1999 Daihatsu Hijet 1.3 EFI from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Great little workhorse, incredible value for money, you'll only replace it with another one

Faults:

Paint on roof flaking off in patches, down to bare metal in places. I'm told the colour, silver, might be to blame, though I can't see why...

After 5 years, several sections of rubber seal are splitting.

Petrol tank replaced under Recall.

General Comments:

Can't praise this micro-van too highly for it's versatility. We use it for just about everything, journeys to France to stock up with "van blanc", overnight camping with it's 6'x4' sleeping area (luggage moved into front seats), picnics sitting on it's rear platform under the rear door "canopy", trips to the tip, furniture moving for friends, the list goes on.

This versatility, combined with remarkably nimble performance both in top speed and acceleration, very good economy, and a size that lets you nip through gaps and duck under car park barriers, makes you whistle as you drive and forgive it's thinly-padded seats and lightweight build. Concentrate while you drive, however, as in an impact your shins will hit first...

And now they've got an LPG Duel-fuel version that escapes the Congestion Charge, why aren't the roads full of them?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th August, 2004

16th Jun 2005, 15:55

This is my second Hi-Jet van, my first was an R reg (1000cc) bought in 1998, having done 14000 miles. This gave me no problems apart from usual wear and tear, ie, brakes, tyres, etc. Needed a prop shaft after 100000. Totally reliable. Traded it in for a new one, a 13000cc dual fuel in Jan 2003, after doing 115000 miles, but still felt it had many more trouble free miles left in her.

My new one, having the larger 1300cc engine and dual fuel is superb. The only problems being again a prop shaft and a slight rust problem on the drivers side rear panel, which have been done under the warranty.

I am self employed and travel 100 miles a day and find the dual fuel conversion fantastic. It costs me £4.50 per day for the 100 mile round trip. Performance is great on either fuel, but seems better on LPG. I have completed 66000 miles and still runs like new.

I understand this is now superceded by the Extol, which I used when my hi jet was in for its last service. Not a patch on my faithful hi jet. Hope when the time comes I can find a very low mileage hi jet to replace my present one.

Well done Diahatsu.

20th Jun 2008, 20:53

This paint issue seems to be common, serious rust patches are appearing on the roof and underside of my vehicle and paint is flaking off the tailgate big-time! It seems the Silver ones have this problem. I am constantly having to repaint areas to keep corrosion at bay. Quality is certainly not as my previous Daihatsu's.

2nd Jul 2008, 09:16

The Hijet was actually built by Piaggio in Italy, not by Daihatsu in Japan, which explains the quality difference you are encountering.

Daihatsu component and build quality is unfailingly exemplary on Japanese built models-I cannot understand why they would taint their branding by allowing inferior build to be sold under the Daihatsu name.

1996 Daihatsu Hijet van 1.0 EFI from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Clever little van, but could be a lot better

Faults:

I purchased this van second hand from a lady who ran her own small confectionery business, despite the service book being stamped up to date, I think the dealership she had been using had just taken her money and did absolutely nothing to the vehicle.

I had to replace brake, cooling and fuel lines also a very intensive full service, rear brake cylinders, full exhaust system, speedometer head and cable, throttle cable.

Water proof electrical system connections which run along the underside of the vehicle.

General Comments:

The vans which are supplied to the UK are actually made in Italy by Piaggio. I been to Italy a couple of times and you see these vans all over the place. However vans there of a similar age or older seam to be in a lot better condition than there counterparts in the UK, the crap ones must be sent to us here. The Jap made ones are much better according to the dealers.

After all my hard work restoring this vehicle I now have a competent little work horse, the engine is quite willing and maneuvering and steering are excellent when you get used to the driving position that is right over the front wheels. Interior is basic and functional, but a clock and central locking would be useful extras. These vans need loads of TLC on a regular basis otherwise the condition and reliability depreciate rapidly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th April, 2004