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What Car? says

2 out of 5 stars

For The YRV offers a surprising amount of style and practicality for not very much cash

Against Refinement, ride and handling are woeful; the Turbo models are just silly

Verdict It's a decent runaround that's easy to drive, if not very entertaining.

Go for… Radical 2

Avoid… Turbo models

Daihatsu YRV Hatchback
  • 1. The car's tall body provides excellent head- and legroom in any of the four seats
  • 2. The standard 1.3-litre engine is punchy and frugal. Don't bother with the turbo version
  • 3. The boot is small, but a sliding rear seat means that it's easily extendable
  • 4. The steering is sloppy and needs too much arm twirling
  • 5. The ride is lumpy, and the car runs out of grip easily in corners
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Daihatsu YRV Hatchback full review with expert trade views

The Daihatsu YRV is one of those cars that many people turn their noses up at. An obscure little supermini from a small far-eastern manufacturer doesn't seem to be many people's idea of a good time.

However, while the YRV certainly has its limitations, it's better than people give it credit for. It borrows a very good engine from Toyota, making it punchy and frugal. The car's tall body also provides excellent head- and legroom in any of the four seats, and provides it in a car no longer than the average supermini.

Granted, the boot is small, but a sliding rear seat means that it's easily extendable. The extra space comes at the cost of rear legroom.

Despite keen performance, the YRV isn't a great drive. The ride is lumpy, the car loses grip easily in corners and sloppy steering calls for too much arm twirling. There's a lot of noise on the motorway, too.

Trade view

John Owen

Perfect for narrow driveways

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

The YRV was initially released with a retuned version of the Toyota Yaris' sprightly 1.3-litre engine. It sacrifices a little bit of top-end pull for more low-down flexibility, making it even easier to drive on a day-to-day basis and also paying dividends in fuel economy.

Later on, Daihatsu released a turbocharged version that knocks out 127bhp. The engine isn't bad, but the chassis struggles to cope with the standard engine, let alone this more powerful one. It's pricier to buy as well, so we'd leave it alone.

The basic Radical car came with power steering, twin front airbags, and electric front windows, while Radical2 models - our favourires - added central locking and electric windows.

Another trim level called 1.3 added electric rear windows, while Premium models also gain alloys, air-con, and remote central locking. The 4trak model had four-wheel drive and a CD player, the F-Speed and Turbo models both had a paddleshift transmission.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Few around and needs to be F-Speed or Radical 2 spec to sell

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The YRV isn't as cheap as you might expect. It's by no means expensive, but used prices are on a par with some more mainstream, higher-profile rivals - although you do get a lot of kit for your money, though.

Running costs aren't bad. The standard 1.3-litre version will return an average of 47.1mpg, and even the turbocharged version will manage a fairly competitive 43.5mpg.

Insurance costs are where the Turbo really loses out. It has a lofty classification of group 11, while the rest of the cars in the range, which use the standard 86bhp unit, are in the far more acceptable groups 6 or 7.

Servicing is a bit pricey in comparison to the Yaris. This will have much to do with the fact that the YRV needs to be serviced every 12,000 miles, while the Yaris can go for 20,000 miles between overhauls. Parts can be needlessly expensive, too.

Trade view

John Owen

Perfect for narrow driveways

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

Despite its age, very little reliability data is available on the YRV, mainly because Daihatsu never sold enough in this country to make a decent sample size.

Being a relatively small manufacturer, Daihatsu is rarely included in reliability surveys or the JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey. However, Daihatsu has made some incredibly reliable cars in the past - the Fourtrak off-roader and the Charade city car are both seemingly unbreakable.

The components used in the YRV are tried and tested in other Daihatsu models, and there's no evidence to suggest that they'll be any less solid in the YRV. What's more, the engine is sourced from Toyota, one of the most reliable car makers , so it's very unlikely that this will cause any trouble.

The only problems concern the dealers. We have heard complaints from frustrated owners that dealers are too few and too far apart, and that some lack expertise.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Few around and needs to be F-Speed or Radical 2 spec to sell

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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