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Published in The Witness Motoring on Wednesday August 25, 2010
Officially all compact SUVs, Daihatsu's Terios range consists of short- and long wheelbase versions, both 4x2 and 4x4, with manual or automatic transmissions and seating either five or seven people. The one I drove recently was the entry-level (five seat) 4x2 swb, available only in five-speed manual form. Because it doesn't have all-wheel drive, I'll call it a minivan, but what you call it is up to you.
The main thing is that it looks like an SUV, with 200 mm of ground clearance, approach and departure angles of 38- and 37 degrees and boasting 25 degrees of rampover angle. For an additional R20 000 you can have 4x4, but if you acknowledge that for shopping and ferrying the kids to school, it would be both pretentious and wasteful of fuel, this one is for you.
What you get for your money is a high driving position with a commanding view of your surroundings, as much head- and legroom as you find in most fully sized SUVs and excellent visibility for negotiating city traffic and parking areas. There is also a decently sized boot (350 litres) with a low loading sill and easy access via a sideways-opening rear door. There is hardly any intrusion from rear wheel arches, so the load area is very usable. Should you need more, the reclinable back seats fold and tumble forward in two easy movements to give you up to 900 litres of space, with a completely flat loading floor.
Confirming the car's family carrying credentials, the one-third/two-third split rear seats have three head restraints and two ISOFIX child seat anchorages. There is also ABS with EBD, a pair of airbags (a new limited edition Terios offers two more of these by the way), crumple zones all around and dual side impact beams on all doors. Entry and exit to and from the rear is easy, thanks to a flat floor with only minimal doorsills.
The engine is a 1 495 cc DVVT four-cylinder unit, producing 77 kW at 6 000 rpm and 140 Nm of torque at 4 400 rpm. This might not sound like much and local dealer Peter Hylton acknowledges that many prospects, especially males, are wary at first. "But," he says, "once we get bums into seats, most doubters are won over."
I found that performance is actually quite brisk in city driving and while cruising at 120 in fifth, the engine turns over at 3 800 rpm; about normal for an engine this size. It must be mentioned that the motor sounds quite busy at this speed and I probably wouldn't choose a Terios for regular weekly commutes to Jo'burg, for instance.
Standard equipment includes single channel air conditioning, power windows front and rear, powered outside mirrors, front and rear demisters, rear window wiper, fog lamps, roof rails, single CD/radio unit with auxiliary input and audio controls on the steering wheel, central locking with keyless entry, tiltable steering wheel and height adjustment on the driver's seat.
There is a decently sized glove box,four cup holders, lots of little stash places and seat back pockets on both front seats. The spare on the back door, inside the optional plastic cover, is a full-sized alloy item (I checked).
Because this car has certain SUV-like features and credible tyres (215/65 R16), I took it out onto one of my favourite washboarded and potholed roads. It behaved well, maintaining course at all times and absorbing all but the worst corrugations comfortably.
About the silly title to this article; Toyota owns a majority share in Daihatsu and sells Terios as the Toyota Rush in some markets, hence "...gets a rush from..." Oh, never mind.
Price: R204 995
Engine: 1 495 cc DVVT inline four cylinder
Power: 77 kW at 6 000 rpm
Torque: 140 Nm at 4 400 rpm
Zero to 100 km/h: 13,5 seconds
Maximum speed: 167 km/h
Average fuel consumption: about 9,1 l/100 km
Tank: 50 litres
Warranty: 3 years/100 000 km
Service plan: 3 years/75 000 km
Intervals: 15 000 km
This is a one-man show, which means that road test cars entrusted to me are driven only by me. Some reviewers hand test cars over to their partners to use as day-to-day transport and barely experience them for themselves.
What this means to you is that every car reviewed is given my own personal evaluation and receives my own seat of the pants judgement - no second hand input here.
Every car goes through real world testing; on city streets littered with potholes, speed bumps and rumble strips, on freeways and if its profile demands, dirt roads as well.
I am based in Pietermaritzburg, KZN, South Africa. This is the central hub of the KZN Midlands farming community; the place farmers go to to buy their supplies and equipment, truck their goods to market, send their kids to school and go to kick back and relax.
So occasionally a cow, a goat or a horse may add a little local colour by finding its way into the story or one of the pictures. It's all part of the ambience!
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