In-depth reviews

Daihatsu Charade (2003-2007) review

With our cities getting more and more congested it's little wonder that people are finally waking up to the qualities of smaller cars.

Daihatsu Charade
Overall Auto Express Rating

1.0 out of 5

With our cities getting more and more congested it's little wonder that people are finally waking up to the qualities of smaller cars. This places Daihatsu in a rather enviable position, as its UK range of cars are all tiny. The latest, the Charade, is sub-supermini sized, but offers space that's nearly big enough to compete in the class above. One of the cheapest cars on sale in the UK the Charade looks even more appealing when you consider the specification, its low cost not translating to skimping on equipment. EL models come with driver and passenger airbags and ABS with EBD, while comfort and convenience items like central locking, electric front windows and mirrors and a CD player are also included. Opt for the SL version for £1,000 more and you'll add air conditioning, side airbags and alloy wheels. Both three and five door versions are offered, with prices starting at just £5995.

Does that value translate to a compromised drive? Certainly not, the Charade is an enjoyable car to steer, the narrow track combined with the upright driving position and good visibility making it very manoeuvrable in its natural habitat - the city. Out of the city limits the 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine copes if you're on your own, but fully loaded on a long trip and the Charade proves tiresome. That's something that can be said of its rivals though, overall the Charade offering a very attractive package to those looking for well-specified, super-economical and funky-looking transport.

Engines, performance and drive

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MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

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Interior, design and technology

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Practicality, comfort and boot space

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Reliability and Safety

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