The market of mini trucks is pretty small and is filled with many Chinese models which don’t inspire too much confidence to buyers. Luckily, there are also other manufacturers who thought to take a stab at this segment, and one of them is Daihatsu.
Daihatsu’s experience in the mini LCV segment is pretty vast, as it started to built the first models since 1960. Thankfully, since then Daihatsu’s models were constantly upgraded and today, the most advanced small LCV in the company’s lineup is the Gran Max.
The Gran Max was launched in 2007 and is based on the old Hijet model which was received pretty well by the market. The new Gran Max has the same versatile character as its predecessor and is offered in three versions namely the van, minibus and pick up.
The Daihatsu Hijet shared the same design and underpinnings with the old generation Piaggio Porter. Unlike the Piaggio which was sold pretty poor, the Daihatsu received more attention from the buyers and it was sold in better numbers.
The vehicle is available in both panel van and chassis cab versions and despite its compact dimensions, it has a very flexible and versatile character which make ideal for a wide range of light commercial applications.
The vehicle’s payload capacity is ranging from 560 kg to 1120 kg and comes with two wheelbase lengths measuring 1810 mm and 2180 mm. The Daihatsu Hijet is powered by a 1.3 liter petrol engine which develops 64 hp and 100 nm of torque.
Today, there aren’t many mini vans around, as this segment is pretty poor represented. But despite the sluggish sales there are a few manufacturers who dare to venture in this realm.
Daihatsu plays a pretty important role in this segment as it designed two iconic models namely the Hijet and Extol. The Extol is placed above the Hijet in Daihatsu’s hierarchy as is powered by a stronger engine which develops 84hp.
The Daihatsu Extol mini LCV was available in both panel van and chassis cab versions. Due to its compact dimensions and the limited payload, the vehicle is aimed especially to small business owners such as florists, electricians or caterers. The Extol was built between 2003 and 2006 and competed against models like the Suzuki Carry and DFSK Loadhopper.