WHEEL WOMAN REVIEW: Daihatsu Terios Diva Delux
Durban - What do women want in a car? Something cute and underpowered, with splashes of pink and a special carpet to protect their high heels, apparently.
That’s what Daihatsu has created with its Terios Diva, first revealed in 2012 in response to the carmaker’s realisation that 80 percent of those driving the compact SUV were women.
While the first edition Terios Divas sported orange twirly, girly decals and orange Diva stitching and embroidery on the seats, the recently launched facelifted model - the Diva Delux - has dropped orange as an option in favour of pink, turquoise, black and white decals, on a choice of three body colours - white, silver and black.
The Diva is the 4x2 Terios, presumably because ladies don’t need pukka 4x4 capability, but if you want a vehicle to not only look the part but act it too, you can buy the 4x4 version and pay to have it Diva’d up.
Daihatsu SA punts the Diva as ‘something unique’ within the fast growing SUV segment. So what’s unique about it, apart from the girly name and feminine flourishes, and the word Diva splashed about?
There are special “heel protecting” carpets in the driver’s footwell, loads of cupholders and detachable organisers for both the boot and behind the front seat - “perfect for stowing that mascara tube as the lights turn green” as one Diva reviewer put it. Sigh.
To spare you having to haul out the jack when you have a flat, there’s a tyre repair kit for small punctures.
The new Diva has two more airbags than the old one did, bringing the total to four, and you can deactivate the passenger one by means of a switch in the cubby.
While resting our heels on cushy carpet, and applying our lippy at the robot, we women really like to have gizmos at hand while driving, too, and the Delux delivers with an in-dash Garmin satnav , DVD, CD and MP3 player, USB and iPod ports and a built-in hard drive which can store songs.
The new multi-info display/on-board computer displays fuel range, average fuel consumption, temperature and time, and there’s a 12V socket in the boot.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE...
The new Diva has upped the gizmo factor by adding DVD screens to the backs of the front seats, each with its own independent wireless headphones, allowing the kids to watch different DVDs. Effectively three different DVDs can be played in the Diva at once, the front passenger having the benefit of the main DVD screen up front.
The Diva also has a reversing camera - always a nice-to-have - and safety features good enough to earn it a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating, including a crash-sensing fuel cut-off system.
So much for the bits and bobs.
Powering the Diva is the same 1.5-litre petrol engine as in the original model, delivering 77kW and 140Nm, and mated to a five-speed manual transmission.
DECENT FUEL CONSUMPTION
When I asked the (male) driver who collected me from the airport what he thought of the Diva, he said it feels a little underpowered at times, “but it’s fine for the ladies”.
Much as such statements make me bristle, I have to say he’s probably right. And I daresay the need for a decent fuel consumption from their car is currently trumping the need for impressive performance for most people.
The Diva’s fuel consumption is a claimed 7.5 litres per 100km, on a par with that the of new Renault Duster SUV (petrol) but quite a bit more than the consumption Ford claims for its Ecoboost.
What you get with the Diva is a sporty looking, high-riding SUV with a great turning circle, good safety features, acceptable if not racy performance, decent fuel consumption, and a lot of practical, fun features which enhance the driving experience.
Yours for R270 000, with a three-year warranty and 15 000km service intervals.
Engine: four-cylinder, 1.5-litre petrol
Power: 77kW @ 6000rpm
Torque: 140Nm @ 4400rpm
Consumption (claimed): 7.5 litres per 100km
Price: R270 000
Warranty: Three-year or 100 000km
Ford Ecoboost 1.5 TiVCT (82kW/138Nm) - R199 900
Nissan Juke 1.6 Acenta+ (86kW/158Nm) - R247 100
Renault Duster 1.6 Dynamique (75kW/145Nm) - R209 900
Suzuki SX4 (112kW/190Nm) - R247 900