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Daihatsu Cuore, Kia Picanto, Peugeot 107, Suzuki Alto in the test

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Daihatsu Cuore, Kia Picanto, Peugeot 107, Suzuki Alto in the test
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For this they are now shredding their old Opel Corsa B, VW Dreier like mad -Golf and Ford Escort . The scrappage bonus brings thousands of cars an early death and the microcars segment an enormous growth: Compared to the previous year, the small cars increased in the first four months of 2009 by 118 percent. In addition to Daihatsu , Kia and Peugeot now also Suzuki with the new S uzuki Alto belong.

Kia Picanto, Daihatsu Cuore with few safety devices

We are at the very bottom here - with the entry-level and city cars, where the standards despite basic prices of 10,000 euros of the larger classes have not yet advanced. The safety devices of Kia Picanto are limited and Daihatsu Cuore in the basic versions on ABS as well as driver and passenger airbags - and are therefore at the level that many of the now scrapped small cars offered ten years ago.

Side airbags for Kia Picanto and Daihatsu Cuore only from the expensive versions

In contrast, buyers of the Micros are still not allowed to take side airbags for granted. Kia Picanto and Daihatsu Cuore only deliver them in the more expensive versions, windowbags not at all. With the Peugeot 107 they can be at least as Order extra. The Suzuki Alto also only comes with a fairly complete safety equipment from the middle of the three variants, but then has six airbags and ESP as standard.

Stability program at KiaPicanto and Peugeot 107 only for a surcharge

The Suzuki Alto, built in India, has a special position and deserves special praise. Because while the electronic stability program is a class higher - for example at Ford Fiesta , Opel Corsa , Renault Clio , Seat Ibiza or VW Polo - now part of the series standard, it costs at Kia Picanto and Peugeot 107 Surcharge. However, it is precisely the extremely price-sensitive customers of small cars who shy away from the extra costs.

Daihatsu Cuore only without ESP

For Daihatsu, the too low equipment quota was even reason enough, the Daihatsu Cuore, which has been built since autumn 2007, for a few weeks not even to offer it with ESP for a surcharge - a clear wrong decision, as the test car showed that the little Japanese urgently needs electronic support. With the full 407 kilograms of payload, the narrow-gauge chassis of the Daihatsu Cuore enters into a relationship far beyond its capabilities, and its already weak suspension talent leaves it completely.

Timid brakes on the Daihatsu Cuore

The Daihatsu Cuore only circles bends in a staggering manner and with a strong list, whereby it builds up high holding forces on the indirect steering . If it encounters bumps in the bend, it tends to move violently. The fact that ESP is no longer available as a rescue anchor leads to further deductions. Last but not least, its timidly decelerating and also fading-sensitive brakes fit into the picture of the underdeveloped driving safety properties of the Daihatsu Cuore.

Peugeot 107 and Suzuki Alto offer driving pleasure

They are also the biggest weak point of the Suzuki Alto. Like that of the Daihatsu Cuore, its system is overwhelmed by the deceleration on the left and right of the road with different levels of grip. Even on dry asphalt, the Suzuki Alto does not come to a standstill from a speed of 100 km until after 43 meters - at least this moderate performance does not deteriorate further with maximum payload during the ten subsequent brakes. When it comes to driving safety, the tightly sprung Suzuki Alto is on par with the safe and easily manageable Peugeot 107, which is the most careful about short bumps and long wavesfilters away. With their precise steering and lively handling, the Peugeot 107 and Suzuki Alto even offer something like driving fun.

Kia Picanto scores in the comparison test with four-cylinder

So the more sluggish Kia Picanto cannot serve. Even after more than five years of construction, Kia has not corrected the unbalanced suspension setup. Too weakly damped and too hard suspension, the Kia Picanto sways around curves, catching smaller bumps, while larger ones are hardly softened. And on the highway, the Kia Picanto tends to annoying cross joints. Nevertheless, it remains the first choice for long journeys. The only engine in the comparison test is a four-cylinder. It doesn't help the Kia Picanto accelerate - here it lags slightly behind the competition - but in contrast to the three-cylinder engines in Daihatsu Cuore and Peugeot 107, the Kia Picanto unit lets the roar and behaves even more well-mannered than the cultivated Suzuki Alto engine.

Kia Picanto with a little elasticity

All four engines require a lot of shift work, which works best with the Suzuki Alto with its smooth, short and precise shifting. The five-speed box of the Peugeot 107, on the other hand, is stubborn, with the Daihatsu Cuore the big jump between fourth and fifth gear is annoying, the extremely smooth shifting of the Kia Picanto lacks precision. Torque values ​​in the double-digit Newton meter range leave no hope for beefy pulling power. But the amount of lethargy with which the four little ones torment their way forward in the large corridor is astonishing. Only the Kia Picanto allows at least some elasticity, which accumulates its 97 Nm into a torque hill early on.

Kia Picanto with a pretty interior

That A little more pulling power and smoothness does not justify the significantly higher test consumption of 6.8 liters /100 km. While the other three get along with only 4.2 liters per 100 kilometers on the cautiously driven consumption lap and thus even undercut their ECE consumption, the Kia Picanto taps significantly more from the tank there too. However, its higher weight means that it doesn't look as tinny as the others. Who, for example, when switching directly from the robust Volvo XC 60 throws the thin door of the Daihatsu Cuore, worries about its lateral defenses. In contrast, the Kia Picanto looks like an armored car - a nicely furnished one too, because it does without bare metal inside and provides a little luxury with something that looks like leather on the steering wheel and gear lever. The interiors of Daihatsu Cuore, Peugeot 107 and Suzuki Alto, on the other hand, appear rather dreary, poor and cheap.

Microcar Daihatsu Cuorewith an astonishingly good amount of space

But the four micros are impressive in terms of space - above all the Daihatsu Cuore. Its width and length multiply to an area of ​​5.12 square meters - only 0.1 square meters more than the Toyota iQ . But due to its extreme box shape and long wheelbase - at 2.49 meters, it is 15 millimeters longer than a VW Golf III - the slim Daihatsu Cuore creates an amazingly airy feeling of space and, if necessary, legroom in the rear thanks to the 25.5 centimeters sliding rear bench, which makes it into the luxury class tends. Nevertheless, one does not like to stay longer on the hard, barely formed bench.

Seats without lateral support in the Peugeot 107

Much more cramped, but by no means as unreasonable as in a Ford Ka accommodate the three other four-seater passengers. After a bit of meandering through the narrow rear doors - which only cost the Peugeot 107 surcharge (450 euros) - adults will find enough head and knee room in the back for the short trip. Unsurprisingly, it is more pleasant to drive at the front, especially on the comfortable seats of the Suzuki Alto, whose integrated headrests are too low. The seats in the Peugeot 107 are the most unpleasant - they hardly support the back and every desk chair offers better lateral support.

Little space in the microcar trunk

And in each small office container, more can be folded up than in the standard trunk of the four. Whereby the Daihatsu Cuore makes a name for itself again. At 160 liters, it has the largest base volume; the sliding rear seat extends up to 215 and with the rear seats folded down to 920 liters. Thanks to the low outer edge and the large tailgate, the level cargo space is easier to load than the rear compartments of the Peugeot 107 and Suzuki Alto. With them, the luggage has to be balanced over high edges and through small openings.

Suzuki Alto wins the comparison test

After all, the maintenance costs can be easily met. For buyers of microcars, July 1st will be a public holiday, when the new, CO2-dependent vehicle tax will apply. All four cars are below the allowance of 120 grams of CO2 /km, so they only have to pay the basic amount of two euros per 100 cubic centimeters - that is, 20 euros for Daihatsu Cuore, Peugeot 107 and Suzuki Alto with their one-liter engines, the Kia Picanto breaks the bank and demands two euros more. The higher acquisition and fuel costs thwart the victory of the Kia Picanto, which is still ahead in the property evaluationlies. With the low price, good equipment and low consumption, the Suzuki Alto pushes itself past Peugeot 107 and Kia Picanto to first place. He's not a dazzling winner - but at least of these four he is the best alternative.

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