Daihatsu’s taken their Terios – a car already focused at the breakfast-run-market – and made it more ‘girly’.
Why has Daihatsu taken a perfectly good car and garnished it with bright orange floral decals? Well, according to their marketing manager-man, Braam Faul, the manufacturer was concerned that since vehicles are designed for and by men (generally speaking, of course), they don’t cater to the practical world of female as well as they could.
Enter the Diva. It’s got all manner of interesting additions – some regular manufacturer-options, some not so regular.
Heel protecting Diva carpets
Granted, these would have to be tested in the long run, but it’s an interesting thought. If it’s the thought that counts, we like it – but would like to point out that this kind of well thought through provision could be made for the gentlemen as well. A boot scraper on the running board, perhaps?
Orange Diva decals in the front, sides and rear; orange stitching on the interior
Being fairly close to the intended market of the Diva, I’d like to query the decision to go with the colour orange. Orange, to me, has always been a rather adventurous colour – not so much a girly colour. The new Subura XV is orange. The classic in-your-face Focus ST performance car is orange. Hannes Grobler’s RFS Motorsport BMW X3 racer is orange. Pink, lilac, lime green and pastel-anything … those are feminine colours. I can only imagine the conversation in product planning.
“What colour should we make the decals?”
“Pink or purple.”
“Isn’t that a bit patronising?”
“Probably not politically correct, no. Yellow, green?”
“Too ‘environmentally friendly’.”
“So black? Blue?”
“No, those are too masculine.”
That said, I like the colour, especially on the leather stitching. Still, I think it appeals to my youthful side – not so much to my feminine side.
Alloy wheels, fog lamps, roof rails and colour coded bumpers
All perfectly acceptable to this off-road farm girl … not so sure the Morningside-mom cares, but it does give the car a “softly functional” look. Like handbags and shoes … pretty, but useful.
Orange-stitched leather seats
This makes the inside look a little less like a mom-targeted-vehicle and more like a young-female-student-targeted vehicle. But, it’s smart and not overdone, so it can stay.
“Chromed interior door handles, tilt adjustable steering, driver seat height adjustment, seat back pockets, height adjustable seatbelt anchorage, air conditioning, power steering, power windows (front & rear), electric mirrors and no fewer than six cup holders.”
It’s a list you often see on vehicle specs, yes, but it’s a very welcome list. It screams “use me, I’m practical. My windows go up and down without hurting your arms, and there are pockets in me for every little piece of paraphernalia you could possibly be carrying around with you.” It’s cool. Even the door pocket has little dividers, so that things don’t roll around in it and get mixed up. You could put a cup, pens, lip ice, keys and a cellphone in there, and they’d still be in the same place when you get to work. Again, however, we’re not sold on how this is a feminine practicality issue. Guys have pens. No? Okay.
This made my tech-heart happy. This Diva has Bluetooth, iPod connectivity, satellite controls on the steering wheel for the radio, a GPS (which found a suburban house in Centurion, so carries my approval) and a reverse camera. It also has a DVD/CD/MP3 player. The latter, I’m afraid, can’t possibly be aimed at anyone who is a practical being. It’s ridiculously complicated and difficult to use (by both males and females – we tested this theory) and glitches more than it does anything else. Grand idea, not fantastic execution.
Again, not a girly addition, but a very welcome one. Tinting is no longer only for the Citi-golf driver and the pimp-mobiles. This safety film can save your skin. Literally. It’s great to keep the sun out, and has on one occasion saved my skin figuratively as it held a window together while it was being smashed by a spark-plug-yielding-thief. Welcome indeed; as are the central locking system and immobiliser.
Seat and boot organisers
These are very girly, and very cool. The ‘seat organiser’ is a pocket organiser, much like you get for your socks in your cupboard, that hangs behind the driver’s seat. They’ve got all manner of pockets in different shapes and sizes and of different materials (elastic net, plastic etc). They’re perfect for all that rubble that collects in your car – notebooks, pens, mirrors, kids’ small KFC toys etc. The boot organiser is a very nifty shopping-type carrier bag with metal stands to keep it upright. It’s sturdy, it’s smart, and I very nearly didn’t send it back with the car.
Specs and Price
“The Terios Diva is powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine, which delivers 77 kW of power and 140 Nm of torque. It offers more than enough power for daily commuting and, significantly, it is economical too – meaning trips to the petrol station are few and far between. This engine is coupled to a five-speed manual transmission.”
That’s all very true – except for the power bit. Aforementioned trip to Centurion was a slight frustration once on the highway. That said, as a commuter (Daihatsu‘s words), it’s incredibly effective and very nippy. Keep it under 110km/h and you’ll be happy as a clam.
“The Daihatsu Terios Diva costs just R244 995, and it’s available from dealers countrywide – who will also service the vehicle every 15 000 km or once a year, depending what occurs first. It is covered by a three-year/100 000 km warranty.”
That’s nice. Especially considering it’s less than R10 000 more than the plain-non-Diva-Terios. The leather seats alone would cost you as much extra at other manufacturers, and that touch screen has to be pricey. What else can you get for this price? A little more gets you an NP300 or a GWM H5. For a little less, you can get the Mahindra XUV, which is much more than R6000 behind the Terios Diva in terms of quality, and makes the latter seem like a very good option.