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Daihatsu Terios grows up. Image by Syd Wall.

Daihatsu Terios grows up
The all-new Daihatsu Terios seems to have few real rivals, but then again, it's very much a niche vehicle.

 



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#01#Daihatsu has always made 4x4s that much smaller than the rest. The new Terios has grown a little over the old model, but still has a tiny 1.5-litre engine rather then the larger engines in most full-size 4x4s. The Terios still occupies a niche amongst off-roaders with only the Suzuki Grand Vitara offering any competition. The Terios ranges starts from just £12,995 on-the-road for the 1.5 S manual, running through the 1.5 SX manual (as tested) at £14,295 up to the 1.5 SE automatic at £14,995. For your money, you get four doors, full-time four-wheel drive, a proper off-road system with differential-lock and chunky off-road styling.

The styling is probably the least successful area of the Terios. I spent a week staring at it and just can't place what is wrong compared to other small 4x4s. It looks too narrow, but doesn't feel narrow on the inside. And we all thought the acid-pattern spare wheel cover rather too garish.

Step inside and things are much better. Lots of black with aluminium finish (plastic) that looks quite smart and stylish. There's no shortage of space inside the Terios either despite looking too narrow on the outside. There is good legroom in the rear and the side-hinged tailgate opens up more than decent boot space for the size of the vehicle, even if there is no cover to hide your property from prying eyes. The seats themselves are comfortable, and the driving position high, even by SUV standards and only the gear lever not being in easy reach of this driver detracted from a good driving position. Visibility out was excellent, as you would expect from the high driving position, even with the height adjustable seat set to its lowest setting. Only the door panels let the side down, not so much for their look, but they are very flimsy to the touch, although there was no hint of any rattles or squeaks.

There is no shortage of equipment on board, with climate control, CD-tuner, side air bags, electric windows all round and rear parking sensors all being present and correct and the SX trim even has a heated windscreen. Outside, the SX trim level brought with it rear privacy glass, 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear tailgate spoiler and two-tone wheel arch extensions. #p##02# Only one engine is available in the Daihatsu Terios, a 1.5-litre all-alloy four-cylinder 16v unit producing 103bhp (at 6000rpm) and 103lb.ft of torque at a relatively high 4400rpm. Couple this with a kerb weight just shy of 1200kg and it's hardly surprising that the Terios is no ball of fire. It's fine on level terrain, but throw in a few hills and it's just as well that the gearchange is slick and easy; that gear stick will become your bestest new friend - you'll hardly be able to let it go. Moderate inclines force the Terios driver down to third gear to make any sort of progress; the peak torque being at high engine revs coupled with relatively high gearing means trying to hold onto higher gears means holding up traffic. On the level, things are much better. Despite sitting so high, perceived roll angles are low for the vehicle type. Outright cornering grip is nothing to get excited about, but it's more than up to the task of day to day driving. In these days of dumbed-down speed limits appearing everywhere, you'll be able to move along as quickly as anyone else...

On level ground I'm sure the Terios is capable of matching the Combined Cycle economy of 34.9mpg, but our testing involved far too many hilly countryside roads for that little 1.5-litre engine and we got nowhere near that. Coupled with just 50-litre fuel tank capacity, we struggled to get past 270 miles before the fuel warning light suggested it was time to refuel.

Where the Terios scores highly is on size. It looks like an SUV; it's as capable off road as a 4x4, but it's not big and threatening like conventional SUVs. Even though it is 230mm longer than the outgoing model, the Terios is still just 75mm longer than four metres (for those of us who still think in feet and inches, it's about 13 foot 4!), which means that it is a doddle to park, even in the crowded High Street. Width is up too, by a massive 190mm, to 1745mm. But most of this seems to be due to pushing the wheels outwards rather than pushing out the bodywork. #p##05# Yet inside, it's almost Tardis-like. Stow away the rear seat and there is 1290mm length boot space available, which is enough space to carry a mountain bike inside. With the rear seat in use (and it can carry three adults), the boot can still hold 380 litres; enough apparently for four golf bags, or maybe more usefully, one typical baby buggy. And the boot floor is just 640mm from the ground, making loading of luggage/baby buggies easy for all.

The Terios didn't feel that quick, and it isn't. It takes 12.2 seconds to do 0-60mph and the large frontal area means top speed is not quite 100mph. If you live somewhere hilly you might find you want more power, although strangely if you actually take your Terios off road you'll probably think it just fine. Its small overall size combined with very short front and rear overhangs allow approach angles of 38 and 37 degrees front and rear respectively. Full-time four-wheel drive ensures optimum grip at all times, and should the going get really tough, a dashboard button operated electronic diff-lock provides even more traction in mud and deep snow.

Finally, despite all we often read about 4x4s not being that safe, Daihatsu's in-house testing leads them to believe the Terios would score a four-star Euro NCAP occupant protection and three-star pedestrian protection, which is not at all bad really.
2007 Daihatsu Terios range overview

ModelUK (£ on-the-road)Ireland: (€ on-the-road)
Daihatsu Terios 1.5 S £12,995n/a
Daihatsu Terios 1.5 SX£14,295n/a
Daihatsu Terios 1.5 SE auto £14,995n/a
Daihatsu Terios 1.5L 2WD manualn/a€22,745
Daihatsu Terios 1.5L 4WD manualn/a€23,745
Daihatsu Terios 1.5L 4WD auton/a€24,745


Trevor Nicosia - 23 Mar 2007









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2007 Daihatsu Terios specifications: (1.5 SX manual)
Price: £14,295 on-the-road.
0-62mph: 12.2 seconds
Top speed: 99mph
Combined economy: 34.9mpg
Emissions: 191g/km
Kerb weight: 1190kg

Full technical specifications

2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.

2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.



2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.
 

2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.
 

2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.
 

2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.
 

2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.
 

2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.
 

2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.
 

2006 Daihatsu Terios. Image by Syd Wall.
 






 

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