Comparing a 2003 YRV to my previous 2008 1.0 Sirion is perhaps unfair as technology has moved on, but I am pleased with the car now the obsessive fettling is complete. The swap was necessitated by renovation funds being needed for our new house.
The Radical spec is total poverty spec, and I had not realised that most of the standard YRV kit is deleted on this cut price special edition - (I had also mistakenly thought the Radical 2 was a later model without the air-con) - the Radical deletes central locking, electric mirrors, rear electric windows, air-con, rear parcel shelf, rear headrests, foglights etc etc so is actually an extremely basic utility model. Even the seat height adjuster is deleted, making it too low for my wife!
If buying again, I would look out for a 1.3 Premium with the glass roof as there is no real difference in normal prices, and the Radical is tiring without central locking, and the lack of essentials like a rear shelf and headrests is a step too far.
Driving wise, it has many good points, particularly the very strong and silky smooth (0-60 10 sec) 1.3 engine and slick gearbox, the magnificent visibility and strong brakes. Narrower cabin than the Sirion, but bigger boot.
Points that were apparent straight off were the odd steering, which requires a huge amount of turning for a small amount of turning the wheels, and the hard ride, coupled with lots of roll under cornering. It is bizarre that a car aimed at younger drivers with a quick powerplant has lazy, vague steering, and lots of roll, which is at odds with the jolty ride.
The car looks good, is quiet and refined on a motorway, and returns 41-48mpg (using posh 98 unleaded) and surprises with the effortless pull and decent ratios of the 'box. On the back roads, the power makes you forgive the dynamic weakness, but I do tire of the jolting (which doubtless caused most of the trim rattles to occur).
I paid £1530 from a main dealer including a new MOT and service and full valet, which for a tidy 37,500, 6 year old Japanese hatch seems good. I have run it hard across a variety of conditions, including fast down unmade roads, and at very high speeds, and it runs faultlessly.
This car was bought by me over the phone from the dealer that supplied the last three Daihatsus to me, and I knew I could trust, so was bought on price, history and future reliability, rather than as a car to enjoy.
I do rate it, and now enjoy it driving it more than I ever expected, even though the spec is truly appalling. As a car model, the YRV has many good points - but make sure you compare the specs before you pay for it!!!
If I had to replace this for whatever reason, I would look at another YRV, but maybe the Premium, F-Speed or 130 Turbo to get the things I am missing. There seem to be a lot of good low mileage 2002-2004 YRVs about for under 3k now, and I could recommend one in the right spec - I will probably swap it when I miss the air-con too much...
After owning newer Daihatsus - Copen, Materia and Sirions I am far more pleased with it than I thought I would be, and impressed with how tight and precise it all is still after six years as a daily loaner. If anything, it has reinforced my respect of Daihatsu engineering further as it runs as well as my 2008 car did.