As far as driver and passenger comfort is concerned the Daihatsu Gran Max Van Truck provides a lot for such a small package. The mini-van comfortably seats five, while even the pick- up can sit three in comfort. That is due to the fact that Daihatsu designed the Gran Max with its gear lever conveniently situated on the dashboard and moved the handbrake to the driver's side to maximize passenger leg room.
In truth, the Gran Max packs a lot of surprises for a van of its size and price, including full air conditioning, radio/ tape as standard, comfortable durable fabric upholstered seating and easy access centrally paced panel controls.
Safety is an important feature with Daihatsu and the Gran Max is no exception. The van, in either format, comes with front crumple zones as well as dual impact absorbing side bars. Other safety features include an anti lock braking system (ABS), collapsible steering column, front and side airbags for the pick- up and curtain airbags for the minivan.
There is no shortage of competition in the mini pick up sector as well as for the light minivan. The Daihatsu Gran Max Van Truck's entire list of rivals also comes from the Far East. Among them are the Subaru Sambar, Honda Acty, Suzuki Carry and the Mitsubishi Minicab.
According to independent reviews the Daihatsu Gran Max fuel requirements are modest averaging around 34 miles per gallon, with 29 miles per gallon in the city and thirty nine miles on the highway, irrespective of its load.
Daihatsu obviously have placed a lot of faith in the Gran Max as a dual purpose light truck and people carrier and have given it their three year or sixty thousand miles full parts warranty.
Daihatsu have combined all the factors that go into producing a light pick-up truck or a mini-van on the same wheel base. In doing so, they have combined the factors of economy and reliability to come up with a winner. Designing and producing a van that can carry one ton of dead weight or four passengers in comfort is not an easy task and especially when price considerations have to be seriously taken into account. With these facts in mind, it has to be agreed that Daihatsu have come up with a first class vehicle in its class.