The Japanese automaker Daihatsu has been producing a supermini car, the Daihatsu Charade since 1977. Daihatsu describes it as a ‘large compact’ vehicle so as to make it distinct from the range of their small compact vehicles, e.g. Daihatsu Mira/Cuore.
The FAW Tianjin is a Chinese automaker that manufactures and sold Charade as ‘Xiali, under the registered mark of ‘China FAW’. In China, about 1.5 million units of Xiali had been sold between the period of 1986 and 2009.
First Generation (G10; 1977–1983)
In 1977, the first generation Charade (G10) was introduced as a front-engined, front-wheel drive vehicle. It was offered both as 3- and 5-door hatchback versions. It was equipped with a 993 cc 3-cylinder CB20 engine rated at 37 kW (50 PS JIS). The Runabout, a 3-door version came with two small round ‘opera windows’ positioned in C-pillars.
The G10 models produced under Series 1 came with round headlamps, while the models produced under Series 2 came with square headlamps. The Series 2 Charade was launched in 1981.
Throughout 1970s and 1980s, the Charade remained one of the popular vehicles in Chile as well as many Latin American countries. The model sold in Chile was designated as G20 and powered by a downsleeved 843 cc 3-cylinder engine of Daihatsu’s CD series. The engine was rated at 30 kW (41 PS) at 5500 rpm also seen in export models of Hijet.
Second Generation (G11; 1983–1987)
The second generation Charade designated as G11 was introduced in 1983 as 3- or 5-door hatchback version. It was powered by a range of 3-cylinder 1.0-L engines, comprising a turbocharged version with an output of 68 PS JIS as well as diesel and turbo-diesel variants. Normally, all the versions were mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The base model came with a naturally aspirated 993 cc, 3-cylinder CB23 engine rated at 50-55 PS. The Turbo and DeTomaso models were equipped with an upgraded version of CB23 engine designated as CB60. Although, it was also a 993 cc engine, it had an undersized turbocharger that boosted the engine power to 50 kW (68 PS).
The Charade version sold in Chile and Latin American countries was designated as G21 and was powered by a CD-series 843 cc 3-cylinder engine rated at 30 kW (41 PS). It was available from 1986 to 1990.
Third Generation (G100; 1987–1994)
In 1987, the third generation Charade (G100) was launched by Daihatsu. It was designed by Daihatsu’s chief stylist Hiroshi Aoki and his colleague Hideyuki Ueda. It was also offered as 3- or 5-door hatchback version. The third generation Charade came with a 1.0-L 3-cylinder carbureted engine called the CB23. The other engine variants include a diesel, turbo-diesel and a 1.3-L 4-cylinder, single carbureted HC-C engines. A 3-door hatchback with a 1.0-L twin-cam fuel injected intercooled turbo called the GTti rated at 77 kW (105 PS JIS) was introduced in later years. Two other, 1.3-L 4-cylinder and 3-cylinder fuel injected variants, were released also. In 1988, a 1.3-L EFI equipped 4-door sedan was launched. Two sport models were also launched with an identical model code of G100SS-FMVZ, called the GTti and GTxx. Although, both models were mechanically similar, the GTxx offered some additional luxury refinements, such as power steering, one-touch electric window down, full bodykit, lightweight 14-inch speedline alloy wheels, air-conditioning, and electric sunroof.
Fourth Generation (G200, G203; 1994–2000)
In 1994, the fourth generation Charade was introduced by Daihatsu. It was available in hatchback and sedan body styles. In Japanese market, the base model came with a 1.0-L engine, while the European version came with a 1.3-L SOHC engine. The sedan version was equipped with a 1.5-L engine with an option of all-wheel drive. For the fourth generation, the diesel engine was discontinued altogether.
The traditional GTi took the place of turbocharged GTti version. The GTi version came with a 1.6-L 16-valve SOHC engine. The ex-racing driver De Tomaso (ex-owner of Innocenti) engineered the GTi version. The Japanese version was tuned with the racing-derived camshaft delivering 124 hp JIS (91 kW). However, the versions sold in worldwide were detuned to 105 hp DIN (77 kW).
In 1996, the fourth generation Charade was completely redesigned. It received revised grille and new headlamps similar to the one found on the Toyota Starlet. The production was ceased in 2000 and the Sirion/Storia took over it in the market.