2000 Daihatsu Sirion 1.0 petrol

Summary:

Great car, very reliable, but be ready for a bumpy ride! Lots of fun though

Faults:

Almost NONE! Very reliable car.

However, blocking of the crankcase ventilation system is common - I had 6 cars with those engines (Sirions, Cuores, Charades), and on every one of them crankcase ventilation system was blocked due to sludge deposits in the rocker cover.

Symptoms - engine idles at low revs, causing vibration and complaints from your GF.

Diagnosis - with the engine idling (A/C and lights off), pull off tiny hose connecting throttle body and rocker cover. If the engine idles up - it is blocked. Remedy - remove the rocker cover and clean the passage.

Beware of the light weight of the car - I once had my coworkers playing a joke on me by lifting my Cuore and putting it ACROSS my parking spot.

General Comments:

Great car to get your sorry ass from A to B for a fraction of the cost of a "real car".

If you install some good gas shocks, lower springs, low profile tyres on wide alloys and a POD filter - you can even have fun while you're on the way.

Vibration of the plastic trim inside can be annoying - but if you fix the crankcase ventilation issue, it will 90% go away.

One more thing that I found useful - because these cars don't have any soundproofing, it makes a big difference when you remove the trim and spray the panels inside with deadening compound or liquid rubber. This will cost you $32 for 2 spray cans, but makes a lot of difference. You almost feel like you're sitting inside an Audi (almost).

The spare cardboard wheel cover/boot floor is useless and pathetic - I replaced it with Pyzar's wooden floor - feels as solid as a rock.

Special note on the cigarette lighter/power outlet. This is the worst design I ever saw. It's flimsy and weak, and eventually just falls out. The best and most sensible thing to do is to take it out and throw away as far as you can. Then replace it with a second hand unit from a more high spec Daihatsu or Toyota, preferably with the back light. I did it on my Sirions/Cuores; this is just a must. I realise there should be some cost cutting in producing a cheap car, but not to the extent that the unit does not fulfill its purpose.

Generally Sirion/Cuore/Charade is almost a perfect car and is loved by all - boys and girls, grandmas and grandpas, and shopping mamas.

Boys love it for its fast response (after mods).

Girls - for cuteness.

Grandmas and grandpas - for cheap petrol (have to quote "smell of an oily rag").

Shopping mamas - for easy parking and the space inside.

It is only hated by German car enthusiasts (and I was one of them, until Germans finally blew it) - because it beats any German ever-faulty junk hands down.

Conclusion - if you have your hands growing from the right place and look at this car as a do-it-yourself kit, or as a starting point for your creativity - you can modify it easily with amazing results. Think of it as a Lego project. You can't break it, it's too simple.

What I did with mine was pretty minimalistic, but made it totally different car to drive.

- Lowered springs.

- Gas KYBs.

- 165/55-15 Bridgestone Potenza tyres.

- 15" alloys.

- POD filter.

- Soundproofing.

- Modified shifter (was manual).

- Bigger bore exhaust (reasonable).

Bigger tyres are essential - I bought that Sirion in Melbourne and drove it to Sydney (almost 1000km) on the original 145-12" scooter-like tyres and it was quite scary.

I don't know what Daihatsu was thinking assigning 145-12" tyres to this car; it's not a scooter after all. My Piaggio X9 Evo 500 has bigger tyres!

Anyway, if your car trips are more than a 20 meter drive to the corner dairy and you occasionally get on the highway - you NEED bigger tyres. Or a good surgeon.

All in all - a good reliable car, which needs some improvement to make it a safe car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th November, 2014

2003 Daihatsu Sirion GS 1.3 petrol

Summary:

Yes. Do it. You won't regret it

Faults:

Nothing yet!

General Comments:

I've had many cars in my lifetime. 16v Golf GTi, Subaru Leone, Honda Civic, VW Polo, Daihatsu Mira, Toyota Starlet... but this car: WOW! I've never had something so light and cheap feel so fast and good! It feels like it goes super quick, it has very high equipment levels, and above all that it's the most economical car of its age with an engine that redlines the other side of 7000 RPM!

Exciting as my Golf GTi, behaves like our Toyota, drinks like none of the above, and is bigger than a Suzuki Swift Sport inside...

Looks... er... cute. Ours is known as the blue bush-pig. It's small but snorts and roars all the way to the speed limit... and beyond. I would not have guessed at that kind of show and performance from a granny car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th September, 2014