date : 9th July 2006
Bigger, wider more powerful.
Thatís what happens to most small cars when they evolve and
the Daihatsu Terios, that modestly-powered and willowy upright
little SUV has evolved in the same way.
Itís grown wider shoulders, the wheel arch extensions have
been beefed out in power-suit fashion and, talking of power,
the engine has jumped a category from the previous 1300 cc
sizing to a 1500 cc.
Itís still no pocket rocket, especially in four-speed
automatic guise, which, for some reason, was the model offered
to us for test.
We werenít expecting much when we handed it over to Clint
for a workout at the Zwartkops off-road track
A torque peak of 140 Newton metres, and a maximum power output
of 77 kilowatts is not bad for a 1,5 litre, but on the highway
haul to Zwartkops the long stroke engine was harsh as it
kicked down a ratio on the four-speed auto.
The Terios has a large body to move around and 0-100 takes
about 16 seconds, although once up to speed it will cruise
along at an indicated 140 km/h with a claimed top speed of 150
Itís also available as a 4x2 manual or a 4x4 manual, which
would have been our choice.
But straightaway on the medium-challenge Zwartkops off-road
course, the automatic Terios was impressing Clint with its
The Terios is fitted with a
lower first gear than normal for off-roading, to compensate
for the fact that it doesnít have a low-range transfer case.
With the diff-lock selected Clint negotiated one of Zwartkops
steeper, slippery slopes at slow speed and was surprised at
the climbing ability
The ground clearance is rated at a middling 200 millimetres,
but the advantage is that thereís no intrusive diff housing
hanging down to be snagged. The short wheelbase counts for a
lot in clearing obstacles when rocks are followed by potholes
gear" helps when going down hill, although first prize
for running down steep rocky slopes would be low range and
manual transmission. The Terios is well sorted, given its
modest specification. Suspension travel isnít great, but
again the diminutive size of the Terios counts.
One advantage of the rather basic automatic is that its torque
converter introduces the necessary slippage to increase revs
and power, even with an overly cautious approach speed.
A nice weekend toy this, and with definite Toyota influence in
the cabin design. Fit and finish is good, although we found
the silver console and door handles cheapened the overall
Four to five adults can travel in reasonable comfort and
prices range from just under R170 000 for the 4x2, to R185 000
for the 4x4 auto. Clint thinks it makes off-road sense.
Yes, the Terios has taken a big step forward in its
second-generation form. Looks-wise it can now stand alongside
the likes of the RAV4 with a fair degree of purpose to its
appearance, and this is matched by its performance.
We would definitely go for the manual version as the auto is
too thrashy and slow in traffic. But if speed isnít
important to you, not a bad deal at all.
Four-cylinder petrol 1 495cc
- Power: 77 kW @ 6
- Torque: 140 Nm @ 4
Four-speed automatic, all-wheel-drive
- 0-100 km/h: 14,0
- Top speed: 150 km/h
- Fuel consumption:
9,0 litres/100 km (claimed)
- Price: R184 995
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