The Chevrolet Matiz is another vehicle that seems to contradict the popular view of gas guzzling, big engine Chevvy's that can never stray more than a few miles from the next petrol pump. This is a city car with a tiny, 1.0 litre engine that is the equal of other vehicles in its class and, like other models, it came to Chevrolet via the Daewoo route.
The very first Daewoo Matiz drove off the production lines back in 1998 and after initial launch in South Korea it made its way west towards several European countries. The challenges facing the company at that time were highlighted by a lack of sales outlets in the UK where it was initially sold through Halfords Car Spares Stores.
The car sold well but as Daewoo struggled and headed towards eventual oblivion, their city vehicle joined three other stable mates and the very first Chevrolet Matiz was born in 2005. Along with the Lacetti, the Kalos and the Tacuma, the new Matiz was crucial to the American giant as it gave them the vital breakthrough into the UK market that traditional, high-engine Chevvys just weren't providing.
Sales continued to impress but the used Chevrolet Matiz was eventually rebranded as the Chevrolet Spark in 2010.
What you get for your money
The used Chevrolet Matiz is simply an extremely reliable and very fuel efficient city car. Its 1.0 litre engine produces just 62 bhp so don't expect a thrill a minute ride, but you can look forward to reliability and economy in other areas such as insurance.
The Matiz is surprisingly roomy too, particularly in terms of height so if you're over six foot tall, you can still be accommodated with ease. The rear seats can also provide plenty of space for two adults or three children.
The styling was another area that set the Chevrolet Matiz apart, particularly at the front, with its far-eastern, wide-eyed appearance.
What you can expect to pay
Used Chevrolet Matiz second hand car prices have held really well and you can expect to pay a fraction under £4,000 for one of the very early 2005 models. There isn't a very wide set of parameters on pricing however so even at the top end of the scale, it's unlikely that you'll be parting with more than £4,500.
What to look out for
Over the years, there have been no significant faults when it comes to the mechanics of the Matiz but a common problem may be one of wear and tear. Check the seats, particularly those at the rear, for tears and rips in the fabric. Otherwise, an independent inspection will always offer peace of mind for any used vehicle.
Replacement components are cheap and they are plentiful with many costing under £10.00. Among the cheapest are the air filter at around £7.00 while a full set of spark plus could set you back less than a fiver.
How it drives
As a designated 'city car' it accomplishes its main goals quite successfully. The Chevrolet Matiz is nippy with a responsive engine and it is so cheap to run. For longer journeys on the open road, it can struggle and get overwhelmed in the traffic but this isn't its primary role.