Light, quirky and very well within one’s means, the Daihatsu Copen is not everyone’s car but certainly a car that would easily catch the taste of the eclectic enthusiast. While the Copen can easily catch anyone’s attention when on the road because of its funky exterior, certain lacks in practicality confines the car to only a specific market. As a convertible, car owners can bank on it for starters, but may soon find that other cars in the segment offer more than it can. Nevertheless, this car has its salient points that make it a fun vehicle to own and drive.
The lightweight Copen comes with a turbocharger petrol engine that makes it responsive and very easy to manoeuvre. The 2007 update also comes with an 86bhp engine that gives the car an extra oomph. It also carries an attractive 47mpg of fuel economy for owners who are looking to save more on gas. Handling is another of the Copen’s strong points. Body-roll is nil, and steering is highly efficient even on wet roads. While it’s not the biggest booster in the segment, its good manoeuvreability makes it a fun car to drive on country road.
One of the advantages of the Copen is its comfortable driving position and high adjustability. Visibility is also clear, but the rear can soon be problematic with the roof down. The passenger seat is also comfortable and can help make long journeys more tolerable. The Copen is best driven with the roof down because it enhances the driving experience. But lowering the roof and is also slow and tricky, and ultimately takes a bit of fun out of the equation.
When it comes to equipment, buyers will get a great deal for what the car is worth. All models come with air conditioning. Other standard features include power steering with height and reach adjustable column, twin airbags, alloy wheels, remote central locking, an electric-operated metal folding roof and more.
At first glance the Copen already shows telltale signs of impracticality: the small, curvaceous car can barely fit a luggage with the roof down. Cubbies, pockets and a glovebox in the cabin don’t do much to improve the storage capacity of the vehicle. Because of the petite size, Copen passengers may also soon feel cramped inside the car. This discomfort can be eliminated with the roof down, but elbow space is still limited. The cabin can also get noisy without or with the roof up, making for a not-so-peaceful drive.
Simply put, the Copen is more apt for singles than for families. The almost zero storage space also indicates that the car is not very reliable when it comes to transporting items. A commute to and from work is one of the best reasons to get the car, especially if the owner lives or works in the city where parking space can be a headache. In this context, the Copen can be the best and most affordable investment a first time car owner can make.
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