We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

2 out of 5 stars

For The Lanos is cheap to buy, has reliable engines and is reasonably practical

Against Ride and handling are both poor, the steering is sloppy and the interior is flimsy

Verdict It's worth considering as something reliable to get from A to B

Go for… 1.4 SX

Avoid… 1.6 SX

Daewoo Lanos Hatchback
  • 1. The good news is that there are no major problems to look out for
  • 2. Check the last time the cam belt was changed - it needs to be replaced every 40,000 miles, and you don't want that expense
  • 3. On a test drive, pay particular attention to the rear brakes, as they have been known to bind on
  • 4. Choose the 1.4-litre engine rather than the 1.6. It's much more refined
  • 5. Concerns about cracking in a capacitor inside the camshaft position sensor led to a recall - make sure the work was done
advertisement

Daewoo Lanos Hatchback full review with expert trade views

Almost every rival to the Lanos is more capable on the road. The car fidgets and jiggles all over the place unless you’re on a totally flat surface, and the body roll through corners will leave you braking hard before roundabouts. To cap it all, the steering is vague and unresponsive.

Of the two engines, the 1.4-litre engine is the better bet. The 1.6 gets very noisy if you need even slightly high revs, and although the smaller engine has to work harder, it's smoother and quieter while it's doing it. However, you'll suffer from a lot of wind and road noise whatever engine you have under the bonnet.

Inside, things don't get much better. The interior is bland and grey, and while all the switchgear falls easily to hand, there seems to have been no thought given to style or design.

The steering wheel has rake adjustment, but the seats don't give enough support. And, although there’s a decent amount of head and knee space in both the front and back, the rear bench is only really comfortable for two.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Only sells on price but an SX hatch is the one that has most retail appeal

James Ruppert
Used car guru

You can choose from three- and five-door models, but for us the more practical five-door model is the better choice.

Trims start with S, which gets power steering, central locking, an alarm and immobiliser, twin airbags and a radio cassette player. SE adds anti-lock brakes and, after the upgrade in July 2000, included electric front windows. If you can, try to find one with the optional air-con fitted.

However, the pick of the bunch is the flagship SX, with air-con, as well as electric windows and door mirrors as standard.

The best engine is the 74bhp 1.4-litre, although its low-revving character means it runs out of puff early on and isn’t a great motorway cruiser.

The 1.6-litre delivers 105bhp and is more flexible, but is coarse at mid to high revs. There’s no diesel, and none of the cars has traction control or side airbags.

Never a desirable machine, expect to find the Lanos in the bargain basement section of your local newspaper’s classifieds.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Excellent reliability, low bills and low failure rates, but watch for suspension problems

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

Daewoo bosses deliberately went for a budget image when they launched the Korean brand in the UK. It means residual values were never high, which is great news if you’re a used buyer.

These cars are cheap as chips now, and that’s also good news when it comes to insuring it. You’ll be looking at third-party cover, and with the 1.4 in group 4 and the 1.6 in group 6, it’s going to be a minimal expense.

Fuel economy is pretty good, too. Official manufacturer figures are 36mpg for the 1.4-litre and 34mpg for the 1.6. There shouldn’t be too many problems with the car, although obviously they will increase as it gets older.

Experts at Warranty Direct rate the Lanos for its reliability and low repair costs. However, using data from thousands of owners, they reckon the Skoda Felicia is an even better bet.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Only sells on price but an SX hatch is the one that has most retail appeal

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The Lanos is generally a pretty tough cookie, providing it has been looked after properly. We have heard of no major problems with the car.

That said, check the service history before you buy, and take particular note of when the cambelt was last changed, or you could get a nasty shock next time the car goes in for a check-up. It should be done every 40,000 miles.

Along with several other Daewoo models, the Lanos was recalled in 2004 because of concerns about cracking in a capacitor inside the camshaft position sensor. The offending item was replaced free of charge by dealers, and there should be relevant notes in the vehicle’s service history. Ask questions if there aren't.

Among the several other issues to look out for with the Lanos are the rear brakes, which have been known to bind on, and we’ve heard of minor electrical problems that can cause a total breakdown.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Excellent reliability, low bills and low failure rates, but watch for suspension problems

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014