OKAY, so there was no bling, clutch purses or an anorexic pocket pooch in tow, but boy did we hit the sleepy town of Redelinghuys with diva attitude.
How can you not in the new Diva Delux? It is a smart black SUV with pink exterior decals and pink trim. It’s certainly a sexy head swiveller — even eliciting a hoot and whistle from a passing motorist during a driver change over. So where do you take this little prima donna for a DW (dirt roads and detour weekend). We chose Redelinghuys. A small rural enclave between Piketberg and Elands Bay.
With a population of 574, this sleepy cluster of quaint houses and “shoow- awa” residents was the perfect foil to the spunky, modern city diva. According to the general manager of Daihatsu SA, Pedro Perreira, “the Diva Deluxe caters specifically for the needs of the fairer sex—a highly selective and intuitive market.”
Starting with the aesthetics, the most obvious is the colour of the exterior decals and matching interior stitching. The choice of colours is perfect — pink, turquoise, black or white. It has all the bells and whistles, and we love the funky rear roof spoiler and the spaciousness.
Even the rear seats are comfortable and the boot is large enough to carry all the paraphernalia any self-respecting diva needs on a weekend away. A rather clever touch is the heel-protecting carpets — who said you can’t wear heels in the country?
Divas like things to be perfect so a ding is out of the question. Which is why we absolutely love the large reverse camera, which is clear, large and rather helpful.
The entertainment system is, as they say, “amazeballs”. Passengers are able to watch DVD’s from three different screens—two of them incorporated into the front seat head restraints for rear passengers. All three screens have independent wireless headphones.
Women do love technology and the Diva Deluxe ticks all the boxes: Bluetooth iPod support, an in-dash GPS, DVD/CD/MP3 Playback and USB support.
Its built-in hard drive allows the driver to store up to 60 songs. Other things to tickle the techies are a multi-information display/on-board computer (which displays fuel range, average fuel consumption, temperature and time). The Diva Deluxe is not only a prettier face — safety features have been improved too.
This includes four airbags, great visibility (in and out) ABS with EBD, and Brake Assist, smash and grab ISOFIX, baby seat mounting points and a crash sensing fuel cut-off system. These features have earned the Diva Deluxe a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
The increased ride height was rather welcome during a 20 km gravel detour, which they appeared to have forgotten to grade — a normal sedan clearance would never have cut it.
By their own admission, the Diva Deluxe is designed for daily commuting and is really economical. That said, it’s a bit light on power on the open road. The 1,5 litre petrol engine delivers 77 kW of power and 140 Nm of torque, which makes it nippy in town.
To be fair, though, we drove straight into the teeth of a very strong northerly. So if a wind like that affects the speed of an aeroplane, it’s a bit unfair to punish this little SUV. Besides, divas don’t do criticism.
So, what did we really think. It is cute, sassy and nippy. It is wonderfully out there, while being a safe, spacious and comfortable drive. The divas were delighted and all gave it the thumbs up after the weekend away.
The Daihatsu Terios Diva Deluxe costs R269 995 and it is available from dealers country wide — who will also service the vehicle every 15 000 km or once a year, depending which occurs first.
It is covered by a three-year or 75 000 km warranty.