The words ‘Station Wagon’ can’t disguise it – attached to ‘Daewoo’ and ‘Nubira’, they fail to inspire just as completely as ‘estate’, ‘tourer’ or indeed, ‘corrosion warranty’.
The Nubira estate is something you might need, but it will never be something you desire unless it’s the last minicab in town on a cold night out. But if you’re shopping for automotive real-estate, a conveniently-sized device for carrying people and stuff, well, the Nubira is worth an investigatory pause.
Specifically, around £11k buys you 1410 litres of load area (Golf estate 1470), and that’s a fair bit of space for the cash. Not only that, but there’s adequate room for five – generous for four – and all in a cabin that, if not luxurious, certainly isn’t flagrantly cut-price. Not least because the dash is from the Lacetti, not the Nubira saloon. The UK gets just one version, a 108bhp 1.6-litre petrol, this November, although a 121bhp 1.8 may come later.
Though a 1.6-litre motor doesn’t sound stout enough for the kind of lugging this car can manage, it proves moderately brisk.
It will struggle with a fully laden Nubira, but two-up it copes adequately, especially if you help its case by whacking up the stereo. That way you’ll have a chance of drowning out exertions so coarse, so hard-edged that you think you must be aboard a car from an earlier era, like a Hillman Hunter. Road noise occasionally joins the party, and a gearlever that occasionally resists shifts doesn’t help, either.
The suspension deals well enough with corners and bumps, though, and the engine calms itself at a cruise, but you’re not going to be driving this car for pleasure.
It’s a fair effort, this wagon, and pretty decent value, too. If you can live with the refinement issues, and the name, this is a sensible, no-nonsense workhorse.