18 November 2010

Daihatsu Terios 1997 car review

Available in two versions the TR model has a driver's airbag, central locking and cassette stereo with two speakers at $19,990.

Diahatsu Sirion GTV 2003
Daihatsu Terios 1997

Available in two versions the TR model has a driver's airbag, central locking and cassette stereo with two speakers at $19,990.

The TRS model adds a passenger air bag, CD player and 4 speakers roof rails, spoiler, alloy wheels, silver bumpers and side panels, tachometer, electric mirrors and power windows at $22,500. An auto transmission adds $1490.

Standing tall on large 15 inch Bridgestone tyres and alloy wheels, the Terios presents a stylish silhouette from the side with roof rails and rear spoiler setting off the roof line. Front on however -because of the miniscule 1.3 metre wheel track - it appears to be very high and narrow.

Terios is powered by a revised version of the 1296cc SOHC 16v Charade engine mounted longitudinally in the frame and driving through either a 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic transmission.

Full time 4 wheel drive is employed driving mainly to the rear axle until wheel slip occurs and drive is then deployed to the front.

For very slippery conditions the centre differential can be locked by electro vacuum valves operated by a switch on the dash.

Our test Terios was the manual version transmission version which required plenty of throttle for any reasonable performance, however once up and rolling, it maintains a reasonable pace. Fifth gear is definitely an overdrive ratio and requires dropping back into forth gear at any hint of a rise in the road and only then it will handle most conditions because of the engines flexible torque in the mid to high rev range.

Ride is soft and surprisingly supple for a small RV, soaking up road shocks with out transmitting them into the cabin. Handling ability is not one of this vehicles strong points as the narrow track and high roll centres produce plenty of body roll at speed.

Directional control is easily unsettled if pot holes or corrugations are experienced when cornering with the outside wheels loaded up.

The interior is roomy for a vehicle of this size and provides good head and leg room for the front seat positions. Although the front seats are comfortable to sit on, they do not provide good lateral support to combat all that body roll round corners.

A good driving position can be achieved even though there are only basic adjustments for the seat and the steering column is not adjustable. The rear seat has 3 seat belt, but it's only comfortable position for 2 adults because of the narrow width plus leg and foot space is restrictive.

Both the rear seat squab and back rests fold equally which allows for half or full width flat through floor extensions for the luggage area. Styling and price are its main benefits however don't expect Terios to tackle heavy off road work, as at best unsealed roads would probably be the limits of its ability.

Previous review
Next review
Peugeot 4007 2010 car review
Read more
Peugeot 306 1997 car review
Read more