Used Daihatsu Copen 2003 - 2011 review

Category: Sports car

It's not remotely practical but it is fun

Daihatsu Copen (03 - 11)
  • Daihatsu Copen (03 - 11)
  • Daihatsu Copen (03 - 11)
Used Daihatsu Copen 2003 - 2011 review
Star rating

What's the used Daihatsu Copen sports like?

This tiny tin-top convertible whizzes along with as little as 67bhp thanks to its thrummy 0.7-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine.

It drives neatly as long as the hood is in place. But, as soon as you go topless, the body loses vital stiffness, resulting in a car that feels less tidy to drive, while any bumps in the road shudder through the cabin.


It's not remotely practical but it is fun

  • Cheap, unusual and quirky little open two-seater with a screaming 659cc engine
  • It's tiring to drive long distances and gets blown about on the motorway

While the roof is up, the Copen feels civilised, if a bit small, with most of the road roar and wind noise kept out. Drop the lid and there's plenty of wind buffeting above 30mph, which proves tiring over long distances.

Inside, it's easy for all but the very large to get comfy, although the driver's seat has no height adjustment, and the steering has very little. Everything inside and out feels solid and well made, and the folding roof is ingenious. However, it does takes up almost of the boot space when folded down - and there was precious little to start with.

Ownership cost

What used Daihatsu Copen sports will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Daihatsu Copen sports?

When it was new, the Copen was the cheapest car you could buy with a folding steel roof. And, although it loses value fairly slowly - at three years old it is worth roughly half what it originally cost - it's still a cheap way into a convertible.

Owners love them, too, which suggests that, when the few used ones appear on the used market, they may attract a band of enthusiasts willing to pay plenty for good ones.

Fuel economy is another plus, at up to 44mpg overall. Insurance is higher than perhaps you'd expect considering the car's tiny engine, but its group nine listing still makes it cheaper than almost every other two-seat drop-top.

Servicing should be carried out on an annual basis. Its pint-sized turbo motor is best suited to the expert attention we'd expect from a Daihatsu dealer, but the good news is that prices are usually reasonable. Fully synthetic oil is recommended for the engine, however, and that doesn't come cheap. Some spares are also surprisingly expensive.

Our recommendations

Which used Daihatsu Copen sports should I buy?

There's just one model. It's well equipped: alloy wheels, air conditioning, remote locking, electric windows and a CD player are fitted as standard, with leather seats an option you might want to look out for. All have manual gearboxes - there's no auto option.

In other words, all you have to worry about is finding a car in the right colour.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Daihatsu Copen sports?