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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Nippy and compact, the Matiz is an economical runabout - and charismatic, too

Against The cabin is narrow, and it's short on quality. Too much engine noise intrudes, too

Verdict The Matiz is better under Chevrolet than Daewoo, but it's still outdone by rivals

Go for… 1.0 SE

Avoid… 800cc models

Chevrolet Matiz Hatchback
  • 1. Find a model with the 1.0-litre engine. You need all the oomph you can get
  • 2. Resale values are weak, so you should be able to pick up a bargain.
  • 3. Check service book to see if the cambelt has been changed every 40,000 miles
  • 4. Alternators can also fail occasionally, so take the car on a long test drive to ensure the battery doesn't discharge
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Chevrolet Matiz Hatchback full review with expert trade views

When General Motors rebranded its Daewoo products as Chevrolets, it injected some new appeal and some funky styling into its cars. The Matiz is no exception – it looks great from the outside, and in a class where many cars look top-heavy and awkward, that’s a big plus.

The Matiz isn’t bad to drive, either. The ride is well controlled at any speed, and the car takes most bumps in its stride. It does lean a bit around corners, but the steering is accurate enough to make for reasonable handling. Refinement isn’t great, though, with breathless engines and plenty of mechanical noise.

Inside, the cabin is narrow, so it’s really only suitable for four, and rear legroom is tight, even for a city car. The boot is small, too, but the real problem lies in the quality of the cabin. The plastics are cheap, shiny and not very appealing.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Cheap and cheerful micro-motoring, although it needs to be cheaper than the competition

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

There are two engines. The first is an 800cc three-cylinder that gives 50bhp. This is fine for zipping around town, where it feels quite perky, but get it on the open road and it begins to struggle.

The 1.0-litre four-cylinder is much better. It produces another 14bhp, making 64 in total, and this, combined with more pulling power, means it’s far more comfortable on the motorway.

S trim is only available with the 0.8 engine, and provides very little other than remote central locking and a CD player. You can also get the 0.8 in SE Auto spec, which means an automatic gearbox, electric front windows and seat height adjustment. SE trim on the 1.0 car is the same, minus the auto 'box, and SE+ models add air-con. SX trim provides as much kit as the Matiz has to offer, with alloy wheels, electric rear windows and side airbags.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Continuing to lose value, 1.0 SE+ will sell at the right low price

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The Matiz was sold as a cheap and cheerful city car, and weak residuals mean that even if the car you pick up is still fairly new, it’ll have lost a good chunk of its value, making it cheaper still.

However, compare it with cars of the same age and type, such as a Kia Picanto, and you might not be so impressed. Prices are quite similar, but the Picanto gives you more for your money.

Running costs, though, are fantastic. The 0.8 gives 54.3mpg, although with the automatic gearbox, this falls to 49.6 mpg. The 1.0 also breaks the 50mpg mark. You’ll pay a pittance to insure it, too. The 0.8 is in lowly group 1, and the 1.0 is almost as cheap, in group 2.

Where the Matiz does have the Picanto over a barrel is on servicing costs. Both are cheap, but you'll pay ever so slightly less for the Matiz.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Cheap and cheerful micro-motoring, although it needs to be cheaper than the competition

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

The basic mechanics haven’t changed too much since the days when the Matiz was a Daewoo. That car had reasonable reliability, and Daewoo finished in the top 10 out of 30 manufacturers in a recent What Car? reliability survey, which bodes well for anyone considering a Matiz.

There were some things to bear in mind with the old car, though. It was vital the cambelt was changed after 40,000 miles, and it’d be a good idea to make sure this happens on the new one, too. If you’re buying a high-mileage car, check the service history to make sure this has been done. Alternators can also fail occasionally, so take the car on a long test drive to ensure the battery doesn’t discharge.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Continuing to lose value, 1.0 SE+ will sell at the right low price

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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