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Car reviews - Daewoo - 1.5i - 3-dr hatch

Used Rivals

7 May 2003

THE Charade is competent and capable but the styling, after its sassy 1987 predecessor, is plain dull. The smooth and responsive 1.3-litre, fuel- injected engine has a competitive 62kW and is very thrifty. Power steering and a multi-mode four-speed automatic were options, as was a driver's airbag from 1994.

THE combination of size, value and warranty won over thousands, but quality and durability were sadly lacking. The latter X3 from 1994 was better, with a gutsy 1.5-litre engine and appealing styling, but a horrid five-speed manual gearshift. A four-speed automatic was optional. There are better buys out there.

THE Cino's rock bottom new price cut equipment levels to the bare minimum. The Cino also trailed its rivals in rear seat space and ride/handling refinement. But the 50kW 1.3-litre engine is peppy and extremely economical thanks to its light weight, and quite durable to boot.

THE Spanish-built Barina Joy has space, looks and style. Its 1.4-litre engine only emits 44kW so it relies on good low-speed torque. Equipment includes power steering, seatbelt pretensioners and an optional driver's airbag. But it's a stodgy drive and not as reliable as its Suzuki-sourced predecessor.

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