Product Type: Daewoo cars
Newest Review: ... heats up very fast. The only problem I have had and is quite common for the Kalos is the air bag light appearing on the dash board whic... more
That'll be the Daewoo that was
Member Name: steves001
Date: 27/06/11, updated on 09/08/12 (80 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap, comfortable and spacious for class
Disadvantages: Dull, reliability issues?
~~Bangs for bucks?~~
A couple of years ago I was looking for something to replace our ageing second car, a somewhat thirsty Fiat Stilo 1.6, and spotted one of these budget hatchbacks going for quite a reasonable price at our local main dealership. The car in question was a 2 year old, very low mileage, top-of-the-range 5 door Kalos SX 1.4, advertised at under £5,000. It seemed a lot of car for the money.
I don't propose to replicate technical details readily available elsewhere. (See official links below). Suffice it to say, the specification actually exceeded my requirements for a cheap and cheerful everyday runabout. On the face of it, touches of luxury included alloy wheels, air conditioning, front fog-lights, leather steering wheel and gear knob, remote central locking. But none of this quite made up for the number of visits to the workshop ...
For technical information, dimensions etc., best check official documentation - please refer to official websites for relevant data. (See links below)
This brief review is based on limited experience with a single used vehicle over a two year period to summer 2010.
~~Reliability and service~~
In two years it felt like this car was almost never out of the garage. Perhaps it was what they used to call 'a Friday afternoon car', or maybe I was just unlucky. Either way, problems included:
* Wiring problem: hazard lights flashing erratically
* ABS malfunction
* Oil sump: replacement / repair
* Air con leak (not covered by warranty)
The issue with the sump was never fully explained, though it was reported during a routine service and the car was off the road for several days. I was advised no parts were available in the UK and would have to be ordered from Korea. In the end a repair was carried out by a specialist and the vehicle finally returned. Other repairs required parts to be ordered and repeat visits to the garage. This was especially annoying once the warranty expired and costs started mounting ...
On the plus side, it has to be said the car never actually broke down in roughly 30,000 miles, and it was in daily use for around two years. It's just that its known service history never exactly inspired me with much confidence. Other owners may have had different experiences.
~~Build quality, durability and design~~
For the price, the materials, build and design seemed mostly adequate, with the main exceptions listed above. For reasons that may be understandable, longer term durability remained untested!
~~Performance, economy and environment~~
Nothing much to write home about on this front really - except perhaps to note slight disappointment with the efficiency of the 16 valve 1.4 petrol engine. Best described as adequate, perhaps, and a somewhat dull experience all round. (See footnote on economy below)
Apart from an essential 500 mile trip that had to be made without the benefit of a working ABS system, no known issues.
The seatbelt warning was certainly effective, if not to say extremely irksome at times!
It's a lot of car for the money but there are probably better alternatives. From our limited experience, there may be some general reliability issues.
* Reasonably comfortable and spacious for class
* Reliability issues?
* Chevrolet UK website : www.chevrolet.co.uk
~~Footnote : a word about economy~~
Lessons learned from the last major fuel crisis back in the early 1970s are still relevant - particularly driving techniques - but certain things may have moved on since those days. Vehicles with larger engines seemed generally less fuel efficient then, and their second-hand prices plummeted following the OPEC debacle. I remember going out to look for a small second hand Morris Minor (1000 cc) and returning with a very low mileage, large 6 cylinder Rover luxury saloon (c.1960 vintage) for the same price! What little cash I had at the time then went into petrol. We never quite believed it would reach one pound per gallon ...
Meanwhile, technology has greatly improved and larger engine vehicles can actually be more economic now. But sadly, this was not my experience with this car, compared with my chosen replacement for it, a 1.1 litre Kia. The Kalos seemed less efficient. Always best to check before making too many assumptions!
[© SteveS001, 2011, 2012. A version of this original review may be found on other review sites]
Summary: A lot of car for the money but there are probably better alternatives