What Were They Thinking: Daihatsu Materia

The Daihatsu Materia looks like something cartoon legends the Anthill Mob would have driven in a race with Penelope Pitstop – if you want something totally original then this is it. I remember the first time I saw the Daihatsu Materia, I was at Dudley MOT getting my car serviced and I’d genuinely never seen a car like it. 

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Daihatsu Materia Car Review

Lets face it, Daihatsu aren’t exactly known for making good looking cars, take the Daihatsu Charade for example, she’s not exactly a looker, however the Materia, depending on your taste might just be a winner.

The Daihatsu Materia is way out on the edge when it comes to modern car design. It represents a whole mini MPV-worth of individuality that makes a big impact wherever it goes.

Want a head-turner then this is the car for you with a boxy shape that does not fit into any of the regular boxes normally ticked by motor manufacturers.

The Materia is one of the latest expressions of 21st century style from Daihatsu which has always been a specialist in smaller cars.

It is quite big and powerful for a Daihatsu featuring a lively 1.5-litre petrol engine that returns a reasonable average fuel economy figure.

It is a phenomenon in Japan and it is gaining a cult following in the USA. In our humble isle it draws gasps of surprise wherever it goes.

Practicality

The Daihatsu Materia has four doors and a surprising amount of rear leg room. In fact it has roughly the same amount of interior space as a large family car.

On the road, the lofty driving position is a big bonus and the seats are extremely comfortable.

The ride on this car’s small wheels can be quite harsh on some surfaces. The central position of the instruments is also an acquired taste forcing the driver to move his head instead of just his gaze. They would be better placed directly in front of the driver.

The rear seat both slides and reclines and features a 60/40 split that allows awkward loads to be accommodated. The front passenger seat back can also fold almost flat if required creating a large nearly flat load bay. The loading lip is usefully low as well.

Plentiful headroom makes this car feel big inside although narrow side windows and a dark interior don’t help create an airy atmosphere.

Life Style

The Daihatsu Materia’s boxy style with upswept styling line and tapering rear windows gives it an unforgettable visual image – helped by a high bonnet and near vertical drop front.

It is marketed to appeal to younger style-conscious families but it is also hoped to appeal to older people who will like its ease of access and deep doors.

In terms of price it is no bargain but a five-year unlimited mileage warranty is a big pull. The plastics used in the interior aren’t the best in the world but most edges are well finished and everything seems solidly put together.

As far as the environment is concerned the Materia’s emissions are high for a mini MPV.

It’s no warm hatch but the Materia does handle competently with precise steering and little body roll – a surprise given its height.

Security and Safety

The Daihatsu Materia has anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution fitted as standard. It also has twin front and side airbags, but no curtain airbags and no stability control. That said it does have ISOFIX child seat mountings, while central locking and an engine immobiliser deter those with sticky fingers.

The Finishing Touches

The guy who loves opposite used to have a second hand Daihatsu Sportrak, and it would offend my eyes of a morning. The Materia on the other hand is a different story. There’s just one trim level for the Daihatsu Materia, and while none of the kit looks particularly cutting edge, much of it is fitted as standard including the rear privacy glass, electric windows, a CD/radio system, front and rear foglamps and rear parking sensors. The only cost option is metallic paint.

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Rolls-Royce Phantom

The Rolls-Royce Phantom is a wonderfully put together piece of machinery that is incredibly comfortable and exceptionally fast for its size.

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Practicality

The Phantom will cost a fortune to run, but buyers with the money to purchase it in the first place are unlikely to be put off because it drinks fuel and costs a fortune to insure.
The Phantom is unusual in that it is fitted with ‘coach doors’ which open towards the rear making it easier to get in and out.
The car is massive so there is a luxurious amount of space – particularly in the back which is important as that is where most owners are going to spend their time as the chauffeur takes care of the driving.
The boot is predictably massive and easily able to swallow the results of spending spree at a decent-sized high class department store.
Those buying the Phantom are likely to own big houses with large garages attached which is just as well as a huge home is needed to accommodate the dimensions of this car.
The Phantom offers the best of both worlds as it was styled in England but engineered in Germany by parent company BMW. The cabin materials and aroma are pure Rolls, but fit and finish are on a different plane than in the old hand-built days and the attention to detail is superb.
Those owners who do happen to get behind the wheel of the Phantom will immediately notice its sound ergonomics. The driver sits at Land Rover Discovery level, although rearward visibility is poor to ensure rear passengers get the required degree of privacy. The car has a simplified version of BMW’s iDrive system, a twist knob that controls all the major heating, entertainment and information functions.

Life Style

The Phantom is for lottery winners or lords of the manor with money to burn and an appreciation of a class act. It meets the Rolls-Royce standard of being impossible to ignore while the interior is truly elegant – finished to the highest standards using the best materials. It is designed from the rear seat forwards as most owners are expected to be passengers. The care and attention to detail are exemplary which they should be considering the Phantom’s price-tag.
In the unlikely event of the owner getting behind the wheel it can be revealed that the driving experience is pretty special as the car corners with a neatness unknown in any previous Rolls, and the steering is accurate as well as light.
The Phantom is extremely well insulated from the world, giving amazing levels of refinement for both front and rear seat occupants.
Comfort has priority in the set-up thanks to the air-sprung suspension,
If you want a green life style though forget the Phantom as it is about as environmentally friendly as an oil rig.

Security & Safety

Obviously the Phantom is a magnet for criminals – but Rolls-Royce have fitted every security device known to man to deter them.
The Phantom has a large range of active and passive safety features as standard. Normally, rear-hinged coach doors are outlawed but the Phantom overcomes the problem by fitting a sophisticated electronic locking unit which prevents the doors being opened into the path of a following car.

The Finishing Touches

It would be far quicker to list the things the Phantom doesn’t have and the fact is no two cars are likely to leave the factory the same.
When it gets right down to it, Rolls will sell you any accessory you are willing to buy.
The audio system predictably makes a brilliant sound.

 

Rolls-Royce Phantom Car Review Summary

The Rolls-Royce Phantom is a spectacular piece of engineering which is as it should be for something that requires serious wealth to be able to contemplate buying.
It is far more agile than its size would suggest as the Phantom weighs in at a mammoth 2.5 tonnes to put things in perspective that is almost twice what the Ford Grand C-Max weighs. But it is actually far lighter than if built conventionally from steel as it uses an aluminium space frame that saves 300kg. Power is provided by a 453bhp, BMW-sourced, 6.8-litre V12 which is linked to a six-speed auto gearbox and ensures the Phantom packs a punch although this is a car committed to gliding about rather than burning rubber.
The materials used both inside and out are top quality and the Phantom is put together with great care and attention to detail.

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Perodua Kelisa

The Kelisa is Perodua’s inexpensive hatchback that provides an economic and zippy ride. The Kelisa is not a spacious car but it provides an effective and affordable means of transportation for those on a budget or for buyers who desire a dependable commuter car.

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The Kelisa is available with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine. The little Perodua runs great on city streets and through crowded parking lots, but the Kelisa doesn’t perform as well on more challenging terrain.  The base level price is mirrored with base levels of equipment and the Perodua’s cabin provides limited space but should be sufficient for most average sized passengers.

The Kelisa’s interior design is basic with no frills, but its practical design is functional and user friendly.  As long as the Kelisa is kept within its element the Perodua hatchback is a dependable and economical choice for city driving.

Practicality

The Perodua Kelisa is bargain priced and designed to appeal to buyers who are on a budget. The Kelisa provides good gas mileage and repairs should be reasonable. The Kelisa will not enjoy high resale values and provides only basic levels of equipment.

The Kelisa is limited on space. Front seat passengers should have an adequate amount of passenger space but rear seat passengers will find head and legroom in short supply. Boot space is also limited even with the rear seats folded down.

The Kelisa’s controls and dials are basic but have a sturdy feel. The cabin layout is practical and user friendly. The Kelisa’s controls and displays are large and easy to read.

The Perodua Kelisa provides adequate levels of comfort. The steering-wheel and seats are not adjustable. The ride is much smoother than expected and the seats provide decent levels of comfort. Front seat passengers will find it easier to get comfortable and rear seat passengers will feel more cramped due to very limited head and legroom.

The Kelisa is an easy car to park thanks to the cars small size and good all-round vision. The Kelisa provides adequate accessibility for front seat passengers but limited rear space also limits accessibility somewhat.

Life Style

The Kelisa provides plenty of grip and a decent ride. Body roll is prevalent but the Kelisa delivers enough power to navigate down city streets. The Kelisa is bargain priced and trim levels reflect the car’s asking price but the build quality and dependability exceed the Kelisa’s asking price.

The Kelisa is an unlikely family car due to its small size and limited load lugging capabilities. The Kelisa would make a decent second car to a family or a very practical and economical commuter car.

The Perodua-Kelisa would make an excellent first car. It’s inexpensive to purchase and provides good fuel economy. Insurance rates are low and upkeep is inexpensive as well. The Kelisa is easy to park and drive.

The Kelisa’s material reflects its bargain origins. The cabin materials have an inexpensive look and feel but seem to be sturdy and durable. The Kelisa runs and drives well despite its bargain price.

Security and Safety

The Kelisa’s standard security features include central door locks and child protective locks.

The Perodua Kelisa’s standard safety features include twin air bags, side impact beams, and seat belt pretentioners. The Kelisa offers only the basic safety and security features as standard and a very limited options list as well.

The Finishing Touches

The Kelisa does not come fitted with a standard audio device but a radio is listed on the option list for a small fee. The Kelisa is available in three different trim levels and the audio system will vary according to the buyer’s choice of trim.

The Kelisa also comes standard with electric front windows and split-fold rear seats. Metallic paint, a radio, and a sunroof are offered on the options list.

Summary

The Perodua Kelisa is an inexpensive hatchback. Buyers will appreciate the Kelisa’s low asking price, low insurance, drivability, and dependability. The Kelisa has a lot to offer new drivers and/or families as a second car or commuter vehicle.

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Bentley Arnage

The Bentley Arnage has no trouble competing in one of the most exclusive markets in the world. The luxurious saloon is not just about luxury, it delivers exceptional performance as well. The car’s exterior is all about style and taste and is sure to give the competition something to think about.

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The Arnage is based primarily on past technology, a continuous process of improving and enhancing has helped to keep the car modern and at the top of its class. The exterior has managed to change very little over the years but has included some very modern touches such as the smart 19-inch alloy wheels and high intensity headlamps. The Arnage has a strong sense of tradition that is a large part of the car’s appeal.

Inside the Arnage is even more appealing, thanks to the luxurious interior. The interior is composed of only the highest quality material. Many colours are offered to suit the tastes of buyers, and the cabin boasts a hidden sat-nav screen, climate control and audio systems.

The Arnage can be specified to suit the particular requirements of the buyer. As well as choosing an exterior colour and wheel options, the buyer may select a main and secondary leather colour, the colour and finish of the wood, stitching, carpeting and even door panels. This is a very generous offer on the part of Bentley and most manufacturers do not offer such a deal.

Practicality

The Arnage will be an expensive car to purchase and run. The purchase price is high, insurance is very high while poor fuel economy and high running costs will make it an expensive car all round. Buyers who purchase the Arnage are not likely ones who are on a budget anyway.

The Arnage’s cabin is not as large as the car makes it look from the outside. Passengers both front and rear have plenty of head and legroom though. Boot space is very good.

The car’s controls and dials are of high quality and have a nice feel. Displays are large and easy to read and the cabin boasts a high-class feel. The car delivers a very luxurious feel as soon as you enter the car’s cabin.

The Arnage delivers an impressive level of comfort. Engine and road noise are successfully suppressed adding to the cabin’s quality feel. The car proivides a comfortable and soothing ride. All of the car’s seats are electrically adjustable and are made of soft leather and have a premium feel.

Access to the car’s cabin is straighforward. The car’s height allows passengers to slide directly into the seats. The car’s doors and boot provide wide apertures allowing for easy access.

The Arnage is not the easiest car to park. It is long and requires a large space. The car’s high driving position helps with visibility and judging the car’s extremities isn’t too difficult either.

Life style

The Arnage provides a fantastic driving experience. The car can be driven in two modes. The first one is relaxed and smooth, a comfortable ride, and the other is very briskly. The car’s brakes, steering and suspension are also excellent at coping with many driving situations.

The Arnage would make a decent family car. It provides plenty of cabin space, and the boot is large enough to accommodate shopping or other family related items. A family could ride quite comfortably and stylishly in an Arnage.

This is not a suitable first car. It is unlikely that many first time buyers could even hope to afford an Arnage.

The Arnage has an excellent image. Only the highest grade of materials are used, and the cabin is hand finished for a superior quality and workmanship. Bentley has always provided superior cars that exude the company’s good taste and high-class attitude.

Security and Safety

The Arnage is a very desirable car and comes standard with an alarm system and an engine immobiliser. A security tracking system is available as a cost-option.

The Arnage is a heavy car and that alone offers a good deal of safety to its passengers. The car’s standard safety features include high specification brakes and ESP. Six airbags are also included, as are seat belt pretensioners for front seat passengers.

The Finishing Touches

The car’s standard audio system includes a high specification radio/CD tuner. The system produces excellent sound quality and powerful output.

The car offers numerous options for colour, fabric and design of the interior materials. All the choices are of a very high quality and hand finished. The car’s interior is very luxurious and is a comfortable and relaxing yet classy place to ride.

Summary

The Arnage is an expensive car compared to other ordinary cars. The amount of comfort and luxury being offered helps to justify such an expense. The class and style on offer coupled with the many other attributes of the Arnage means that the car has very little real competition.

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