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The unsung new hero.

Byline: Malcolm Robertshaw

AS the Government's scrappage scheme continues to attract customers with the pounds 2,000 trade-in allowance on purchasing a new car, a whole host of new vehicles have become hot property.

When studying any form of line-up there are always a number of relatively unsung heroes to consider, and one such example is the Daihatsu Sirion.

Welcomed to the UK motoring scene in 1998, the Sirion made steady progress up the supermini league and, boasting a slightly retro look, spacious interior and fine fuel economy, this five-door hatchback has proved very reliable and good value for money.

Today's Sirion comes with a trio of petrol engines - the 1.0-litre 68bhp, 1.3-litre 86bhp and the latest power source driven here, the 1.5-litre 102bhp, while trim levels of S, SE and SX prove progressively generous.

All of the Daihatsu Sirion range received a complete makeover recently with new bumpers, air intakes, wheel designs, improved rear suspension, plusher fabric trim and more figure-hugging front seats - while generous standard kit at entry level includes air con, alloy wheels, electric windows, dual rear speaker radio/CD player with MP3 or iPod input port, passenger and side airbags, including a front passenger bag which can be deactivated, plus remote central locking.

The range topping Sirion 1.5-litre, SX driven here, also adds a deep front spoiler with mesh grille, front and rear fogs, eight-spoke alloys, side skirts and rear tailgate spoiler, while inside are front map lamps and digital clock. In addition, there are places in which to house those bits and bobs, including a useful glovebox, front door storage pockets, plus cupholders front and rear .

While the luggage bay isn't huge, it is user friendly shaped and provides 225 litre of luggage space with all seats taken which extends to 630 litres of flat load area to accommodate larger items.

Large windows add to the feeling of spaciousness, front seat occupants can enjoy some fine headroom and with plenty of leg and head room for a couple of six foot adults, the rear is surprisingly accommodating.

Facing a neatly laid out dashboard, an agreeable driving position is painlessly arrived at with driver's seat height adjust and a height adjustable wheel.

Powered by an efficient new 1.5-litre four cylinder petrol engine paired with a five-speed manual gear change (there is a four-speed automatic gearbox alternative available for a further pounds 800) the Sirion sits in neat and businesslike fashion on the tarmac.

The 1.5-litre power source proved surprisingly spritely, its 102bhp being more than adequate for family motoring while boasting sufficient mid range torque to deliver effortless acceleration when required, while progress is pretty refined with engine, road and wind noise all taking a back seat for the most part..

Despite its high stance, which introduces some body roll when cornering, the Sirion goes through corners in businesslike fashion while the standard vehicle stability control system in the 1.5 model helps to control traction when conditions demand.

Overall, the Sirion 1.5 SX is good value for money, endorsing Daihatsu's product confidence with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty..

Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 SX 5dr Price: pounds 10,280 Mechanical: 102bhp, 1,495cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox Max speed: 109mph 0-62mph: 10.5 seconds Combined mpg: 45.6 Insurance group: 6 CO2 emissions: 145g/km BiK rating: 17% FAST FACTS


WORTH A LOOK The Daihatsu Sirion 1.5 SX is a good value new car.
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Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2009
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