Take a look at Daihatsu Taft, a crossover SUV-style Kei car which looks extremely cute as well as rugged at the same time
SUVs and crossover SUVs have been gaining popularity all around the globe in recent years. However, so is the demand for compact cars, especially in markets like Japan, India, etc., where the streets are narrow and road space is a luxury. Some carmakers are being crafty nowadays, combining the best of both worlds, giving rise to the micro-SUV genre. Maruti Suzuki has the S-Presso, and Hyundai will launch the Casper (AX1) soon.
Last year, Japanese carmaker Daihatsu also dipped its toes in these waters, with the introduction of its crossover SUV-styled Kei car – Taft. The name is an acronym for ‘Tough & Almighty Fun Tool’, which is the approach the manufacturer took with this tiny crossover. The design looks tough and rugged, despite the tiny dimensions, and it is quite light and agile as well.
The Taft is built on the modular Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA), which is a low-cost version of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). The vehicle has a length of 3,395mm, a width of 1,475mm, and a height of 1,630mm, along with a wheelbase length of 2,460mm. The kerb weight of the mini-SUV ranges between 830 kg to 890 kg.
The exterior design of the vehicle is extremely boxy, with a flat bonnet and an upright face. It gets LED headlights, along with a wide front bumper (with large air dams and a faux bash plate underneath). We also see thick black cladding on the wheel arches, with additional cladding on the sides and the front bumper. Other noticeable details include 6-spoke alloy wheels, roof rails, and LED taillights.
The interior of the car utilises a black colour theme, with orange accents around the AC vents, on the centre console, and in the instrument cluster. The Taft also offers features like a sunroof, a free-standing infotainment touchscreen, a multi-function steering wheel, stability control, adaptive cruise control, electric parking brake, and auto-hold brake.
In the Japanese market, Daihatsu Taft is available with two engine options. The first one is a 660cc, naturally aspirated, inline-3 petrol engine, which develops a peak power of 52 PS. The second one is also a 660cc, 3-cylinder powerplant, but turbocharged. This turbo-petrol motor is good for a maximum power of 64 PS. Transmission options are limited to a CVT, available in both FWD and AWD configurations.