Just 12 months ago Daewoo looked set to become an ex-car maker yet today the now GM-owned Korean concern is peddling a new supermini, the Kalos, the Nubira saloon and, at the Frankfurt Motor show next month, will unveil the smartly styled Focus-sized Lacetti hatch. Much to the frustration of Daewoo’s UK arm though, the Lacetti won’t appear here until next spring.
The Pininfarina-styled notchback will never be remembered as one of Sergio’s best efforts, but a peek under the rear bumper reveals an expensive-looking multi-link suspension setup proving that this Daewoo means business. Among other current C-segment contenders, only the Focus gets an independent rear although Volkswagen’s next Bora also ditches the torsion beam.
The Nubira is competent on the move but doesn’t even try to engage you like a Focus over demanding roads, lacking the Ford’s steering feel and rolling when pushed along a decent road.
But the average buyer – as likely to book a fortnight in Ayia Napa as doorhandle their motor on the way to work – will be more disappointed by the pattery ride than trailing a Focus by two seconds around Brands Hatch.
Daewoo hasn’t forgotten its core strengths though. The £10,999 SX comes with a 108bhp 1.6 and enough goodies to shame the £1755 pricier Focus LX, including front and side airbags, air conditioning, a six-speaker stereo and four electric windows.