The Daihatsu Terios and the Daihatsu Terios Kid are compact SUV’s that were first released in the Japanese market only. Both entered production for the 1997 model year. The Terios Kid was designed to meet all Japanese requirements for Kei cars. All models have an engine borrowed from the Daihatsu Charade and all-wheel drive.
Many of our readers fully understand what a Kei car is, but some outside of the Japanese market may not. To that end, we thought a quick definition was in order to get everyone on the same page.
A Kei car, also known as a Kei jidosha, a Japan-only category of very small passenger cars, microvans, and pickup trucks. Each of these models has a smaller engine and reduced dimensions when compared to any compact vehicle on the market.
These vehicles comply with Japanese governmental requirements for size and meet special tax and insurance regulations. In many cases, they are exempt from the adequate parking certification process required in rural areas.
Kei car regulations have been in place since the end of WWII. The current regulations were introduced on October 1, 1998 and consist of: max length of 3.4 m, max width of 1.48 m, engine displacement of 660 cc, max of 64 bhp, four passenger capacity, and a load capacity not to exceed 350 kg. As you can see, these are truly small vehicles.
Daihatsu Terios: First Generation (1997-2006)
The Daihatsu Terios was introduced for the 1997 model year to replace the Daihatsu Rocky. It was available as a five-door estate. The first generation includes model codes J100, J102, and J122. From 1997 through the 1999 model year, the J100 series was powered by a 1,295 cc HC-EJ SOHC in-line four-cylinder engine that offered owners 88 bhp. The Terios could be equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic.
In 2000, Terios was given a mild refresh and moved into the J102 model code era. The refresh included a chrome grille and new body styling. Owners were able to opt for electric front windows, alloy wheels, roof rails and a rear spoiler depending on the trim level chosen. The engine was upgraded to the K3-VE. This is a 1,297 cc DOHC inline four-cylinder engine that is capable of 91 bhp.
The Japanese and Australian market saw a ”Sport” version of the Terios in 2001. The upgraded special edition unit featured a K3-VET engine with a turbocharger. The engine was capable of 138 bhp. The Sport also offered owners colour matching bumpers, a rear spoiler and sunroof, and the interior featured a metallic paint finish for the dashboard and centre console.
The J122 model code appeared in 2000. It is powered by the same engines as the J102 model code and has the same trim levels and options. The main difference is the addition of a front-wheel drive option instead of all-wheel drive being standard on all units sold.
Daihatsu Terios: Second Generation (2006-Present)
The second generation of the Daihatsu Terios was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2005. It was known as the Daihatsu D-concept 4×4 at the show. The second generation went into production for the 2006 model year. The second-gen Terios has several model codes. The five passenger versions can have model codes J200, J210, and J211, while the seven passenger units can have codes F700 and F710.
The second generation was made larger for all markets. The five passenger version is 1,695 mm wide and 4,095 mm long. The seven passenger units are the same width, but are 4,425 mm long to accommodate the additional seating space.
For the second generation, the Daihatsu Terios was rebadged in Japan. It is now sold as the Toyota Rush and the Daihatsu Be-Go. The standard engine for the second generation is a 1,495 cc inline four-cylinder that offers 107 bhp.
The engine uses VVT-i technology borrowed from Daihatsu’s parent company Toyota. The engine is still paired to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic. The second generation is offered with either FWD or AWD.
Daihatsu Terios Kid
The Terios Kid is the kei car version of the Terios and was released in Japan only. It was sold side-by-side with its larger cousin. The first generation could be offered in four model codes. The J111 EF-DEM was powered by an inline three-cylinder 659 cc light pressure turbo that offered 50 bhp. The J111 EF-DET was powered by an inter-cooled turbo that offered 63 bhp. The J131 EF-DEM was powered the 659 cc light pressure turbo, but was a FWD vehicle instead of the AWD seen in the J111 model code. The same can be said for the J131 EF-DET model code.
The Terios Kid is 3,395 mm long, 1,475 mm wide, and can be up to 1,740 mm in height. Other than a few body refinements, the Terios Kid has remained mechanically similar since its inception and is still sold in the Japanese market as a Kei car.
Whether you chose the Daihatsu Terios of the Kei car or Daihatsu Terios Kid, you are buying a very reliable SUV. The entire Terios line-up is known for its reliability and durability, offering potential buyers a great used car option.