“Saloon, hatchback- or simply the best of both worlds?”
Yeah; that was it. The entire premise of the Daihatsu Applause was that it looked like a sedan but was actually a hatchback. And that’s it.
Thanks for reading. See you next time.
Really, the Applause was a pretty immemorable car, introduced to replace the Charmant; which wasn’t a very memorable car either. You may have never heard of it before, yet somehow it managed to remain in production for eleven years, with little change except to cure a slightly undesirable flame-thrower effect from the fuel filler cap.
In fact, this time around the brochure is more noteable than the car itself, mainly because of the awful, cringeworthy way it was written. Based around a first-person narrative, it was written from the genteel perspective of a well-spoken couple taking a holiday in Jersey in their brand new Applause. And it’s absolutely hideous.
“Our destination was the Samares Manor Gardens; so I slipped the Pastoral Symphony into the radio/cassette. “Those people at Autocar & Motor are right” said Liz, “It has got a delightful gearchange.”
There was never really a harsh word said about the Applause in any of the reviews I ever read about it; considering the execrable nature of the cars it was pitched against (Ford Orion, Vauxhall Belmont) it was certainly not at a disadvantage in terms of quality or engineering. It was marred only by a total lack of charisma and complete stylistic invisibility.
And a terrible name. Applause. Rubbish. Should have called it the “Very Nice” or “Good Work”. Clearly the marketing department were in line for a “Must try harder. See me”.
Also, at the time of its launch, there was an apple flavoured Chocolate biscuit on the market, too, of the same name. And I seem to remember absolutely hating them.
“I was more than glad of the power steering and electric windows, I can tell you. And with such a squeeze getting out of the car, I blessed the central locking, too. Why don’t other cars of this size and price have such essentials as standard?”
The Applause was, indeed, well equipped. Electric windows surrounded you, alloy wheels could be had and there was a reclining rear seat. It was even quite quick, too, with a strangely precise 104.7hp to play with, and 115mph achievable as well as a sub-ten second dash to sixty. In some markets you could a 120hp mill and four wheel drive, and may we all now collapse in a state of fevered excitement.
“And of course that 12.9 cu.ft boot with hatchback is so logical, we wonder why no one’s thought of it before”.
I’ve never seen why it’s so clever, to be honest. I mean, fair enough if saloon car looks are THAT much of a selling point, then you must do what you can to achieve them. But it’s just such a compromise. The hatch must have been incredibly heavy and high when fully opened, and the load space still no taller than in a sedan. Surely just having a conventional trunk lid but a set of folding rear seats would have been a better idea? You know, like everybody else does?
Mind you, Skoda are still doing it with the Superb, so maybe it’s my turn to shut up.
“We had to cut the the holiday short because I got a dose of genital herpes from that girl from room service, and Liz went off with the Maitre D’, I’ve not seen her for a week, the bitch”
One of my schoolteachers used to have an Applause, and somehow it matched her personality, or lack thereof, to a tee. I remember her one day telling everybody that she drove “a sports car” and when pressed for clarification on that matter, replied that “it’s got a rear spoiler”.
So the Applause; an inoffensive car for mundane people who didn’t really know what they were talking about.