Daihatsu Copen – Daihatsu Copen Car Review – 24-08-2007 | Used Car Expert

4 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Daihatsu Copen – Daihatsu Copen Car Review – 24-08-2007 | Used Car Expert
Daihatsu Copen

Daihatsu Copen

Daihatsu Copen Car Review

IF you ever wondered what would be the price of eternal youth, I suggest about £10,995.

That’s also the cost of the totally revised Daihatsu Copen, one of the few new cars which combines retro with refinement and delivers style with substance.

It’s both eye-catching and entirely practical as a two-seater runabout and it puts other small roadsters in the shade when it comes to usefulness in the UK climate.

Revitalised in spring 2007 with the same commended Sirion engine, the extra horsepower has transformed the Copen in terms of performance and practicality.

The 1.3 engine and new longer gearing make it much more acceptable for longer journeys and its economy is encouragingly good without even trying.

It’s a good starter, pulls eagerly and fairly strongly and it cruises quietly at the legal limit on the motorway.

A very light clutch, direct short-throw gearchange and good ratios mean the Copen is a delight around town and on open roads.

With its conventional powered rack and pinion steering it responds faithfully and easily to steering input, making light work of parking or placing precisely through bends, and the brakes have a good feedback and power delivery, slowing the Copen quickly and with composure. The handbrake holds on the steepest of hills.

The uprated brakes on the more powerful new Copen are matched with a modified suspension. While it has lost some of its smoothness and compliance, the new set up gives it a sharper edge when pressing on at the price of a stiffer ride over bad surfaces.

On smooth roads, however, the new Copen is a joy and it certainly seemed to soften with a passenger aboard.

The handling is biased towards running wide on tighter turns but ease off mid-corner and it gently tucks in the nose and comes back on a tighter line. It is entirely predictable and safe with a low centre of gravity to maximise the handling potential.

Secondary controls are all very close to hand in the compact cabin and the simple instruments clear, backed up by a few warning lights.

Heating and ventilation includes air conditioning supported by electric windows and when you add to these the powered mirrors and standard cd-player you appreciate this is a very well equipped roadster for the money.

The powered folding metal roof is fairly quick to use once manually released and it stows neatly under the bootlid with some loss of luggage space.

Oddments room in the car is limited and not generous but the boot will take from 14 to 210 litres so most items would find a place.

Access is good to the cabin and the seats are very well shaped to provide support under the thighs and around the back. You tend to sit low but thanks to the waistline and sloping styling you can see all round.

Daihatsu Copen

I thought the lights could have been more powerful and far-reaching but the wipers were adequate. You also have to remember because you are so low down on the road that the Copen is not immediately visible to other road users in some situations.

All noise levels were low with most coming from the tyres over bad surfaces. Push the engine hard and it sounded very busy, but it never sounded strained.

Wind noise was low with the roof closed or open.

In its roadster guise the Copen did not batter the occupants, possibly thanks to the standard wind deflector behind the headrests, and the heating system kept feet warm.

Without sacrificing sophistication, the Daihatsu Copen delivers fun and frugal motoring. Few cars can lay claim to those virtues, particularly at the price of the Copen. To my mind it is unique.

FAST FACTS

Daihatsu Copen 1.3

Price: £10,995

Mechanical: 86bhp, 1,298cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5spd manual gearbox

Daihatsu Copen
Daihatsu Copen
Daihatsu Copen
Daihatsu Copen
Daihatsu Copen
Daihatsu Copen
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