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DAIHATSU SONICA test drive review. First tourer concept.


Daihatsu SONICA is Kei-car.

SONICA is it began selling in 2006.

Kei-car is low in highway driving performance, because its displacement is very small.

Therefore, Daihatsu manufactures a new kei-car with the concept of "refreshing tourer". That is SONICA.

35 mph / 1,800 rpm, 65 mph / 2,900 rpm At that time it was No.1 quietness, low engine speed and high output setting caused less engine noise.

*However, quietness performance improved almost all Kei-cars produced after 2012.


Specifications United States United Kingdom
Car name SONICA
Displacement 0.66Liter 660cc
Grade R / RS / RS-Limited
Boost device Torbo charger
Cylinder 3
Torque 75 lbf-ft 103Nm
At RPM 3,000
Power 63hp ( 47kW )
At RPM 6,000
Drivetrain FWD / AWD
MPG highway (FWD) 54
MPG highway (AWD) 49
Gearbox CVT / 7 speed CVT
Exterior length 133 in 3,395mm
Exterior width 58 in 1,475mm
Exterior height 57 in 1,470mm
Wheelbase 96 in 2,440mm
Kerb weight 1,807-1,918 lb 820-870kg
Suspension Front MacPherson Strut
Suspension Rear Torsion-beam
Brake type Front Disk
Brake type Rear Drum
Wheel size 155/65R14 - 165/55R15

External design

SONICA front

"Sonica" is a new genre of Daihatsu's sporty and premium atmosphere.

There are also many newly developed mechanisms, and there are also a lot of noteworthy points such as packaging beyond common sense until now.

"Sonica" is short in height next to "Copen" in a mini passenger car, actually looks small in front of you, but it looks like a big car unexpectedly looking at the picture.

There are a lot of mini vehicles that raise the height to secure the living space, this car has a sense of stability very much, and the low & wide front view has a sense of premium just like that.

The design is surprisingly simple, there is no big feature. The bumper shape which the wide opening emphasizes the lower center of gravity also has no unnecessary decoration and it has a simple sense of quality leading to the parent company's luxury brand "Lexus".

Because the headlights are not so big and the fog lamps are small, it seems like one of the aims on the design of this car that balanced looks like ordinary cars.

In addition, it is rare as a recent mini car, and options such as an aero bumper are not prepared.

In other words, this design was completed and you do not want that balance to be broken.

Because the difference in the front mask due to the grade is about the presence or absence of a fog lamp, even in the base grade it can fully taste the premium feeling.

Even though it is a turbo engine, there is no air intake in the hood so that it will give you high quality.

The front window is considerably inclined and the shape of the body close to the one motion form is also the result of reducing the air resistance affecting fuel consumption and driving performance.

Originally it is hard to receive air resistance because of the low overall height, but I feel the commitment of the manufacturer where I am making efforts to achieve even better excellent fuel economy by adopting a smooth body shape.

The front wiper also has a low installation position so as not to disturb the vision by devising the shape, and it is also a nice place that the washer nozzle is installed in the vicinity of the wiper, unusually light.

It is a sophisticated image compared with the car installed in the bonnet and the body can be kept clean because there is no worry that the traces of the washer will stick to the hood.

SONICA View from the side

The side view can feel the most characteristic of this car.

First of all, the low height of 57 in (1,470 mm) and the long long wheelbase of long 96 in (2,440 mm), the unusual low & long silhouette are eye-catching.

Also, the side window is a line that jumps up from the rear door towards the rear, completing a novel side view that has never existed.

Black side stone guards attached to black-out pillars and side sill parts are tightening their unique side views.

A seemingly unbalanced design that is almost vertical with respect to the front which is considerably inclined, it seems that it has arrived with difficulty from various angles while trying to achieve balance between aerodynamic performance and living comfort.

Smoke glass has become standard equipment for all models, and the front also has glass with UV cut function.

SONICA View diagonally from behind

When looking diagonally from behind, it is emphasized that the shape of the side window is very unique, and the volume feeling of the door panel also draws attention.

The design of the door panel which makes the door handle part bulge and extends the flat panel downward from there is a technique to emphasize the thickness of the body.

When the tension and gloss of this body is placed in front of you, you feel a premium atmosphere that is different from other kei-cars.

There is another reason for the body of "Sonica" to be glossy, and we adopt a premium clear coat for all cars.

Indeed, the bulge of the body near the door handle is very smooth, glossy and beautiful enough to touch.

Daihatsu employs a clear coat which cost was cost also in "Mira Gino" and "Copen", and it is also a manufacturer who sticks to the texture of paint.

Eight body colors prepared for that beautiful paint.

It has become all metallic color and it has become possible to enjoy the subtle color change of the beautiful side panel.

SONICA Rear view

It is a rear view.

Kei-cars is rare in the tail lamps that are long horizontally and tailgate handles under the emblem are almost as they are.

It is a car that emphasizes a sporty image, but the muffler faces diagonally downwards, and it is hardly noticeable.

I think that this is also aimed at a clean image and premium feeling around here, but a dual tail muffler with one side is also available as an option.

The grade structure of "Sonica" is very simple, only three kinds, "R" of base grade, "RS" of high grade and "RS limited" of the highest grade.

The difference in appearance is not so big, and the engine is all the same, so it is a conscientious setting that you can choose with the balance of equipment and price.

For those who adhere to fuel economy, setting up only the turbo engine may seem dissatisfied, but for this car it may not be necessary to set the NA engine (the reason is on the later page).

Let's look at the parts of the exterior in more detail.

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