The Nubira, named the Lacetti in South Korea, was designed by Pininfarina in Italy, and immediately gives the impression of a much sharper effort than the resolutely mediocre outgoing model. This is the second Daewoo to emerge since General Motors took control of the brand and most of its assets; first was the Kalos, which was reviewed very favorably in the press. When complete, the Nubira range will consist of a sedan, a fastback, and an estate model.
Still, the new Nubira is conservatively designed and conceived to be offered at a competitive price. It is slightly larger than a European lower-medium-sized car, and prices will be pitched just above a typical European small car like the C Class Mercedes Benz.
More modern than in the previous model, the interior uses higher-quality moldings and materials, and the development team is confident of achieving a four-star NCAP safety rating. This will all help to boost the perception of Daewoo as a first-world, rather than a third-world, brand.
The old Nubira suffered terrible deterioration in ride quality. If the new, sharper lines and Eurocentric styling turn out to be coupled with better dynamics from more thorough engineering standards, then Daewoo could challenge the market share of the likes of Skoda and Ford.
GM’s protracted move to control Daewoo was a smart idea. Daewoo’s low-cost South Korean base and range of vehicle platforms will suit the American giant’s products in developing countries. GM will make a success of Daewoo if it can squeeze every last ounce of value from its low-cost platforms while also improving the brand strength, just as VW did with Skoda throughout the 1990s.
DesignGM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. in Korea
Engine2.5 in-line 6
Power157 kW (211 bhp) @ 5800 rpm
Torque245 Nm (181 lb. ft) @ 4000 rpm
Length4474 mm (176.1 in.)
Width1897 mm (74.7 in.)
Height1710 mm (67.3 in.)
Wheelbase 2650 mm (104.3 in.)