Daihatsu Copen Reviews

2005 Daihatsu Copen Roadster 659cc turbo from UK and Ireland

Model year2005
Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 659cc turbo Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired4000 miles
Most recent distance5000 miles
Previous carSuzuki Swift

Summary:

Brilliantly designed and well built with huge grin factor

Faults:

No faults as yet.

General Comments:

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.

Observations:

Excellent build quality and finish

Great interior

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

18th Aug 2008, 13:40

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.

2003 Daihatsu Copen 0.7 from UK and Ireland

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 0.7 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired3000 miles
Most recent distance20468 miles
Previous carPeugeot 106

Summary:

Fantastic! Don't need a sentence, just one word

Faults:

Absolutely nothing!

General Comments:

Comfortable, great handling, lovely to drive.

Reliable, and stands up to a good thrashing every time I drive it.

It's convertible for those days in the summer that are just too damn hot. An electrically operated roof turns it into a coupe when it rains. The seats are heated, nice Mercedes style trick.

Bit of a girly car, but then the turbo kicks in, this makes a difference. Without it, it's pitifully slow, but when it comes on boost, it'll keep up with a Saxo easily. Saying that, mines been modified with adjustable boost, so I can turn that up when I feel like having some fun. I've also had it lowered with a new exhaust too. Now it sound and looks the part. Many have said it looks like a mini TT.

It's a fairly oddball choice, but I just can't stand having the same car as everyone else. As I say though, it handles great, I can take islands at full pelt in it, it's just got the right amount of power for the chassis to handle, it'd be a new drivers dream. Makes you feel like you can do anything.

Buy one now. The prices have dropped significantly since I bought mine, around 3 years ago. You can pick one up now for about 6K, so do it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th October, 2006

Average review marks: 8.7 / 10, based on 2 reviews