Daihatsu has a long history of using multiple names for slightly modified versions of the same car, meant to be slightly modified and repurposed for different markets and needs. Some of these have led to successes while others have been forgotten by history. Today we will talk about the Daihatsu Cuore, which shared a base with the Domino, Charade, and was most well known as the Mira.
Arriving on the market as a replacement to the Daihatsu Max Cuore, the Cuore started as a five-door hatchback that was powered by a few available engines. These included a 547 cc two-cylinder engine, a turbocharged version of the same engine, and a 617 cc two-cylinder engine. The transmission was handled by a four/five-speed manual, two-speed daimatic, or a two-speed automatic gearbox. This size variation would continue throughout a lot of the car’s history, with the bigger engines being used by Daihatsu to push its European market exports.
For the most part, the Mira served as the commercial version of the car, while the Cuore name was used for the passenger-car versions. When Daihatsu reached the 3rd generation, the differences between the two started to narrow down, which meant that the naming confusion started to become more manageable. This third-generation is arguably the most popular and successful one as it had the best overall package to offer. This time around it was powered by a 547 cc three-cylinder engine or an 847 cc three-cylinder engine and only two transmission options became available - a four/five-speed manual or a two/three/four-speed automatic.
Over the years, the Cuore kept on receiving more and more updates to the exterior design that made it even more pleasant to look at but never really strayed too far from the original design. The final appearance of the Cuore was in its seventh generation where it seems that they managed to reach a final design as well. The general longevity of this name and the overall similar design make for an interesting look through history. If you are to take a look at all of the exterior designs, side-by-side, you can clearly see the base blueprint getting updated as the years went on and Daihatsu attempted to keep the car looking modern.
In general, throughout the production history of the Cuore, the interior was decent and inviting. For each respective generation, it had a good mix of good-looking interior materials that never felt too cheap, despite the price of the car. Interior spaciousness was decent for a Kei car and as long as your build wasn’t above average you would have a decent amount of comfort. This is a trend that can be seen often in Daihatsu cars as they spent most of their history targeting that precise combination.
Regardless of which name you’ve seen this car under, it was almost always a decent choice for a good city navigator, especially if you lived in a denser city like the ones that Daihatsu primarily designs for. Not all of the iterations managed to become hits outside of the general Asian market, but some managed to do well in Europe, primarily due to their size and price. Unlike the Ceria, the Cuore offered more amenities that made for a more satisfying purchase (it even had a clock as standard, unlike the Ceria).
Whether it was called Cuore, Mira, Charade, Domino, or Kancil, this specific combination was a charming vehicle that can even be a little fun at times. You get great fuel economy, versatile movement, and performance that’s just good enough to even surprise you at times, which is pretty much the Daihatsu standard.