The Daihatsu Charade couldn’t have a better name to describe it. Most people think of cars from the Japanese manufacturer as relatively uninteresting but hugely cheap. The low price is what gets people into the showroom for this supermini, but underneath the badge and stereotype is a fantastic car that’s well equipped, great to drive and impressively built. It’s a wonderful surprise, and you should buy one.
In actual fact the Charade has been going since 1977, although early models were just plain awful. The modern versions from 2003 onwards however are anything but. Small but perfectly formed, they are real ‘can do’ cars that make driving in built up areas incredibly easy. Available in 3 or 5 door hatchback models, there’s a lot to like, and actually the Daihatsu is a sensible choice.
Cute and quirky from the outside, the lack of size doesn’t take anything away from this little runabout as it has oodles of character. Simple but effective, there’s no need for outlandish designs. The easy going nature is carried over to the interior as well, which is just fantastic. Again, it’s not overly stylish, but is functional, good quality and very comfortable. With a cavernous amount of space for such a small car, 4 people can fit in easily, although don’t expect much luggage to go in as well when fully loaded.
The Charade is a lot of fun to drive due to its lack of size and low centre of gravity, and the soft suspension will make even the worst of roads feel pan flat. A lot of tyre squeal when cornering at speed isn’t particularly welcome, but overall it’s a solid experience behind the wheel. The 1.0 litre engine is perky and good enough for city driving, but doesn’t do quite as well on motorways as it’s obviously not built for speed. You do get a lot of miles per gallon though.
If you’re after a cheap used Daihatsu Charade, Motors.co.uk is certainly one of the premier pre owned car websites out there. Listing in excess of 150,000 different second hand cars for sale at massively discounted prices, it’s a bargain factory that never ceases to amaze. The point is that you don’t have to pay full price for a brand new car when there are so many alternatives out there for a fraction of the cost.
All in all, the Daihatsu Charade is an excellent little car. It’s ideal for city dwellers who want something small and simple that’s easy to park, but is just as good for new drivers or people on tight budgets. The brand name indicates that it’ll be cheap, but the quality surpasses anything you could imagine from this car maker. It’s just a brilliant alternative to European or American brands and should be right up there on your list.