This may be a car with an image crisis, a car whose value depreciates not so much down a steep curve but more vertically downwards at ever increasing velocity, a car already terminally past its sell-by date on production. But the logic for buying it still remains as strong as ever. Bearing in mind the car was dead cheap to start with, even if it depreciates to a nominal value, the actually monetary loss still won't be all that great, for instance: Depreciation of 75% on a 10 grand car - monetary loss £7500 depreciation of 50% on 15 grand car - monetary loss £7500 . It all depends on how you look at the figures.
Bear in mind also that for cars which tend to have the best residuals:
A: Purchase prices are high in the first place
B: Service costs are even higher
C: Full service history is absolutely critical to their value.
For the money, this car represented great value on paper at least. Specification included sunroof, air con, ABS, air-bags, power-steering and a quality RDS radio cassette. And last but not least, an automatic gearbox.
Whilst it may be fully loaded on the option front, it's fairly easy to see why it's so cheap. It's not really anything more than a thinly disguised Astra from a generation or two back. Obviously, with the very low development cost involved, there is no need to claw back massive amounts of R&D money.
Other extras include 3 year warranty, free servicing, a year's insurance and road tax. This makes for hassle free motoring. The owners are also happy to report that Daewoo are nothing short of professional and helpful when servicing time arrives. Something they've not previously been able to say with other, better know brands.
On first viewing its not that bad looking a car; it really could be a Vauxhall for all you can tell from the outside.
The only surprise when you get into the Daewoo is how well equipped it is, all the little gadgets that define a modern car are on display, i.e. cup holders etc. This is not the Lada for the millennium that many people think.
The seat is set low and is rather soft and the steering wheel is somewhat low rent, but this isn't meant as motorway mile-eater, so I guess most people could live with it. Front and rear seat space is surprisingly generous for this class of car, although the boot is not exactly large.
Handling and ride are much what you would expect from an older Astra. The steering is light but dull. The ride is reasonably smooth but at the expense of cornering sharpness, when it rolls about in the best softly sprung manner. It's a basic under-steerer when pushed but its safe if somewhat uninspiring.
The 1500 motor isn't the most powerful unit ever developed and combined with the auto box is this cars biggest problem. Stunted acceleration you can live with and slightly rough changes are bearable. But the engine's lack of torque and roughness at revs has the auto box constantly hunting through its limited range of gears, either giving no-go or frantically redlining with ensuing noise. I'm afraid I'm just not a fan of auto boxes on small engined cars, but if for some reason you really must have it, here it is at reasonable cost.
The reality of these cars is really in the driving experience, and whether you can live with its limitations. If your not too demanding a driver, and don't want to tie up too much of your hard earned money, then it's a fine runabout, and if most of your driving is around congested areas, the auto box is money well spent despite its limitations.
As a second hand vehicle, they are probably going to be very cheap, well equipped, well looked after servicing-wise, and not too thrashed and abused by their first owner and as such, could be a real bargain.
How they will last long term remains to be seen. Repairs are often handled by Vauxhall and many consumable parts are probably straight General Motors and hence should be reasonably cheap.
If you just want a car to get from A to B, then you really can't go wrong with one of these.
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