The Kenari’s styling follows the trends for cars in this class with the wheels pushed right to the corners of the two-box shape to maximise interior room.
Although conventional rectangular headlights were considered, the dual headlight front end was chosen to give a sporty and unique image. At the rear, the clean design of the large side-hinged rear door is flanked by high-mounted rear light clusters (with large amber lenses for the signals) that follow the style in the Kembara. Being mounted here not only makes them more visible to drivers behind but also reduce the chances of damage in rear-end collisions.
The reversing lights are set in the rear bumper lower to the ground. As such lights are not normally very bright, their illumination would not be of much use to the driver anyway and serve more to alert other drivers of the Kenari being reversed.
It is important to note that the Daihatsu Move which served as the basis for the Kenari is not the original one which was introduced in Japan in the early 1990s but the newer one which has been sold since late 1998. The difference is that the newer wide-body Move was designed based on the revised minicar regulations in Japan which were introduced in October 1998. Basically, the revisions were made because of stricter safety requirements which the original minicars would have difficulty meeting. The new minicar specifications allowed an increase in overall length by 10 cm to a maximum of around 3.4 metres and an increase in overall width by 8 cm to around 1.48 metres.
The Kenari, being a Malaysian model, is obviously not directly affected by the regulations but as it uses the same platform as the Move, its overall dimensions can’t be substantially changed. The important thing about the increased dimensions permitted is that they have removed the ‘tall and narrow’ profile that characterised most minicars and made them look like they would easily tip over. The Kenari, in fact, has a low-slung look even though it has 160 mm of ground clearance.
The Kenari’s overall length is 3460 mm (65 mm longer than the Kancil), overall width is 1475 mm (80 mm wider) and its height up to the top of the standard roof rails is 1665 mm (250 mm taller than the Kancil but 30 mm lower than the Kembara). The 2360 mm wheelbase is 80 mm longer than the Kancil’s, which means a much more spacious cabin.