Used Daihatsu Sirion 1998 - 2005 review

Category: Small car

It's decent if you rate value and style over ability; pretty much useless if you don't

Daihatsu Sirion (98 - 05)
  • Daihatsu Sirion (98 - 05)
  • Daihatsu Sirion (98 - 05)
Used Daihatsu Sirion 1998 - 2005 review
Star rating

What's the used Daihatsu Sirion hatchback like?

There seem to be hundreds of superminis out there, most of which look identical. The same can't be said of the Sirion. Its styling is undeniably unusual, but it manages to look almost elegant.

The Sirion's other big plus point is financial. It's cheap to buy and even cheaper to run, with fuel economy being particularly impressive.


It's decent if you rate value and style over ability; pretty much useless if you don't

  • It's got distinctly quirky looks, it's well-equipped and cheap to buy and run
  • The Sirion is noisy, has a cheap interior and doesn't drive very well

However, that's where the Sirion's list of merits ends. There are plenty of superminis that offer significantly more space inside than the Sirion. Also, the quality of the materials and the design in the cabin fall woefully short of the style that the outside promises.

It's not a brilliant car to drive, either. It's gruff in town, rides too firmly and there's too much vibration in the cabin. On faster roads, there's pronounced body lean and a shortage of grip in bends, and too much noise on the motorway.

Ownership cost

What used Daihatsu Sirion hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Daihatsu Sirion hatchback?

Early versions can be picked up for next to nothing, and since the later cars weren't much better, we'd recommend a pre-2000 one to keep your costs right down. That said, even the latest '04/04 models can be had for less than half the original price, which was cheap to start with.

It's the Sirion's fuel economy that's especially impressive, though. Buy the 1.0-litre and you'll get an average of 51.4mpg, which is good enough to outstrip almost any other petrol-powered supermini. The 1.3 isn't bad, either, returning an average of 49.6mpg, and even the daft F-Speed and 4trak versions will do 44.8mpg.

Insurance costs aren't as great, though. The breathless little 1.0 will cost you a group five premium, while choosing the 1.3 SL will hike this up to group eight. The F-Speed and 4trak models sit in groups eight and nine, respectively. Servicing is pricey, too, despite competitive 12,000-mile service intervals.

Our recommendations

Which used Daihatsu Sirion hatchback should I buy?

Initially, there were two versions, Sirion and Sirion Plus. Each had a 54bhp 1.0-litre engine that was breathless at speed, but good at zipping the car around town.

The standard car provided basic kit, including power steering, twin front airbags and electric mirrors. The Plus did much better, coming with air-con, central locking, side airbags, anti-lock brakes and four powered windows. This is the one we'd recommend.

The range was face-lifted in 2000, when the two existing trim levels were rebadged E and EL, and a new version called the SL was introduced. The SL had the same specification as the EL, but with sports seats and a new 102bhp 1.3-litre engine, which provided some much-needed extra power.

Eventually, Daihatsu introduced a whole range of variants including a 4trak four-wheel-drive version and even an F-Speed model with a ridiculous F1-style paddle-shift gearbox. Leave these versions alone, and go for either an early Plus or a 1.3 SL.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Daihatsu Sirion hatchback?