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First drive: Daihatsu Terios Sport – on sale now

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Review

The Terios is an odd car: it doesn’t really fit neatly into any category. It’s neither a supermini nor an off-roader, yet it offers owners a little bit of both.

With a Fiesta-sized body and 1.3-litre engine it should have no place being coupled to permanent 4x4 running gear with a 185mm ground clearance – yet that’s what it does.

The Terios Sport replaced the Terios EL and SL back in 2003 with 17inch alloys and low profile tyres, silver lower body cladding and a roof spoiler. It looks like a super-mini on steroids that could have been built by readers of Max Power.

The interior is not the most luxurious but comes with all the modern conveniences, including air-con, CD player, central locking, twin front airbags and electric front windows and mirrors.

Daihatsu has even provided 13mm more knee width for those big kneed people by repositioning the electric window switches and slimming the door pockets.

The Terios Sport also benefits from a power increase at 84.5bhp and 88.5lb ft torque, up from 81.9bhp and 84ft lb torque. Peak torque is now a more respectable 3,200rpm as opposed to the old model’s 5,100rpm.

However much as a tiny 1.3 4x4 shouldn’t work on paper, in reality it actually does. Its quirky looks with the oversized wheels definitely make it stand out. It’s not bad to drive either, with a surprisingly pokey engine.

Daihatsu recently revised the price of the Terios Sport. Now just £10,495 it comes in £4 cheaper than the Suzuki Jimny, the most obvious competitor.

While it is never going to do any serious off-roading with its relatively puny engine and low profile tyres, it is definitely a cool, quirky looking, competitively priced alternative, well worth considering as a first time car.

And with a CAP RV of £4,325 (42%) the Terios Sport will be an attractive used car option.

Strengths: Better spec than rivals
Weaknesses: Bit oddball, a unique niche
Opportunity: People looking for something a bit different
Threat: Brand is not on too many lists
USP:Fiesta sized budget 4x4
Price: £10,495
Engine: 1.3-litre petrol; 84.5bhp @ 6,000rpm; 88.5 lb ft @ 3,200rpm
Performance: 0-62mph: 12.9sec; top speed: 90mph
Transmission: Five-speed automatic
Efficiency: 36.7mpg (combined); 183g/km CO2
CAP RV 3yr/30k: £4325 (42%)
Rivals: Suzuki Jimny, Fiat Panda 4x4

Also driven: Daihatsu Terios S

This mini 4x4 would be the perfect car to bounce around a Mediterranean island on holiday.

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