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This is my second car, it's the first car which I bought with my own money as my first car was a Christmas present. I had saved up enough money and was looking at used cars online to buy. A friend of my dad's had told him about the Daihatsu make of car and how my he had owned them for years and was really impressed with his.
I went to the Daihatsu showroom near where I live and had a look. I wanted a small car, that was good value and would not cost too much to insure as I'm still a fairly young driver and insurance can be very expensive for younger drivers.
I spoke to a salesman and we had a look at a used Daihatsu Charade we took it for a test drive and I was very happy with the car and ended up buying one it's been great ever since.
Pros and Cons
Nippy for such a small engine
Great city car
Surprisingly big inside
The look of the car you will either love it or hate it
I really like it, It has been a year since I bought it. I paid £2999 for it which some might think was a little bit expensive but I feel that I've gotten a really good deal.
At first I thought it was a bit of a old persons car with zero street cred and part of me still feels that way but I'm warming to the car.
How does it feel to drive
Given that the car has a 1 litre engine I didn't expect miracles from the engine however you will be very surprised at the cars performance. It does go from 0 to 50 very quickly but if you are just looking for a car that will go around the town or city then you have the perfect car. When I'm driving alone I find that the car is very nippy if I want it to be and is very agile when going around corners.
Driving around town is quite fun in this car it handles the towns roads very well and is very easy to park due to the size of the thing it's a very good city car.
When out on the main roads the car still is good. It can easily keep up with the 50 mph and 60 mph speed limits on main roads. I've only been on the motorway once with it and apart from a slight noise when travelling at high speed of 70 mph the car was still very easily to drive and I didn't have any problems at all.
If you are looking for a very sporty performance then this is not the car for you but if you are after a fairly basic performance to get you from a to b in relative comfort this is ideal.
If I'm honest I don't think the car looks very good it seems to be going for a hair dresser car type of look. But like I said if you are just wanting a basic car to get you from a to b and nothing sporty then you will properly be the type of person who doesn't really care for a good looking car.
Value for money
In my opinion this car is good value for money. My model is the Charade SL and is one of the higher models. It came with a cd and radio player, full air conditioning and electric windows and mirrors. I feel that generally Japanese model cars do offer very good value for money when looking at the cheaper price point cars.
Japanese models offer both good value in extras for the car and also very good build quality. In the year that I've owned the car nothing has gone wrong with and the car has 80,000 on the clock from a previous owner. This proves to me that the car has been built very well.
The car is not too bad on the fuel, I don't live in the best area to test it as my roads are mainly country roads, with lots of breaking and turns. Lots of speeding up just to slow down again so my mpg is all over the place. I've gotten around 35 mpg on average and that is mainly a guess. When I took the car on a road trip on the motorway with a full car 4 people plus lots of suitcases I still got around 60 mpg. I thought this was incredible considering the car was full to it's rafters and I was very stressed out when I was driving on that holiday.
It seems now I'm a very big fan of Daihatsu, the car has won me over. Even if I just use this car and run it for as long as it will hold onto then I will be happy until I'm ready for a upgrade.
This is a very basic no thrills car and if that is what you are looking for then this is a great car for you. On the other hand if you are looking for a more practical car or a cool car this is not the car for you and you should considerer something different.
I allow express permisson for this review to be located at Ciao.co.uk and Dooyoo.co.uk
I've had my Charade 1.0 EL for a while now, and have to say that it is a brilliant, underrated little car.
In terms of practicality, the car seems tiny from the outside, especially when parked alongside other "small" cars. Inside, it is like a Tardis, with plenty of space for 4 adults. As equipment goes, it's no high tech machine, but comes well specced, with twin airbags, front electric windows, electric mirrors, power steering, central locking and a CD player.
The boot isn't the biggest around as you'd expect, but is more than enough for a couple of bags of shopping, and the seats are easily dropped. The rear bench literally can just be popped out if needs be. It also has a feature I can't remember seeing before, which is that the doors open at 90 degrees to the car when opened fully, making entering and exiting the car easier.
Reliability wise, there are no faults with the car, it feels solid, and doesn't feel as if there are going to be any faults. Has never had any advisory on any past MOTs either. During the last winter, even though it spent 6 weeks without being started due to me being ill, it started first time with no fuss, and still has the original 5 year old battery.
Running costs are where this car really shines. I frequently manage 55-60mpg, and once managed an average of 75mpg on a trip with a mix of motorway and town driving. Tax is £30 a year, so can't go wrong there. This is my first car, and the insurance is about as low as I could find. Servicing costs are also good, and consumables such as tyres and windscreen wipers are also very cheap.
The way the car drives was the biggest surprise for me. With the tiny little 1.0 liter engine I wasn't expecting much, but as the car is so light, it never feels underpowered, and doesn't even feel stressed by hills. The gearbox is nice and smooth, with a satisfying sort of "squidge" feeling between gears, and the engine itself is very quiet. You can tell it's a 3 cylinder, there is a small vibration at idle, but other than that, it's fantastic, very quiet.
It is also really fun to drive, with it being so small it handles like a go kart. The engine is very rev happy, and the pulls well throughout the rev range. It does tend to understeer when pushed hard, and has a bit of body roll, but that's not really what it was designed to do. When driven normally, it is comfortable and very easy to drive. If you need a cheap reliable runaround and don't want to sacrifice fun, this car should definitely be on your list.
The car also has a 4-star Euro NCAP safety rating, and has features designed to minimise the impact of low speed collisions, such as impact absorbing bonnet hinges. It does however, tend to be knocked about by strong winds on motorways, due to the light weight and flat sides.
All in all, the Charade is a fantastic little car, and I would recommend it to anyone.
Having decided to buy a small new car rather than a bigger used one because the extras that come with a new car save a lot of money and hassle (3 years of free breakdown cover, and 3 years warranty, a year's tax and no MOT's for 3 years, plus no costs from having to fix what the previous owner wore out) I made a list of what was really important to us and began researching online.
The list looked like this:
MUST HAVE: ABS (Antilock Braking System - an electromechanical system used in vehicles and aircraft to avoid wheel locking during braking.)
NICE IF IT HAS: EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution or EBD is an automobile brake technology that automatically varies the amount of force applied to each of a vehicles brakes. Often coupled with Anti-lock braking systems, EBD can apply more or less braking pressure to each wheel in order to maximize stopping power.)
NICE IF IT HAS: CD player instead of cassette.
MUST HAVE: Driver's Air Bag
NICE IF IT HAS: Passenger air bag
MUST HAVE: decent amount of leg and head room
MUST HAVE: good fuel economy
MUST HAVE: an on-the-road price below £8000
I spent 3 weeks looking at lots of different makes and models, including some very popular ones like the Kia, Ka and Corsa, and some truly obscure models the names of which I forget - one was only £4000 but it was basically a tractor engine in a very basic car-shaped shell - and kept coming back time and again to the Daihatsu Charade. It had a better specification for around £1000 less than the others in its class.
The next step was clearly to test drive one, since that's the only way to check out that comfort, road handling, leg and head room etc., all meet one's requirements ...
It was surprisingly difficult to actually find a dealer willing to sell us the car! I made several attempts online, from Cornwall to Inverness and didn't even get the courtesy of a reply, which was a bit off-putting.
However after emailing Daihatsu HQ we found a dealer willing to drive a test car from Perth to Aberdeen, and we duly turned up, my husband very sceptical about the car given its small size and amazingly cheap price tag. (from £5995)
One half hour test drive later, my husband was enthusiastically praising my superior taste, wisdom and internet search skills ;-)
He even - and you have to give him loads of kudos for this - allowed me to choose the colour.
That may not sound like any big deal: however the Charade comes in not only a very attractive lavender colour and the ubiquitous blue, red, silver and gold, but also in my favourite colour....
.... which is pink. (Daihatsu call it amethyst - trust me, it's pink. Very!)
We could have had a blue or lavender car within days, but had to wait an extra 5 weeks for a model this colour since it had to be ordered and shipped from Japan. Hee hee hee - it's been SO worth the wait.
As a reward for his gallantry on the pink choice, my husband's shared my pleasure in the fun this colour seems to provide for an amazing amount of people .. we get smiles and friendly comments all the time. It's really been an added bonus - and since I do enjoy being one of a kind, it suits me extremely well.
We've had the car 2 years and 3 months now, and have done 32,000 miles. We've frequently loaded it with up to ten 15kg bags of animal feeds, and we've bounced it up and down our appalling farm track, plus making 250 mile journeys to visit family. It does the round trip from 45 miles north of Aberdeen to the centre of Edinburgh on one tank of petrol (£25 at prices current at time of writing)which I think is tremendous value.
Oh, and the tyres are small and cheap to replace, another definite advantage.
The Charade has coped with everything except the track - it needed a new exhaust this January, and that was a minor annoyance as there wasn't one to be had in the UK. (I'm not sure I believe this - but we couldn't access one anyway so it was an academic point.)
However we had a stainless steel exhaust made by the local garage for £200, and it's guaranteed for the life of the vehicle, so I shan't be complaining!
The availability of parts isn't a major problem - I had a "Senior Moment" when I didn't see a portacabin (don't ask, but I wasn't drunk!)and whacked a huge dent in the wing which necessitated getting a whole new one. The car was only away a couple of days, and you'd never know it'd been damaged.
Two years on I can honestly say that second only to my beloved old Saab 99 now wearing a halo in the great garage in the sky, the Charade is my favourite of all the cars I've driven. Since these include the original VW Beetle and a wonderful vintage Hillman Avenger, that's a huge vote of confidence in this little machine.
It's surprisingly fast - great for safe overtaking - corners well, its brakes are fantastic when you need to do an emergency stop (and we have dozens of kamikazi rabbits up our way so it does plenty of those!) and it is comfortable even on long journeys. It looks very compact from outside but is surprisingly generous both in leg room and in head room. I think it was modelled on the Tardis.
The heater is very efficient. There is an option for air conditioning, which we didn't take on cost grounds, and similarly you can have fog lights fitted on the front. There is central locking even on our 3 door model, and the whole package including the metallic pink option, cost us only £6250.
We love it .. wave if you see us; you'll know it's us because I've added some bullet holes bought on Ebay to the boot, put a pink (natch) flying nodding pig in the back window and have a bat tax disc holder ....
The Daihatsu Charade wasn’t a car I was thinking about buying when I was looking through Auto Trader, infact, I had never heard of it before. This was until I went to the local garage which I swore I would never go too as their prices are a bit on the steep side and spotted what I thought was quite a groovy looking car in stunning red that had the look of a bit of a beast about it. I looked at it a couple of times while driving past and decided to give it a test drive. After the test drive I was extremely impressed and it was time to check it out properly! The car in question is a Daihatsu Charade GSXi 1.6. What this means is that it is nothing like the Daihatsu charades from the 80’s you see going around, oh no, this one is one of the few made GSXi ones which basically means you get the following: Front and Rear Spoilers, Electric Windows, Sunroof, ABS, Power Steering, Electric Windows, Central Locking, Alarm, Immobiliser, Alloys and some form of Air Con. It’s a 94 M reg model which I paid just over £1300 for with 94,000 on the clock. I had done my research on this car, checked out the parkers pricing guide and this was a very good price for the type of car and also because of it’s rarity. It also helped when I found out that the last owner worked for Daihatsu and it had a hell of a lot of history. Next was the insurance. “errr….you must be kidding right…no sorry…could you repeat that?….HOW MUCH!?” was basically my telephone convo with Tesco’s motor insurance….Group 11 I will have you know and that for a 22 year old means quite a bit of dosh…£970 to be precise for the year. The only reason I went ahead with it was because I was paying for the car in cash so thought I could pay the insurance monthly, working out at £102 per month for comprehensive cover with legal stuff etc etc. Not cheap, but worth it. THE CAR The car to look at is completely differ
ent from any other car on the market. The front end is a bit like a XR3i Ford Escort, with indicators built into the colour coded bumper and twin headlights, though not separate. You have a nice little grill in the centre with the letters 16v sitting proudly! The back however is a completely different ball game and one which seems to disagree with me! It’s a bit curved, and I’m sure I’ll get used to it, it just looks a bit weird. This is helped though by the rear top spoiler which helps the look of the back! The alloys set the car off quite well and along with the mud flaps, gives the car that bit of ‘growl’ appeal…whatever that is! Inside it’s a bit on the basic side, or it gives that impression while not being basic at all. Most of the ‘auxiliary’ buttons are behind the steering wheel, which sounds cumbersome, but actually works quite well, which leaves just the fan and heater controls aswell as the stereo in the centre console. This is quite good though as it has a nifty little space under the stereo which works great for mobiles and then under the cigarette lighter and ashtray you have a huge space for anything, along with extra spaces for your little bits and pieces behind the gear stick and also behind the handbrake. On the floor by the drivers seat there are 2 small levers, one opens the boot and the other opens the fuel cap, which is extremely useful. Controls for the electric windows are on the door handles, with the driver door having controls for both front windows and also a control to lock the windows in position, making it impossible to control the windows until you turn the switch off…what this is good for I really don’t know…I have only found one use so far and I can’t say what that is on here!! The passenger door holds just the passenger window controls. On top of the dash you have your digital clock and nothing else, but the dash is quite big, giving y
ou plenty of space for your mcdonalds! One of the things that really got me about this car was the fact that it is Japanese. Ok, I have nothing against Japan, but the controls are the wrong way around! Your indicators are on your right and your wipers on your left, which really does confuse you to start with! After the first hundred miles or so it seems natural for them to be on that side, and personally, I prefer it that way round now and I never thought I would get used to it after driving fords all my driving life! THE DRIVE Scared. That’s what I was when I first took this car out. The pedals are like feathers to start with, especially if your used to fords which require more interaction from the driver, well, at least the older ones did. There is a hell of a lot of power, I believe this car has 130bhp, which is a lot for a car similar to the size of a fiesta. It should get you from 0-60 in under 9 secs, though I have never had cause to try it as yet. Top speed is 120mph, should you wish to be chased up the M5 by a strange flashing light. The drive is extremely nice, with stiff suspension making it easy to glide round corners, but giving a more uncomfortable drive when driving at lower speeds as you tend to feel the bumps more. The tyres grip the road well with them being 185’s. The gearbox is still very smooth, despite the amount of miles on the clock, which is something not a lot of cars can live up to. The position however is a little strange, even though I am just over 6 foot, I find I have loads of headroom left, at least 6 inches, and feel a little bit low compared to my last 2 cars. Just feels strange for the moment, I can’t see the bonnet at all! The noise from the engine and exhaust really will please some of you blokes out there. It gives a growling noise to start off with, along with a distant purr, hit the 4,000 revs mark and you’ve really got a growl going now, along with a whi
rring noise and a hissing noise coming from the exhaust (which is supposed to be there!! One thing I checked before I bought it!). It will pull you up hills with extreme ease with power left to overtake standard town cars on hills should you wish to do so. I manage to go most places in 5th, thus keeping the fuel economy going! Talking of fuel economy, this being the 1.6 16v version, it does just as well, if not better than my old 1.4 8v fiesta. I clocked in 106miles on a tank of £10, though it would of done more, I didn’t want to conk out somewhere just so that I could squeeze the last mile out of the last drop of fuel! The tank will take about £35 worth of fuel on todays prices (87p a litre roughly around here). One thing I did notice about this car, which may annoy some of you is that theres no where to put your foot when your not using it to accelerate or brake. On the fiesta, you could rest it to the side on the wheel arch, not so on this car, and there’s no where you can put it apart from the floor underneath the pedal, which does make your leg a bit tired when your dangling it there. However, on the plus side, for your left foot, you do have a plate where your foot can rest and it really is quite comfortable…hey now, you can’t have it all!! The car is a little hard to control at low speeds. In1st gear you will have a hard time going slow as a fraction more on the accelerater and off it growls, however, put it in second and you can use this as if it were first a lot of the time, taking into consideration that you’ll probably be wearing your clutch a lot more than normal! At higher speeds, this car comes into it’s own, cruising round corners with ease, gripping the road perfectly, and the ABS stops you very quickly without skidding should you need too. It’s got a good lot of power left in 5th too, when doing 50mph you can still accelerate pretty hard in 5th, something which a lot of other sm
aller hatchbacks would find it hard to match. The only time I find it necessary to drop down into fourth gear on the open road is when I’m behind the annoying driver in the Rover Metro or Vauxhall Corsa!! (sorry Metro or Corsa drivers, but it’s true, you do go damn slow!!) PARTS Now, as I have only owned the car for a week, I haven’t needed to get any parts for the car, though I imagine if I do need to get some parts for the car, I won’t be able to find them half as easy as I did with my old fiesta. Things like Breaks, Clutch, Exhaust, Tyres, Battery, etc etc are all standard parts and you will be able to get most of these wearable parts from places like Kwif-Fit and ATS, however, if you wanted something bigger, maybe a gearbox or engine mounts etc, you could find yourself in a tricky situation. I have never in my life seen another one of these types of cars, not that I can remember anyway. This will make it hard to pick up major parts. However, on the other side of the coin, the Daihatsu dealers seem quite friendly. When I bought the car, I demanded a new cambelt, this was sought by the Daihatsu dealer for no charge so the garage I bought it off told me. Before I bought the car I rad the nearest Daihatsu dealer up (not that many around, though I seem to be quite lucky in my corner of the world and have one in Plymouth and Exeter) and asked them a few questions about how hard parts would be to come across. It wouldn’t be that hard, but it would be a bit more expensive that it would be for a standard Ford, you’d also be hard pushed to find a garage who knows the engines as the engine I have is so rare. Haynes don’t even make manuals for Daihatsu’s, so that’s something to bear in mind, you will need mechanical knowledge from the outset if you want to carry out any DIY on these cars. OVERALL I’m very impressed with the car. I like to be unique, though I’m
scared about anything major going wrong and not being able to replace the parts. The drive is excellent, it’s fast and you’ll give those XR2i drivers a run for their money when you pull up next to them at the lights, or that citreon VTR that finds it difficult to get past you going uphill on a dual carriageway (that was so much fun!). I’d recommended it, but only if your prepared for bigger repair bills and are aware of it’s rare nature. Just a footnote. Due to it being a highly nickable car (according to my insurers) you will need an alarm and immobiliser fitted to your car, which comes as standard, but make sure it works. You will then need proof that it works correctly, from a reputable garage before you are insured for theft and damage.
I'll start by saying that I live in Bermuda, which has no cars bigger than 2000cc, a very salt-laden atmosphere (and therefore serious rust problems), and a 20mph (35 kph) speed limit (although NObody, but NObody, sticks to it!). The first new car I ever owned was a late 1980 Daihatsu Charade 3-cylinder 5-door 993cc hatchback, a superb piece of engineering: acceleration, economy, and road-holding were first class. The bodywork, however, was rubbish: I had to have 3 of the 5 doors replaced while the car was still (fortunately!) under guarantee! I had the car about 8 years, and only had to scrap it when the bodywork simply began to disintegrate around me. Our present car is another Charade, a second-hand 1989 1300cc 4-cylinder 5 door hatchback: the bodywork has improved somewhat over the 1980 model, but unfortunately the engine has deteriorated accordingly, and I've had more mechanical problems with this car than I ever had with the older one. Fortunately, however, none of them have been too serious, and by and large I've been very happy with the Charade. I do like the hatchback: my two main sporting activities are SCUBA-diving and hockey goalkeeping, both of which need fairly bulky equipment bags, and I can load either one into the hatch compartment with no problem. It's also quite roomy enough for our dog, a golden retriever/border collie cross. If Daihatsu could bring its bodywork up to the standards of its 1980 engines, I'd be a very happy camper! Apologies for the lack of ratings with my initial submission of this review. I managed to touch the ENTER key, and WHOOSH! it was gawn!
The Daihatsu Charade GTti has a 993 cc, 3 cylinder, twin cam, fuel injected engine. plus a SCREAMING TURBO!!! Lets get the facts out of the way first... 99 bhp may not sound like a lot, but when you put it in a car that weighs the same as a bag of spanners, you get a 0-60 time of approximately 7.9 seconds (manufacturers estimate). Lets put this into perspective, you will beat BMW's (325i's) Escort and Fiesta RST's, and you will probably keep up with the Renault 5 GTT crew as well! Another plus is the fuel economy. With such a small and light frame, you will be rewarded with 35+ mpg. Hoot it around and these figures will drop, although not by much! The 3 cylinder engine can be noisy (check the tappets at every service) and as with all turbo's: "LEAVE THE CAR RUNNING FOR 10 SECONDS SO IT CAN SLOW DOWN!!" This will imncrease the life of the blower. Please Please Please check the service history if you're buying one of these, turbo's can be expensive to replace (if you do need to - UPGRADE TO A HYBRID FOR EXTRA FUN!!!). The turbo on this motor runs on a slightly different principle than normal turbo's (mail me if you want full techy details) which makes fitting an adjustable boost switch a REAL learning experience! Brakes are ok but could do with some harder pads, handling is not bad either, although it can be difficult to get traction in the wet. Inside, everything is (should be!) electric, and as you expect with these Eastern cars, it all works! It is reasonably comfortable inside, I was always comnfortable in the one I had (bear in mind I am 6'1 and weigh nearly 17 stone - hardly any of it fat b.t.w) The main gripe about the car is the lack of parts available, I had to get a new master cylinder and ordered one from a Daihatsu dealership (PLEASE BEAR IN MIND I GO THROUGH MY DAD WHO IS A CAR DEALER SO WE NORMALLY GET THE BEST SERVICE!!) I
was waiting for 3 weeks whilst they tried to sort it all out. When the 4th week came along I thought sod it and bought an upgraded master cylinder which worked out about 10% cheaper! Plus this included all hoses and brake lines (also upgraded) which meant I could fit some bigger front calipers and discs. In conclusion the Daihatsu Charade GTti is a great little car for your money. Hunt around if you're looking to buy one because there are a lot of dogs around. I would love to own another one, I sold mine because I can't keep a car for more than five minutes (see my other reviews) although I don't think I tapped into the full extremities of this rapid hot hatch. If you want a quick car which is extremely reliable, buy one of these. If you want something different, buy one of these. If you want a big car that you feel safe in... Don't buy one of these.
If ever there was a car that fitted the description "POCKET ROCKET" this is that car. 993cc twincam turbo injection - the most powerful 1litre car ever built 99BHP in its standard form makes it very rapid for such a tiny car, but with extras such as performance exhausts, airfilter + a BBR reboost chip, you can get it up to about 140BHP. (F**?*?G FLYING) The Jreg model that i owned myself for 3years was the best car i ever had, pity i had to sell it for a deposit for my house. The best thing about it was the running cost, only group 11 insurance + being less than 1 litre very cheap on fuel. The worst thing was when it brokedown hardly anyone know anything about the engines, so the just have to try and guess whats wrong. For about 12months i had a problem with mine it seemed to be flooding with fuel, all the local garages had a go at fixing it, including the HOPELESS daihatsu dealer, they tried changing filters and lots of other solutions , but in the end it turned out to be the brake servo???? So if your a bit of a BOYRACER and fancy something cheap + fast this car will definately bring a smile to your face.
my mum has one of these and it is the worst car i have ever driven, i have nothing against automatics but this one only has 3 gears! this is made even worse by the 16V engine that only has power high in the rev range, so changes up always drop you out of the power band. So you would think the manul would be ok? well i dont think so because the handling is terrible, it really has no grip going round corners at all, it just feels all wrong when pushed, you soon give up trying to drive with any pace at all On top of this is the crap driving position, uncomfy seats and the nasty plastic/glue smell that has stayed with the car even though it is 8 years old now Its a bit of a shame really because the car does look good, being a GLXI it has the same bumpers/spoiler as the GTI and has '16V EFI' written on the side in inch high letters, A sheep in wolfs clothing