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Daihatsu - 2005 Extol Compact Van
Daihatsu - 2005 Extol Compact Van

Daihatsu - 2005 Extol Compact Van

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Daihatsu Extol Compact Van Daihatsu Extol compact van is set to make a major impact in its segment thanks to 'best-in-class' features and a competitive price of only £6,995 (exc... More »
Daihatsu Extol Compact Van

Daihatsu Extol compact van is set to make a major impact in its segment thanks to 'best-in-class' features and a competitive price of only £6,995 (excluding VAT, RFL and First Registration Fee).

Japanese-built and with a three year 60,000 mile warranty, the 1.3 litre Daihatsu Extol will eventually replace the highly successful Hijet micro-van which has been a What Van? award-winner for 11 successive years.

The completely new Extol will be sold throughout Daihatsu's 90-plus dealer network with volume sales taking off from January 2004.

Key customers will be multi-drop delivery operators plus city-centre businesses such as florists who will appreciate the Extol's compact external dimensions and class-beating 8.8 metre kerb-to-kerb turning circle.

And with an 82 PS 1.3 litre petrol engine matched to a slick-shifting five-speed floor-mounted gearchange, the Extol has ample power to tackle longer distances with ease. For example, top speed is a useful 93 mph.

Unlike older forward-control micro-vans, the Daihatsu Extol places the driver and passenger behind the front wheels in a particularly spacious ergonomically-designed cab. The front bonnet affords extra crumple space in the event of an accident and both driver

and passenger airbags are standard.

Also aiding safety and general stability are an in-line engine and gearbox mounted well behind the front wheels. In addition, the engine is canted on its side. The result is a low centre-of-gravity and polar-moment-of-inertia thanks to the power unit's weight being kept well within the wheelbase.

Daihatsu Extol Measures Up

With large sliding load doors on both sides plus a high-opening top-hinged tailgate, Daihatsu's new Extol offers excellent cargo access, especially useful when operating in tight spaces such as narrow back streets.

The flat steel load floor is vinyl-covered and also features a substantial storage space underneath - sufficient for bulky tools which can be kept out of sight for security.

Actual cargo dimensions are a class-beating 1,700 mm load length with a 1,175 mm load height from floor to roof and ample width of 1,330 mm. Excluding the underfloor storage space, the cargo capacity is a generous 2.2 cubic metres.

Other valuable statistics include a braked towing limit of 1,000 kg, unbraked trailer weight of 400 kg, gross train weight of 2,600 kg and ground clearance of 165 mm.

Competitor Beating Features

Key competitors include car-derived vans but the main Daihatsu Extol rival is Suzuki's Carry van which - at first glance - appears superficially similar.

However, the new Daihatsu Extol offers the following benefits over the Suzuki:

A bigger, wider body with an 80 mm longer wheelbase

38 kg more payload

80 mm longer load length

75 mm more load height

8.8 versus 9.0 m turning circle

6 litre bigger fuel tank at 46 litres

Stronger twin-cam engine - 4 PS extra power and 13.5 lb ft more torque

Greater flexibility and high-speed performance thanks to Dynamic Variable

Valve Timing (DVVT)

9,000 mile service intervals - 3,000 more than the Suzuki's

Driver AND passenger airbags

Height-adjustable steering column

Radio AND CD tuner

Tough vinyl load floor covering and sound-absorbent roof lining

Colour-keyed bumpers with deep integrated front spoiler

Lively Engine, Smooth Transmission

The Daihatsu Extol features an advanced 1.3 litre four-cylinder petrol engine with multi-point fuel-injection - features which would not be out of place in the most up-to-date supermini.

In fact, the Daihatsu-built unit is based on the engine fitted to the award-winning Toyota Yaris. Daihatsu is partly owned by Toyota and manufactures the engine for its Japanese sister company.

It is also fitted - in various states of tune - to the Daihatsu Sirion, YRV and Terios. This means dealers have gained a valuable wealth of servicing experience.

Featuring twin overhead camshafts, 16 valves and Dynamic Variable Valve Timing (DVVT), the unit offers a broad spread of power and torque across a wide rev-range.

With a bore and stroke of 72.0 x 79.7 mm for a capacity of 1,298 cc, the engine produces 82 PS (80.5 bhp) at 6,000 rpm and 120 Nm (88.5 lb ft) of torque at 4,400 rpm.

Although no official fuel consumption figures are available, the basic engine's frugality is class -leading when fitted to Daihatsu passenger cars.

Meanwhile, the five-speed, floor-mounted manual transmission is especially slick-shifting and with sensibly chosen ratios. These give a good compromise between motorway cruising refinement and fully-laden in-gear acceleration.

Balanced Chassis, Nimble Handling

The new Extol displays nimble handling for a van partly thanks to the engine and transmission being mounted low down and well within the wheelbase. In fact, the units are almost mid-mounted and drive the live rear axle which is especially well located.

For example, the three-link rear suspension comprises coil springs with separate shock-absorbers and a Panhard rod for better control of side-to side movement.

The Daihatsu Extol also has special toe-control links on the trailing arm bushes which reduce axle tramp - or shudder - which is sometimes experienced when a commercial vehicle is running unladen.

The independent front suspension comprises conventional MacPherson struts located by L-shaped lower arms. Anti-dive geometry is also part of the set-up, aiding stability by better resisting weight transfer during severe braking.

Steering is by power-assisted rack-and-pinion for added accuracy and the turning circle is an ultra-tight 8.8 metres kerb-to-kerb.

The braking system is servo-assisted with 229 mm front discs and 200 mm self-adjusting rear drums with leading and trailing shoes.

A pressure-sensing valve adjusts braking characteristics, ensuring stable braking regardless of load.
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