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When I was learning to drive this time last year, I really needed a small, cheap, first-time buyer type car, something that wasn't going to cost thousands to insure. As I am under 25, insurance is automatically expensive anyway, without having a big expensive car.
When I went to a local dealership, accompanied by my Dad and Fiancé, I saw my little Matiz and fell in love with it. Naturally, being your typical girly-girl, this 'love' was largely based on its colour (mine is gorgeous green - see pic below). I took it for a test drive, my Dad drove it, my Fiancé drove it, and then we went back to the garage and bought it. Much of the reason for the purchase was its price, at around £6000, it was cheaper than most for a reasonably new car - mine is a 51 reg, and had only had one owner when I got it.
Size: ----- One of the first things you think when looking at the Matiz is how small it is - it is both shorter (length not height) and thinner than my other half's Vauxhall Corsa, but it is taller in height. Once you get into the car though, it is very spacious, both in the front and the back. My very tall male friends fit much better in the backseat of my car than the Corsa. For someone like me, the small size also makes it easy to park (which is an asset I need in a car!). Due in part to it's height advantage, the Matiz also has good viewing - the windscreens at the front and back are quite large and a good shape for being able to see all around you. The Matiz can also (room wise - see engine size) fairly comfortably fit three passengers in the back seat. It is quite narrow, however, which means that I often grab my passenger's knee when changing gear.
Engine size: ---------------
My Matiz has an engine size of a little below 1.0, round about 800cc. This means that it unfortunately doesn't have very good acceleration, and will really struggle up hills. I find myself frequently being overtaken just as I come onto a 70mph road, simply because it takes me so long to actually reach 70. It is good at getting up to 50 quite quickly, but really does take its time with the last bit. It does tend to worry me if I don't have the radio on loudly, because the engine can sound like it's having difficulty when it's not, just because of the small engine size.
Another downfall of this particular aspect of the car is that it makes it easy to stall when pulling away. When I first began to drive the Matiz, I often stalled, mainly because I was used to driving the Corsa, which is virtually impossible to stall. The Matiz has absolutely no clutch-control at all.
With a car full of passengers, the lack of engine power makes it quite difficult to drive, and is even more slow at accelerating than normal.
Tech Spec: ----------------
The Matiz has all the usual technicals, some of which I'm not going to know about, due to being the most non-technical person you'll ever find when it comes to cars, but the things I do know about are these (this is for the special edition, and I don't know how different it is to the standard spec):
Dual Airbags Electric Windows Sunroof Electric passenger-side mirror Immobilizer Central locking Alloy wheels (although only 14") RDS radio (mine is Sony, but I don't know if this was what it was born with) Alarm
Other Aspects: -----------------
The car's gears feel a bit clunky, and don't slide into place as easily as some other cars I've driven, but this is really just something a bit different, and you get used to it over time.
The difficult thing about this review is that I find myself comparing it to my Fiance's Corsa, which is a top-notch car, so it is probably slightly unfair on the little Matiz. The brakes on the Matiz also feel weak in comparison, and you do have to brake quite far ahead to make sure you stop in time. In a situation where someone has stopped quite suddenly (but not suddenly enough to call it an emergency stop), I've twice found myself struggling to make the car stop in time.
On the plus side, the car is cheap, fuel efficient and roomy, and was ideal for me as a learner and a new driver. It is still ideal for me with regards to parking, which I hate doing. The shape of the vehicle means that it has virtually no front or back sticking out.
A good starter car, and if Daewoo (actually it's owned by Chevrolet now) gave the Matiz a slightly more powerful engine, some pulling power, and improved it's minor faults, this would be a car I'd stick with longer term.
Hiya, this is a really great review (and i know because i drive one), some of the points made are excellent-the point about clunky gear changes-when i first started driving it i had real problems getting into second gear and it still takes a bit of a shove and 5th to 2nd is nearly impossible.
Speed wise, mine managed to get up to 95mph (don't know how i managed it i thought it was going to explode!)
So yeah, great review, very honest and a good guideline for anyone thinking of buying one.
blonde_girl774 24.10.2005 16:29
I've got a little Clio which my parents bought me and love it to bits, would be so lost without a car! Sam
bluejules 22.10.2005 18:23
Great review. The place I work (a Peugeot dealership) have just started selling Chevrolet's. I think the Matiz is really cute and when I past my test (I'm not 17 til May so I have a long wait) I might but one of these (in Teal blue) Jules x
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