Hi, Just thought I would post an update on our potential new purchase. Lucky for us we are living in Japan and local dealers have demonstrators available. We are hoping to order in January and take delivery at the end of March so we are at the stage of making sure this is really what we want. This car would be mainly for my wife's use to replace her 2005 Suzuki Swift Sport, but I would hope to get my share of driving time too!! I have had Kei cars before including a Suzuki Cappuccino and Suzuki Alto Works, so I knew roughly what to expect. The main things I was interested in were the ride quality, internal space, body rigidity and the gearbox variations. Manual Last weekend we test drove the manual version. Very nice performance with a good little gearbox. I am 181cm (6 feet) tall and the driving position was just okay for me with the seat fully back. Legroom limits meant I was not quite able to get my left leg fully straight when on the footrest but I could still be comfortable with it. Headroom was good with about 5-7cm above my head. The ride was firm but pleasant and never felt jarring, seems that they have the shocks and springs balanced nicely. Actually I would rate it a little better than my wife's current Suzuki Swift Sport for overall ride comfort. Acceleration up a nearby hill up to around 105km/h gave the impression of being almost as good as the Swift. I think this was due to two facts - the Swift weighs in at around 1,200kg and 123bhp giving 102.5 bhp/ton with the Copen at 850kg (manual) and 64bhp giving 75bhp/ton, plus the smaller and lower Copen gives a much stronger impression of speed. Anyhow, the result feels similar, even if a stopwatch would tell you something different. With the roof down and windows up, there is some breeze at cruising speed but nothing unpleasant, the rear wind deflector seems to do a good job. The sun visors can also be turned upwards to create a wind deflector and this improved things even more. It was a chilly day and the heater did a good job in the open cockpit. I was also impressed by the seat heaters, although they only have one setting they were comfortable and the one in the seat back was especially good at keeping your body core and kidneys warm. Now, the best part for me was the almost imperceptible scuttle shake over bumps and ripples. My old Cappuccino used to suffer quite badly from it but the Copen Robe really impressed me on this point. There is a little, but it is almost nothing and never becomes obtrusive. The factory has done a very good job with body stiffness on this car. Automatic A week later, we managed to test drive the automatic version - I know that most people would be offended by the notion of an automatic Copen but we are no longer young hooligans, and enjoy cruising a bit more than sporty driving so we thought we would give a chance. Sitting in the driver's seat, the first thing I noticed was a little better legroom for my left leg. With the clutch out of the way it seems that the footrest is set a little deeper and it made the sitting position marginally more comfortable for me. Well, I have to say that I was very much impressed with the gearbox. In full auto, the car seemed to accelerate as well as the manual and the 7 speed CVT box seems absolutely seamless. By that I mean I booted it from standstill up to around 100km/h and the engine revs just came up and stayed virtually identical as the car accelerated almost turbine like. There was no noticeable gear change or change in engine note occurring at any point. The auto version has better quoted fuel consumption over the manual. Now I know that it is fitted with idle stop (which works well in an unobtrusive way), but I guess that some of the benefit is also coming from the fact that the engine can be held at constant, most efficient rpm while accelerating. Shifting to sport mode puts the gearbox into a 5 speed selectable mode. Initially it seems to just hold the current gear so you can use it as engine braking, but you can also select up or down through the gearbox. This is the first time I have ever driven this type of gearbox so I cannot comment on how it compares, but to me the changes were slick with barely noticeable delay between command and change occurring. The gearbox will not allow you to change into any unacceptable gear for the current driving speed but other than that it seems that you make the choice and it follows your command. For example, in 4th gear at around 60km/h I mashed the throttle hard to see if I could induce kick-down, but it stayed where it was in the selected gear. In the same way, lifting the throttle results in pretty solid engine braking so it would appear that the CVT is locked up in manual mode. This gives a good measure of throttle control for balancing through the corners. I've got to say I was very much impressed. My wife then drove the car and has fallen in love with the gearbox. As for me, I can honestly say could find nothing wrong with it at all. It may not be for everyone but I would certainly recommend anyone to give it a test drive before poo-pooing the idea of an automatic Copen - you might be pleasantly surprised. General Just to finish off, I passengered in the Auto Copen but not in the Manual version. I did notice that for me, there is a considerable loss of leg room on the passenger side of the auto compared to the driver's side. There is something down there which results in a large and bulky panel intruding into the end of the foot well that makes it feel similar to sitting in the driver's seat with your feet just resting on the brake pedal. I am not sure if this is something unique to the auto version or is on both. We are hoping to test drive the manual again this coming weekend so I will check this out. It wasn't a problem for my wife as a passenger being only 163cm (5ft 4in) tall but I would find it uncomfortable on anything other than a short journey. However, when we are both together, I normally do most of the driving so this wouldn't be so much of a problem. Internally, there is virtually no storage space (compared to what we are used to), but what can you expect. Finally, I have no experience of the Mk.1 Copen but the trunk space in the Robe is worth talking about. Obviously, 80% of it is taken up by the roof when folded, but there is still some usable space right at the back of the car as long as you put the roof up before trying to put bags in and out. But with the roof up, the space is really enormous for a car of this size, certainly bigger and more usable that the Swift. So, we are still very positive to buy a new Copen Robe, just need to test the manual version once more with my wife driving before we make a final decision.