Small SUV’s are everywhere and there is a reason for that. They make perfect sense. They have enough space inside for 5 occupants, sometimes even 7, and they cost a fraction of the price of their bigger counterparts. They also have added ground clearance and sometimes either four wheel drive or all-wheel drive in most cases.
The Terios Diva is something Diahatsu has come out with and, according to their market analysis, the female demographic is rather untapped. The Terios itself is not a bad little car. Infact, I like it a lot. It makes perfect sense in the real world. Decent ground clearance, good fuel economy and enough space for whatever you need to throw in the back. The Diva on the other hand has been given some cosmetic enhancements. For starters, there is flower-type vinyl stickering on the hood. Some say it’s a little overpowering and makes the car look really feminine. Good, I think, this means Daihatsu should really be appealing to their demographic. But are they really? From the mixed opinions I got, most did not like the hood stickers. They were okay with the little bit of Diva branding here and there and they enjoyed the interior, but they all said they would have the front stickers removed.
The Diva is really a 4×2 Terios. The 1.5l engine makes 77kw and is based on the Avanza platform. When looking at the interior, you can clearly see the Toyota influence on the brand. And while the Diva is finished very well, there are hard plastics everywhere, however from a versatile point of view, it makes total sense.
The leather seats have been embroidered with a Diva logo on the front seats’ backrests. Luckily as a male, you don’t see this when you are driving, neither do you see all the other diva graphics on the hood, back doors, floor mats and the tail gate, just as well as I think there is a lot of girly stuff in the car. The car comes standard with a rear removable shoe basket; I guess you could throw your boots in there after a day and slip on some takkies to drive home in. It also has a pocket-type unit behind the passenger seat, also meant for shoes and make-up type stuffs. I would however stuff q20 and spanners in there as that should work pretty well too.
The Diva features a double din navigation touch screen unit which works pretty well and has a pretty good sound. I was a little surprised as to how loud the volume actually went. Prefect to get you in the party mood on the way to the erm, party. All of this can be controlled from the multifunction steering wheel. It also has a decent heater and air conditioner, so those really hot summer days can be contained inside the cabin. The Terios drives well; it gets up to freeway speeds pretty easy and will probably top out around 160kph. The suspension is relatively soft and forgiving and where the Terios really surprised us was off the beaten track. Even just being a rear wheel drive car with added ground clearance, it was clear that it has a little bit more wheel articulation than most soft-roaders, which resulted in better traction in cross-axle situations. The Diva should also pavement hop like crazy, if you are into that sort of thing.
On average you can expect about 8l/100km at freeway speeds, maybe a little bit less if you are really conservative, but being a 1.5l engine, you really sometimes do need to work it through the gears and I must admit, it sounds pretty mean.
In the real world the Diva makes perfect sense if you are a female who likes to have some versatility from something that is only tar bound. The Diva will do a heck of a lot better on gravel and dirt and will give some freedom on weekends when you want to break away and head for the hills.
You might not like the stickers, but seriously look past it and take the diva for a drive. Looks can be very deceiving and for only R244 995 it’s a great alternative to the more road-going lifestyle vehicles out there, only here you get a sense of flair.