Daihatsu Sportrak (1997)

Daihatsu Sportrak (1997)
Daihatsu Grand Move (1999)

Daihatsu Grand Move (1999)
Daihatsu Sirion (1999)

Daihatsu Sirion (1999)
Daihatsu Terios (2000)

Daihatsu Terios (2000)
Daihatsu Max Concept (2003)

Daihatsu Max Concept (2003)
Daihatsu Terios Sport (2003)

Daihatsu Terios Sport (2003)
Daihatsu Copen (2007)

Daihatsu Copen

Cute and timeless Daihatsu Copen sports car has become considerably more desirable with a punchy yet more frugal new 1.3 litre engine, higher gearing to enhance refinement and a sharp new price of only £10,995 on-the-road.

This is a full £2,500 less than the original model introduced for the '04 model year which rapidly attracted an enthusiastic fan club seduced by its cute, timeless looks, effortless electric metal folding roof and nimble handling.

Originally conceived for the Japanese Kei-car market only, the UK's importer, Daihatsu Vehicle Distributors Limited, persuaded the factory to re-engineer the tiny 660 cc turbo petrol engine to comply with European Whole Vehicle Type Approval.

Now, the Copen's appeal has been drastically widened thanks to the fitment of the same 87 PS engine as the Sirion supermini which not only boosts performance and economy but allows higher gearing for more relaxed cruising.

Visually, the only difference to the pure uncluttered shape of the previous Daihatsu Copen is a small rear boot spoiler and a range of new colours.

Daihatsu Managing Director, Paul Tunnicliffe, said: "We are all car enthusiasts here at Daihatsu and were instrumental in bringing the original model to market in the UK.

"With this lively new engine and a highly competitive price, we are delighted not only to have a 'halo' model in our range but to be able to offer fellow enthusiasts such a characterful and affordable fun car."

Daihatsu Sirion (2007)

Daihatsu Sirion

The new Daihatsu Sirion is a totally differently proportioned car to its predecessor and more closely matches the Nissan Micra for length, width and height but with passenger space rivalling the considerably longer Honda Jazz.

For example its front and rear tracks - at 1,460 and 1,465 mm - are 65 and 60 mm wider than before. The Sirion's length of 3,600 mm is actually 95 mm shorter and even 20 mm less than the Ford Ka.

However, the wheelbase of 2,430 mm is 85 mm longer than the old model and the 1,665 mm width is 70 mm more and even 5 mm greater than the Toyota Yaris, Nissan Micra and Fiat Punto. Height grows by 100 mm to 1,550 mm - 10 mm greater than the Micra.

Especially short front and rear overhangs, a higher seating position and a gently tapering roofline provide surprising space yet cleverly mask the height.

The car looks especially wide and squat - helped by the strong swage lines over the wheelarches flowing into a protruding rear bumper. The overall effect is of a confident, well-balanced design exuding quality and solidity.

An especially impressive drag coefficient of 0.31 Cd confirms the new Daihatsu Sirion's efficiency and aids fuel economy and top speed while reducing wind noise.

As Yoshihiro Fujibayashi, Studio Leader, Styling Division, Daihatsu Motor Co, Ltd said: "We tried to give the car sculpture-like dimensions and a sense of quality. Look at the handsome, chiselled face around the headlamps, the animated and dynamic side view and the rear combination lamps integrated into the bodylines.

Daihatsu Terios (2007)

Daihatsu Terios

Arguably the most stylish small 4x4 on the market, the totally new Daihatsu Terios has a dynamic, fun-to-drive appearance with strong off-road styling cues yet short front and rear overhangs, a long wheelbase and especially wide tracks and body width.

Its roomy, four-door, five-seat body succeeds in being compact yet practical, avoiding the bulk, high fuel consumption and negative image of some 4x4s.

Designed to appeal to young families and older people seeking the traditional 4x4 qualities of visibility, bad-weather traction and versatility, the Daihatsu Terios also offers small car running costs and manoeuvrability.

Its turning circle is a tight 9.8 metres (kerb-to-kerb) for the S and SE and a still hatchback-like 10 metres for the bigger-tyred SX, while the SX body length is between that of the new Renault Clio and larger Megane.

Compared to the previous model, the Daihatsu Terios 1.5 SX is 230 mm longer at 4,075 mm and a significant 190 mm wider at 1,745 mm. It is 45 mm higher but purely because of its standard roof rails. The entry-level 'S' model - which lacks roof rails - is actually 5 mm lower than before.

Greatly boosting the new Terios's tough, stable stance are front and rear tracks measuring 1,450 and 1,480 mm respectively - a massive 145 and 170 mm greater than before. Meanwhile, the wheelbase - at 2,580 mm - grows by 180 mm.

Complementing this are especially large 16 ins wheels for all models with either 215/65R tyres for the entry-level Terios 1.5 S manual and higher-spec SE automatic or beefy 235/60R tyres for the manual SX.

Daihatsu Materia (2008)

Daihatsu Materia

Daihatsu Materia mini-MPV went on sale in the UK in July 2008 with prices starting from £10,995 on-the-road offering outstanding interior space and distinctive styling.

In fact, the boxy yet wide and squat design theme with flared wheelarches and minimum overhangs has created a cult-following in Japan - and now the United States - with several manufacturers struggling to keep up with consumer demand.

Key competitors in the UK and Europe are the similar-sized but move conservatively-styled Renault Modus and Vauxhall/Opel Meriva. All are compact and versatile with a high-command driving position that especially appeals to women.

However, the Materia's owners are expected to include style-conscious young families seeking a distinctive yet practical design plus older couples who appreciate the Materia's low running costs, manoeuvrability and easy access thanks to wide-opening and deep doors.

The Daihatsu Materia specification is exceptionally high and includes: power steering, ABS with EBD, driver, passenger and side airbags, air-conditioning, remote central-locking, height-adjustable driver's seat, sliding and reclining split rear seat, alloy, wheels, rear privacy glass, front fog lamps and a radio/CD player with six speakers.

Powered by a lively 103.3 PS 1.5 litre petrol engine, the Daihatsu Materia is both economical at 46.3 mpg on the Extra Urban Cycle (manual) and 45.6 mpg (automatic) and offers a 100-plus mph top speed. This leaves plenty in reserve for comfortable long-distance motorway travel.