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Road Test Review:

  Article Date May 2009

Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 Sport

 
 

Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 Sport Specs

 

Price (Rand) *May 2009
Engine size (litre)
Fuel
Power (kW)
Torque (Nm)
Fuel consumption (litre /100km)
Acceleration 0-100km/h (sec)
Max speed (km/h)
Gear speeds quantity
Gear shifts

136 995
1.5
Petrol
76
132
6.2
10.5
185
5
Manual

Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 Rear and Front View

Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 Sport Quick Facts

 
  • Daihatsu talks about how well they build compact cars; under review is the Sirion 1.5 Sport, differentiated from the base model by a bigger engine and sport trim.
  • Notable design and quality flaws in the Sirion Sport: no remote central locking, no tailgate key slot, no auto-locking, no selective unlocking, no interior door lock switch, mirror adjustment switch on dashboard, poorly-finished fuel flap release, inconsistent controls illumination, cheap plastic buttons for audio, vibrating parcel shelf and discolouration of alloy wheels.
  • The interior of the Sirion Sport is spacious with more than adequate headroom and storage space; clever large central storage tray; nice textured finish to interior parts.
  • Sirion 1.5 Sport delivers brisk performance; fuel efficient; fairly low NVH.
  • Many other great modern compact hatches to choose from.

Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 Sport Road Test Interview

 

Interviewer: David S (Motoring Journalist and Vehicle Information Specialist)

Interviewee: Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 Sport

Question: There are so many hatchbacks in this price sector - is the Sirion Sport a good buy or a good bye?

Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 Sport answered us in this road test interview.

Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 Sport Biggest Talking Point

 

Daihatsu always talks about how well they do compact cars - let's see how good they are at designing and building their Sirion.

Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 Sport Centre Console, Front Side View and Interior Cockpit

Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 Sport Exterior and Interior

 
Most people like the look and interior space of the Daihatsu Sirion. The subject under assessment here is the Sport model. How are you differentiated from the normal 1.3 variant?

By a 1.5 engine and the Sport bodykit with protruding rally-sized front fog lamps, alloy wheels, side running boards, darkened taillights and rear roof spoiler.

When arriving at someone's home, the front door creates the initial impression. Clearly Daihatsu doesn't agree, or how can they sell a car without remote locking, using a key that is positively puny. Going shopping? Then there's the problematic situation of a tailgate with no key slot - so park your groceries trolley, walk to the front door, unlock, then go back to the hatch! Unacceptable. It is also unsafe because there is no selective unlocking - all the doors unlock simultaneously. Also... no auto-locking or door lock switch for central locking. Then it's a struggle to find the ignition key hole which is poorly placed.

Okay, let's look on the positive side.

The interior of the Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 Sport is truly spacious with more than adequate headroom and storage space. It is very easy to get in and out and the general fit and finish is fair. Something that some other manufacturers should copy is the textured finish to the steering wheel, dash and door panels.

Thanks - the texture is much more pleasing than smooth shiny plastics of some rivals.

The bottle holder in the door panel is actually commodious enough to take a 500ml bottle without it tipping over as in some cars.

Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 Sport Spec and Drive

 
How about standard equipment and performance in the Sirion Sport?

I am confident I will score well here.

It has the normal electronic items, while ABS and 2 airbags make up the safety spec, which is the bare minimum. The performance of the 1.5 Sport is really brisk, whether in suburban or highway roads. You are easy to drive with fairly low noise, vibration and harshness.

That's good to know. How is my compact car economy?

Efficient, at a measured 6.6 litres per 100k's. How thoughtful to have a fuel consumption indicator... that only shows when the car is moving! So the driver can't see the average consumption when stopping at the end of a journey.

Another safety and ergonomic design blemish: the switch for electric mirror adjustment sits on the dashboard. How stupid is that!? It means the driver can't adjust the mirrors while in the driving position, requiring an adjustment, then sit back, a bit more, sit back... this also means the driver can't adjust the mirror while seated normally, for example when reversing next to a kerb. The fuel flap release is straight from the poor-design box - a fragile little unmarked lever, sticking out of a rough slit in the floor carpet! Instrument dials are bright red (nice) - centre console is pale orange (what happened to consistent illumination?) The audio system buttons feel and look like a cheap plastic portable radio's, with even slight duf-duf music causing the parcel shelf to vibrate. Alloy wheels are already discoloured (having done less than 14 000km).

Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 Sport Favourite Fresh Feature?

 
Particularly clever is the large floating centre compartment that falls easily to hand and can easily check in a wallet, cell phone and a key-bunch... without aiming carefully. This chuck-it-in tray is lit, so one can easily reach stored items at night. It's big enough to fill with water and float toy boats. I didn't try.

Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 Sport Pricing

 
The Sirion 1.3 is R124 995 and the 1.5 Sport is R136 995. An automatic on either model is another ten - this option is not offered on most rivals. Sirion is more spacious than most rivals, and has brisk performance.

Rivals

 
Chevrolet Aveo, Citroen C3, Fiat Grande Punto, Hyundai Getz, Peugeot 207, Renault Sandero, Suzuki Swift, Toyota Yaris, Volkswagen Polo.

Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 Sport Finding

 
Question: There are so many hatchbacks in this price sector - is the Sirion Sport a good buy or a good bye?
The only plus-factors this test proved in the Sirion Sport's favour are space, ease-of-driving, performance and economy. There are several safety, practical and trim shortcomings, which means it is not a properly-designed compact car. With so many great modern compact hatches to choose from, go and look at them first.

: David S :
Full member of the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists