1 Jul 2001
By CHRIS HARRIS
DAIHATSU tried to get funky with Australia’s youth with the YRV – Youth Recreational Vehicle.
But, like the Pyzar, it failed to make an impact – not least because of its awkward styling, high pricing, cheapo cabin and dreary dynamics.
This time Daihatsu nicked the Toyota Echo’s engine and platform to produce its alternative – but you know that while Toyota looked to Europe for inspiration Daihatsu went to downtown Tokyo.
Features included were central locking, a CD stereo, air-conditioning, dual airbags, power steering, power windows and electric mirrors, versatile rear-seat permutations and abundant space for adults.
But, despite strong, accessible performance and good fuel economy courtesy of a 64kW/120Nm 1.3-litre twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine, the ride and handling were mediocre at best.
And when your competition is as hot as the in-house Echo, Mazda2, Honda Jazz and Holden XC Barina, near-enough isn’t good enough at the prices Daihatsu was demanding, with the YRV subsequently disappearing without a trace after three and a half years.