2006 Daihatsu Sirion SX 1.3 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Perfect city car, but not so great on open roads unless you drive like a granny

Faults:

Sometimes difficult to get into 1st gear. Found I had to either short shift (i.e. go into neutral, let go of clutch, then push clutch down again and put into 1st gear) or go into 2nd gear before pushing into 1st. Engaging reverse was also a bit iffy; just have to retry until it goes in.

When air con kicks in, you can hear it; the engine and fans go quite loud. The air con itself wasn't exactly strong; if the car is full of passengers, the air con is barely strong enough to keep everyone cool.

The paint chips easily, the thickness of the paint is very thin. You can hear it when it gets chipped as well, which is very annoying.

Although it's only a 1.3 engine, I found it didn't have enough power to safely overtake on A and B roads, and struggles going uphills - this was a reason I had to replace the car. Also when you use the power of the engine, you realise it uses up quite a lot of fuel, so for an economical minded person like myself, I hardly ever pushed it, making the SX sporty look just a look.

General Comments:

The Sirion with the SX bodykit did make it stand out from the crowd.

Usual super reliable Japanese car, cheap to maintain.

Very practical, interior is a nice place to be (as long it's kept clean).

Only economical if driven economically, hard not to push the 'go' pedal to try out the VVT, which will inevitably make the car use a lot of fuel.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th May, 2010

2006 Daihatsu Sirion SE 1.3 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Great car

Faults:

I had the clutch plates changed under warranty at 19000 miles in an effort to cure poor gear selection. The Sirion is quite well-known for having an awkward shift, but I still felt there was something wrong. My local Daihatsu dealer disagreed, so I took the car to a local Toyota dealer, who were, at the time, authorised to do warranty work on Daihatsus. The clutch change helped a bit, but I still sometimes have problems engaging first or reverse from a standstill.

But nothing else, and I confidently expect the car to give me very reliable service over the time I own it.

General Comments:

I'd set my heart on a Toyota Yaris, and then when I saw the price of the Sirion and found out it was pretty similar underneath, there was no contest.

The engine's great overall, keen to rev and accelerate fast, but quite happy to be driven slowly, though there is a lack of torque below 1500 rpm. This is made much worse with the aircon on, as the performance is impaired and I find it jerky if the revs drop below about 1400 rpm. The car is happy at 80mph on a motorway, with not too much engine or road noise, but does get blown about bit in a crosswind. I'm disappointed to consistently get only 47mpg, despite the fact I do a lot of motorway running at 60mph.

As mentioned above, the gear change isn't great, but does improve with miles, and responds best to a very light touch.

The interior is great with lots of space and looks nice too. I haven't driven/ridden in every other supermini, but I doubt there is anyone available to beat the Sirion for seat comfort. And there is no clutch rest to artificially restrict legroom, allowing the driver to fully extend their left leg. The only downside with the interior is that it does suffer from squeaks and rattles. It's not a huge problem, but it might irritate a fussy owner.

I was 29 when I bought this car, and certainly where I live, this is much lower than the age of the average owner. I don't care what people think really as it's such a great car, but with hindsight I would have waited to get either an SX model or one of those around that have been dealer modified with bigger wheels, lowered suspension, spoilers etc. If you do want one that looks sporty, then keep checking on autotrader/ebay as there are nearly always a few modified ones for sale with no or little premium over the standard cars, but with £1500 worth of extras on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th July, 2009

22nd Apr 2010, 12:14

As an update to this review; my rear reversing sensors stopped working 6 months out of warranty, which I was a little disappointed with, but my Daihatsu dealer has just contacted me to say that Daihatsu have agreed to pay anyway, and the parts are now on order. I'm looking to change the car soon, but I can't imagine anything I'd be happier driving, so chances are it will be a newer SX model.

One downside to the car I never noticed much before, is when driving high up on the windy M62 peak, it's really quite unpleasant just how much it's effected by crosswinds. But on a stiller motorway, I could drive it happily all day in comfort.

2nd Sep 2011, 09:19

Another update; I've now done about 57,000 miles in it, and everything still working fine. People can't believe how nice a car it seems when they go in it.

If you like driving fast, it's not going to match up to many other super minis, but it's way better than most in respect of comfort and space.

Since owning this, I've driven a Focus, Mondeo, Toyota Auris, Nissan Note and various Protons as courtesy/hire cars, and I would take the Sirion over any of them to live with day-to-day, and certainly if I was going on a long journey, due to the superior seat comfort/pedal positioning. The Note ran it a close second though - I had it for a week on holiday, and the layout of the car seems very similar to the Sirion, only a little bigger.

24th Aug 2012, 14:03

Another update, 71,000 miles on the clock and another trouble free year. Can't believe I've still got it, always say I'm going to get something bigger and more luxurious, but that just says what a great car it is. I need to remind myself that having a car that has never shown any hint of breaking down or failing to start, isn't something that can be taken for granted.