Reader's test: Daihatsu Charade

<b>PERFECT CITY RUNABOUT:</b> Wheels24 extends a hat-tip to RICHARD FITZPATRICK for his hilarious review of his wife’s Daihatsu Charade.
<b>PERFECT CITY RUNABOUT:</b> Wheels24 extends a hat-tip to RICHARD FITZPATRICK for his hilarious review of his wife’s Daihatsu Charade.
OK, I'm the first to admit that this car has all the sex appeal of Matron from 7de Laan but ,as they say, don't judge a Khoi-San by the size of his loin cloth, it's what's underneath that matters.

Underneath the Daihatsu Charade 1.0 CXL we have strong Toyota DNA which of course means that nothing has gone wrong in seven years. It also means that you have more hard and cheap plastics than Toys R Us.

That's fine, this is budget motoring so you get what you pay for. So what do you get for your money? Aircon, radio, auto transmission, power windows and steering, not bad for a car that would cost you R50 000 or so second-hand.

NO RESPECT ON THE ROAD

You'll probably buy a Volkswagen Citi Golf instead and then wonder why it isn't parked where you left it last night, that`s not going to happen with this - what self-respecting car thief is going to steal it?

It has to be said, though, that you get zero respect on the road in this thing. Other drivers cut you to pieces and even the Big Issue sellers shun you as they don’t want ruin their street cred!

So, what's it like to drive and live with? Well, the doors are thin enough to make Kate Moss jealous and the boot will hold enough shopping for a family of anorexics.

As long as two of them are on hunger strike, it will seat five. Suffice to say that if you live near the Free State and have three front row daughters it`s best to look elsewhere. Driving it, you will get more feedback from your teenage son than you will from the steering wheel.

FANTASTIC CITY RUNABOUT

None of this matters, though. This is a little ankle biter of a car, it's zippy and nippy - 0-100? Probably, but you didn't buy it for that.

It's a fantastic city runabout. You’re able to drop off kids or pick up a couple of things from the shops with ease. Look over your shoulder and your nose hits the back window, it`s that easy to park.

There's only one thing on this planet that can get out of tight spots easier than this, Schabir Schaik.

It costs buttons to buy and Zim dollars to run. Fuel consumption? It's like it's hooked up to a drip. Seriously, when you fill-up you can hear the sound of Middle Eastern folks weeping from the fuel tank.

There's huge choice out there, so this is a car that has missed it's time as they stopped selling them a couple of years back.

Daihatsu had a rough diamond here and with better packaging and styling they could have had a real winner.

Wheels24's SERGIO DAVIDS says: “Having owned one, not to mention a Daihatsu Cuore, the Charade is the perfect student’s car. A hat-tip to Richard for his hilarious yet honest review. The Charade is blissfully easy to drive with kart -like performance. Its extremely tight turning circle makes manoeuvring a breeze. It’s clearly not designed for large families though I’ve managed to fit a family of five in its tight confines.

In terms of fuel consumption I averaged at least six litres/100km. In conclusion – the Daihatsu Charade is bliss behind the wheel for urbanites though it will make life in fast lane but a distant memory…”


His editor asks: "So why did you sell it, then?"

SERGIO: "In short my better half wanted something more modern, so we opted for a 2013 Hyundai i10 1.2 auto. As you can tell I'm a fan of small city cars."
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