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Daihatsu Move - Small Car. Big Heart

The Move, last day before export from Japan

Peter was insistent this car would be the best thing since sliced bread for our channel. I have to say at first I did not agree.

Months would pass by while this one sat on an orchard in Japan. Now, that is not a negative remark, this orchard sells peaches for $5 (CAD) each. The type of fruit that is handled with cotton gloves and sung music to. So, really, it's fine. Peter had the car in inventory but kept on working on feature content on other rides like the legacy or cappuccino. I was honestly wondering if he wanted it for himself it had been so long at one point.

After finally filming a multi-episode series (as you know, that's what we use them for) it was time to ship it to good old Vancouver, Canada.

The Move - enjoying the view of new waters it's never seen before

3 weeks later. It landed and I got a call late in the evening that the car was ready to be collected and I made the arrangements. I called Ken who came out to taxi me to the pickup location and we took the car for a quick drive. I was hooked!

On the city streets (which is what this car is designed for) we had nothing but pure enjoyment as the little rocket hugged the road and whizzed and fizzed along, climbing steadily through the revs as you struggle to hit 100KPH.

CONFESSION: On this car I dragged my feet a little. Peter was telling me it was 660cc Naturally Aspirated, in 4 speed auto. "Who wants to drive that?" I thought to myself. Imagining it to be about as peppy as a scooter with 3 construction workers on it.

I was absolutely wrong.

Daihatsu Move sitting in the garage - post clean

While the Move may not be fast, it certainly has "pep". See, the 4 speed (with OD) was nice and close in ratio thanks to a top speed, limited, to 140KPH. To get there, the 660cc engine revs to a redline of 8,000 screaming RPM's. There is a nice little whine which sounds almost supercharger like, and the car sits so low that, if you combine those all together, it feels like an absolute racecar. Until you look at the tach.... On the highway it was a bit short of breath. Not to a concerning extent, but that is to be expected from a 3 cylinder 660cc engine. This is no gas guzzling V8. It sits at about 4,000 RPM on the highway at 120KPH. Which is normal and should not surprise you given the engine size/displacement, but does put it in the middle of the RPM range where torque has already dropped off. The 0-100 is not worth mentioning, frankly I did not even try to test it. If that is a concern to you, probably best to look at a 4-pot Honda instead. However I do want to mention again, the driving experience here is not lacking, merely the scoreboard stats.

Inside the cockpit of the 2006 Move

Moving on from the heart pumping adrenalin filled driving experience, we should talk about the interior. I have said it before on Kei vehicles, there are certain measurements they need to fit into to be a Kei class vehicle in Japan. You probably knew that, as you are reading this article...

The Move does a stunning job of making space usable. Almost an entirely flat folding full interior makes this one of the best in class for storage and flexibility. The headroom is ample, even at 6'2 as you might have seen in our feature on the experience (link below).

Still on that interior space, I was able to fit 4 full grocery bags in the back, plus a family pack of Pepsi. The (pictured) left rear seat is reclined as I had a baby seat in it, and if not reclined I could have comfortably put at least 1, if not 2 more bags in there.

The rear door opening on a swing out, versus a hatch is really thoughtful for people over the height of 5'2, as they would be hunched over to access the cargo space otherwise, for someone my size, its's perfect. The rear panel on all trims is metal finish, no plastic. surprisingly not a single scratch on it, this is very "space conscious" as trim would just eat into space. Smart "Move" (pun intended) Daihatsu.

Mirrors have turn signals built in for added safety. They also happen to be heated and power folding. Score!

So, final thoughts? The Daihatsu Move is a fantastic, fuel efficient commuter car that deserves more popularity than it gets. When posting it for sale I had over 7,000 views, but many people were unsure as to what it was, struggling to grasp the size and point of this car. I would absolutely recommend it to someone looking for something unique and fun and urge you to consider it for yourself. I do recommend the turbo variant, as the few extra HP you get will be worth it.

Loses a few marks for lack of a turbo on this one, and slightly less aftermarket support.

Bargain or Bust: Bargain

Overall Rating: 8.2/10

Expected Purchase Price (Canada): $6,000 - 12,000

Noteworthy Features: Pep. Heated mirrors, cabin heats in moments. Power folding mirrors, stance. Fuel economy.

Full Video Feature:


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