WHILE the first-generation Terios was really small (consider the contemporary Zotye Nomad for a new take on Daihatsu’s original design) and had somewhat limited appeal, its successor grew in dimensions and found appeal with family-minded buyers.

Powered by a 77 kW 1,5-litre engine, the Terios is not exactly a load-lugger, but its light mass means it can tackle the sticks better than many larger off-roaders. Apart from the permanent-4x4 system, a rear-wheel-drive version is also available and transmission options include a five-speed manual and a four-speed auto. In 2008, a long-wheelbase model, with an extra row of seats to accommodate seven, or more luggage space for the five-seater, was added.

TRANSMISSIONAND STEERING

If the car was often used for off-roading, its clutch might be excessily worn and prone to slipping. Try to pull away in fourth gear – the car should stall quickly. If it slips first, the clutch could be on the way out.

ENGINES

One owner mentioned oil consumption of a litre every 1 000 km. This could point to leaking valve-stem seals, worn valve guides or piston rings. Camchain-driven valves add to the engine’s strength and reliability, and variable valve timing improves engine’s efficiency and performance.

BODYWORK

The slightly flimsy bodywork received some criticism.

PARTS

Availability of spares can be an issue. It might be wise to stock up with some important items such as air, fuel and oil filters and brake pads.

SERVICING

Many owners complain of poor dealer service. Have a look on the consumer website www.hellopeter.com for some of the feedback.

GENERAL

Short gearing and low power means the engine revs highly when cruising at 120 km/h. Feedback on the Terios was minimal, so either people had nothing to complain about or owners don’t talk about their cars. We believe these are well-engineered vehicles, so the former is more probable.

Also look at:

Suzuki SX-4, Chery Tiggo, Toyota RAV4, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Qashqai, Jeep Patriot or Compass

Second hand cars for sale