Daewoo Matiz 1.0 SE | Auto Express

21 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Daewoo Matiz 1.0 SE | Auto Express
Daewoo Matiz


By introducing a four-cylinder variant, Daewoo has broadened the Matiz#039;s appeal. The larger engine is more refined and responsive, but loses some of the original powerplant#039;s free-revving and lively character.

The original Daewoo Matiz was like a Rolling Stone – even with the throttle to the floor owners could get no Matiz-action. While the city runaround might have been one of the cutest-looking and entertaining small cars to drive, its little 796cc three-cylinder engine needed to be pushed to get anything other than pedestrian acceleration. But with no money to spend, Daewoo was powerless to do anything about it.

A larger unit had always been on the cards for the Matiz, but there wasn’t the cash available to get things moving.

Now, with General Motors in control and Daewoo’s future looking secure, a more potent motor has finally arrived – but has the new 1.0-litre model been worth the wait? The 63bhp unit increases the power output by 13bhp – a noticeable gain compared to the 796cc version, which remains on sale in the entry-level machine.

Opt for the larger engine and the extra muscle sees 2.1 seconds shaved off the 0-60mph sprint time – cut from 17.0 to 14.9 seconds. Thanks to the power in reserve and the extra cylinder, the Daewoo is now a tad quicker flat-out, too, with a top speed of 94mph. This change makes the Matiz much more refined when cruising at the legal limit.

That said, the four-cylinder powerplant takes away some of the car’s character. The original three-cylinder unit had a great engine note, was free-revving and, despite not being particularly fast, always felt lively and enthu-siastic when zipping through city streets.

Daewoo Matiz

However, the newcomer is an altogether more mature car. It lacks the old motor’s sense of urgency and is less fun. By fitting the bigger-capacity engine, Daewoo has instead concentrated on improving the Matiz’s out-of-town abilities.

And although the vehicle appears to be less entertaining to drive in the urban jungle, the 1.0 is all the better for its extra civility.

But the baby Daewoo still has a bouncy ride and excessive body roll, so pressing the chassis hard on twisty country lanes isn’t an activity for the faint-hearted. Otherwise, changes over the 796cc Matiz are minimal. The larger-engined version comes with an improved ventilation system, upgraded interior upholstery and revised wheeltrims.

These tweaks arrive at the same time as a raft of minor changes across the model’s range, which sees SE+ editions being fitted with electric windows, a rear spoiler and, rather bizarrely, only one electric door mirror. The interior still feels low rent in places, however, with a shiny plastic instrument binnacle, cheap switchgear and a rubbery gearshift. Large drivers will also find the narrow cabin awkward, while the seats lack support on long journeys.

But as a budget choice, the Matiz 1.0 remains a great city car – and with prices only £300 more expensive than the equivalent 796cc models, it makes a great deal of financial sense.

Daewoo Matiz
Daewoo Matiz
Daewoo Matiz

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