The Daihatsu Cast Sport (left), the third variant of the Cast, following the Style and the Activa

Daihatsu Cast Sport Review: “Has splendid riding comfort & sporty balance” by Naoki Aoyama

I’m going to talk about the Daihatsu Cast Sport, which is the third variant of the Daihatsu Cast, following the Style and the Activa.

It has the latest smart assist technology called SA II mono grade, and as for its style, it has red trims on its exterior and its lower half part has an exclusive styling. It is equipped with 16-inch tires as standard equipment.

As for its interior, the front part of its passenger seat was based on the tray-shaped Activa interior. It was also equipped with Momo steering wheel that has real leather cover similar to Daihatsu sports cars, paddle shifters, black synthetic leather seats, and its prime interior equipment makes for a sporty ambiance.

As for its powertrain, it has 64ps, 9.4kgm turbo unit and CVT type transmission. It doesn’t have MT mode.

As for the price, the Style G Turbo SAII roughly costs 100,000 yen. Personally speaking, this is the best buy among the Cast series. In addition to the sport suspension, 16-inch tires and wheels, and paddle shifters that it inherited from the Copen’s technology, you can also select white color for its synthetic leather seats and it is free of charge.

The model I test drove was the same as the Copen in that it can be equipped with Potenza RE050 tires as an option. The spring number of the Style, which has the Move RS’s standard suspension, was made higher by 10 to 20%, its damper’s attenuation was optimized. Also, since it was equipped with sports car tires, I thought it would have suitably solid riding feel, but it was totally opposite to what I expected.

Certainly, even though it has a solid riding feel, its quality is different from that of the Style. In terms of grade difference, its shock absorber has a rounder angle, but it has solid riding feel. Particularly when I drove it on rough roads, I was surprised that it did not feel unpleasant (no rattling sounds) as it has stable body and suspension, as if I was driving a German compact car on the same road.

Driving it at a higher pace, I have no complaints about it as it exudes sportiness with high rolling rigidity. I also genuinely experienced the responsiveness of its steering wheel, and the oneness of the car and its body. I also felt its low center of gravity, even more than the Style’s. Exaggeratedly speaking, it showed a running performance that’s almost as great as a Copen with four doors.

Its turbo engine doesn’t have any tendencies of turbo lag. It exhibits a torque-full, smooth and responsive operation all over, so it was really comfortable and easy to handle. When I used the power switch that was installed in the steering wheel, it had higher engine response (even though it has gentler transition than the NA engine of the Style), and it makes for a more sporty feel.

Even though the standard tires give off a comfortable riding feel and have higher level of quietness (unpleasantness is mainly caused by road noise), it somehow cut short its difference from the Style, which has the standard suspension of the Move RS. If you choose the Cast Sport and you want to enjoy its sporty performance on mountain roads, I would recommend you to use the Potenza tires, an option which the developers also recommend.

â–  5 Star Rating
Packaging: ★★★★
Interior / Comfort: ★★★★
Power Source: ★★★★
Footwork: ★★★★
Recommendation: ★★★
Pet-friendliness: ★

Naoki Aoyama| Motor Journalist/ Dog Life Journalist
He became a freelance motor journalist after working as an editor for an automotive magazine. He started as a writer specializing on automotive magazines, and then of general news magazines and websites. He also worked on publication related to pet (dog) and overseas travel, pet and drive-related television program, as well as events. He is currently expanding his career as a dog life producer. He is a Japan Car of the Year Selection Committee member.

(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)