Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Third-generation Toyota Passo/Daihatsu Boon

It's been six years since only a select few taste the second-generation Toyota Passo and Daihatsu Boon compact twins, well only the Asian markets that is in the form of the Perodua Myvi. Now, with Toyota gained complete control of Daihatsu to further experiment the small car market, the new partnership try to experiment the category with the new, third-generation Toyota Passo and Daihatsu Boon compacts. So, what's it all about?

2017 Toyota Passo
2017 Daihatsu Boon

The previous egg-shaped model was nothing but a complete mess because while the previous Toyota model have two different styles, the Daihatsu model gets one. Now, for the third-generation model, it's back to the usual two-style format and yes, there are two different styles to choose from, starting from the normal model which has a similar front view seen from the sixth-generation Mira but with the rear view looks broadly similar to the Subaru Levorg and the side view harshly similar to the old Toyota Sienta. The same thing goes to the stylish model (MODA for the Passo, CLIQ for the Boon) but it has round-shaped lamps similar to the previous model with the hexagonal shaped grille, again, similar to the Subaru Levorg. It all seems mashed -up, isn't it?

2017 Toyota Passo interior
2017 Daihatsu Boon interior

Apart from the questionable exterior, the interior still as simple as its predecessors. Although nothing special about the inside, the new Passo or Boon still has that bench seat on the front, the one nearly no car has anymore these days. The bench seat is quite the ideal interior part where you can freely move yourself in one way and another without even bother. Space-wise, the new Passo and Boon can handle boot space very well. With all seats present, the rear space, although small, is big enough to fit five gas bottles, camping gear, and a golf bag. Convenient, I dare say?

2017 Toyota Passo
2017 Daihatsu Boon

Onto the performance part and because this is a small car with fuel efficiency in mind, the only engine offered in the new model is the improved 1KR-FE engine carried over from the previous model. With dual intake ports, twin injectors, and enhanced fuel spray atomization as well as reshaped pistons, fuel economy is now 28.0km/L for front wheel drive models, a best-in-class for a liter car, while 4WD models, featuring a new idling stop feature, return only 24.4km/L.  Another main reason for its improved fuel economy, is not just because of your average CVT gearbox but also its improved lightweight, high-rigidity body and with the new suspension, it drives slightly well so it's kind of good to drive but don't get too jumpy on this one because despite having the suspension updated for the new model, you can't feel its cheerful character from within. So, it may not be a bad car to own but its cheerfulness is left denied in a cheap city car.

The new models now come, as standard, with the Smart Assist II collision avoidance assist system. This system uses a collision warning function, collision avoidance brake assist, false start control, line deviation warning function, and a feature that notifies drivers that the vehicle ahead is moving forward. It's amazing that despite being a cheap little city car, no one does it better when it comes to the tech featured, in fact, I'm getting dazed by the new model's technological advancement fit for drivers of all kinds, although there is a major disclaimer about taking advantage of these features for granted, in fact, it's not advisable to take them for granted while driving.

Should you buy it? The new Passo starts from 1,150,200 to 1,830,600 Japanese yen while the new Boon starts from 1,150,000 to 1,853,280 Japanese yen. Consider these two a well-priced city car for a start but don't get too comfortable because when it comes to being a fun car in the city, you'll be sorry for just how bland it behaves, although some optional dealer-specific accessories can slightly hide the fact that you've owned just another city car.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation/Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.

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