Daihatsu Charade Review from Austria

1989 Daihatsu Charade GTti 1.0 turbo

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.0 turbo Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired55000 kilometres
Most recent distance140000 kilometres
Previous carVolkswagen Passat

Summary:

Unmatched price/performance ratio

Faults:

5th gear broke at 120.000 km.

Head gasket broke at 100.000 km.

General Comments:

This car is one of the most underrated ever for sure, and I remember myself always thinking like that BEFORE I had mine.

Just a few words on reliability: usually the only reason the head gasket can blow is heat; in my case the cooling fan broke and it went hot a few times, that's something you should not underestimate.

The only real weakness seems to be the 5th gear, the tappet wheel is worn off and the gear jumps out. This is something to replace with new parts, I bought a used gearbox, where the 5th gear broke also after 10.000kms.

I personally would want to have a "stronger" clutch, because when you try to accelerate without spinning wheels, 1) the clutch doesn't connect nicely and 2) it's ruined soon when you keep doing it.

I am not mechanic myself, so I had to try out many different one until I found one as enthusiastic as me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th August, 2001

30th Dec 2002, 07:31

I disagree. I've heard good things about GTti's. Head gaskets don't "break", they blow over time. If the charade had a stronger clutch, the wheels would spin even more! it's a hot hatch, its designed to have quirks!

9th May 2003, 10:40

Hmm.. did the head gasket go cos a £2 bleed valve was fitted and boost cranked up?

13th May 2003, 04:53

On my turbo (not GTti) head gasket is also blown, it seems that 13psi/0,9bar is a bit too much for it.

And no, it's no 2$ valve, it's an adjustable Grainger type (and using a boost meter!).

Maybe a copper head gasket would be better, otherwise it's a real fun to drive...

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 1 review