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I have been driving a 3 year old Chevrolet Matiz (automatic) for 18 months. As a relatively inexperienced driver, clocking up 12000 + miles for work every year, I can say that I have mixed feelings about the model. Day to day fuel and insurance costs are cheap. It is easy to park and there is quite a lot of storage space for such a small car. It is a decent little run around and you can fit three people in the back surprisingly well.
That said, a recent German survey listed the Matiz as being one of the cars most likely to fail its MOT (33% fail). My car was no exception as after 19000 miles it needed two new tyres because the tracking was off and the headlights were badly adjusted. These were all manufacturing faults. The car also doesn't handle well and is uncomfortable on long journeys. The safety reviews of 2/5 for side impact is rather worrying too.
Would I buy another? Probably not as I feel that something more trendy and powerful will be on the cards when I have obtained a few more years of no claims.
Mention the name Chevrolet to any car enthusiast & it will conjure up an image of the huge American V8 saloons & SUVs that dominate the America car scene. Along with Ford, Chevrolet is among the best selling cars in America & famous for producing a number of classics such as the legendary Corvette sports car, the muscle cars of the 1960s & many more.
It's a true American brand, up there with Coca Cola & McDonalds, yet Louis Chevrolet who founded the company came from Switzerland.
His family left Switzerland to live in France in the late 19th century & it was there where Louis developed his mechanical skills & interest in motor racing. At the turn of the century he emigrated to Canada to work as a chauffeur & mechanic, later he moved again to New York City where he worked briefly for a fellow Swiss immigrant's engineering company. He had many other jobs in America & even pursued a racing career, however it was when he was working for Buick that he learned the skills of producing his own vehicles.
The Chevrolet Motor Company was founded & very quickly taken over by what became the huge General Motors Corporation (GM) & Louis died a near penniless man. During the entire 20th century Chevrolet & Ford dominated the domestic car scene in America.
So where does all this leave this review on a little Korean built car with a famous name? Daewoo in Korea was partly owned by GM in America & produced a series of vehicles made under license from GM until they were big enough to produce their own designs; many made it to the UK in the 1990s.
However, a few years back when Daewoo when bankrupt, GM took full control of the company & rebranded it models Chevrolet for the America & European market.
THE CHEVROLET MATIZ
Based on the old Daewoo Matiz which has been on sale since the late 1990s, the new Matiz has more modern features including a new interior. The original Matiz was actually designed in Italy & sold to the Korean company saving them a lot of time & money on major development work.
The latest Matiz is priced between £6625.00 & £7465.00 (without the scrappage scheme) & features a three cylinder engine of 796cc; it is available as an automatic or manual. Road tax, thanks to its low Co2 figures is only £35.00 a year & fuel consumption is over 50mpg. The problem with the Matiz is mainly the direct competition from Kia, Hyundai & Citroen. They all produce cars in the same price bracket which are slightly bigger in size with slightly larger engines making the Matiz looking less of a bargain & with similar running costs you would have to be a Matiz enthusiast or desperate for the Chevrolet badge to want one.
DRIVING THE MATIZ
On first acquaintance the Matiz looks small & narrow, its skinny wheels & tires give it a slightly top heavy look. From the outside they are certainly well finished for a cheap 'value for money' car & all the panel gaps are even & consistent. Its only when you come to open the doors & see how thin they are that you would question how safe this vehicle would be in an accident of any description as you appear to have little body protection in front, at the rear or from the side despite side protection bars & air bags.
Once inside the general finish is quite acceptable for the money, yes it is plasticky but what isn't at this price. Equipment levels are very good, the model I tested came with electric front windows, a decent if not dated radio CD with removable front, central locking & air conditioning.
The dash design & general look inside reminds me of a typical Japanese car from the early 1990s, it's not going to offend anyone but it is hardly 21st century stuff.
The dash features a central mounted dial display with large speedo flanked by a smaller rev counter & fuel gauge; they are not digital displays but conventional looking meters.
In front of the steering wheel is a small display containing all the warning lamps. In the middle of the dash are two circular face vents, a 1990s style radio CD with a handy mute button that doubles up as the on / off switch & the heating controls.
For the life of me I cannot understand why Chevrolet fit the rear fog lamp switch in with the wiper switch, it took me a while to find it & it looks like an afterthought.
Cubby holes are small & in short supply, the interior isn't as practical as it could be. Space from such a small car is limited, although leg room in the rear is tight, two adults could get comfortable on a short journey but long journeys wouldn't be advised. There is only room in the back for two people as only two seat belts are fitted, it is worth remembering this in case you plan to buy a Matiz for the school runs.
Leg room up front is better if your less than six feet in height, headroom is decent & shoulder room acceptable. As you would imagine the boot isn't huge but the rear seats can be folded down to increase space.
Start the car up & the first thing you notice is the throaty roar of a typical three cylinder engine, even the best designed three cylinder engines are like this & the Matiz is no worse than others I have driven.
Getting a decent driving position is easy & all the pedals have a smooth & light feel to them. The gear change is quite good with a positive change, as you move off the Matiz can easily keep up with city traffic despite its small engine.
It's only when you are out of the city that you begin to notice the lack of power. If you push it to keep up with more powerful traffic the fuel consumption suffers so if you intend to carry out a lot of motorway or country runs bear this in mind. Sometimes a bigger engine car can make more economical sense.
Steering is light making the Matiz so easy to park with its compact dimensions, its narrow size means you get the parking spaces bigger cars can't get into.
Brakes felt excellent & stopped the car with just the driver in it without any problems, however with four adults inside maybe things wouldn't be so good. If you intend to carry more people, road test the car first with more people in it to confirm.
The Matiz is not a performance machine to get your adrenalin pumping so the handling won't be tested to the limit. Handling on country roads at acceptable speeds felt safe enough but it's not a car I would like to drive round corners in a hurry as its narrow size doesn't give me enough confidence. Despite all that the suspension ride wasn't too bad for such a small car but any pot holes in the road (there are plenty in my area) leave the little Matiz crashing over them upsetting the passengers.
Small it maybe & lacking any character, but the Matiz shines in the busy towns or cities which it's probably designed for. I wouldn't like to use it for any other type of driving. Having said that running costs would be low & if that is all that is important to you then consider buying one.
I am not anti- small car, I run a small car myself (Toyota Yaris 1.3), although slightly bigger than a Matiz it utilises it's interior space much more effectively than the Matiz, its more practical, feels so much safer inside & overall running costs are only slightly higher. Faced with a choice of a brand new Matiz or a secondhand Yaris for the same money, the Yaris would be my choice.
I just spent some time getting accustomed with this car as a rental after an accident and it hasn't taken me very long to form an opinion. The saying you get what you pay for is generally mostly true. With a car at this end of the price spectrum you are getting the basics with a few sparse trimmings.
Initially, my attention was drawn to the dimensions of the car which are diminutive to say the least. Length wise its 3495mm, width 1495 and a height of 1500mm. The car appears very narrow and the wheels are shamefully small at 13". On the plus side the narrow body gives the driver a slightly higher position which is handy for parking though don't expect any thrills with cornering as there is considerable body roll.
The engine is a small 1.0L iron affair with an alluminium head. Its peppy but needs working hard to get any kind of performance from it and is all out of ideas at motorway cruising speed. Itried an overtaking manouver and was stopped by a gust of wind. 0-60 is apparently 14.1 sec but it does feel longer. I was quite surprised also at how much fuel it used despite varied driving styles and distances. Its kerb weight is 795 Kilos but it certainly feels laboured in moving anywhere where a burst of acceleration is required.
Inside was a bit of a surprise as it was jazzy upholstery, CD and air-con which is nice in a budget car. Sadly this was marred by the poor handling when driving and the atrocious gearbox. It was as responsive as waving around your hand in a large bucket with lots of play and indecisive movement. I hate the gears!
It also must be stated that inside the car you feel very insecure as there is so little width. I would imagine that in an accident the car would fair quite badly at any speed.
I so wanted to include some positive things for the car but all I could find was the nice hazard warning light button in a gloss finish. I could write lots of technical things to fluff out the review but it would not obscure the fact that this a poor car.
To some up, I would say its best avoided unless you want something basic to get from A to B thats made by Chevrolet. Sadly there are a few cars that do the job so much better.
This is a cheap car to buy costing just over 5000 pounds however its not a great car.
I have recently bought this car and am dissappointed at the standard of it.
The place where we bought it from told us that it was a great car told us anything in fact to make us buy the car but it was a cheap four door car which is what we were looking for.
There is hardly any storage space in the car the boot fits about four shopping bags in it which is not a lot.
There is not but space in the car for peoples legs. This is not a car to buy if you are a tall person as it is only a small car.
The car only just about fits a car seat in which makes it difficult for you to put the car seat in and out.
Glove box is really small and hardly holds anything maybe a couple of cds at the most.
The car is fitted with a cd player which is of quite good sound quality however the car doesnt shield any of the noise every word of the song can be heard on the outside too no matter what volume it is at.
Seats in the car are very uncomfortable and plain. not much design to the car.
i bought the car around six weeks ago and have already had problems with it.
it recently broke down and we were informed that the clutch had gone.
The mechanic who fixed the car informed me that this is a regular problem with this type of car.
definately wouldnt reccommend it to people however it is a cheap car and you get what you pay for.
Not a good car at all.
The Chevrolet Matiz is a rebadged and updated (2005) Daewoo Matiz. It is marketed as a town car and it is inexpensive, listing at £6995 for a 1.0 SE manual. This review is of the 1.0 SE manual, with optional air con at £400.
Sadly, this review will be pretty scathing.
Inside the car
In spite of its diminutive proportions it is perfectly possible to fit 4 adults in a Matiz, though they will have to get on well with one another as the car is noticeably narrower than practically any other car on the market. The boot isn't bad either; you can get an average hold-all in it, unlike, say, a Ford Ka.
The trim is robust, rather than luxurious. The plastics are hard and so are the seats. It all wears well but the seats are narrow and uncomfortable for anything other than short journeys. I bought aftermarket carpet mats as the original fit stuff was woefully thin. My car does have electric front windows. You don't need electrically controlled mirrors as the car is so narrow that you can comfortably lean across to adjust the left door mirror without removing your seat belt. If you have a front passenger you need to adapt the way you hold the gear lever when you change, to avoid contact with the passenger's right leg. The car has bins, shelves and storage galore. This narrowness does add enormously to the car's ability to squeeze through tiny town gaps and park where other cars do not have a chance.
The performance is deceptive. Below 3000 rpm the car has no go at all, but between 3000 and 5000 there is a noticeable power surge. Honest! It easily keeps up with town traffic (let's not forget it is marketed as a town car) and it will cruise at 70 even fully laden, but it rapidly runs out of puff on uphill inclines and you have to change often to maintain pace, even when running with driver only. The brakes, with standard ABS, are perfectly matched and the car stops on a sixpence, even from speed. The steering is very light. Some reviewers have said it is too light but I find it very comfortable. Driving at motorway speed is a noisy experience. Back on country roads, this is not a car to chuck around as it quickly loses grip at the back if you fling it into a bend with enthusiasm. The lack of handling is not compensated by silky smooth ride as the ride is harsh at all speeds on anything other than perfectly surfaced roads.
Now for the fuel economy. Oh dear, what a sorry tale. My tiny, low-powered Matiz will reach 45 mpg if I nurture it, but it is more likely to achieve about 41. That's the same as I get from my 1.8 Nissan. The dealers have fobbed me off with attributing this to my poor driving technique; this is a bit of a mystery since I am the original fairy-footed driver, brought up with eking the last 100 yards out of any gallon of fuel. Equally mysterious is that if you visit a Matiz forum, all the other drivers must suffer from similarly poor technique as they all report equally rotten fuel economy. Let's face it: it's a pretty ancient engine design and it is not up to modern standards of economy or performance.
It is just as well that this vehicle comes with a three year warranty. I have had an emissions control valve changed twice (the design has now been changed so it could be that the last change will prove a bit more durable) and had to return it to the dealer for a repair to a seat belt stalk that flopped uselessly down when the seatbelt was removed. It's great that it comes with three years' servicing thrown in, though.
Would I buy another one? Not a chance. The fuel economy, the poor ride and comfort, the poor reliability and mediocre performance are serious switch offs. About the only good things about this car are the low purchase price (though they depreciate like stones) and the insurance group 1. That's why I bought it, for my sons to learn to drive in, but even so I wish I'd paid a couple of thousand pounds more and got something better or even paid the same and acquired a second-hand "proper" car.