1997 Daihatsu Cuore 850cc petrol from Portugal


25 years later, it never made more sense to own one


Complete exhaust system replaced at 58k km due to rusting of the original (111.25€ + 20€ labor).

Alternator belt replaced at 59k km (10€, done at home).

General Comments:

More than 10 years after the latest review was done for another Cuore, I believe it is of utmost importance in the current days to talk about this car. Especially, with all the fuss surrounding EVs and cars with a low carbon footprint.

I purchased the car after a few months on the market looking for the smallest Japanese car I could find, so that I would have an alternative to my scooter at the time (Honda Sh300i). On my list were the Cuore, the Vivio, and the Alto.

Suddenly one night I got the notification that an ad had been listed for a Cuore, more specifically a 38k km Cuore which looked to be in very good condition and it was listed at only 900€ - LUCKY ME! After a couple of weeks of having to be quite insistent with the seller to get a reply from him and ensure that I got the deal, I was off to Lisbon from the south of Portugal shortly before the first quarantine days kicked in full force - LUCKY ME! x2

The car was indeed in great condition - 1 owner, a few scratches here and there but nothing too visually impactful and the interior was absolutely impeccable. The car had always slept in a garage and still had a Daihatsu dealership sticker on the back window.

Long story short, it's now been 3.5 years since I got the car and I absolutely love it - its quirky looks and ridiculously small size always leave a smile on my face and even better, some spare euros in my wallet! My friends love it and some of them have even considered buying one for themselves, but these are quite rare to come across; there were only 50-something units sold in Portugal. In these 3.5 years, I have only seen other 2 Cuore's from the same generation.

For a 900€ used car, I find it impressive that I only had to spend less than 300€ on parts during these 3.5 years that have gone past - 2x tires, exhaust system, alternator belt, and of course, oil change every 10k km approximately.

The car averages 5.8L/100km driving around the city - bear in mind the city is full of hills (Albufeira) therefore I believe you can easily average at least 1L/100km less in a flatter location.

It's not the fastest car and you have to really go through the revs if you are looking to keep a faster pace, but then again, who's expecting a 43hp car to be zippy?

Parking? I have always (and I mean it) found a parking spot for the little Cuore as it fits pretty much everywhere. It's probably the narrowest car around and it's always fun seeing it parked next to other cars, especially recent compact cars, which really aren't compact at all.

It can cruise at 110km/h wonderfully, averaging around 4L/100km. For a car of this age, it's really good.

It's a car that I would likely never consider selling as I know it will be very hard to come across such a reliable alternative if you weigh in the price I paid for it and the extremely low maintenance costs.

If you find a low mileage one in good condition... GO FOR IT!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th November, 2023

1997 Daihatsu Cuore plus 850cc from UK and Ireland


Best car I've ever owned


Sometimes intermittent misfire.

General Comments:

Great fuel economy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th May, 2006

5th Jun 2015, 20:56

Hi, I agree with that. I have a 1997 Cuore & I love it.