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Diahatsu Sirion 

Broadcast dates : 15th May 2005
21st May 2005

Diahatsu is a name that has some heritage here, having cornered a fair chunk of the small city-car market in the early 1980s.

Since the late 1990s, the Japanese manufacturer has been back with a range of small cars with ever-increasing quality.

The Diahatsu Sirion 1,3 Sport is one of a new wave of city cars bidding to break the traditional stranglehold of old-stagers like the Toyota Tazz and Volkswagen City Golf.

Reliability and build quality have carried the day for the Tazz and Golf so far, but that may be changing.

The smart interior includes aircon, power windows, and driver and passenger airbags.

Boot space is measured at a reasonable 224 litres with the seats upright, and close to 900 litres with the rear seats folded flat.

Upholstery is in durable-looking cloth, and there is plenty of storage space up front.
The engine in the 1,3 litre Sport is a torquey four-cylinder unit, and typically the Diahatsu is no slouch.

The four-speed automatic gearbox is a rather old-fashioned unit with lots of torque-converter action causing the engine to drone. Its fine for suburban cruising, but on the open road, wed definitely go for the manual version, which has a much crisper performance.

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