In terms of configuration, the Gran Max is a simple cab-forward design on a ladder frame chassis. Dimensionally it’s a shade under 4.2m from bumper-to-tailgate and only 1.67m across, making is easier to manoeuvre into claustrophobic industrial park delivery bays than the larger loadbed alternatives from other car makers.
Trace the Gran Max’s flat loadbed and you’ll find it measuring a generous 2.3m in length and 1.58m across, tallying to total load volume of 3.2m2. In terms of carrying capacity Daihatsu claims its little trokkie will dutifully slog a shade over 1ton. Powering the rear-wheel drive Gran Max is a Terios-sourced engine, which Daihatsu claims has been deftly reconfigured for the workhorse application. Simply put it makes less power and should last longer under workhorse conditions. Drive is channelled via a fascia-mounted five-speed manual transmission.
Simple design and user-friendly switch layout for straightforward operability
Mounted lever facilitates smooth and sure shifting operations while keeping the driver’s eyes on the road
Well placed cup holder to be close to your hand while driving and ensure your full focus on the road
Easy to reach, wide and reliable storage box
Once out on the road, with a loadbed full of household effects, the Gran Max proved quite a neat little truck to operate. Controls are lights and the small dual-spoke steering wheel, despite being devoid of tactile feedback, enables a very tidy 9.4m turning circle. Considering you’re sitting atop of it, engine noise levels are unsurprisingly intrusive, yet even with a full load the Terios-sourced 1.5l engine is only a downshift away from keeping up momentum – even with a load aboard. The transmission is not great though, especially for a rear-wheel propshaft driven set-up – with the shifter flopping about instead of rolling into gear through the gate.