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4 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on daihatsu boon | daihatsu japan | daihatsu mira l200s
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Daihatsu Fourtrak (1984-2002) Car Review

Drive along any country lane and youХre bound to spot one: thereХs no doubt that the Daihatsu Fourtrak is the country-dweller’s favourite 4×4. The reasons are simple. This unassuming mud-plugger is competitively priced, as tough as old boots and extremely competent in the rough. The rather basic original model was not endowed with the most appealing road manners.

However, this problem was addressed in 1993 with the introduction of an independent suspension system, which did wonders for its road-going ability. At the same time, the whole range benefited from an extensive revamp and the appropriately named ФIndependentХ trim level was introduced to help the Fourtrak appeal to a wider audience. The ruggedness, which was the biggest appeal of the original, is still there though.

The Fourtrak will seat the family, carry the odd chest of drawers and sail through a ploughed field as well as whisk you down to the local wine bar on a Friday night.


The first Fourtraks arrived in the UK way back in 1984 and offered basic off-road petrol and diesel-powered transport in short wheelbase three-door form. For a few years (1985-1988) they were joined by Soft Top versions, but the derivatives weХre looking at here are the sturdy yet stylish Estates.

In 1990, all models were treated to uprated brakes, exhausts and transmissions. A year later the range was revised again and all models gained restyled bodywork, extended wheel arches, bigger bumpers and little luxuries such as electric windows and central locking. A 90bhp 2.2-litre petrol derivative arrived in June 1992 to compliment the 2.0-litre petrol and 2.8-litre turbo diesel engines already on offer.

The most significant changes didnХt occur until a year later though. Early models had a harsh ride caused by their old-fashioned leaf sprung suspension, and this was addressed in 1993 with the a new suspension set-up. The `Independent` suspension system did wonders for the road-going ability, its double wishbone set-up at the front and five-link coil-spring suspension at the rear meant potholes would no longer shake your fillings out.

The same year saw the introduction of a pair of seven-seater versions, the 2.8 TDL and TDX and the demise of the less popular petrol-engined derivatives.

Later revisions improved noise and vibration, and safety has been a priority too. The car looks more aggressive than it did when it was originally launched. Later versions are some 110mm wider than their predecessors and boast wider wheelarches as well as sleeker bumpers and a revised grille.

Inside, there’s a user-friendly instrument binnacle, while the driver and front seat passengers benefit from bucket-style seats with integral head restraints.


All the latest Fourtrak models come with power steering, selectable two or four-wheel drive and an immobiliser security system. Inside, the cars are fitted with a substantial rear roll-over bar which provides mountings for three-point inertia-reel seat belts for rear seat passengers. There are also two (rather uncomfortable) occasional seats in the rear in the long wheelbase models to increase the carrying capacity to seven.

Higher up the range, the TDL-SE is another seven-seater with a healthy dose of equipment. This runs to electric windows, central locking, a four-speaker stereo, an adjustable steering column and additional instrumentation. If you want more, the Fourtrak TDX has colour-coded wheelarch extensions and unique alloy wheels.

Gadgetry on the flagship TDX includes electronic 4WD engagement, electric mirrors, power headlamp washers and an RDS stereo system.

If you choose a model thatХs fitted with the torquey 2.8-litre intercooled turbo diesel unit, youХll also get a hefty 3,500kg towing capacity.


The best course of action, if you can afford it, is to stick with the post-1993 Independent machines, but you do have to pay more for their improved ride and specification. A 1993L TDX Independent 2.8 is likely to set you back around Ј1,800, while a slightly lower spec TDL Independent should start at about Ј1,500.

Alternatively you could take the newer route Р after all, the Fourtrak is seen by many as a more affordable alternative to a Land Rover. A 2000X-reg TDL Independent should start at Ј6,600 and a TDX Independent will set you back around Ј8,800 on 2002 plates. For SE versions, add around Ј500-Ј1000 to these figures depending on age and condition.


These capable workhorses are likely to be used for serious off-roading, so itХs advisable to check the bodywork, suspension and chassis for damage. Particular areas that need attention are differentials, gearbox and engine.

Faulty or damaged turbos can be expensive to repair, so have the engine checked out by an expert if youХre unsure.


Parts prices are relatively low for an Oriental make. A brake master cylinder will be around Ј85, front shock absorbers will be roughly Ј25 and a clutch disc will be only just over Ј50. All these prices exclude VAT.

As already mentioned, post 1993 cars are better on-road. That said, donХt expect car-like manners: the ride is still rather bouncy on the tarmac. Off-road itХs a different matter though: the Fourtrak is one of the most capable small 4x4s around with good ground clearance. It will clamber up a rocky outcrop almost as well as a mountain goat, or even wade through a raging river.

If all this sounds a little too extreme for your needs, donХt worry: the Fourtrak is just as good at getting you safely off a waterlogged school playing field.


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The 2.8 turbo diesel versions are well equipped, sturdy and have even gained rather stylish looks in recent years. All in all, they provide a good, affordable alternative to a Land Rover.


Daihatsu Move (1997 – 2000) Car Review

Though some wouldnХt be seen dead in the curiously styled, boxy little Daihatsu Move, those prepared to try one are certainly in tune with the direction in which city cars are going. Short, narrow and powered by tiny, fuel efficient engines, what works in Tokyo will inexorably spread to other urban sprawls around the globe. Buying a used Move is a wacky way to beat the traffic. Just be prepared to weather a few sniggers.

Loosely based on the Japanese K-car concept which has spawned a range of tiny city cars, the Move is ostensibly a micro-MPVs. To western eyes, the dimensions are initially startling. ItХs narrower and not much longer than a Mini, so despite its MPV billing, donХt expect to carry a family of seven and their luggage.


The Move landed on these shores in March 1997. At first it was viewed as the automotive equivalent of the Japanese game show ФEnduranceХ Р a cruel oriental joke. That was until commentators tried it. After a drive and a re-appraisal of its qualities, the Move was given a grudging thumbs up.

It fulfilled its purpose Р to transport a maximum of four people in an urban environment Р excellently and made more traditional family hatchbacks look bloated and over-engineered.

In October 1998 the Move was offered with standard air conditioning or automatic gearbox at no additional cost. Sales of the Move in this country tailed off in 1998 when Daihatsu withdrew promotional support for it, and even Daihatsu arenХt sure of the exact date the life support machine was switched off, but estimate sometime in late 1999.


Without wishing to sound demeaning, with the Move you are buying a rather narrow, somewhat frenetic box on wheels. In Move+ guise, itХs quite a well-equipped box, but itХs a car that have been designed with a set-sized road ФfootprintХ in mind and then designers have grappled with the task of getting as many people as possible into that box. The key is height.

The Move can be driven wearing a top hat, or a jesterХs hat if thatХs more appropriate, and has a light and airy feel.

The body design looks like wheels and bonnet have been tacked on as an afterthought to the cabin, but the overall effect is cheeky and grin inducing. Despite their faults, itХs not possible to stay angry with a Move for too long. It has an infectious personality that lets you forgive it for its narrow dimensions, plasticky cabin and roly-poly cornering.

The equipment levels range from basic to reasonably surprising.

The basic Move models boast such luxuries as a rear wash wipe and adjustable head restraints, so the cabin ambience is hardly palatial. Having said that, thereХs more than a nod to safety and security, with a driverХs airbag. Side impact protection and engine immobiliser all fitted as standard.

Late model Moves also come with either air conditioning or an automatic gearbox as standard. How many other S registration cars come with this level of equipment for under Ј2,500? The Move+ benefited from colour-keyed bumpers, electric front windows, central locking and a quite baffling Pioneer face-off stereo system.

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