Daewoo Kalos Blue | CARkeys

7 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Daewoo Kalos Blue | CARkeys
Daewoo Kalos

Daewoo Kalos

Blue review

Times are changing fast at Daewoo . We’ve already expressed a degree of astonishment at the way the now GM-owned company has made the new Nubira a major player in the medium-sized hatchback market. And here’s another surprise – Daewoo has decided to set its sights on enthusiastic young drivers who up to now would not have considered buying a car with this badge.

The Kalos Blue is, as the name suggests, based on the recently-introduced Kalos (and, to stretch the obvious point still further, is available only in blue). In standard form the Kalos is already an attractive little car, but it looks better still in this form, with a more purposeful front end, a rear spoiler, a chrome tailpipe, smart 15 alloy wheels with 195/50 tyres, and a ride height that is 25mm lower than that of the original car.

The roomy interior has been tarted up too, with a certain amount of chrome and pseudo-carbonfibre detailing. There’s a fair amount of standard equipment, including air-conditioning, front and side airbags, a six-speaker audio system, and electric windows front and rear.

It costs £9995, which puts it usefully under the £10,000 barrier. Insurance won’t be too steep because, although the exhaust system is designed to give a sporty note, the engine itself is an unmodified version of the 1.4-litre unit found elsewhere in the Kalos range.

In a straight line, therefore, the Blue isn’t exactly a ball of fire, and in fact the extra weight of the various styling items means it is heavier than a normal 1.4 Kalos, which dulls the performance very slightly. But the Blue still produces 92bhp, so it’s quick enough to be good fun without being over the top for an inexperienced driver.

Daewoo Kalos

What’s more, despite the step back in terms of power-to-weight ratio, the Blue would still be the Kalos of choice if you had to get anywhere in a hurry. As well as giving a lower ride height, the suspension is also stiffer than in the standard car, which makes it feel a good deal sharper. Not too stiff, though – ride quality is still quite acceptable over anything but the most severe bumps taken at speed.

And the level of grip is so high that 92bhp just can’t make a dent in it. During a period of quite purposeful driving I did not find any situation in which either end made even the smallest suggestion that it was about to let go. No doubt the eventual limit would be understeer, but I’m not prepared to drive hard enough on public roads to be able to find out.

The package includes a Thatcham Category 2 immobiliser, free servicing for three years or 60,000 miles, a warranty for the same period and three years’ AA roadside assistance. Just to emphasise the safety angle, an Institute of Advanced Motorists driving course is also part of the deal.

In the first year of production, Daewoo is planning to bring just 200 Blues into this country. I suspect this may turn out to be a dramatic under-estimate of how the car will sell. It’s cheap, it’s well-equipped, it’s stylish, it’s easy to insure, and above all it’s safe to drive.

If Daewoo wants to take control of the youth market currently dominated by the ageing Citroen Saxo, it has the ideal product right here.

Daewoo Kalos
Daewoo Kalos
Daewoo Kalos
Daewoo Kalos
Daewoo Kalos
Daewoo Kalos
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