Daihatsu Charade (2003–2006)

What's good

4-Star NCAP Crash Safety rating for adult occupants, 3-Star child protection rating, 2 star Pedestrian Safety rating (These are for the Daihatsu Cuore, which was badged Charade for the UK only).

What to watch out for

Narrow tyres leave it a serious understeerer compared to the average modern hatch.

Feedback from Robert Evans: "Mine is a 2004 model, and has suffered teething problems which are worth looking out for on the used market, as the following faults appear to be widespread among 2003-2004 models. Both driveshafts had to be replaced under warranty after 2 years. Listen for a scraping sound when turning left or right, especially when pulling away from a junction. The factory tyres wore extremely quickly (fronts completely scrubbed smooth at edges after 10K, rears only lasted 20K). Budget front replacements have lasted a further 20K and still only half worn, budget rears showing little wear after 10K. Other owners contradict this with excellent tyre life from factory fit Hankooks. Check exhaust carefully, especially where it joins the back box. Mine fell off at 3.5 years (and the car does not do short runs often), and the replacement is a single part (£220 from Daihatsu). Non-franchised exhaust specialists can't get hold of the part, and it is in short supply at Daihatsu). This is a pricey weakness and needs budgeting for. (Exhaust is actually £185 inc VAT for the complete system from manifold to tailpipe and including the cat, but fitting is extra.)

More driveshaft problems reported by September 2009 on cars 5 years old.

Rattling front brake calipers also seem to be a common irritation. This is usually caused by the fitting of non-Daihatsu 'pattern' pads, that don't fit properly. Genuine Daihatsu pads are £80.

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