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Daihatsu Mira LA300S user review


petrolHead1

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I wanted to add some blog entries to this forum for a long time as it had helped me a lot to make informed decisions. To start things with, I thought of writing about a small car which exceeded my expectations. That is the humble "Daihatsu Mira".

It was in the mid 2018 when I started to look for a second (small) car to use for urban commuting with a budget around 2.8 million. Back then, I had a Vezel RS hybrid as the main car. So the unregistered options were clear. It was either the Japan Alto mild-hydrid, WagonR FX or Daihtasu Mira. Test drove the Alto and felt that it was not comfortable and the interior quality was not good. WagonR seemed to be more comfortable but the "battery-risk-factor" drove me off of it. Therefore, I was left with the Daihatsu Mira LA350 and LA300 models. I didn't have a big issue with the brand Daihatsu since the loyal Toyota DNA was on-board with it. The decision between picking the LA350 and LA300 model was simple. LA350 was the latest, had superior acceleration and higher efficiency. However, the back door and front side panels were made of Resin (instead of metal). I was worried about the safety of the new model and decided to compromise efficiency and power to resort into the old model.

After a hunt of nearly 1 month, I found a dealer (ironically the same guy who imported my Vezel) who had an imported X grade 2017, LA300 with all documents. This had the following options added compared to the base model.

  • Full two-tone dashboard.
  • Retractable mirrors.
  • Rear head-rests.
  • Factory fitted alloys.
  • Multi-color meter display (base model has an orange display)

It had 5000 km on the clock with very minor scratches on the body. Negotiated with him and bought for a fair price.

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Since then I've been using it for more than 1 and half years and had run more than 20k kms (the total is around 26k km). There had been no issues with the car up-to now. Since it came with Kobe warranty, I had to service it with A*to Miraj. Generally, they did a good job with the car.

 

External appearance

The car has a very cute (non-aggressive) appearance. To me, the front-end and side looks okay but the back-end looks a bit odd. If you want to make a statement, this is not the car for you. The 155/65/R14 tyres looks skinny and doesn't add well to the appearance (most common with small 660 cc cars). Overall, I guess it's alright for the price you pay. The silver body paint looks good on the car and needs little maintenance to keep it shiny. 

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Interior appearance

Diahatsu Mira has a lot of leg space available for both front and rear passengers. For me, its identical to the Vezel RS. The seats are made of fabric (forgot to take a picture) and feels comfortable opposed to the Japan Alto. The dashboard looks okay with very basic controls. This minimalist feel extends to the steering wheel as well. I had it wrapped for better grip and protection. The gear leaver in the middle looks a bit odd and would have preferred it to be between the seats.

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Unfortunately, Mira doesn't have a lot of rear boot space. Sometimes the weekly groceries alone completely consumes the entire boot space. Therefore, you cannot use this car for outings with friends. The rear headrests comes in handy and IMHO, its the best thing (apart from the factory alloys) about buying a X grade car.

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The drive

This is the best thing about the Mira. It feels surprisingly comfortable for a car of this category. This is due to the perfect suspension balance setting. Even the steering feel is acceptable compared to typical Toyota cars with numb feeling. This is perfect for daily city commuting. However, taking bends with a bit of soul and moderate speed seems to unsettle the car. Moreover, it feels unstable after 90+ kmph. Therefore, be extra careful and responsible when using the car.

The 660cc power-house is alright for driving leisurely in the city. It feels nippy and feels excellent for driving in traffic. However, things starts to go south when you are in a hurry or a sudden need to accelerate arises. Overtaking at speeds over 50 kmph needs to be done with a bit of planning. IMHO the engine feels a bit more powerful and refined than a WagonR of the same year.  The Mira also managed to pull effortlessly on a steep hill upwards (even I had second thoughts before attempting the climb). The car is at its best in the 30 to 50 kmph range. I have accelerated till 110 kmph and progress after 90 kmph is very minimal. The idle-stop is alright but you feel the car while starting (not refined compared to hybrids). I usually turn it off during traffic. 

The brakes seems very progressive and linear. They do a good job to stop the car up-to moderate speeds. Braking during high speeds makes the car a bit unstable (maybe because I'm used to driving the Vezel which had way bigger tyres and all disk brakes) . 

 

Fuel efficiency

The guy who sold me the car claimed 20 kmpl which I was hilarious about. However, to my surprise the car did 16 kmpl on the very first run. Unsure about the results I topped it again and found out that it did the above amount continuously. After getting familiar with the car, I'm currently getting 17.5 to 18.5 (even though the car says 19.5+) kmpl during ordinary work days. This went up-to 23 kmpl during morning school holidays (and when I regularly came home during night with no traffic). To give a bit of context, during most days I drive 60+ kms daily via the Galle road with little traffic on mornings and moderate traffic (except the notorious Wellawatta block) on evenings. To compare with please find my previous vehicle's calculated efficiency below.

  • 1997 Toyota Corolla 110 Diesel 2.0 Auto - 8.5 kmpl (had 200+ kms on the clock)
  • 2003 Toyota Vios 1.5 Auto - 9 kmpl
  • 2007 Toyota Belta 1.3 CVT - 10 ~ 10.5 kmpl
  • 2002 Suzuki Alto Japan 0.66 Auto - 11 ~ 12 kmpl
  • 2016 Vezel RS hybrid DCT - 13 - 14 kmpl

Therefore, the car was very easy on the wallet for me. One thing I must say that, I'm not a very aggressive driver. I try to stick to the indicators and drive (most of the time).  Maybe its the reason I'm getting good efficiency. 

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Maintenance

This car had required only the routine maintenance up-to now. Since the car came with free services, I had to pay about 12 000 rupees per service (average). Please refer the image below (yes, I maintain all records of the car). Tyres and brake pads are still in good condition after 26k kms of driving.

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The insurance is a bit expensive. I guess its common for all the new cars. With C*linco V*P, I parted 80 000 rupees for a valuation of 2.9 million with all covers and 2 years of no claim bonus. Guess it's worth their service.

 

Overall verdict

Buy the car if...

  • You need to buy your first car/ needs a second small car.
  • You need a comfortable A-to-B car.
  • You need a car with less repairs.
  • You need a car with good fuel efficiency,
  • You need a car with plenty of interior space.
  • You need a car to tackle the daily traffic.
  • You enjoy the low engine vibration during idle (Opposed to cars such as 3-pot Vitz)

Do not buy the car if...

  • You drive aggressively (My friend does this and he claims his LA350 does 13 kmpl).
  • You need to make a statement with the car.
  • You need ground clearance.
  • You regularly drive up-hill.
  • You need a big boot.
  • You expect all fancy tech.

 

There you go! My honest review regarding the Diahatsu Mira LA300. Hope this will help people for making informed decisions. Cheers!!! ?

  • Like 3
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16 Comments


Recommended Comments

A very comprehensive and descriptive review. Really explained ups and downs of the vehicle. Also I found the fuel economy comparison really informative. Plus this review changed my view on this vehicle completely. Thanks for this. Hope that ppl may find this informative. 

  • Like 1
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tiv

Posted (edited)

Nice review, this was one of my wifes first cars, bought one in 2017 after the kei boom

Few suggestions, get some dust trap carpeting done, including the rear exposed metal areas, 

And mudflaps! Very rare but useful.

Also installing fog lamps is a diy job, u can get em off ebay,

Ours was a less blingy one but I'm sure it did 19 to 20kmpl given that we ran it inclines and slopes, 

Also the pulling power was decent for its size, manage about 2 100kg persons plug luggage when needed.

Its size and economy made it very useful, so much we used it quite often, 

One such time we were badly harassed by a c*nt in a European suv, given the fact I owned and have owned a plethora of large suvs that was a moral turning point and we gave it away thereafter. 

And buy a spare wheel, dunlop enasaves have sidewall issues 

Edited by tiv
  • Like 1
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31 minutes ago, tiv said:

One such time we were badly harassed by a c*nt in a European suv, given the fact I owned and have owned a plethora of large suvs that was a moral turning point and we gave it away thereafter. 

What was that about? 

Link to comment
44 minutes ago, AVANTE said:

What was that about? 

Im betting its a new money euro car buyer. The ones who used to drive wine red gold batch POS cars untill the germans went 1.0 3cyl.

Lots of douchebags driving german now. Taxes changed things alot!

Link to comment
4 minutes ago, fiat fan said:

Im betting its a new money euro car buyer. The ones who used to drive wine red gold batch POS cars untill the germans went 1.0 3cyl.

Lots of douchebags driving german now. Taxes changed things alot!

Imagine if it was an X1, the guy talks trash on tivs Mira, puts on his pitakotuwa Ray bans, shrugs and stomps the accelerator only to find out the timing chain has wrecked havoc on the motor lmao. 

By douchebags.. You mean the guys who think their Odi A1 is the sickest. car in the streets because it got rings on the grill? 

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19 hours ago, YohanNewbie said:

A very comprehensive and descriptive review. Really explained ups and downs of the vehicle. Also I found the fuel economy comparison really informative. Plus this review changed my view on this vehicle completely. Thanks for this. Hope that ppl may find this informative. 

Thanks a lot Yohan for the comments. :-)

Link to comment
8 hours ago, tiv said:

Nice review, this was one of my wifes first cars, bought one in 2017 after the kei boom

Few suggestions, get some dust trap carpeting done, including the rear exposed metal areas, 

And mudflaps! Very rare but useful.

Also installing fog lamps is a diy job, u can get em off ebay,

Ours was a less blingy one but I'm sure it did 19 to 20kmpl given that we ran it inclines and slopes, 

Also the pulling power was decent for its size, manage about 2 100kg persons plug luggage when needed.

Its size and economy made it very useful, so much we used it quite often, 

One such time we were badly harassed by a c*nt in a European suv, given the fact I owned and have owned a plethora of large suvs that was a moral turning point and we gave it away thereafter. 

And buy a spare wheel, dunlop enasaves have sidewall issues 

Thanks Tiv. Will try to do some mods during the coming months.

Link to comment
19 hours ago, AVANTE said:

What was that about? 

Actually this was a whole ago, my wife had an exam, so I was parked beside a road in Colombo, in no way was I blocking any path, i was parked in the main road, adjacent to his entrance to the main road  besides what can a tiny car like this block, well, so a fella in a Range Rover came from a private road exiting to the main road and made a scene, with specific references to the car being small blah blah,  his being big and wide, 

It not being my turf and since it was in front of the head office of the governing body of my career, where my wife went for the exams,  I just moved the tiny car about 5 inches forward just for his sake, whereas he had atleast 3 feet both sides to enter into the main road, 

I was not in anyway encroaching into the private road whatsoever and nor was I blocking it, 

18 hours ago, fiat fan said:

Im betting its a new money euro car buyer. The ones who used to drive wine red gold batch POS cars untill the germans went 1.0 3cyl.

Lots of douchebags driving german now. Taxes changed things alot!

Yea probably, but this one got pretty rich pretty fast 

18 hours ago, AVANTE said:

Imagine if it was an X1, the guy talks trash on tivs Mira, puts on his pitakotuwa Ray bans, shrugs and stomps the accelerator only to find out the timing chain has wrecked havoc on the motor lmao. 

By douchebags.. You mean the guys who think their Odi A1 is the sickest. car in the streets because it got rings on the grill? 

Lol

 

Hence thereafter gradually phased out both my keis as there is no point being smart and trying to commute efficiently in a country like this. As numerous stunts from buses and lorries and noobs in suvs, on a daily run will one day end up with some accident.

Like my old uncle used to say, find the largest lump of metal between you and the car or tree you are going to crash with.

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41 minutes ago, tiv said:

Actually this was a whole ago, my wife had an exam, so I was parked beside a road in Colombo, in no way was I blocking any path, i was parked in the main road, adjacent to his entrance to the main road  besides what can a tiny car like this block, well, so a fella in a Range Rover came from a private road exiting to the main road and made a scene, with specific references to the car being small blah blah,  his being big and wide, 

Thereafter gradually phased out both my keis as there is no point being smart and trying to commute efficiently in a country like this. As numerous stunts from buses and lorries and noobs in suvs, on a daily run will one day end up with some accident.

Like my old uncle used to say, find the largest lump of metal between you and the car or tree you are going to crash with.

In the end, a car is just rubber, metal, leather, plastic and glass all mixed into one (extra plastic in the case of Chinese cars). It shouldn't make us feel a class above others. Wish more people understood this. 

But it seems there's no point in being Gandhi with the average srilankan. Just have to be safe ourselves. 

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28 minutes ago, AVANTE said:

In the end, a car is just rubber, metal, leather, plastic and glass all mixed into one (extra plastic in the case of Chinese cars). 

"That's like saying the ocean is just water! Or, or the Krabby Patty's just a...sandwich!"

But I agree, feeling a class above others because of the size of yours just shows you're lacking of something. It's all right to be proud of how good you take care of it though (because everybody's dream is to own one which lasts longer than others) 

Edited by Sir Lancerlot
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AVANTE

Posted (edited)

8 minutes ago, Sir Lancerlot said:

But I agree, feeling a class above others because of the size of yours just shows you're lacking of something. It's all right to be proud of how good you take care of it though (because everybody likes a one which lasts as long as possible) 

I'm an understanding enthusiast, or what would I be doing in this forum. Cars are the above mentioned materials mixed into one, but in a way that has made us dedicate our time, money and passion to them. They should keep us happy, safe, pump the adrenaline and increase the heartbeat. We can happily call ourselves car guys/petrolheads/enthusiasts, but the car itself should never be used as our main identity. 

If you think you are better than others because you drive a euro SUV, then you seriously have a baby mindset or a small pee pee. 

Btw, Krabby Patty is a burger, not a sandwich neh?

Edited by AVANTE
Link to comment
3 hours ago, tiv said:

Actually this was a whole ago, my wife had an exam, so I was parked beside a road in Colombo, in no way was I blocking any path, i was parked in the main road, adjacent to his entrance to the main road  besides what can a tiny car like this block, well, so a fella in a Range Rover came from a private road exiting to the main road and made a scene, with specific references to the car being small blah blah,  his being big and wide, 

It not being my turf and since it was in front of the head office of the governing body of my career, where my wife went for the exams,  I just moved the tiny car about 5 inches forward just for his sake, whereas he had atleast 3 feet both sides to enter into the main road, 

I was not in anyway encroaching into the private road whatsoever and nor was I blocking it, 

Yea probably, but this one got pretty rich pretty fast 

Lol

 

Hence thereafter gradually phased out both my keis as there is no point being smart and trying to commute efficiently in a country like this. As numerous stunts from buses and lorries and noobs in suvs, on a daily run will one day end up with some accident.

Like my old uncle used to say, find the largest lump of metal between you and the car or tree you are going to crash with.

A guy who skipped a prado and bought a range rover for sure. The plug in hybrids are everywhere now.prado/LC people buy RR cos of that. And most of them are already stranded. I love range rovers. But its not worth the cost in SL.

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2 hours ago, Sir Lancerlot said:

@Sir Lancerlot

@Hyaenidae

@AVANTE

the yanks call burgers, Sandwiches.

Its sometimes confused cos of that. Its actually a cheeseburger!

  • Thanks 2
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16 minutes ago, fiat fan said:

 

 

 

the yanks call burgers, Sandwiches.

 

You learn something new everyday ?

  • Thanks 1
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