Daihatsu YRV Turbo
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Daihatsu YRV Turbo

Date: 22 May 2005 Author Type: Registered Journalist
Author: Andrew Walker
The Daihatsu YRV Turbo sells for just under R140 000, yet it has a power to weight ratio of 102 kW per tonne - which is higher than that of a Ford Focus ST170.

The secret lies in its kerb weight of just 950 kg and the fact that it`s shoved on by the most powerful 1.3-litre engine around - by quite some margin. Thanks to forced induction, and other modern features like variable valve timing and four valves per cylinder, the little motor puts out an astounding 95 kW at 6 400 r/min and 170 Nm at 2 800 r/min.

The only downside, for some, will be that it`s currently only available with a 4-speed automatic gearbox. But in spite of this, the YRV Turbo is a truly solid performer. The box changes up or down in good time and as a bonus, cogs can be swapped on the steering wheel.

The test unit was still fairly tight, but still managed to ring out a zero to 100km/h time of just over ten seconds. On the road, the car feels brisk, and power deliver is surprisingly linear.

But performance on its own is not the be all and end all, so I was very eager to test this car around the bends, and here, it proved surprising. Although there is quite a lot of body roll in fast cornering, the YRV turns in fairly quickly and sticks to the road come hell or high water - and it never gives the impression that it`s going to topple over.

As an overall package, the YRV is a very worthy all-rounder. Maybe it`s not quite up to the very best small car competition when it comes to interior finish and practicality, but it`s dynamically sound and offers levels of performance completely unheard of at its price level.
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