2005 Daihatsu Copen Roadster 659cc turbo from UK and Ireland
Brilliantly designed and well built with huge grin factor
No faults as yet.
Very impressed so far. The driving environment is superb and everything feels well put together and well designed.
I am getting an average of 34mpg, in cold conditions, including some very enthusiastic use of the 8000rpm rev range!
I am highly impressed by the engine and gearbox, which seem far more powerful and torquey than the 659cc capacity would suggest. The car will pick up beautifully in top gear from 25mph and continue up to just over 100mph, and also rev like hell for a long overtaking move in one gear. Superb!!
Lovely slick, short throw gearbox too, with a wonderful polished chrome gear knob and a light and accurate clutch too.
I am surprised by the joy of driving this small car, day in, day out, when in the mood for driving and when not. It's easy to get on with, and makes you feel special, without looking like too much of a poser. I am also surprised how nice people are about it, too. I thought I would have a lot of adverse comments, but for for every smirk from a gorilla in a pick-up, I get 20 "NICE car, mate!" comments from normal people.
The roof really is a work of art, totally waterproof and quick to operate too. It gives the car a dual personality, which is useful- top down, heated seats on, sunglasses on, it's a fun car with limited practicality, but makes you very glad to be out driving. Top up, you get quiet, dry, surprisingly refined, safe, all weather motoring with a boot big enough for the weekly shopping and a feel good factor form the wonderful interior and quality leather.
It is the ideal combination-you can pack a good deal of luggage/gifts in coupe mode, drive top-up to your weekend destination, unpack, then turn the car into a convertible and enjoy. More practical than you would expect, but larger loads are impossible.
Excellent build quality and finish
Magnificent engine/turbo/gearbox set up
First class enjoyment
Brilliant heated leather seats
Lovely Momo leather steering wheel
Roof is brilliantly engineered
Daihatsu dealers service is first class.
Could do with deadlocks
Headlights need bulb upgrades-poor dipped beam
Stereo speakers only 10w, need upgrade
Handling/ride best with top up
Blustery with top down over 50mph
Average brakes, over sensitive ABS
No underseat or clever storage
Best for people under 5'10"
I have seriously enjoyed using this car for business and pleasure, and have found my lost feeling of enjoying just driving again.
Every journey has become an event in itself, and the reaction of the public is amazing-you can't stop anywhere without someone chatting to you about it.
All of this, reliable and surprisingly useful too.
I love it! I actually got up early the other day and just went out to DRIVE. I last did this when I was 18 and had an Alfasud ti.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th February, 2007
Original writer back again.
I looked at the new 1.3 Copen in the showroom this week and noted that the car always has the rear spoiler, but the red steering wheel only comes with the red leather, and you can now specify heated cloth Recaro seats as well- with a black steering wheel. Shame the seats have RECARO in two inch high letters on the headrests-it make the car look even smaller!
I still marvel at the Copen and would wholeheartedly recommend one for the stunning engineering integrity and peerless build quality-but choose the colour and options with care to prevent it looking like a cartoon car.
The finish and quality is truly superb; after all they are mostly handbuilt to order in Japan, with quality components and then inspected thoroughly again in the UK. It is like a cheaper, lower powered SLK, at around £10,000-and gives the driver a sense of occasion every time it is encountered.
I miss mine and will buy another in years to come-a greatly enjoyable exquisitely built little car and fabulous value-especially with the new engine, tax band and economy.