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New Daihatsu Copen goes faster for less money. Image by Daihatsu.

New Daihatsu Copen goes faster for less money
Daihatsu has upgraded the Copen with a more powerful engine at the same time as reducing the price.
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The Daihatsu Copen has been on sale in the UK since 2003, and as is appropriate given its Japanese K-car background, has only been available up to now with a 660cc turbocharged engine. It's all change for 2007 as the Daihatsu Copen gets the same 1.3-litre 16v engine as used in the Sirion.

This ups the power to 86bhp and brings gains everywhere. Top speed is up 6mph to 112mph; the 0-62mph dash now just takes 9.5 seconds, which is a massive improvement on the old Copen's 11.7 seconds. Fuel economy is improved, with the Extra Urban Cycle economy up 5.1mpg to 56mpg; at the same time the CO2 emissions have been reduced from 151g/km to 140g/km. And just to show you really can have your cake and eat it, the new improved Copen has a new improved price of just £10,995 on-the-road, a full £2,500 less than the outgoing model.

Visually, the 2007 model Copen is little changed. There is a range of new colours and a small rear boot spoiler to differentiate the model years. The folding aluminium hardtop remains, which takes less than 20 seconds to fold away into the boot once the driver has unlocked the two windscreen catches.

The 1.3-litre engine features Dynamic Variable Valve Timing (DVVT), has an alloy head and block and its fitment only adds 27kg to the weight of the old model - the 2007 Copen still only weighs 850kg. The new engine has chain-driven camshafts for low maintenance and the oil-change service interval has tripled from 3,000 to 9,000 miles.

Despite the Copen's miniscule size (just 3440mm long and 1475mm wide) there is still adequate interior width and space for two occupants six feet or more tall.

Standard equipment levels are high and include hydraulic power steering (rather than electric - for better feel), 15-inch alloy wheels, keyless central locking, air conditioning, a CD-tuner, electric windows and door mirrors and a heated glass rear window in the folding hardtop. If that isn't enough, there is a leather pack available for £500, comprising of heated leather seats, leather door trim and a leather Momo steering wheel, or Recaro seats for another £895. The only other option is metallic paint, which adds £325 to the cost of the Copen.

Like all Daihatsu models, the Copen comes with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty along with three years of free roadside assistance. Perhaps its time we tried the Copen out again.

Trevor Nicosia - 19 Mar 2007

2007 Daihatsu Copen. Image by Daihatsu.    

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