Car reviews - Daewoo - Cielo - GL 3-dr hatch
7 May 2003
DAEWOO'S stellar debut in 1994 was on the back of the decade-old, ex-GM Vauxhall Astra cast-off called the 1.5i. A small price and bigger-than-average sizing sealed the deal for most of its bargain-hunting Aussie buyers, plus it looked good. Then, 15 months later, from October '95, the 1.5i morphed into the facelifted Cielo, with a smoother new nose, substantial interior refinements and upgrades in safety and driveability. Its smoother 1.5 engine now produced 55kW. But by then the runaway success of the Hyundai X3 Excel, as well as the (also South Korean-built, by Kia) Ford WB Festiva began to erode sales. Plus, despite the refreshement, the Daewoo was really starting to look and feel very very old. Curiously, Daewoo discontinued the Cielo GL's four-speed auto for the old three-speeder from mid-'96. A gustier 66kW 1.6-litre twin-cam motor was available in the more-expensive Cielo GLX, but its extra power only ended up highlighting the Daewoo's inadequate and ancient underpinnings. The rebodied Cielo, released in mid-'97 and known as the Lanos, couldn't come soon enough. Both Cielo and Lanos sold concurrently until the former was mercifully discontinued locally in April 1998.
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