- We like...Space, equipment, price
- We don't...Cheap-looking interior
Pint-sized supermini is roomier inside than you'd think and packs plenty of kit for its downsized priceThis Sirion costs just £8495. It’s a five-door-fiver seater that’s covered by a full five-year manufacturer’s warranty. For many buyers, that may be all you need to know.
But there’s more to this pint-sized Daihatsu than its thumping good value. It’s likeable in other ways. For starters, there’s the space in the cabin. By pushing the wheels out as far to its corners as the designers dared, they freed up an amazing amount of space. To assess this, set the driver’s seat for where you’d want it and then sit behind ‘yourself’. If you’re a six footer, there’ll still be ample space for legs and shoulders, while your bonce shouldn’t brush the roof. If you’re any shorter, there’ll be space enough to get lost in.
And while it’s smaller than the latest-generation ‘big’ superminis, such as the Renault Clio and Seat Ibiza, it’s still got room for three in the rear, although it’ll be a squeeze for adults. Bumper to bumper, it matches a Nissan Micra in size, although it’s far roomier for passengers.
Ours here is the entry-level S model. Even so, it’s very well kitted out: air conditioning, remote locking, four electric windows and mirrors, a radio/CD and four airbags come as standard. Evidence of cash saved shows only in the seat fabric, which looks cheap’n’sturdy and in the low-rent plastic used throughout the cabin. That around the ignition lock on our 5000-mile test car already looked a little dog-eared.
That said, the dash is well planned and highly practical, offering a big glove box, a second, lidded hidey-hole for keys and phones and a selection of deep and useful trays. Buttons for the stereo and minor controls are chunky and easy to find, first time.
The boot’s deep and square and big enough for a couple of medium suitcases. The seats drop to add load space, but not tidily enough to create a flat floor back there.
To drive, it’s sweet-natured and willing, its light controls combining smoothly to make it a friend in the urban cut’n’dash. You sit fairly upright, giving a sense that the car’s bigger and more substantial than it is. The Sirion smothers the bumps capably, although bigger ruts transfer noise and vibration of the cabin. Its 1.3 petrol engine is eager and even sounds rorty when pushed. It’s quiet when cruising, although punting through the gears can make it noisy, not least because of a whine from the transmission.
The Sirion’s been around since 2005, although for ’08 it’s had a facelift, a price cut and a stretch in its warranty from three years to the afore-mentioned five. Second-hand ones make excellent buys, although it’s not a big seller and has fewer main dealers than most rival makes, so your choice won’t match that for a Nissan Micra or Toyota’s Yaris. You may require patience to find one that’s right.
We like the Sirion, particularly this 1.3 S – one-up from the cheapest model. It rates well for value, useability and driving ability. At its price, there’s little to best it.
- Engines1.3 petrol
- 0-60 mph11.0sec
- Insurance groups6
Motors.co.uk value verdict: