Daihatsu Copen car review – Auto Trader UK – News and Reviews Hub

26 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Daihatsu Copen car review – Auto Trader UK – News and Reviews Hub

Daihatsu Copen

car review

Ten Point Test

Auto Trader Ten Point Test rating: 70%

City cars are all the rage for motorists seeking a small vehicle which is frugal, cheap to insure and funky looking.

And the Daihatsu Copen ticks these boxes and has one advantage over other city cars – it’s a convertible.

With the credit crunch tightening the belts of the British public, could the Daihatsu Copen be the solution to those seeking convertible looks with city car running costs? Read our review to find out.

1. Looks 8/10

You can’t fault Daihatsu’s design team. Like with the character-filled Materia, the Copen has a seriously bold design. From the rear three quarters there are massive similarities with the previous generation Audi TT courtesy of the sporty alloy wheels and spoiler. The front, with its sloping bonnet and elliptical lights can, with a squint, bear a resemblance to the 1950’s Porsche 356 Speedster.

With the roof down, it’s a handsome car – but it’s absolutely tiny, measuring just 3.4-metres long, 1.4-metres wide and 1.2-metres high (or waist height for the 6ft 1in road tester).

2. Looks inside 6/10

Daihatsu has carried through the Copen’s sporty exterior to the inside with the little convertible sporting a pair of bright red leather seats, matching red trim and a Momo steering wheel. However, the heated leather seats and racy steering wheel are part of a £500 optional package. Behind the seats is a pair of rollover hoops (as seen on more expensive roadsters such as the Audi TT and Mazda MX-5). But after this it starts to go wrong.

The centre console sports an aging CD player while the trim consists of a lot of cheap plastics. The small compartment between the seats where the boot and filler cap release buttons are stored feels flimsy while the indicator and light stalks look as if they’ve been taken of a 1980’s car. The sun visors are equally poor and provide little use when it’s sunny and the ignition is a little to closely positioned to the indicator stalk making it awkward to start if you’ve got larger than average hands.

3. Practicality 6/10

This Copen is incredibly tight. In the press pack, Daihatsu claim the Copen ‘has ample interior width and space for those exceeding six feet in height’. Not true.

The reality is even one road tester – just 5ft 10in – was suffering discomfort. This isn’t a car for anyone over 5ft 10 or with broad shoulders. While only small, there is still a large blind spot for the driver over their shoulder. But the electric retracting roof is brilliant.

Described as ‘similar to a Mercedes SLK’ the roof is opened by flipping to catches and then simply holding down on a switch as it opens and folds into the boot in about 20 seconds.  With the roof down, boot space is compromised and there is just enough room for a small holdall.

4. Ride and Handling 7/10

Daihatsu has fitted the Copen with an incredibly firm suspension, which picks up the smallest of bumps, particularly at speed. But with this negative comes a positive – the Copen can be chucked into corners and it handles surprisingly well. In the right environment there is so loads of fun to be had with the firm suspension and low centre of gravity which ensures minimal roll through the bends.

5. Performance 7/10

The previous Copen was powered by a turbocharged 660cc engine but due to its low displacement and high stress performance wasn’t great and it needed to be serviced every 3,000 miles. In 2006, the small engine was replaced with a 1.3-litre engine which produces 86bhp – an increase of 18bhp. This gives the feisty little motor a 0-62mph (100kph) time of 9.5 seconds (from 11.7) and a claimed top speed of 112mph (up by 6mph).

With its low driving position you can be easily convinced you’re going faster than the car actually is. At motorway speeds the Copen bumbles along but there is a large amount of road noise.

6. Running Costs 8/10

Like with performance, the introduction of a new engine has drastically improved the Daihatsu Copen’s running costs. On a combined cycle, Daihatsu claim the Copen will average 47.1mpg. After more than 350 miles of driving on motorways, A-roads and London’s horrendously congested urban areas our test model was averaging 46.4mpg. Carbon dioxide emissions of 140g/km keep the Copen in tax band C meaning an annual bill of £120.

Service intervals of 9,000 miles may be 6,000 miles more than the previous turbocharged model but are still less than the expected 12,000 miles of more mainstream car makers. At £10,995, the new Copen is £2,500 cheaper than the 2004 model.

7. Reliability 7/10

Daihatsu is part owned by Toyota, a car maker renowned for its reliability. The new engine is less complicated than the turbocharged predecessor which should mean less to go wrong. An electric folding roof could potentially cause more problems than a manual, but our model’s roof worked fine. However, the trim did feel cheap and the passenger’s head rest was regularly slamming against the rollover hoops causing an incredibly irritating noise.

In the event of anything going wrong, the Copen is covered by Daihatsu’s three year unlimited mileage warranty with three year’s roadside assistance.

8. Safety 6/10

Standard safety features on the Copen include twin airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and front fog lamps. However, due to its minute size and height, the Copen can easily be missed by lorries and vans and the odds are seriously stacked against you in the 850kg convertible.

9. Equipment 8/10

Standard equipment on the Copen includes electric windows and door mirrors, power steering, CD player, air-conditioning and central locking while the electric roof is a nice feature. Our model had Recaro seats which cost £895 while a further £500 ensures heated seats, leather door trim, and Momo steering wheel.

10. X-Factor 8/10

If you want a cute convertible with an electric roof which is frugal, cheap and lively through the corners then you shouldn’t be put off by the car’s small demeanour.

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