Last Chance To Buy: Daihatsu Copen

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Indy Lifestyle Online

When's it going?

The Daihatsu Copen isn't going anywhere, but it is getting cheaper. The revised two-seater has a new 1.3-litre engine, but prices have dropped by £2,500 and is now priced from £10,995. It's faster and more economical too with longer service intervals. So why on earth would you want an old one?



What's good about it?

It looks like an Audi TT, but is much smaller and cheaper. It also has a very clever and complicated metal folding roof not on the Audi. It is as interesting on the inside with a sporty steering wheel, funky dials and a low-level driving position. This is a Daihatsu, so build and reliability are excellent. The original Copen had a tiny 660cc engine with a turbo to help it along. It responds enthusiastically to lots of revs and the rasping exhaust note is all part of the fun. The Copen is fun to drive hard with the roof in position. Oh, yes, and it will do 44 mpg.

What's bad about it?

To some the Copen looks faintly ridiculous, but it turns more heads than a fully grown TT roadster. But with the roof retracted it can feel shaky if driven hard. There are the other obvious drawbacks: it is tight for space inside and there is precious little boot area.



Any snags?

Of course not, this is a Daihatsu with an unrivalled reputation for reliability and there have never been any recalls on this model. So provided you have a full service history there is no need to worry.



How much?

There is no shortage of low mileage Copens around. A 2006 example with 2,899 miles at a Kia dealer Newbarn, 01243 841200 which was £9,995 down from the original retail price of around £12,000. Meanwhile at car supermarket Ian Shipton Cars (01283 542983) another 2006 model this time with just 1300 miles was on offer at £8,999.

Specifications

Launched: 2003

Engine: 659cc

Performance: 650cc top speed 106mph 0-60mph 11.8 seconds

Economy: 44.1 mpg

Safety: NCAP */a.

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