I started looking for the Daihatsu Sirion after the Smart demonstrated a tendency to have small but expensive & irritating faults. I was also cheesed off with coping with the Smart's tiny fuel tank. Any long journey needed at least one stop to take on the old motion lotion. Admittedly, it would be very hard for any car to pass that 83mpg I got on one trip from a the Smart. I needed the Smart's frugal fuel consumption, the Japanese reliability and an automatic box that would be smooooth! The semi-auto box on the Smart was the worst I have encountered, it returned great mgp but was as smooth and lumpy as a lame donkey. This one has a gearbox that is like silk. We shall have to wait to find out how much fuel it drinks. The Sirion stood up against the market leaders as a practical city car. In both 2000 and 2001, the Sirion won the 'Supermini' category in the Environmental Transport Association's annual awards. In 2002 it was beaten by the Smart!
Now for the good news!
A "V" reg. 2000 Daihatsu Sirion 1.0 automatic. Seven & a half years old and only has 12000 miles on it. (Proverbial old lady who gave up driving at 85!) Very few marks other than a small parking marks. Attractive unmarked interior. Electric windows & wing mirrors (that park, much to the annoyance of one of my sons!) It's a true 5 seater with a reasonable boot. It has documentation to prove mileage & servicing. Three months warranty, new MOT & six months road tax completed the deal.
It wasn't easy to find a small engined, automatic in good condition with some goodies on board. I needed to stay in the same road tax bracket & not pay much more insurance. The Sirion is fine on road tax & insurance, I just failed to get air conditioning. After saying that the Smart needed £250 plus fitting to fix it's air con and only worked for a very short period of time.. I also (on this one anyway) had to forgo central locking. (it seldom carries anyone but me, so we will hang fire on judging that just yet).
Its described as "Metallic Cream" Yer, right! Very pale gold? Silver with a hint of sand? ... it sure ain't cream!
The radio cassette with it was very good but my daughter-in-law kindly donated an excellent (easy to use) radio CD player. The quality of the sound is very good, although I doubt if this car has anything except standard speakers from day one.
My daughter & son-in-law were very impressed, "Where's the disabled stickers?" & "Do you get a bus pass & Bingo membership?". I must admit, it is as attractive as a painted plank, has the character of someone at the back of the Rovers Return and is only as well equipped as a Japanese car built in 2000! On the experiences gained from a few Hondas, Toyotas and Datsuns, I may have the last laugh. The common factor seems to be reliability. If anything went wrong on a Japanese car, it was expensive to fix, but it seldom did go wrong ... unlike Smarts, which seemed to go wrong often & wasn't cheap to fix.
Since Daihatsu Motor Company was established in 1907, they have been focused on compact cars & four wheel drive. Their cars are built following a policy of "Genchi-genbutsu." This Japanese word means that you go to the source to ascertain all the facts to make correct decisions, build consensus and to achieve all goals.
This is an age with many issues. Big is not Better anymore. Rather, Small is Smart (!). (unless you happen to be a politician, they seem to favour big cars with outriders that are not subject to the laws that appertain to us normal folk.) Cars should be friendly to the environment. They are also meant to be people friendly.
As a company, Daihatsu claim they are practical, innovative and imaginative and as a member of the Toyota Group they aim to become the world's leading compact car maker. Well I shall let you know.
Sirion's appear to be loved by their owners, according to the comments in the "What Car" website. Admittedly, they are talking of a very modern model.
On it's first refill that could be done it got 49.95 mpg. Not bad on very mixed driving.
Now after 2000 miles of very mixed driving, its returning a very constant 51mpg overall. Well pleased! Very smooth, quite comfortable (it's not in the Smart league though), utterly reliable & its only irritation is the absence of central locking!
Now into 2008, I have put 6000 miles on it & its returning 50.36 mpg average. It's turned out that the clock has a mind of it's own, which looks like a poor connection but it drives like silk, even if no central locking is still very primitive! It's certainly turned out to be a good choice.
Just before its first years service the MPG fell to just over 40. I got it service to find out that numpty head had not kept a check on tyre pressures ... they were well down. (A fault I have only experienced with older alloys). I have increased by two pounds all round to see if it will help to use less juice. The ride is slightly harder (no surprise there then) & she is averaging 53! Well pleased. It should be pointed out that at £1.14 a litre I am driving like a nun everywhere.
As we approach the Christmas of 2008, petrol prices have dropped to as low as 87.9p a litre, My nun driving must be improving (or I have more patience), I'm now averaging 54 mpg on long runs! I cruise the motorways at about 60 & try not to go much over 3000 revs. I put in about a litre of oil between services and I'm well satisfied with that. Fairly soon she'll need a new front tyre.
2009 I fitted two new front tyres. They were only £36 each, mind you the aligning cost £28! I organised it's annual service (doing over 15k a year it's not quite on schedule) & apart from the brakes feeling tighter & the handbrake travelling a shorter distance, there was no difference. She maintains over 54 mpg regularly & only the lack of central locking drives me mad. Wonderfully reliable & quite comfortable for such an inexpensive car. As the warmer weather comes I may miss aircon of course!
For ages now I have had used the radio/CD player but it wasn't RDS & I constantly had to re-tune it on my trips. So I went mad & let Halfords fit their cheapest RDS/CD player (£60 including fitting) . I don't think I'm going to impress anyone. on the other hand, a Sirion isn't at the top of most car owner's dreams. It works well, sounds good & the CD is playing my tatty old choices better than the last. So its a result.
I did a couple of check on the mgp in shorter shopping/school runs & still got an average of 52 which borders on remarkable.
The government is offering £2000 to scrap this little gem now. Do I need to throw away this cracking little car & spend another £4000 plus to drive something new .... I think not! Apparently there is some kind of sub-1000cc motorsport that recommends the Sirion as you can upgrade them with Evo parts! It's another world! (My automatic is safe from mad car thieves then LOL)
Got present from a truck & needed to repair the stone chip. Autoglass, who must pay a lot of money to television advertising, didn't even answer the phone. The next one I rang, claiming to be from the RAC, couldn't come out for a week!!! (Obviously, I was too much trouble & they didn't need the business). So much for big companies! Finally, the very courteous people from Auto Windshields, came out quick & cheerfully did a great job.
At last, I've cracked the 60 mpg barrier! I travelled to Oxford in June 2009 & tried very hard not to go above 3000 revs & it worked. You get passed a fair bit, your very relaxed & you save a bundle. Recommended if your on a pension & thanks to Gordon, your short of money (& have NO expenses) & you need to save dosh.
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