When is it going?

When is it going?

The Matiz isn't exactly going, but it will get a new badge on 1 January. That's when Daewoo's owner, General Motors, decides that one meaningless brand will be swapped for another: Chevrolet. So here is your last opportunity to buy a dinky little Daewoo.

What's good about it?

It is still a good-looking little car. In a market where rival city cars often look like little delivery vans and shrunken people carriers, the generous styling courtesy of Giorgetto Giugiaro, the man who brought you the original Golf, gives you a lift. Most of all, a Matiz does not disappoint in its element: around town. It has a tight turning circle which, combined with light power steering, means that manoeuvring is never a problem. Also the engines are nippy where it matters. It is a tiny car, but despite that it rides reasonably well on good quality roads and there is almost a sporty roar to the three-cylinder engine. It has a three-year warranty and three years' free servicing.

What's bad about it?

It's getting on a bit. It is not as sophisticated or well equipped as some of its newer rivals. Twin airbags are included but ABS is an option only on the top SE+ model and side airbags are not available. If you are going to stray out of town then the smaller 800cc engine struggles. The boot is tiny.

How much?

Virgin Cars had some 800cc SEs at £4,599, down from £5,695. Then again if you wanted a car that had not been registered Broadspeed. com could supply an identical model for £5,182.

Any snags?

In 2000 Daewoo identified the possibility of fuel leakage and a fire risk. In October last year it found the 1-litre Matiz could rev a little too highly.

FACT FILE

Launched: 1998

Engine: 800cc 1.0

Performance: 800cc, 89mph, 0-60mph 17 secs

Economy: 46.3mpg

NCAP safety: ***

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