Daihatsu Rocky

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Daihatsu Rocky
Daihatsu Rocky/Feroza/Sportrak
SuccessorDaihatsu Terios
ClassMini SUV
Body style(s)2-door SUV
LayoutFront engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
ManualService Manual

The Daihatsu Rocky is a mini SUV manufactured by Japanese automaker Daihatsu between 1987 and 1998.

It is known as the Daihatsu Rocky in the USA and Japan, also known as the Daihatsu Sportrak in UK and the Daihatsu Feroza in other parts of Europe and Australia. In New Zealand, where 2nd hand vehicles are often imported from Japan, the model can seen badged as either a Rocky, Feroza or Feroza II.

To avoid confusion, owners often refer to the models by their factory model number F-300 or F-310. The F-310 variant, marketed as the MkII Sportrak or Feroza II was sold between 1987 and 1988. The main differences between the F-300 and the F-310 was the front end and associated trim. This included the headlight surround and grille.

Fitted with a Daihatsu 1600 cc DOHC or SOHC I4 engine, linked via a manual gearbox, propshaft and differential to the front wheels and rear axle to provide either four wheel drive or two wheel drive depending on the driver requirement. 2WD, 4WD Low and 4WD High are selected using a selector next to the gear stick in the cabin.

The engine is generally known to have performance difficulties attributed to poor air induction which can be improved by the removal of the air filtration system fitted by Daihatsu and the application of a more free flowing air filter. Although this is not recommended for offroad users due to water ingress to the throttle body, a snorkel is usually fitted through the near-side wing, running up the passenger side front pillar.

The interior in some models includes a clock, inclinometer and voltmeter. Cabriolet models are available, which are known to leak around the seals leading to a full soft-top renewal. The more regular version is a hard top, but the roof section is removable from the drivers headrest forward and the whole roof and rear window from the drivers headrest back.

This leaves a rollcage to protect the rear passengers and a bar from offside to nearside just above the drivers head. All in all, the price is cheap compared to other convertibles or RWD/4WD cars and SUVs on the road. Road tax in the UK stands at £98 for six months, and the Sportrak is an Insurance Group 10. Other cars in this group include the Hyundai Coupe, which makes it a comparatively expensive car to insure in the UK.

General usage in urban areas will give 20-23 MPG. The chassis rails are well known to trap rust and dirt as the drain holes become clogged, leaving the owner with large holes in the chassis which will fail the MOT test. For this reason alone numerous vehicles have been consigned to the scrapyard with relatively good condition engines, gearboxes and bodywork, making used parts easy to find.

First generation (1987-1992)

First generation
Daihatsu Rocky soft top (US)
Engine(s)1.6L 94 hp (70 kW) I4
Transmission(s)5-speed manual
Wheelbase85.6 in (2174 mm)
Length148.2 in (3764 mm)
Width68.5 in (1740 mm)
Height67.7 in (1720 mm)
Fuel capacity15.9 US gallons (60.2 L; 13.2 imp gal)

The first generation was sold between 1987 and 1992, powered by a SOHC 1.6 L four-cylinder engine supplied by Toyota. Power ranged between 75 and 105 PS (55 and 77 kW) in Japan. It was available with a 3-door body only, and was one of the first mini SUVs introduced by Japanese manufacturers during the 1980s. In Europe and Australia, the Rocky was known as the Daihatsu Feroza, as Rocky was used for the larger Rugger/Fourtrak. The export model had a detuned version of the more powerful engine, with 95 PS (70 kW). As the Rocky, this was one of two models, alongside the Charade, sold in the United States during Daihatsu's brief presence in that market.

Second generation (1992-1998)

Second generation
1995 Rocky/Feroza/Sportrak 1600 cc DOHC Hartop
Engine(s)1.6L I4

The second generation was introduced in 1993 but differed little from the original model, retaining the same chassis and Toyota 1.6 L engine, although the carburettor model was dropped from the Japanese lineup, only the 95/105 PS engine remaining in the lineup. Italian manufacturer Bertone built a variation powered by the BMW M40 engine, with 100 PS (74 kW) called the Bertone Freeclimber II. The Rocky/Feroza was replaced in 1998 by the Terios.