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.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
7th of May 2003
Daihatsu 1989 Applause Executive 5-dr hatch