What is it?
Take a bow the new Daewoo Matiz, the Korean-built city car that was the only model in that defunct company to make serious headway in Europe.
Now under GM control, the Koreans have been beavering away on a Matiz replacement, which is renamed Spark to back up the all-new (slightly wider) platform, interior and sheetmetal.
What's it like?
Tuned to global tastes, the styling is a stimulating riot of creases, bulges and boldly designed lights, all matched to a cabin of nicely textured hard plastics brightened by pleasing flourishes of metallic-look trim.
The buttons and minor switchgear are generally of better feel, too, and overall the styling and interior are big steps up on the Matiz. But it’s a pity that the oblong-shaped rev counter pod, which sits alongside the speedo atop the steering column, is so clunky in execution.
Most significantly, the Spark's all-new platform is about 100mm wider than the Matiz. That brings more shoulder room and a less cramped feeling inside and pushes the Spark towards the top of the class for cabin space.
The wider stance also means greater stability at speed and more grown-up driving manners. And the hydraulic power steering is pleasantly weighted and consistent.