Daihatsu Move and Cuore

In 1998, economic recession benefit the sales of Kei-cars very much. As a result,  Daihatsu Move became the first car in many years to beat Toyota Corolla as the best seller in Japan. Entered 1999, in response to the change of regulations, Move and its twin sister Cuore received a complete make-over. Firstly the dimensions have grown up to just within the new limits, that means 100mm longer and 80mm wider than the old Move. Now it can compete directly with European mini cars.  

Daihatsu put a lot of effort into the new Move. They employed Italdesign for styling (although in my opinion it looks no more beautiful than its predecessor). The body remains very tall ( 1695mm, versus the width 1475mm) thus provides unlimited headroom. Leg room is vastly improve by the 60mm longer wheelbase. Moreover, since the shifter pedal mounts on the steering column, the transmission tunnel is eliminated thus frees up more leg and foot room.  

Packaging used to be the strongest aspect of the Move. Sporty-looking dashboard, chromed stereo panel, optional satillate navigation screen, arm rest-installed front seats, five-spoke alloy wheels, optional circular headlamps and aggressive aero kits are just some of the examples. The most special is the versatility of the seating plan - for easier access, front seats can be rotated 45 degrees towards the doors. All seats can be folded down to form a bed. Alternatively, rear seats can be folded down and create a big cargo space.  

From the wide range of engines, you can see how serious this car is. There are 4 engines for the domestic market, the cheapest one is 3 cylinder single overhead camshaft with 45ps. Next one has dohc and variable valve timing, capable to output 58ps. The third one is added with a turbocharger. Power reached the maximum limit of 64ps. The top-of-the-range is a 4 cylinder version, with the same output but peak torque occurs 400rpm earlier. For European market, Move is powered by a 1.0 litres inline-3, which is carried over from the Sirion.  

Choice of engines :   

  • 659c.c. Sohc inline-3, 4v/cyl, 45ps, 5.6kgm.
  • 659c.c. Dohc inline-3, 4v/cyl, VVT, 58ps, 6.5kgm.
  • 659c.c. Dohc inline-3, 4v/cyl, turbo, 64ps, 10.9kgm.
  • 659c.c. Dohc inline-4, 4v/cyl, turbo, 64ps, 10.9kgm.
  • Europe : 988c.c. Dohc inline-3, 4v/cyl, 54hp, 9.0kgm.


Unlike Move, Cuore is designed more with overseas market in mind. Its conventional height enables more stable manoeuvre in open road, also reduces kerb weight by nearly 100kg thus benefit fuel consumption and acceleration. Of course, it does not have the RV-gimmicks and the additional headroom found in the Move. 
The above report was last updated on 17 Feb 99. All Rights Reserved.


In Japan, a category calls K-Car was established since the mid-80s. Cars with dimensions fall within 3300mm of length and 1395mm of width, with engine capacity not exceeding 660c.c. (original regulation was 550c.c.) and max. output not exceeding 64 hp will be benefited by lower tax. Nearly all car makers build such cars because they suit big city like Toyko very well - easy parking, need not to be fast because of traffic jam.  

Based on this dimension, most K-cars use space efficiently by locating the wheels right at the corners, then extend the height which is not restricted by the regulation. Power all come from 4-valves engine, some even with turbocharger and intercooler to compensate the lack of capacity. The main selling point is price and running cost, but fun factor is also important. Recent K-Cars usually offer Recreation Vechicle-like cabin layout flexiblility plus a lot of storage space and funny styling. Most customers are young people.  

In recent years, K-Car sales boomed because of economic depression. Suzuki Wagon R and Daihatsu Move both ever topped the domestic sales chart, beating the mighty Toyota Corolla. Since 1999, the regulation was loosen further to 3400mm length and 1475mm width, hopefully K-Car will be more popular. 

The above report was last updated on 17 Feb 99. All Rights Reserved.


Move turbo
Cuore (export)
Front-engine, Fwd
Front-engine, Fwd
Size (L / W / H / WB) mm
3395 / 1475 / 1695 / 2345
3410 / 1475 / 1420 / 2345
Inline-3, dohc, 4v/cyl, turbo
Inline-3, sohc, 2v/cyl
659 c.c.
989 c.c.
64 hp
54 hp
79 lbft
61 lbft
F: strut; R: torsion beam
F: strut; R: torsion beam
155 / 65 R13
815 kg
720 kg
Top speed
87mph (claimed)
15.2sec (claimed)
0-100 mph

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