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Daihatsu Copen: Buying guide and review (2002-2012)

The majority of Japanese cars built to Kei Car specifications tend to be boxy, quirky affairs. Cars like the Daihatsu Copen, however, prove that when a sports car is designed to comply with the tax-friendly regulations, the results are fun, cute and completely charming. 
 
The Copen was one of the longest-living open top Kei Cars, with production running from 2002 to 2012. After a brief hiatus, Daihatsu launched a second-gen model in 2014, with all-new styling, a greater scope for customisation inside and out, and much-improved fuel efficiency.
 
The two seat, 3.4 metre-long roadster’s party piece came in the form of its retractable hard top roof. Constructed from aluminium – as opposed to the steel used elsewhere in the Copen's body and chassis – the extra level of security and a weather protection make the Copen an ideal everyday sports car in the UK. As a result, it was officially imported to Britain from 2005, as well as many other international markets.
 
Though Kei car regulations restrict engine capacity to 659cc and 63bhp, outside of Japan the Copen was offered with a larger 1.3-litre naturally aspirated unit. While the Japan-spec model delivers fairly modest performance figures, the sub ten-second 0-62mph time of the larger engine helps the Copen to feel genuinely sprightly. 
 
Kerb weight sits at a miniscule 830kg, so regardless of which unit is driving the front wheels, there’s huge fun to be had by using the tiny dimensions and darty chassis to maintain momentum through the bends. Of course, one or two concessions need to be made for the tiny Copen. The ride is a little bouncy, and practicality will never be a strong point for a roadster comfortably shorter than a Citroen C1.
 
Which one to buy?
 
Early versions of the Copen were only offered with the Japanese market, 659cc turbocharged engine. It’s characterful and enjoyable to work hard, but for many, the 1.3-litre sold from 2005 onwards will be the better choice. With 86bhp and 89lb ft of torque, it covers the 0-62mph sprint in 9.5 seconds to the 659’s 11.3, yet achieving an official 47.1mpg, it’s 3mpg more frugal, too. The smaller engine was offered with a choice of manual or CVT automatic gearbox.
 
Equipment levels are generous, with air conditioning, electric windows and remote central locking offered as standard, while heated leather seats are a frequently-found option. The overwhelming majority of Copen owners choose to keep their cars unmodified.
 
Performance and specs
 
Engine 659cc inline four
Power 63bhp @ 6800rpm
Torque 80lb ft @ 3200rpm
Top speed 106mph
0-60mph 11.3secs
Fuel consumption 44mpg
Gearbox Five-speed manual
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2230mm
Length 3395mm
Width 1475mm
Height 1245mm
Weight 830kg
 
Common problems
 
• Rust can be an issue for Japanese market cars – where roads aren’t salted during the winter – once they’re brought over to the UK. The most common place from which Copens sprout rot is the trailing edge of the rear wheel arches.

• Alloy wheels are known to suffer from corrosion, too. Refurbs should rarely set you back more than £60 per corner.

• Both engine types are generally reliable, though the 659cc needs regular oil services. The recommended intervals stand at every 3000 miles or six months

• Standard exhausts are known to have a weak point: the joint around the silencer is weak, leading to cracks and eventually leaking. As a result, many Copen owners have replaced the OEM system for aftermarket stainless units
 
Model History
 
1999: Daihatsu Copen Concept revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show
2002: Copen production begins 
2005: Update introduces 1.3-litre engine, produced for worldwide markets
2012: First-gen Copen production ceases
2014: Production of the second-gen Copen begins
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
www.copenworld.com/community
www.daihatsu-drivers.uk/
 
Summary and prices
 
With approximately 1,900 Copens still zipping around UK roads, the market offers plenty of choice, so there’s no need to panic buy the first one you find. Early turbocharged models are available for less than £2,000, enough to bag a good privately-sold example with around 60,000 miles on the clock. Similar cars are generally priced around £500 higher at dealers.
 
The more desirable 1.3-powered model start from around £3000, climbing to around £5-6000 for low-mileage late models. Barely a handful of the second generation Copens have reached the UK. The cheapest used versions start at around £8000, but import and type-approval costs would need to be factored in over and beyond that figure.
 
Words: Alex Ingram
Last updated: 24th May 2016
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Daihatsu Copen cars for sale

11 Search results
Daihatsu Copen
3000 8995 GBP
  • Daihatsu Copen

    £3,995 £3,995

    ABS, Air Bag, Colour Coded Interior, Head Restraints, Heated Seats, Sports Seats, Air Conditioning, Full Leather, Electric Front Windows, Electric Windows, Electric Sunroof, Factory Hard Top, Colour Coded Body, Metallic Paintwork, Locking Wheel Nuts, Immobiliser, Central Locking, Alarm, Anti-Theft System, Radio, MP3 Player, CD Player, Stereo, UK Specification, UK Supplied, Finance available, Part Exchange welcome, HPI Clear (Complete with certificate), Alloy wheels THIS VEHICLE HAS BEEN FITTED WITH A NEW TURBO - Also now fitted with later rear spoiler upgrade. Attractive low mileage folding hard top convertible roadster electric folding roof, red leather interior, power steering, remote central locking, electric windows, electric mirrors, ABS brakes, Clarion CD stereo, Momo sports steering wheel, heated seats, twin airbags, air-con, colour coded bumpers and mirrors, alloy wheels, front fog lights and Full Service History.

    • Mileage: 48814 mi
    • Engine size: 659
    For sale
    T/a Amoti Cars
  • DAIHATSU COPEN - 2016

    POA POA

    You may of heard that they don't make Daihatsu's any more. We let us tell you, that is a Guernsey Grapevine rumour ! Daihatsu is alive and kicking and now is a really exciting time to consider buying one. ;;We have been supplying brand new and used examples direct from Japan since 1999. Although Daihatsu decided to pull the plug on it's UK and European dealers due to the poor exchange rate in 2010, they are still one of Japans biggest supplier of vehicles and in our humble opinion, one of the best. ;;If you've owned a Daihatsu in the past you will know how brilliant they are. Simple, easy to drive, cheap to run and insure, excellent build quality, ultimate reliability and great looks. ;;Bluchip was voted the 'Most Loved Business in Guernsey 2014' on the Best Thebestof Guernsey. By supplying quality Japanese vehicles, many of which where Daihatsu's, our loyal customers helped us win this prestigious award. All the service parts are readily available from our main suppliers, Guernsey Motor Spares Ltd and Bluchip have all the latest diagnostics and ability to service and repair your vehicle, should it ever need it. ;;Regular servicing is a must, but repairs, well, we have many Daihatsu's that have been on the roads for over 10 years and NOTHING has ever gone wrong with them mechanically - they really are that good. ;;The 2016 lineup is stunning, so take a look at what's available and if you'd like some more information please call 200390 and ask for Jamie who knows all there is to know about these great cars and can advise on the latest prices, specification and availability. Delivery time is approximately 8 to 12 weeks. www.bluchip.gg;;;;

    • Engine size: 658
    For sale
  • Daihatsu Copen

    £3,995 £3,995

    ABS, Air Bag, Colour Coded Interior, Head Restraints, Heated Seats, Sports Seats, Air Conditioning, Full Leather, Electric Front Windows, Electric Windows, Electric Sunroof, Factory Hard Top, Colour Coded Body, Metallic Paintwork, Locking Wheel Nuts, Immobiliser, Central Locking, Alarm, Anti-Theft System, Radio, MP3 Player, CD Player, Stereo, UK Specification, UK Supplied, Finance available, Part Exchange welcome, HPI Clear (Complete with certificate), Alloy wheels THIS VEHICLE HAS BEEN FITTED WITH A NEW TURBO - Also now fitted with later rear spoiler upgrade. Attractive low mileage folding hard top convertible roadster electric folding roof, red leather interior, power steering, remote central locking, electric windows, electric mirrors, ABS brakes, Clarion CD stereo, Momo sports steering wheel, heated seats, twin airbags, air-con, colour coded bumpers and mirrors, alloy wheels, front fog lights and Full Service History.

    • Mileage: 48814 mi
    • Engine size: 659
    For sale
  • Daihatsu Copen

    £3,000 £3,000

    Air Conditioning, LOW CAR TAX, low insurance, LOW RATE FINANCE ARRANGED (subject to status), LOW MILEAGE, FULL RAC WARRANTY, FULL SERVICE HISTORY, HPI CHECKED & CLEAR, Full Leather, Anti-Theft System, Alarm, Heated Seats, Power Steering, Stability Control, Traction Control, Trip Computer, Multiple Airbags, Colour Coded Body, Front Fog Lamps, Metallic Paintwork, Automatic Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Radio, CD Player

    • Mileage: 60000 mi
    • Engine size: 659
    For sale
  • Daihatsu Copen

    £3,000 £3,000

    Air Conditioning, LOW CAR TAX, low insurance, LOW RATE FINANCE ARRANGED (subject to status), LOW MILEAGE, FULL RAC WARRANTY, FULL SERVICE HISTORY, HPI CHECKED & CLEAR, Full Leather, Anti-Theft System, Alarm, Heated Seats, Power Steering, Stability Control, Traction Control, Trip Computer, Multiple Airbags, Colour Coded Body, Front Fog Lamps, Metallic Paintwork, Automatic Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Radio, CD Player

    • Mileage: 60000 mi
    • Engine size: 659
    For sale
  • Daihatsu Copen

    £4,999 £4,999

    Air Conditioning, Remote Central Locking, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, CD Player, Stereo, Heated Seats, Electric retractable hardtop, Full Leather, Twin Air Bags, Immobiliser, Alloy wheels, Full service history TURBO CHARGED, ELECTRIC FOLDING HARDTOP, ONLY 15000 MILES!

    • Mileage: 15000 mi
    • Engine size: 659
    For sale
  • Daihatsu Copen

    £4,995 £4,995

    Air Conditioning, Full Leather, Heated Seats, Electric retractable hard top, Stereo, Electric Windows, Multiple Airbags, Metallic Paintwork, Alloy wheels, Service history All of our cars are carefully selected and as an AA APPOINTED DEALER come with an AA vehicle history check and 12 months AA roadside assistance FREE of charge. HPi and price-checked for your peace of mind, each vehicle undergoes a thorough multi-point inspection, is serviced and where necessary a given a new MOT. Finally the car is valeted and we help tax the vehicle for you so that it's ready to drive away. We have a range of low-rate finance offers to suit all budgets and debit and credit cards are welcomed too. This vehicle will be sold with the benefit of a fully comprehensive 36 month extended warranty, this will be charged at an additional £895 making the total invoice price £5890.

    • Mileage: 57000 mi
    • Engine size: 1298
    For sale
  • Daihatsu Copen

    £3,995 £3,995

    ABS, Air Bag, Colour Coded Interior, Head Restraints, Heated Seats, Sports Seats, Air Conditioning, Full Leather, Electric Front Windows, Electric Windows, Electric Sunroof, Factory Hard Top, Colour Coded Body, Metallic Paintwork, Locking Wheel Nuts, Immobiliser, Central Locking, Alarm, Anti-Theft System, Radio, MP3 Player, CD Player, Stereo, UK Specification, UK Supplied, Finance available, Part Exchange welcome, HPI Clear (Complete with certificate), Alloy wheels THIS VEHICLE HAS BEEN FITTED WITH A NEW TURBO - Also now fitted with later rear spoiler upgrade. Attractive low mileage folding hard top convertible roadster electric folding roof, red leather interior, power steering, remote central locking, electric windows, electric mirrors, ABS brakes, Clarion CD stereo, Momo sports steering wheel, heated seats, twin airbags, air-con, colour coded bumpers and mirrors, alloy wheels, front fog lights and Full Service History.

    • Mileage: 48814 mi
    • Engine size: 659
    For sale
  • Daihatsu Copen

    £4,995 £4,995

    Call Today 01903236346, We Are A family run business of 40 years , Bank Beating Interest Rates On Our Finance Package, We Offer Fantastic Part Exchange Valuations, All Of Our Vehicles Are HPI Cleared, Book A Test Drive, 1.3 Litre Engine, Fuel Type Petrol, Full Service History, Sexy Red Leather Interior Finish, Heated Front Seats, Adjustable Steering Column, Power Steering, Multiple Airbags, High Level Brake Light, ABS, Immobiliser, Central Locking, Remote Central Locking, Heated Rear Screen, Metallic Paintwork, Electric Mirrors, Electric Front Windows, Air Conditioning, 2 Door, 2 Keys, 5 Speed Gearbox, Colour Coded Bumpers, Colour Coded Handles And Mirrors, Electric Pack, Digital clock, Front and rear crumple zones, Radio/Cd Player, Spacious And Stylish Interior Finish, Registration Document Available on Request OH WOW..You Have To Take A Look At This 2009 Daihatsu Copen 1.3 Convertible ,With 33,254 Miles And With A Sexy Red Leather Interior, It Also Has A Good Specification As Well.....Including Air Conditioning , ABS Braking , Heated Front Seats Plus Electric Folding Roof And Much More, The Interior And Exterior Is In Good Condition And As With Daihatsu It Has Great Retro Styling And Is In Good Condition,All Cars Come With 6 Months RAC Warranty And 12 Months Recovery All For Your Peace Of Mind, So Pop down to our showroom today and see why Daihatsu Owners rate these cars so highly!, For More Pictures And Video And Information Please Visit www.paincarsales.co.uk, We Are A family Run Business Of 40 Years+, We Offer Bank Beating Interest Rates On Our Finance Packages, We Offer Fantastic Part Exchange Valuations

    • Mileage: 33254 mi
    • Engine size: 1298
    For sale
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