Used Daihatsu YRV 2001 - 2005 review

Category: Small car

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

Daihatsu YRV (01 - 05)
  • Daihatsu YRV (01 - 05)
  • Daihatsu YRV (01 - 05)
Used Daihatsu YRV 2001 - 2005 review
Star rating
Author Avatar
Steve Huntingford
Published01 January 2006

What's the used Daihatsu YRV hatchback like?

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.


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

  • The YRV offers a surprising amount of style and practicality for not very much cash
  • Refinement, ride and handling are woeful
  • the Turbo models are just silly

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.

Ownership cost

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

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

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.

Our recommendations

Which used Daihatsu YRV hatchback should I buy?

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.


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