1 Jul 1998
By CHRIS HARRIS
DAIHATSU enjoyed a sales renaissance with the original, quirkily styled Sirion.
Super keen pricing, a roomy and comfy cabin, class-leading equipment levels (including dual front airbags - still rare back then - as well as power windows, central locking and power steering) and a design with real character inside and out gave the Sirion a sustained following.
Central to its appeal was a lusty - if thrummy - 1.0-litre twin-cam 12-valve three-cylinder engine driving the front wheels via a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox.
Although it only offered 40kW of power and 88Nm of torque, the Sirion's capable handling and good roadholding - using a Charade-based platform - made the most of the meagre output on offer. Plus it returned 6.0L/100km in the city and 5.2 on the highway.
From September 2000 the M101 Sirion GTvi shoehorned Daihatsu's willing 75kW/120Nm 1.3-litre twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine for semi hot-hatchback fun.
Firmer suspension, alloy wheels, lower-profile tyres, anti-lock brakes and a discreet body kit completed the GTvi's packaging.