just got my hands on a Daihatsu mira 2012 , imported straight from japan , vehicle has done 64k km and is in white color . drove it from isb to lhr and am ragging it in lhr city to see how it, read on for the full review! enjoy
MIRA, what it is ? whats the fuss about ?
to put it short, its a "kei" car . KEI is japanese for "small" , " midget" etc.( mind you , there is nothing midget about these cars except what strikes the eyes ) . the thing is, that in japan, tax and space issue have made these small KEIS ideal for urban driving while their small 658cc engine offer exceptional fuel economy and decent power. the target audience for these vehicles is small families and out of job 20 something professionals (j/k) . women just love it .
Who makes these "kei" cars ?
toyota, ( its daihatsu subsidiary), honda, nissan etc, all offer their models. they are generally the same with 660cc engines, choice of auto,manual cvt, dual airbags, etc . dimensionally too , they are similar ,and there isnt much of a difference.
i have been driving a suzuki swift for 4+ years in lahore and was frankly, tired . very tired. the swift, being an overall good car is hard on the legs ( the clutch just gets so hard post 30,000 km ) and doenst offer much comforts, space wise per se . more so , my mrs cant drive it ( manual ) :P:P:P:P:P so i had to chauffer her around ,,
back to topic, the mira is surprisingly spacious, much more than the swift is, there is ample leg room both in front and back for even a tall guy ( i'm 5 11 ) , even with front seats fully traversed back , the rear passengers dont complain , in short, designers made this car optimized for cabin space , trading off engine size .
driver + passenger airbags, ABS, central locking, powered windows, no powered mirrors , dual cup holder that smartly go back in like a landing gear on an F 16 ,
the driving experience , the engine + transmission:--
this the best and most shocking part, dont be fooled by the tiny motor , its a 660cc daihatsu developed KV-FE engine, design optimized to keep it light and durable, and a re mapped ECU for more power and torque, this is like north korea , small maybe,, but with a punch, mated with a cvt, power delivery is smooth and crisp , upshifts and downshits are precise if u know how to play with civvie, there is no shortage of overtaking torque to dampen your confidence does the occasion require. i had no issues with slopes, uphill driving, and over cutting the cultus'es and even city's on GT road. the car sits nicely and planted at 120kmph given its size . theres even an S mode which basically sharpens throttle and delays upshift to maximize power output, but frankly, never needed it.
in the dense lahore traffic, i have never been more relaxed, i comfortably rest my left leg on the spacious central space and drive around doing my small chores, ( this car being ideal for such jobs ) , the a/c, the heater, the seats are all are excellent and make driving a pleasure, even in this chilly lhr cold, the heater make u sweat and needs turning down. it is that good!
mileage, , i reckon, i reached from dha 2 in pindi to dha lahore via gt road in less than a 1000 rupees , do the math, in essence, this is a fuel snuffing car ,
no powered mirrors , engine a bit noisy when accelerating , outside noise not well filtered out from the cabin, putting fat tyres on the car will hurt mileage,
oh yes, expensive spares, lights etc, save your car from mirror poachers , mira and move mirrors sell for as much as 8k in market
i want to but a mira :- ?
yes, if you spend 99 percent of your time in urban driving , this is way better option than the crappy cultueses and mehrans. look for a good , verified auction sheet vehicle , avoid the accident -repaired dealer crap , a friend got one from a dealer and the climate control refused to work after a week,
all in all ,this is a small, rugged, fun car and get the job done nicely, engine might be small but isnt short of passion.