In the 80s, Suzuki sold the 1982 Alto Koreans to the Koreans – as a result, Daewoo Tico began production in 1988. The design of Daewoo Tico seemed to the Koreans quite successful. Therefore, when creating a new compact car, it was decided to save money and build a Matiz based on Tico. It is noteworthy that the design of Daewoo Matiz was invented by Italians from ItalDesign studio, who first created this appearance for the new little Fiat, but then decided to give it to Daewoo.
The compact five-door Matiz is promoted exclusively in Western Europe, where there is a high demand for city cars. This maneuverable and easy-to-drive model feels great in the dense stream of large cities. Matiz has good capacity and comfort for its class, as well as decent dynamic performance. The model was first introduced in 1998 in Geneva.
For a long time, Daewoo Matiz was equipped with only a 0.8-liter 3-cylinder engine (50 hp, 52 hp or 56 hp depending on the sales market), as well as a 5-speed manual transmission. Since the summer of 1999, it began to be produced with an automatic transmission, including a continuously variable CVT and automatic clutch.
At the Paris Motor Show in October 2000, an updated version of the Daewoo Matiz was introduced. This car is almost 10 cm taller and wider than its predecessor Daewoo Tico. The body of the model has streamlined shapes: a large rounded windshield, smoothly turning into a continuation of the hood, oval headlights, extended wheel arches.
Matiz has a surprisingly spacious interior for a “mini” class. The interior is modest but pleasant. A very nice front panel, an original instrument cluster, however, everything is made of hard and inexpensive plastic. The driver’s seat has good ergonomics. The small steering wheel lies perfectly in the hands, a comfortable seat with a wide range of adjustments, all controls are available, instrument readings are easy to read, visibility forward, backward and through the rear-view mirrors is excellent. The interior is isolated from engine noise.
The luggage compartment is only 165 liters, but it can be significantly increased by folding the rear seats.
In 2001, Daewoo Matiz began to be made in Uzbekistan, and in 2002, the model was modernized. In addition to a slightly modified appearance, the Matiz II received a 4-cylinder 1.0-liter engine.
Matiz II is delivered to Russia in four versions – STD (basic version), DLX (improved version), Automatic with an automatic 4-speed gearbox (all with a 0.8 L R3 6V engine developing 54 hp) and Best with 1 , 0-liter R4 8V engine (64 hp), rich in basic equipment and silver bumpers.
Depending on the equipment level, Matiz is equipped with a power steering, air conditioning, a catalytic converter, an electric corrector for headlights, an audio system with CD, central locking, roof rails, fog lights, alloy wheels, parking sensors, a sunroof and other equipment.
The body is designed in such a way as to achieve minimal collapse zones in case of damage, which is achieved by a reinforced roof and power beams built into the doors, which prevent them from jamming and provide passengers with increased protection in case of a side impact. In the event of a vehicle overturning, a high-tech plastic fuel tank prevents fuel leakage and subsequent fire. Active safety features include: brakes equipped with powerful 7-inch vacuum amplifiers, four-channel ABS and two airbags.
Daewoo Matiz is powered by a 0.8 SOHC MPI gasoline three-cylinder engine with a distributed fuel injection system that provides high power and fuel economy. An exhaust gas recirculation system is also installed on cars, which reduces fuel losses and contributes to less harmful nitrogen oxide emissions, as well as an EMS system controlled by the on-board computer.
At the end of 2004, General Motors, which acquired the Daewoo automobile division, decided to sell Korean cars under the Chevrolet brand in most global markets. So there was a Chevrolet Matiz, which in some countries (including Russia), is known as the Chevrolet Spark. This car is equipped with 0.8 liter engines. and 1.0 liters. 52 hp and 66 h.p. respectively.