Slower than a snail, top-heavy handling, harsh ride
Daihatsu aims to boost sales with its new Terios 4WD. With short front and rear overhangs, a long wheelbase and wide track, it looks like it can go off-road, but not with any real verve. It's apparently aimed at people looking for the traditional 4x4 qualities of high seating position, bad-weather traction and versatility combined with small car running costs and manoeuvrability. It is longer and wider than the previous model. The interior is about the same size as a mid-sized hatchback, with a split fold-and-tumble rear seat that frees up luggage space supposedly long enough to take a mountain bike. The front floor cross-member, tunnel, sills, B-pillars and roof-side rails are all strengthened to secure the cabin. With the rear seat in use the boot capacity is 380 litres. Its 1.5-litre engine is based on the Daihatsu 1.3-litre, with variable valve timing and its torque curve is virtually flat from 3200 to 4000 rpm. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. A centre differential transfers power with a fixed 50/50 torque split to the front and rear axles via separate propshafts. A fascia-mounted switch activates the electronically-controlled differential lock. ABS and airbags are available too.