1988 Daihatsu Mira LS 847cc from Australia and New Zealand
Fast, reliable, economical, spacious, and not as unsafe as they look; trust me, I crashed mine TWICE
Seats wore out, but I put covers on and ignored it; not a problem.
Other than that, no major mechanical faults, though once a hose came off the carburettor and caused it to run bad. I stuck it back on and put a paperclip on it, and it was fine!
I gave this car DEATH for 2 straight years, over 35,000+ kilometers, and it LOVED it. I'd dump the clutch and valve bounce it, flat shift when I changed gears, all of the above, and the gearbox and clutch and engine handled it fine. I carried weights of 650kg+ and it handled it fine, not to mention it had enormous amounts of space with the seats down; better than any sedan and most station wagons I have seen.
It is probably the best car I ever owned; it was lightning fast off the line, could hit 157kph top speed (before it valve-bounced in 4th) and I could run my 350W amp and subwoofer etc no problem. Also possibly the most economical car out there, with a damn good exhaust tone too.
Also, here is the amazing part - I crashed this car once into a ditch (I wondered what would happen when you take the keys out when driving, steering lock came on, lost control, don't ask), and the wheel was bent at a 45 degree angle under the car, and the side of the car was slightly caved in. Towed it out and it popped back into shape. No problem.
Another time I had a 35kph head-on into the side of a late model Mazda 3 - wrote off both cars, BUT the Mira did not crumble at all, and I was unharmed. Here is the amazing bit, the chassis flexed and bounced back about two meters. All of the seams in the chassis had split, but the car retained its shape. The radiator was not punctured; I'm sure I could have driven it home.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th August, 2012