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Daihatsu Move (1997 - 2000)

A MOVE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION? (some text hidden)


Introductionword count: 130

Though some wouldn't be seen dead in the curiously styled, boxy little Daihatsu Move, those prepared to try one are certainly in tune with the direction in which city cars are going. Short, narrow and powered by tiny, fuel efficient engines, what works in Tokyo will inexorably spread to other urban sprawls around the globe. Buying a used Move is a wacky way to beat the traffic. Just be prepared to weather a few sniggers. Loosely based on the Japanese K-car concept which has spawned a range of tiny city cars, the Move is ostensibly a micro-MPVs. To western eyes, the dimensions are initially startling. It's narrower and not much longer than a Mini, so despite its MPV billing, don't expect to carry a family of seven and their luggage.

Modelsword count: 8

Models Covered: 5dr hatchback, 850cc, petrol [Base, +]

Historyword count: 138

The Move landed on these shores in March 1997. At first it was viewed as the automotive equivalent of the Japanese game show 'Endurance' - a cruel oriental joke. That was until commentators tried it. After a drive and a re-appraisal of its qualities, the Move was given a grudging thumbs up. It fulfilled its purpose - to transport a maximum of four people in an urban environment - excellently and made more traditional family hatchbacks look bloated and over-engineered. In October 1998 the Move was offered with standard air conditioning or automatic gearbox at no additional cost. Sales of the Move in this country tailed off in 1998 when Daihatsu withdrew promotional support for it, and even Daihatsu aren't sure of the exact date the life support machine was switched off, but estimate "sometime in late 1999."

What You Getword count: 256

Without wishing to sound demeaning, with the Move you are buying a rather narrow, somewhat frenetic box on wheels. In Move+ guise, it's quite a well-equipped box, but it's a car that have been designed with a set-sized road 'footprint' in mind and then designers have grappled with the task of getting as many people as possible into that box. The key is height. The Move can be driven wearing a top hat, or a jester's hat if that's more appropriate, and has a light and airy feel. The body design looks like wheels and bonnet have been tacked on as an afterthought to the cabin, but the overall effect is cheeky and grin inducing. Despite their faults, it's not possible to stay angry with a Move for too long. It has an infectious personality that lets you forgive it for its narrow dimensions, plasticky cabin and roly-poly cornering. The equipment levels range from basic to reasonably surprising. The basic Move models boast such luxuries as a rear wash wipe and adjustable head restraints, so the cabin ambience is hardly palatial. Having said that, there's more than a nod to safety and security, with a driver's airbag. Side impact protection and engine immobiliser all fitted as standard. Late model Moves also come with either air conditioning or an automatic gearbox as standard. How many other S registration cars come with this level of equipment for under £2,500? The Move+ benefited from colour-keyed bumpers, electric front windows, central locking and a quite baffling Pioneer face-off stereo system.

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Category: Small Runabouts

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