I've had my 1.0 EL three-door for two months now and have covered 4000 miles already. I bought it as a cheap and reliable commuter workhorse, and so far it is doing what I want.
I would have liked a little better fuel economy for my mainly 70mph motorway commutes. I am currently averaging about 52mpg, and I am driving quite conservatively.
The handling is entertaining as there is very little grip, but the understeer is predictable and controllable. The brakes are great and the three-cylinder engine sounds great.
I'm one of those people who doesn't believe in spending more than £6000 on a car, but as a self-employed salesman, I require certain qualities from a motor. In particular, it has to be very economical, and have bombproof reliability and comfort for those longer journeys.
I know the obvious choice would be to go for a high-milage ex-fleet car, but why bother when you can achieve all of the above requirements with something brand new.
Enter the Daihatsu Charade - in short, this car is superb. It has shed loads of space, despite its toy car looks, it easily keeps up with faster motorway traffic, and I find this car is fun to drive.
Last year I drove from Cardiff to Inverness on a Saturday, with two adults and packed out with luggage. The following day, I drove back - say no more. As far as reliability is concerned, the Japanese invented it, didn't they?
This truly is a ground-breaking city car. It's as competent on the motorway as it is nipping in and out of traffic in town.
The 1.0-litre engine is very perky and returns excellent fuel economy. For such a small and inexpensive car, the equipment levels rival those of cars costing much much more. This feels like a solidly built car that is both fun and inexpensive to own and run. My only gripe is that the wheels are very small, and this compromises grip.
Furthermore, because of this, I think the front tyres will wear out quite quickly.
A serious bargain that's well worth considering. Low price, lots of standard kit and good economy.
With a narrow body, light power steering, the VVT engine and auto 'box, this could be the faster way to get around town on four wheels. You can leave everyone behind at the lights without even trying!
Car looks to be well finished and feels like it could last forever. The one bit of stinginess is the parcel shelf it feels cheap and there's only one bit of string, not two, to hold it to the hatch. We have the EL 3 door but the SL five-door might be a better bet as you get A/C, side airbags, alloys and the rear doors for not much extra.
Cornering is reasonable, but the car is tall and has skinny tyres so you have to know your limits: this isn't a hot hatch. ABS and airbags are standard but the safety concern is the tinny feel of the body. Main rival to a brand new Charade might well be a used Yaris.
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