Daihatsu Starts Model Offensive With Sirion

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Daihatsu Starts Model Offensive With Sirion
Daihatsu Starts Model Offensive With Sirion

Video: Daihatsu Starts Model Offensive With Sirion

Video: Daihatsu Starts Model Offensive With Sirion
Video: Daihatsu Sirion M100 (2000 and 2004 model) Start up and more 2023, September

Daihatsu wants to polish up its image. The newly launched Sirion implements the Japanese target for more emotions. It remains to be seen whether this will achieve the intended sales target.

Thomas Flehmer

Daihatsu starts an attack on the competition with the newly launched Sirion. "With a new model offensive we want to get more emotionality into our product design," said Daihatsu Germany press chief Rainer Koch at the presentation of the new Sirion in Bergisch-Gladbach, "and the Sirion is an interesting alternative in the B-segment."

First development with Toyota

Indeed, Sirion, which has been on the market since 1998, is surprising. The Toyota subsidiary, which specializes in small and compact cars, has completely redesigned the five-door hatchback designed for an “urban small family with one or two children” (Koch). The first joint development with Toyota paid off.

The front is designed very dynamically. Elongated headlights and the small radiator grille demonstrate compactness, as does the rear view with the high-mounted tail lights. And the total of six different colors also impressively shows the start of the new model offensive.

Less horsepower for a large machine

Overall, the customer can choose between four variants. In addition to the newly developed 1.0 three-cylinder with 70 PS (51 kW), Daihatsu also offers the Sirion in the 1.3 version with manual and automatic transmission as well as a sport version with 87 PS (64 kW) each, although these are only slightly different differs from the «normal» models by a rear spoiler and other side skirts.

This engine was already used in the previous generation. At that time, however, the large machine still had 102 hp. “However, 100 hp seem to be a mental limit,” says Koch. With the reduction in the number of horsepower, Daihatsu hopes to be more attractive for housewives who want to use the Sirion as a second car. At the same time, the car falls into a cheaper insurance class.

No problem for Euro 4

Both engines meet the Euro 4 standard well. As the first manufacturer ever, Daihatsu relies on the so-called “intelligent” catalytic converter. Thanks to a self-regenerating function, the quality of the exhaust gases remains constant over the entire period.

While the small car, which is just 3.60 meters in size, gives the impression from the outside that there is hardly any space for a family inside, the wheelbase, which has grown by 70 millimeters to 2.43 meters, also offers taller people enough legroom in front and behind. However, the seats themselves seem a bit too soft and too strongly tailored to Japanese conditions.

Intelligent side trays


Otherwise, the interior is convincing. The controls are clearly laid out. In the style of the Copen roadster, the rev counter is mounted above the dashboard.

Intelligently placed side shelves offer plenty of space - like the can holders in the front doors. The 225 liter trunk can be expanded to 630 liters by folding down the rear bench seat.

Loud engine in the small model


Four airbags and, if required, head airbags as well as ABS and a new frame structure make up the safety program. There is no ESP, but it wouldn't be so bad at high speeds. Especially when you approach the top speed of 160 kilometers per hour for the 1.0 liter machine or ten kilometers per hour more for the larger unit, the 890 kilogram compact can no longer be steered smoothly.

The interior is also relatively noisy at high speeds - at least with the smaller version, which consumes an average of just five liters of regular gasoline per 100 kilometers. The 1.3 four-cylinder engine, which swallows 5.8 liters per 100 kilometers, is much quieter - even at high speeds.

High goals for the Sirion

So if you are frequently on the expressways, you should fall back on the 1.3 liter version, which is available from 11,790 euros and thus costs only 500 euros more. The customer has to spend 1000 euros more for the automatic or the sports version.

Daihatsu has big goals for the Sirion, which will be available from mid-January. So far 850 cars have been sold to men or women in Germany each year, and Daihatsu has sold a total of 8,000 to 9,000 models per year. But now those responsible are placing their hopes on Sirion. "We want to sell 5,000 Sirion in the coming year," says Koch. The Sirion proves the quality for this goal, but with the Citroen C 3, the Nissan Micra, Honda Jazz or the Skoda Fabia, the competition in the B segment is very strong.