The Sirion was offered from the Japanese automaker Daihatsu from the 1998 model year through 2005, when Daihatsu shuttered its doors. The Sirion is still on offer in its native Japan and in several export markets, despite being branded as the Daihatsu Boon. Throughout its production, the Sirion went through many changes and generations but always proved a popular vehicle known for its reliability and performance. Technically labelled in its class as a subcompact, the Sirion was a five-door hatchback, offering all the convenience and flexibility of that particular body style.
The first-generation Sirion was on offer from 1998 to 2004 in several different trims. These are the vehicles most likely to be found on the used car market. In 2004, the Sirion got an overhaul, and the second-generation Sirion came on the market. However, this particular car was only available for two model years (2004 to 2005) as Daihatsu, Japan’s oldest carmaker, was forced to shut down operations due to decreasing sales numbers. Despite this fact, many Sirions in good condition can still be found on the pre-owned market today. Renowned for their impressive reliability, the Sirion makes a great, economical family car or first car. With low pricing on many pre-owned Sirions, they are the perfect low-cost option for a car buyer searching for a sturdy and spacious hatchback.
Featuring a surprising amount of interior roominess, the Sirions also boasted split-folding rear seats and impressive safety features. Throughout its production run, the Sirion was exceedingly economical when it came to fuel, meaning low maintenance and running costs for owners. The small family car was designed with European styling in mind; however, because of its Japanese origins, the car also features superior build quality and advanced technology. The attractive exterior profile commands attention, while the interior spaciousness (including a nice high roof) makes for a comfortable ride. In addition, the Sirion offers smooth handling and suspension and an easy-to-drive, easy-to-park build that makes it perfect for city driving. Light and zippy, the Sirion offers a great overall ride. In fact, these cars were even used as Rally vehicles around the world.
There were two overall generations of the Daihatsu Sirion offered. The first, produced between 1998 and 2004, featured a 1.0L in-line 3-cylinder engine with 40kW of power at 5200rpm and 88Nm of torque at 3600rpm. These cars came with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.
In 2001, this first version got a makeover when a sporty GTvi version was released. This particular Sirion featured a 1.3L in-line V4 engine with an output of 75kW of power at 7500rpm and 120Nm of torque at 4400rpm. This higher-performance vehicle, introduced in 2001, could zip from 0-100km/h in roughly 10.8 seconds.
At the time, the GTvi boasted the most powerful naturally aspirated motor in the subcompact class. These two engines, the 1.0L and the 1.3L, were carried over by Daihatsu into the second-generation Sirion, which was released in 2004 before being phased out of the market in 2005. A third generation of Sirion continues to be offered internationally. All the engines on the Sirion throughout its production run have offered class-leading fuel efficiency.
The earliest models of the Sirion came rather stripped down (a cassette deck, but no air-con or power steering) so that should be kept in mind when considering models manufactured before the year 2000. Later versions, however, came equipped with impressive kit and several great safety features. For example, the GTvi version of the car, released in 2001, included dual airbags, electronic windows, air-conditioning, power steering, cruise control, central locking, a CD player, and an AM/FM stereo system.
The dash was redesigned several times over the course of the Sirion’s run, giving it easier-to-use controls. In addition, over the years, the storage space was improved, meaning that generally later-version Sirions are larger and better-equipped than earlier models.
The Sirion faced plenty of competition over its seven-year run. Other compact hatchbacks competing in the same segment included the Suzuki Liana and Kia Rio. The Liana, introduced in 2001, featured a 1.6L in-line V4 engine under the bonnet with an output of 76kW and 144Nm. Around the same time, the Kia Rio was offered with a 1.5L V4 engine with a similar output of 71kW of power and 132Nm of torque. Throughout its run, the Sirion was a popular car, but not popular enough to buoy the declining sales numbers that led to Daihatsu’s closure here in the mid-2000s.