1992 Daihatsu Charade cx 1.0 potrol from UK and Ireland


Cheap easy driving, ideal first car


New exhaust down-pipe split after 1 month of owning.

Clutch went after 1 month of owning.

It has points, so it won't start every time unless serviced fairly regularly.

General Comments:

This is a small car, so is affected badly by wind and road noise when traveling at more than 50 mph. The stereo is poor, with tiny dashboard mounted speakers that are impossible to upgrade.

It has electric mirrors!

Build quality is OK, but what you would expect from a cheap small Japanese car.

Interior is cheap, but the controls are simple and it can seat 4 adults without discomfort.

For the size of the engine it accelerates quickly, but struggles up hills or with more than 1 passenger. It handles well around town and over roundabouts, and is surprisingly maneuverable at speed. The ride is comfortable with light steering and excellent visibility.

I drove this car very hard over many miles, and it stood up to it well. I fitted a K&N filter, which improved induction. Top speed is 85ish, but it will do 0-50 in about 8-10 seconds. Don't try and overtake in it though. The engine is responsive and with a new clutch you can wheelspin when changing up to second!

Parts are expensive, but under normal driving conditions it would be very reliable. Good fuel consuption if you keep the revs down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th September, 2004

1992 Daihatsu Charade TS 1.0 petrol Carburretor from Australia and New Zealand


Low Performing, Hi Economical Stress Magnet


Only recently, I suspected that the head gasket had blown. Oil was leaking into the radiator. Had a phone call from mechanic today and either the head needs reconditioning (AU$700) or it's got a porous block - replace engine. So, it's virtually had it. Best option for me is to replace engine and sell it - I've had enough.

About 2 months ago, upon replacing brake pads and shoes we discovered that the braking system wasn't working correctly. Replacing wheel cylinders and putting in a 2nd hand master cylinder didn't fix the problem. After a lot of bleeding and replacement with a NEW master cylinder fixed the problem.

Clutch replaced at same time due to excessive noise when taking off (esp. uphill) and slipping when changing gears.

Cracking on vinyl door-skins (on top surface) due to overexposure to sun. Seats always badly worn. Replaced back seats 4 door G100 seats - very comfortable and fit perfectly (apart from little gap down the sides). Seat covers fix up the front seats.

Winding windows up and down becoming stiff and sometimes noisy.

Car needed a good tune on about 200,000 km's. Timing was out, distributor points and cap needed replacing and carburetor required a good clean out.

Red paint fades TERRIBLY. Have seen a few cars around in same condition. Unless garaged for the entirety of it's life - will be prone to the same. All panels fade, esp. bonnet and roof.

Roof lining began to sag only about 2 months after I got the car. Ripped it out, awaiting replacement (when I sell it!).

I crashed the car into a kerb after doing a stupid handbrake turn in the wet - the strut was bent (replaced) and still the chassis is slightly out of whack and continue to find uneven outside tyre wear on front left. No fault of the car - all coz of my stupidity!

Don't hold up very well in accidents - very easily crumple. I had a non-at-fault accident and ran into the back of a lady with an impact speed of maybe 20-25 km/h or so and caused nearly AU$4k worth of damage.

General Comments:

Although the car's been pretty reliable in getting me from Brisbane to the Gold Coast for work every day for the last year or so, there's been a lot of stuff gone wrong with it - but I guess you're to expect that from an old car with plenty of km's on the clock.

Also, as I've done most of the servicing myself (leads, timing, plugs, oil change, radiator flush etc.), someone more qualified may have been able to pick up some of my problems before they'd worsened.

The interior is nothing special at all - so much that I bought a centre console from Alljap in Virginia from the same 4 door G100 or G102 (4 pot) that I bought the rear seats from. Replaced the instrument cluster with one from a G102 too, as the G100 one is really crumby.

Rather 'tinny' car, doesn't sound too good with a sound system in there. Easy to break into, with a coat hanger, you'll be in it no worries within a minute or so (for the inexperienced break-and-enterers of us!).

Great on fuel. My best is 6.0L/100km, altho my average is probably around 6.5L/100km or so. I like to give it a bit of stick sometimes.

Brakes are known to be terrible. Have to slam the pedal to the floor to have any real effect.

Not a performer by any means, and I guess is exactly the right car to get you from A to B cheaply, without worrying about looks, wear or tear or safety. Has got me from A to B many a time without fail, but has cost me too much to maintain. For the first year/year and a half it was a gem - but now I'm regretting buying it for a what was a bargain price of $2700. Had to do too much to it to maintain it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th August, 2003

2nd Nov 2004, 17:04

Sound like a lot of the problems you are encountering are your fault, not the car. I owned a 1992 Charade for three years with highish klm and had none of the problems you have had. Brake pads/shoes faded quicker than I would have expected, but if the timing is a little bit out after 200'000 klm, then I think you are doing pretty well, considering the timing belt should be changed every 80'000 klm.

Like you said yourself, stop racing the car and get it serviced properly and I think you will find you won't have many of the problems you are encountering.

20th Apr 2005, 04:05

I've got a slightly modified '92 Charade - CB 993cc. I've been driving it for 5 years now and apart from the scheduled services, oil, fuel, 1 tire and a two CV joints it has cost me nothing!

VERY cheap to run, easy to maintain and for such a small engine it has got a fair bite to it. I have raced my dad's brand new Ford Laser from the lights and easily beat it. The gear ratio is fantastic (perhaps because of the modifications) ; 2nd gear can handle anything between 5km/h to 80km/h. I have pushed it to 105 in 2nd, but without a taco it is difficult to tell how much damage it is doing (so I avoid doing it :)

0 - 100km/h in under 10 sec and 80-120km/h in under 3 sec (wrist watch timing - not accurate) It requires regular oil top ups. All in all it is a good car - a little on the dorky side, but you can run with great chunks of engine falling out.

1st Nov 2006, 04:09

You hit the rear end of a lady and it was not at fault?? I've worked for insurance in AU and NZ and you rear end someone and its always your fault for not watching or driving to close. No one is expected to watch what the person is doing behind them so they can't be held liable.

Also stop thrashing you car, it will last longer. I had a mazda 626 and hacked it and I had more problems than I have fingers and toes. now I have a detomaso and its sweet.