2008 Daihatsu Sirion S 1.0 3 cylinder petrol from UK and Ireland
Easily the best car at this price, with character, high spec and minimal running costs
Nothing at all; and I have looked VERY hard!
I am very impressed with the Sirion, especially with the 1.0 powerplant and the overall finish, quality and interior size. It is very well built from good grade materials.
I have owned recently a 2006 Suzuki Ignis 1.5 4grip, 2006 1.3 Suzuki Jimny, 2006 1.3 Suzuki Swift DDiS, 2006 0.6 turbo Daihatsu Copen, 2007 1.3 Perodua Myvi (similar to Sirion but not the same quality), 2007 1.3 Fiat Panda Multijet Diesel and a 2007 Fiat Doblo 1.9 Dynamic Multijet Diesel. See my comments for all of these on this site.
I previously bought the Panda and Doblo for myself and my wife to share, but found the Panda to be very tight in the cabin and too small for a pushchair, and by chance got talking to a Daihatsu dealer who offered an excellent deal to swap the two Fiats for two identical Sirion 1.0S in red, one for me, one for my wife.
Our previous car to the Fiats was the Malaysian cr firm Peroduas' Sirion equivalent, the 2007 Myvi 1.3, which is now owned by my Parents and has covered 18,000 miles.
We loved the Myvi but the quality was lacking (see posted comments on the Myvi reports) and had bought it because of the exceptional deal we got to part-ex the Copen (we made a healthy profit on it!!). At the time, the Sirion was more expensive.
When the Myvi was sold, we missed the interior space and ease of use-especially the lower rear seat base mechanism, and when the chance of a good deal on the Sirions came up, we jumped at it.
Our cars are the latest 2008 facelift model, with the aux audio socket, updated dash and bumpers, plus body colour door handles. The deal worked out at around £6500 each including the five year warranty and breakdown cover offer, which was excellent.
We looked at the Sirion in 2007 when buying the Myvi-the Myvi was £6500 including metallic paint, mats and flaps, and came with the bigger 1.3 engine, rear speakers, LED lights, LED indicators in body coloured mirrors, body colour handles and a far prettier front end and interior/dash and a neater rear end with the number plate on the bootlid; not on the rear bumper.
The trim fabric was far posher looking too than the Sirion, which cost over £7000 at the time for a base 1.0S with miserly kit (metallic, mats and flaps extra too), and it just looked so gawky and basic with cheap looking trim, black door handles and awful wheel trims.
After owning the Sirion, we realised where the savings were made by Perodua-no rear headrests, NO CLOCK!!, poor paint quality, no ISOFIX, no parcel shelf strings, no passenger airbag switch and so on. We had a number of faults and quality issues, which are still ongoing; the second set of hatchback gas struts have failed already, the interior light switches are constantly faulty, electric window switches play up, and so on.
All of the above leads me to the conclusion that the basic 1.0S Sirion is an excellent car, with no faults, super build quality, and that the facelift has overcome the reasons not to buy one; it has included extra kit for less money and made the overall car more attractive to look at, and now has the five year warranty/breakdown deal.
Standard spec of the 1.0S base model is now very comprehensive: remote locking including boot, air-con with recirculation facility and face level vents, excellent quality stereo with aux input for MP3, split fold and reclining rear seats with clever seat base and five seatbelts and headrests, ABS/EBD, dual front AND SIDE airbags with passenger airbag switch, 4* NCAP crash rating with excellent side impact score due to side 'bags, £30 2009 road tax/55+mpg daily, body colour door handles and bumpers, rev counter/tachometer, fuel computer with instantaneous and average consumption display, clock and twin tripometers, remote locking fuel cap, double glovebox, backlit centre dash storage cubby and additional storage drawer on dash.
I actually think that the excellent 69BHP 998cc 3 cylinder engine is actually preferable to the 1298cc 86BHP 4 cylinder unit, as it has lower emissions with tax at £30pa (not £115pa as for the 1.3), lower insurance (4 not 6) and is far easier to use as the characterful thrum gives you great pedal feel to prevent stalling. My wife is a new driver and regularly stalled the smooth and silent 1.3, but never does this in the 1.0.
The 1.0 also has a great sound to it with a burble and a very slight whistle at lower revs turning into a pretty sporty sounding snarl at higher revs. It pulls from 25mph to 80mph in 3rd..!! I find myself driving with the window open just to listen to it!
My brother runs a Citroen C1 with the same engine, and we loved the engine but the C1 was to tinny and basic for us. The same engine is found in the Citroen C1, Toyota Aygo, Peugeot 107, Toyota Yaris 1.0 VVTi and the new Subaru Justy, but the combination of low price, best spec and size make the Sirion by far the best choice.
We find the car capable on any road, including motorways (but sidewinds deflect it easily) and get between 50 and 62mpg depending on terrain.
Best bits: interior layout and size, rear seat set-up, high spec, great quality, 1.0 engine full of character, minimal running costs.
Needs looking at next facelift: we had to bend the parcel shelf string hooks slightly to stop the string keeping falling off the hook, why oh why provide a STUPID space-saver spare wheel?, your neck causes the front headrests to click up when shifting seat position (e.g. getting keys out of your pockets) which means getting out to reach the button to allow them to go down again, 12v power socket in daft location as accessory plug in way of passenger shin.
I would definitely buy one again, and would suggest the pick of the range is a Sirion 1.0SE. The SE spec adds electric mirrors (sorely missed), rear door speakers, seatback pockets, alloy wheels and reversing sensors. The best colour is the new 2008 dark red metallic which suits the car very well indeed and with the SE spec alloys gives a premium hatchback look for an amazingly cheap price of about £7000 after a good haggle.
We opted for base S spec cars in base red-the free colour-due to money limits, and also because we did not want alloys or reversing sensors. We would have liked the electric mirrors, rear speakers and seatback pocket though.
***NOTE*** After 1600 miles the transmission has transformed-please note that the 1.0 seems very slow at first but loosens up massively, and the at-first stiff gear change soon settles down. Mine now runs exceptionally well, my wifes has only done 500 miles and is hard work compared.
I recently drove the 1.3 Myvi (identical engine to Sirion 1.3) straight after the 1.0 Sirion and noticed a slight difference in engine volume and smoothness, but missed the 1.0 sound and power band.
So far-highly impressive. I will update the thread as the miles pile on, please ask any questions by posting comments and I will reply asap.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th April, 2008
** Update **
Exceptionally pleased with both cars, and have had to look very, very hard to make any comments, but here goes:
Two Sirions, two sets of updates:
My car at 3500 miles - slight click on steering rack when turning lock to lock, fuel gauge once did not register fullest bar, even with fuel running out of the filler, swift 3rd-5th gearchange often outwits the synchro.
My wife's car at 2700 miles - one bar of rear screen heater has never worked, slight rattle around driver's side dashboard top, NSF door appears to have a loose screw somewhere as slight rattle when slammed shut.
Engine sound, economy and performance - fabulous - we both much prefer it to the 1.3 unit, plus the smugness about 50-60mpg and £30 road tax in 2009.
Vast interior space, impressive build quality and finish, brilliant split rear seat bases, which pull forward to create a large flat space, which in conjunction with the 90 degree opening rear doors, provides a space big enough to throw in four stacking chairs without folding the seat backs down, and provides a flat area which nothing can fall off.
Soft ride, good seats, copes with long journeys 4-up well.
The inner sills and around the doors jambs are always filthy as no dust seals.
No rear speakers on 1.0S base model.
The daft fabric/hook set up of the rear shelf is fiddly and unnecessary, and prevents easy boot access from the rear seat.
Interior plastics scratch extremely easily.
Through ventilation poor (needs rear outflow vents to draw air through car).
Cheap gearstick on base cars (I have now fitted a posh one in my car).
A well designed, spacious hatchback, which is perfect in the current financial climate with 50-60mpg, £30pa tax and an enjoyable engine note.
Not as "polished" as the Yaris which we demo'd for two days, but lighter, quicker and more fun.
Tip: if considering which engine to choose, do bear in mind that the 1.0 is very tight and slow on demo cars if they have done less than 2,000 (hard!) miles. We used both and much prefer the 1.0 for its engine note and economy, and find it much harder to stall than the silkier and quieter 1.3 unit. I MUCH prefer the 1.0 unit, and would choose it over the 1.3 every time, as I like to drive with "vigour" (!!!) and it sounds great. The £30 tax band, better economy (8-10mpg better) and lower insurance group seals the deal.
I think the best car in the range would be a 1.0SE in dark red metallic, as it looks expensive and has all the kit - reversing sensors, alloys, rear speakers etc, but still has the best engine and lowest running costs. Do a deal at around £7600 including metallic, if you can get hold of one. Worth looking out for - highly recommended. Top spec cars make much less sense compared to, say, a supermarket sourced six month old Astra or similar.
I check the site regularly, so if you have any questions, post a comment.