1993 Daihatsu Rocky 2.8 turbo intercooled diesel


A great car for the more serious young four wheel driver


Front suspension sags slightly unevenly.

General Comments:

The Rocky is definitely no rocketship.

Its strong points are reliability, economy and off road ability.

Although a harsh sounding motor, the diesel is a gem off road with plenty of power on the beach and torque that will climb over nearly anything.

The only reason I would not buy another Daihatsu is that my next 4x4 will need to be larger, and Daihatsu do not offer anything larger than this.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th June, 2001

21st Jun 2009, 05:24

She is a gem.

1984 Daihatsu Rocky F80RV / F70 2.0 petrol / 2.8 turbo diesel


A very good car to get to those really out of the way places


The gear-box has worn out, lots of worn bearings, difficult 2nd gear shifts (both up and down shifts).

Rear wheel bearings replaced.

Rear differential - a couple of teeth broke off the pinion gear - not sure when, only noticed when something made a scraping sound from the rear. This could have been like this since I bought the car. There was no event or single time that a possible cause occurred!

Both driver's and passenger seats have had broken frames and the driver's seat stripped the ratchet of all teeth from the recliner mechanism.

General Comments:

This car is very reliable though running costs (while a petrol engine was in place) were disappointing, being the same miles per gallon as my Land-cruiser, but without the power. All has changed since I have converted to a Turbo Diesel configuration.

The ride is smooth (with good shockers), but the pitching and rolling (it's a short wheelbase remember) can be disappointing on a long trip or over badly potholed roads. The land cruiser by comparison smoothed out once it hit the dirt.

I like my car (hence the engine swap (and gear-box, and front and rear axles, and...) ). I like "shorts", but still need a car capable of traveling anywhere.

Overall range per tank of fuel and its limited carrying capacity for equipment are its major drawbacks. My next car will be a Land-cruiser (when I get tired of this one).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th May, 2001

7th Oct 2004, 15:21

Hello, I own a 1985 Daihatsu Rocky with a 2.8 Liter Diesel in Ecuador. You are right, it rides and jolts like a Goat, but will go almost anywhere in 2-Wheel Drive. Motor has not been touched yet. (190.000 KM) would like to add Turbo. Any advise??Just ordered new locking Hubs as the 4-Wheel Drive seems to have been damaged when changing Front Wheel Bearings. Roads in Ecuador are not the best, and my frequent Trips from Quito to the Coast (7 Hours) can be very painful. l.Any advise or Hints would be greatly apreciated.

Regards Heinz Neidl.

1991 Daihatsu Rocky Prior 2.8 intercooled turbo diesel


Will continue to drive this great car as long as possible, great value for money. The bomb!


Tires exploded, worn on one side.

Interior mirror became ridiculously loose.

General Comments:

This is the best car I've ever owned, superb performance and economy.

Although it is not a speed machine it has mountains of torque and can outperform most faster cars on the hills.

Sometimes a bit shakey on the road, but that is what you expect for what is essentially a truck design.

Looks great and goes on and on forever off-road.

Well spec-ed, with all the goodies you'd want and enough room for 4 adults and all their gear; plus performance is not affected by loading.

Parts and accessories a little hard to find.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2001

1995 Daihatsu Rocky RV 2.8 intercooled turbo diesel


I bought it because it was cheap - will buy a Toyota next time


Where to begin?

Day 1 - Blown intercooler piping. Pipes are removed to fit the air conditioning, and had not been reattached properly.

Bad omen perhaps???

The gearbox was removed at 45,000km to attend to an oil leak. Faulty seal replaced.

The gearbox was removed again at 50,000km to repair the same oil leak.

55,000km - Oil leak reoccurs (AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!) plus the bonus of a slipping clutch and a gearbox that jumps out of 1st gear low range. Difficulty in selecting second.

59,999 km - Daihatsu gets it's act together. Gearbox removed and stripped down. Faulty machining of the centre shaft is chewing out the oil seal. Slipping clutch is due to oil going everwhere. New clutch and pressure plate supplied. Faulty/off centre main bearing causing the gear cluster to wear on one side. New synchros and sliders/selectors plus gear cluster - a.k.s they replaced the gearbox and clutch.


But wait! There's more!

115,000 km - "Mystery" water leak. Engine loosing coolant - to parts unknown. Finally traced (after 10 days) to a blown/seperated head gasket.

115,001km - 3 days after the vehicle returns - clutch slip. Traced to a cracked pressure plate. New heavy duty clutch fitted (not factory replacement part).

Apparently Daihatsu fitted the intercooler to lower manifold temps and boost power - but forgot to look at the other end of things.

IFS suspension is basically off the Feroza. It works.


General Comments:

My beloved Rocky replaced a very well used and 100% reliable Suzuki Sierra. Yes I use my vehicles off road. No I don't thrash them. The Rocky spends 99% of the time on the express way cruising in 5th gear so I doubt that my off road excursions are the cause of my difficulties.

What's good? The engine is very efficient and has excellent power and torque on and off road.

What's bad? Dated design. Three doors are impractical. Bodgey interior aesthetics/rattles/squeaks. Off road chassis crossmember acts like a bulldozer. Don't try to fit a family in for a week long excursion - they won't fit!

BUT! Off road is where the Rocky makes up for its shortcomings. Mine is raised 1" and runs on higher rolling diameter tyres. Good in sand, great in mud.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th October, 2000

1984 Daihatsu Rocky EX 2.8 diesel





General Comments:

Strong as an Ox. Good in mud. Not so good in heavy sand.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st July, 2000