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Daihatsu Charade

L251S Charade

1 Jul 2003

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

This front-wheel drive Charade is like no other Charade before it – in fact it’s a Kei-car that’s made to compete in Japan’s huge sub-800cc narrow city car segment.

Previous Charades were rivals for the bigger Holden Barina class. So performance, handling, ride comfort and refinement levels just aren’t this diminutive car’s priorities.

And nor is design, as the tippy-toed, slab-sided styling shows.

Yet it’s swift, zippy, extremely frugal and fun to throw around – although it’s by no means a keen driver’s car.

Plus it sounds tinny and thrummy – a corollary of its (larger, for Australia) 40kW/88Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder powerplant and featherweight 720kg – and seats only four.

A four-speed auto and five-speed manual gearbox are available.

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When it was new

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