1 Oct 1989
By CHRIS HARRIS
Flushed with the success of the Charade, Daihatsu decided to take on the Ford Laser-led brigade with the Applause.
Its boxy sedan styling 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 1.6L four-cylinder engine mated to either a five-speed manual or four-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.