Move up to SE spec and you get alloy wheels and rear parking sensors so it's well worth hunting for.

Economy should be a real road 45 in the 1.0-litre and only a little less in the 1.3 - which is noticeably quicker.

Insurace is reasonable and emissions, as you might expect, are almost up to the present day.

Pay about £2,050 for a '10 10-reg 1.0-litre SE, or the same price for an ‘09 09-reg 1.3 SE.