Car reviews - Daihatsu - Charade - TE 1.0 3-dr hatch
7 May 2003
DAIHATSU, it seemed, came over too radical for its core Japanese consumers with the Euro-style G100 series of 1987-1992, so the 4th-generation Charade showed off a more mature though conservative appearance, as well as improved engine performances, a larger and stronger body and higher refinement levels. But dull styling and currency-driven price hikes saw local interest wane. And the engine output for the 1.0-litre three-cylinder TE 3-door was still 38kW, so all the extra weight the Charade gained really took its toll on performance. This was at a time when Hyundai and then Daewoo offered cheaper, bigger and more powerful four-cylinder hatchbacks, so the Charade's reign in the light car clas was well and truly coming to an end. Matters didn't improve when the curvier nosed G200B series arrived in May '96, boasting better seats, more standard features, upgraded trim and a revised model range. A five-door 1.0 CE joined the three-door TE. To make room for the 3-cylinder Sirion range, Daihatsu pared down the Charade range in May 1998 to just the TS 1.5 3-door and CS 1.5 5-door (G203C), but sales faded fast as newer models stole the limelight. The Charade name went into a three-year hiatus from mid-2000, only to return in a smaller four-seat (Kei) model from July 2003. For fans of earlier Charades, however, this is merely a charade of the '80s and '90s originals...
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