Daihatsu Copen first drive: More fun, less money – Telegraph

22 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Daihatsu Copen first drive: More fun, less money – Telegraph
Daihatsu Copen

first More fun, less

Now with a 1.3-litre engine, Copen has few rivals, says Rod Ker

first introduced a décapotable way back in 1934, so it was appropriate the 206CC should popularise the in the new millennium. Offering the security of a car with the wind-in-the-toupée delights of a top convertible, press-button retractable roofs have been up (and down) everywhere in the few years.

Daihatsu’s Copen is the and cheapest offering in an expanding niche. And the cutest, too, by the general reaction. In contrast to the world that surrounds pariahs ensconced in two-ton this bijou machine to elicit smiles, or in some outright laughter.

Amusing bystanders is one thing, but the version also has a greatly ability to please the driver, to a new engine. First shown as a in 1999, the Copen (a contraction of perhaps) owes its existence to K-car legislation, which vehicles of restricted size, and power exemption from parking and licensing requirements.

An capacity of 660cc and 64PS 63bhp) is your lot, the original model’s frenetic three-cylinder engine. This the UK in 2004, and became something of a car, notwithstanding a price tag to that of a fully-grown 206CC.

As Dron discovered when he tested the car in these pages June 28, 2003) the tiny engine gave respectable but the Copen cried out for something under the bonnet. So the 2007 edition comes with the four-cylinder engine from the mildly tweaked to produce at 6,000rpm. Top speed is now 112mph and the sprint takes well 10 seconds – proper car territory.

At the same time, the fuel is better and emissions are reduced. all that, at £10,995 on the road the is £2,500 lower than it was in

The original version could be fun in the circumstances, but it could also be because the power vanished as as the revs dropped and turbo faded. The American no substitute for inches mantra applies as here as with huge Although 85bhp sounds a cure for insomnia on paper, in a lightweight package it’s to keep a keen driver You might never be going fast, but your subjective says otherwise.

One passenger was convinced we were to be hunted down by Richard in a helicopter until I pointed out we were only doing Some might suggest this is a negative quality, but I it’s exactly what we in Gatsoland, especially when with 50mpg fuel

Considering its compact external (3,440mm long, 1,475mm the Copen is roomy, with of space in the footwells and a dished that gives just headroom for six-footers. The boot is surprisingly commodious – at until you undo two catches and the button that lowers the leaving a space just big enough to stow a copy of the Harry Potter, opened at 326.

Roof operation takes 25 seconds, which seems a time in a thunderstorm, I can report. The is refreshingly simple and functional, a option being the £500 pack, which includes seats and a Momo steering With such a short a choppy ride is inevitable, but the cushioning given by a set of slightly tyres would have welcome in most circumstances.

And as in convertibles, going topless the jiggle factor noticeably due to shake. There are more cars, certainly, but on a smooth the suspension settled down. all the odds, the Copen also directionally stable and fairly in a blustery wind on a motorway.

the possible exception of a Mazda which is significantly bigger and more expensive unless you buy or secondhand, there’s really no competition for the Copen now that the Roadster/Coupé is defunct. Going about 10 years, the Suzuki was possibly the nearest equivalent, but were in any case blighted by K-car capacity engines.

To find the true ancestor, of ancient motoring history recall that Britain produced a sports car called the MG What they may not know is in 1965 a pint-sized convertible by Daihatsu became the first car officially imported into and that the company responsible is its centenary in 2007, making it 20 years older than MG.

Copen [tech/spec]

Daihatsu Copen

Price/availability: On sale now.

Engine/transmission: 1,298cc, four-cylinder with DOHC and four per cylinder; 86bhp at 6,000rpm, ft of torque at 4,400rpm. Five-speed gearbox, front-wheel drive.

top speed 112mph, 0-62mph in EU Urban fuel consumption CO2 emissions 140g/km.

We like: compactness, fun, economy.

We like: Luggage space roof lowered, ride, shake.

Alternatives: No direct Consider Peugeot 207CC, £14,795. Mitsubishi Colt from £14,026. Vauxhall from £13,995. Nissan C+C, from £13,500.

Mazda MX-5 1.6, £5,000. Restored MG Midget or Healey Sprite, from £3,000, or Frogeye Sprite, £8,000 in top condition.

Daihatsu Copen
Daihatsu Copen
Daihatsu Copen
Daihatsu Copen
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