I've been captivated by this Daihatsu Sirion. It is, as the headline suggests, the removal of a wheel trim away from perfection.
The price is, as near as makes no difference, the equivalent of two monthly PCP payments on a new ‘all-paw’ Toyota GR Yaris. An unfair comparison, perhaps, but today was the day when the serious motoring titles released their reviews of the OMG NEW HOMOLOGATION SPECIAL BEST HOT HATCH EVER.
I'm not going to be cynical. I'm as excited as the next rally jacket-shod car enthusiast. My plastic Thermos cup runneth over with anticipation.
It's just that I've spent more time gawping at photos of this Daihatsu Sirion than I have reading reviews of the GR Yaris. This will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with PetrolBlog.
Back to Black
Back in 1999, when the Sirion was new, it cost the original owner £9,595. Twenty-one years later, nine thousand of those pounds have flown the nest. Yet it remains as desirable as ever, especially on black steelies. Ditch that offensive wheel trim, stick some winter rubber on the rims, and you've got the perfect winter weapon.
Still want that homologation special?
It's the Sirion+ model, so it comes with chrome strips on the bumpers and flanks, electric front and rear windows, plus electrically folding door mirrors. There are no guarantees that the mirrors still function, but it's Japanese, so let's assume that they do.
Automatic for the People
The automatic transmission was a no-cost and no-fun option, so testing the claimed 0-60 time of 15 seconds will be a torturous affair. That's around 10 seconds slower than the GR Yaris, by the way. Is the Toyota really worth around £3,000 a second more than the Daihatsu Sirion? Answers on a postcard to the home for the bewildered and confused.
If the swollen wheel arches of the GR Yaris are a little too butch for your liking, the cheery face of the Daihatsu Sirion should be more appealing. To my eyes, the Sirion has always looked like Lightning McQueen's Japanese nephew. It just needs a couple of cartoon eyes on the windscreen. Ka-chow!
Hitting the buffers
There's more, because this Sirion also comes with a green front bumper and an off-set front number plate, for some authentic JDM WRC vibes. As for those ‘buffers’ on the rear bumper, I'm tempted to mutter something about the Daihatsu Sirion handling like it's on rails. For that, you probably need the Sirion Rally 2 or Rally 4.
When you've finished terrorising winter rally stages in your not-a-Toyota-GR-Yaris, you can sell the registration number to a Porsche supercar owner who's got a thing for the UK's second biggest airport. The Sirion is the gift that keeps on giving.
Tim Pitt's review suggests that I'd enjoy driving the Toyota GR Yaris. Who am I trying to kid? I'm desperate to have a go in the bonkers hot hatch. It's the welcome tonic we need in 2020.
But right now, I only have eyes for the ‘Green & Black's’ Daihatsu Sirion. Just get rid of that blasted wheel trim. Has anybody seen my rally jacket?
The 1999 Daihatsu Sirion is for sale at Ouse Valley Car Sales in Bedford.