Within the Toyota family, Daihatsu is the brand of small smart city cars. Daihatsu has an arsenal of smart and more than regularly cheerfully designed Kei cars on offer for the Japanese market, among others, but Daihatsu is also an important player for Toyota outside the Japanese market. For example, Daihatsu develops crossovers, SUVs and MPVs for various Asian markets, on which Toyota also prints its badges. Today we have another Daihatsu on the shelves from which a Toyota derivative comes. This is the new Daihatsu Ayla, a compact city rascal that appears in the showrooms not only as a Toyota Agya, but also as a Perodua Axia. For those who do not want to be disappointed at the end of this story, we will bring out the downer: the trio will not come to the Netherlands or Europe. Perodua Axia (2023 – ). Daihatsu’s Indonesian subsidiary – Astra Daihatsu Motor – launched the first-generation Ayla in 2013, a 3.6-metre-long compact hatchback that can be roughly seen as the emerging market equivalent of Cuore/Mira, albeit in unlike that Cuore/Mira no Kei-car. Daihatsu has never kept the Ayla for itself. For example, not only Daihatsu sells it, but also Toyota. The model offers this in Indonesia and South Africa as Agya and supplies it as Wigo in countries such as Sri Lanka and Vietnam. In Malaysia, the Ayla goes through life under the flag of Perodua, as Perodua Axia. That series of Ayla-and-derivatives is now ten years old, so it’s time for follow-up. The Toyota Agya is the only one with its own headlights. Little changes to the concept of the Daihatsu Ayla. Again, the Ayla is a relatively basic five-door hatchback, albeit one size larger than the previous model. Depending on the chosen version, it measures 3.76 meters in length and has a wheelbase of 2.53 meters. For comparison, the previous Ayla had 2.45 meters between the front and rear axles. The small Daihatsu – and its sister models – is on the same DNGA-A platform as the Daihatsu Rocky. A significantly more modern base, therefore. That Rocky is also available as a Toyota (Raize), Subaru (Rex) and as a Perodua (Ativa), but we digress. Always modest The Daihatsu Ayla has the same 68 hp 1.0 three-cylinder under the hood as its predecessor, although that petrol engine is now equipped with a start/stop system. Fun fact: that three-cylinder is a further development of the 1.0 that was also in the Sirion II, but which also served in the Toyota Aygo, Citroën C1 and Peugeot 107/108. After all, they also had a Daihatsu heart. Furthermore, the Ayla can be ordered with a 1.2 three-cylinder engine that generates 88 hp. Both engines are mated to a manual five-speed gearbox as standard, although a CVT is also available. Daihatsu dresses the Ayla as GR-S if desired, a sporty-looking version that has even firmer dampers, adjusted springs and a more direct steering. Toyota offers its Agya with a package similar to GR Sport. The Toyota Agya is the only variant of the bunch that has unique headlights. The Daihatsu Ayla gets inserts in its tailgate that suggest that the taillights continue into the tailgate. Daihatsu Ayla. Depending on the chosen trim level and market, the compact trio offers an 8-inch infotainment screen, an inductive charger, 15-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, and things like hill start assist, parking beepers, airbags and an emergency braking system. The Perodua Axia was rated four stars out of five by the local NCAP chapter. Of the three cars together, roughly 140,000 rolled out of the showroom each year pre-corona. Other relatively sober Daihatsu’s of which Toyota sells its own variant include the Terios (Toyota Rush, Perodua Aruz), the Sigra (Toyota Calya) and the Daihatsu Xenia (Toyota Avanza, Perodua Alza). This message has no relevance whatsoever for the Dutch market. It does illustrate how compact cars in the so-called A segment are quite important in growth markets and how one brand plays a major role in this.