20th Jul 2008, 09:17

Original reviewer back!

Have now done over 3k miles, including a couple of 200-mile runs. Certainly it's comfortable enough and I've got out the other end with no aches or pains. It'll hold 70 with no trouble and give 45-50mpg while it's doing it (49mpg best effort so far). Believe me, this is very very good for an automatic!

The new autobox seems as good as it probably should be. It's smooth enough and the ratios suit the car. But prospective purchasers should note that these boxes do whine - make your own mind up as to whether you can put up with it!

Previously-reported 'faults' continue to niggle...

1. The heating ventilation is good provided you only want it to do one thing or another. I recently did a 75-mile late night run (when admittedly I was a little tired) and not being able to get fresh air to my face whilst keeping my feet warm is - to my view - verging on the dangerous. Yes, you open a window, but this is noisy and is said to affect fuel economy. If my rotten old 70's 'starter-cars' could manage this I can't imagine why a noughties car can't. A glaring design fault, in my opinion.

2. The front suspension/steering!!! Clonking/rattling/creaking/cracking when on poor surfaces and/or maneuvering at slow speed. I see Geoff's has started now as well.

In general use on average roads at average speeds - OK, it's not a bad ride and no complaints there. But refined when doing anything else? 'Fraid not! And that cock-eyed steering wheel - I've trained myself not to look at it.

I can't be bothered to take it back yet, but will be flagging it up on the first service if it doesn't fall to bits before. Judging from the response over the gearbox, I'm sure Daihatsu would be keen to help, but I want any faults to be absolutely obvious before I bother them with what may be said to be 'manufacturing tolerances'.

I have had cars with rattly front struts before which quite happily passed the MOT etc, and I know it's not necessarily dangerous. But they were secondhand cars with 50 or 60k on the clock, not new cars...

Looking at Geoff's latest, although we are reviewing slightly different beasts, I have to agree with some of his comments, ie: Filthy inner sills, daft fabric/hook set up of the rear shelf (unstapled and junked by me!) scratchy plastics (but they're all the same under £10k).

I don't particularly want to get into areas unrelated to the review, but the reason I didn't buy a Ford or Vauxhall is simple - I didn't want one! But call me daft if you wish!

To conclude, I'm already researching alternatives as I'm sad to say I don't think I'm going to stick with the Sirion...

Cheers - Peter.

29th Jul 2008, 15:25

Hi again - noted your comments. What will you replace it with?

My theory is that the Sirion is best in basic spec, as an economy car with good equipment and build quality-once you get to the 1.3 engine, SE spec and foot the cost for auto, its appeal is lost-hence your comments.

I am currently 100% satisfied with our 1.0S-it is a fabulous car with great economy and the 998cc unit is a lot of fun. On a 50mph A-road run, I averaged 68mpg-no rattles, squeaks or quality issues either.

I have been offered a mega-deal on a very low mileage 2006 Peugeot 407 HDI SE from a friend's fleet-but amazingly it is not much bigger inside and the trim rattles and squeaks. It is also harder to hustle around tight B-roads and is like parking a submarine! The Sirion is obviously less plush, capable or well equipped but it is a superb little car-it is well thought out, well built and drives well.

For those reasons, I love it.

16th Aug 2008, 11:45

Back again!

Another 1000 miles and the economy's still impressing. And at last I've got the steering wheel straight!!!

But to do it cost me 2 new front tyres (£45 each) as they both failed within a week of each other. One with a puncture at the edge of the tread; the other with a hole through the sidewall. I know I didn't kerb or otherwise damage it so I don't know what these Yokohama's are made out of! It went down VERY quickly as I was driving my rural 12 miles home.

The dealer at March, Cambs, reported no problems with any particular batch of tyres (and I believe him as they were brilliant over the auto box). He did say they'd had complaints about them wearing out quickly - that was all. But this is now 3 duff tyres in 4 months. Luckily I got away with a repair on the 1st puncture, but that spacesaver's had some stick by now. If I were routinely buying new tyres (in pairs or fours), I'd buy another brand...

Nothing much else to report - no new congrats or complaints!

But what to replace it with, Geoff? That's a tricky one, bearing in mind my basic requirements: Small Japanese hatch of less than 1600cc, high roof and seating position, auto box & aircon, easy rear seat fold with small van-type space when you do.

I may have to have another look at the Splash - see if I can live with the downsides. It's certainly better built than the Sirion and 1 or 2 dealers may now have an auto to try now we're 6 months fram launch.

Cheers - Peter.

18th Aug 2008, 10:21

Hi again Peter.

I would totally disagree about the Suzuki Splash being better built-I had a 2006 Suzuki new Swift DDiS (see report Stylish and...) and it was the worst new car I ever bought due to some very poor design and so many rattles-I had to sell it before I went mad. The Sirion is, in contrast, the best new car I have ever bought-simple, efficient and well built-but best of all, it just improves with age!!

The three Daihatsus I have owned; the 2006 Copen and the two 2008 Sirions have had exemplary build quality.

I have been out in the Materia (bigger square Sirion mpv) and there are some ace deals to be had as the British do not understand the retro hot rod design. Originally they were £10,999 manual, £11,799 auto plus £325 metallic, but I have seen pre-reg 08 autos in metallic for £9500 (BRAND NEW 58 plate manual £9750 inc metallic with 5 year warranty/breakdown-add £700 for auto) -plus offered stunning px for Sirion of £750 more than elsewhere. The tax band is higher and economy less but it is a well built, well equipped car for little cash-air con, elec mirrors, 160w 6 speaker stereo, sliding/split/reclining rear seats with bed mode, alloys, f/fogs, trip computer, reversing sensors etc.

If you take into account the p/ex price being higher at a Daihatsu garage, and the excellent deals to be had, it might be worth a look if you like the "striking" looks.

I drove one and liked it-the Daihatsu quality and the deal makes it very tempting even with the running costs... I have to say that after running 76 different cars, Daihatsu is my favourite brand for ownership experience-and the only manufacturer with every model being a strong contender. The Copen was a work of engineering art, the Sirions perfect for the job-the Materia impressive in its own way and the Terios is a superb strong little SUV with a very loyal following around here!

If you get the Daihatsu magazine, check out the Summer 08 cover...! I'll be working for them at this rate...!!