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What Car? says

2 out of 5 stars

For The Lacetti offers good value for money, and has decent looks and equipment

Against It should be a lot better to drive, and the refinement is well below-par

Verdict As an affordable small family car it's fine, but it's definitely not for the driving enthusiast

Go for… 1.6 SX

Avoid… 1.4 and autos

Daewoo Lacetti Hatchback
  • 1. Check that the seats, locks and switchgear all behave as expected
  • 2. Look for misaligned body panels, which may indicate a crash repair
  • 3. The cockpit is straightforward, with a good, adjustable driving position and plenty of stowage
  • 4. Refinement is disappointing, with plenty of engine and wind noise in the cabin
  • 5. Boot space is pretty generous
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Daewoo Lacetti Hatchback full review with expert trade views

The Lacetti is a mid-sized family car that’s slightly smaller than Ford’s Focus. Its good value and has a splash of style, too, having been penned by Italian studio Italdesign.

Available initially as a hatchback, a saloon and an estate were introduced only when General Motors rebranded the range as Chevrolet in 2005. All Lacettis offer respectable practicality, with generous rear legroom, a large boot and split-folding rear seats.

The design of the cabin is straightforward, with a good, adjustable driving position and plenty of stowage.

It's a similar story on the road, too. The Lacetti is reasonably comfortable, but it's not a car for a keen driver and doesn’t like being hustled through corners. The transmission could be smoother, the steering lacks feedback and the gearbox could be much slicker. Refinement is disappointing, too, with plenty of engine and wind noise in the cabin.

Trade view

John Owen

Take this Chevy to the levee

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

With no diesel available, it’s a choice between two petrol engines – a 1.4 and a 1.6, each with its own trim level.

The 1.6-litre SX has everything you need, including air-con, alloy wheels and electric windows all round. Like all Lacettis, it has power steering, central locking and a CD player. However, we'd steer clear of the 1.4, which misses out on alloy wheels, air-con and side airbags.

As if that wasn't enough reason, the 1.4 isn't really strong enough, and lacks the urge of the 1.6. Don’t bother with the automatic gearbox that was optional with the 1.6, though.

If you're looking for a Lacettis, the small ads are the best place to look, although you may need to look for a while. The Lacetti wasn't on sale for very long, so there aren't many around.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Chevrolet badge didn't help - saloons drop most value

James Ruppert
Used car guru

One of the Lacetti’s strongest points is value for money, which is bolstered by the generous three-year servicing, warranty and recovery package, which will still have some time to run on the most recent cars.

Insurance won’t be a big worry, even if the Lacetti ranks a group or two higher than Ford’s Focus. The 1.4 is group 5, and the 1.6 SX is group 7.

You’ll fare respectably at the pumps, too. The claimed fuel economy of both models is just under 40mpg, with the automatic recording around five miles per gallon less.

Overall, a typical 1.6 SX is slightly cheaper per mile to run than a more expensive Focus 1.6 LX or similarly priced Kia Cerato LX, but servicing costs – when you do finally have to pay them – can be around 30% more expensive than the Ford’s. They’re still cheaper than the Kia’s, however.

Trade view

John Owen

Take this Chevy to the levee

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

Previous Daewoos have fared badly in JD Power’s customer satisfaction survey, and in the 2005 and 2006 reports, Daewoo ranked below average. However, there's no one thing that's a weak point on the Lacetti.

So, as with any used car, the Lacetti requires a keen going over. From the top down, check the bodywork for damage and look for misaligned body panels, which may indicate a crash repair. Look at the exhaust for signs of excessive rusting, and at the alloy wheels for damage. Inside, check that the seats, locks and switchgear all behave as expected.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Chevrolet badge didn't help - saloons drop most value

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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