Car reviews - Daihatsu - Applause - Executive 5-dr hatch
7 May 2003
FLUSHED with the success of the Charade, Daihatsu decided to take on the Ford Laser-led brigade with the Applause. Its boxy sedan styling in fact hides a usefully large hatchback door, good rear seat room and a spacious luggage area. Underneath though it’s small car conventional, with front-wheel drive and a trusty 77kW 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine mated to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed auto transmission. Three well-equipped versions – base Li, volume selling Executive, luxury Xi and Ri Sport models – were available, but invisible marketing, a silly name and rapidly rising prices stymied any real success locally. Upgraded safety and equipment levels mirrored the minor facelift and small trim changes from late 1992. The Applause lingered on through to a disastrous 1998 facelift that saw one of the chintziest fake grille appliques ever applied to a modern car. After that the Applause definitely died right down for Daihatsu...
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