Road test – Daihatsu Copen 1.3

27 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Road test – Daihatsu Copen 1.3
Daihatsu Be-Go

Road test – Daihatsu Copen 1.3

The Daihatsu Copen is a charming little car, but can the new version fitted with a beefier 1.3 litre engine deliver proper open-top thrills for just over #xA3;10k? We find out.

Price: #xA3;10,995

On sale: Now

0-62mph: 9.5 seconds; top speed 112mph

Average fuel: 47.1 mpg

Standard equipment: Body-coloured door handles and mirrors, a leather-bound steering wheel and gearknob, electric windows and mirrors, air-conditioning, ABS with EBD, driver and passenger airbags, front fog lights, 15-inch alloy wheels and a CD/stereo.

Tiscali verdict: Nothing else like it on sale, but it won’t appeal to all 7/10

The Daihatsu Copen highlights all that’s innovative from the country that makes the big small. The Copen, originally launched in 2003, takes micro car engineering to extreme with a power driven, metal folding roof fitted to a car that’s just 3440mm long. The Copen is clearly cleverly concieved; Can you think of a rival?

The most noticeable change to the exterior for the revised 2007 model is a rear spoiler, but the more comprehensive changes are under the skin. Out goes the fun, if frantic 700cc turbocharged engine. And is replaced by a larger 1.3-litre one.

Not sure about the Copen? Check out our list of reliable second hand soft-tops here.

So how does #xA3;10,995 for 85bhp sound? For that you get electric windows and mirrors, air-conditioning, ABS with EBD, driver and passenger airbags, front fog lights, 15in alloy wheels with low-profile tyres, dual exhaust pipes and of course, that power metal roof.

The Copen is now powered by a 1.3-litre, DOHC, DVVT engine borrowed from the larger Sirion and is mated with a five-speed manual transmission. Top speed is a sprightly 112 mph with 62 mph coming up in 9.5 seconds.

Good news on the front with longer service intervals (up to 9,000-miles from 3,000-miles), and fuel economy is up to 47.1mpg from the previous 44.1mpg figure.

It’s a willing, revvy unit, with an even spread of power right up to the red line. The five-speed box is slick enough, but it lacks precision, meaning it’s not as much fun as it could be. The Copen might be sporty, but with Co2 emissions of 140g/km it’s a fairly green choice too.

The Copen maybe small, but don’t think it’s not safe. As expected, there’s the full compliment of safety kit, with the usual airbags, ABS, traction and stability control systems all fitted as standard.

So what’s it like to drive then? In terms of smiles per mile, it rates highly against all the other cars I’ve driven this year. There’s some body flex, even with the roof up but it’s always a neat and tidy handler. As expected there’s more flex with the roof down, so expect bigger shudders through the steering wheel and cabin.

I thought that the interior detailing of the Copen was excellent and the optional red leather trim looked particularly smart.

To sum up, the latest Daihatsu Copen is well priced, exclusive, is a lot of fun to drive and feels robust. Proper open top fun for just over #xA3;10k is entirely possible with the Copen.

Fancy a closer look? Check out our Daihatsu Copen gallery

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