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Lacetti / Nubira - BIG review

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Eugenio,77
mail@toyota-club.net
© Toyota-Club.Net
Jan 2010 - Jan 2016


INTRO

We will try to describe as objectively as possible one of the most popular cars in rus-market, and out example - Chevrolet Lacetti sedan, 2007 model year (manufactured 14.06.2007), made in South Korea, SX / Elite grade, 1.6 engine, automatic transmission.

The cost of this version when purchased was ~$19000, additional paids (alarm system, winter tyres, full insurance) - ~$3000.


MODEL HISTORY

The new "front wheel drive" stage of Daewoo history, especially significant for rus-market, began in 1986, when production of "LeMans" (built on the base of Opel Kadett E) was started. After restyling in 1994, it was sold a few years all over the world under the name "Cielo", and in this variant became well known at all post-soviet countries as a legendary "Nexia". In 1990, production of the class above sedan Espero was launched - body by italian studio Bertone with internal units of Opel Ascona C.

By 1997, the company has prepared a lineup of own designed new models: the development of Cielo - compact Lanos, Leganza instead outdated FR Prince, and the gap between them was filled by first Nubira (J100). So contrary to popular belief, Nubira was mainly successor (from the size and engines to model code and brand position) of Espero, not Nexia.

Obtained independence from overseas partners in the early 1990th , Daewoo Motors remained firmly supported by components of GM (and Opel in particular), but tried to develop their own technical school and local production, attracting european consultants. Thus, in the engineering and design of Nubira italian bureau IDEA Institute participated. In the absence of a serious reputation of an independent producer, Daewoo decided in addition to the mandatory low prices make an emphasis on elegant exterior design and size (ie to offer cars with internal dimensions and engines range similar to higher class models of traditional makers). Structurally, the car was a kind of average "asian vehicle", which at that time existed in the production line of any self-respecting company.


Nubira I (J100)

Nubira II (J150)

In just two years, updated version was launched, with changed exterior and trade designation Nubira II (J150). Almost at the same time engineering of the next generation started - the evolutionary technical development with fully new design of the exterior and interior (still with the participation of the italians), with a slightly modified suspension and wider powertrains range. The concept was ready in the spring of 2000, and by the end of that year the first hundred test vehicles was built. Testing, debugging, adjustment of production, presentation and other preparatory procedures in crisis time took almost another two years - sales of Nubira III (J200) were launched in November 2002.


Nubira III (J200)

We must not forget that in those years Daewoo concern, had the misfortune to become the most dynamic and promising Korean company, was pointless and ruthlessly crushed by the government, and in 2002 Daewoo Motors after a series of machinations came under the full control of GM. Together with the already took shape design school, new plants and few newly launched or prepared for the launch models, that the new owners continue to successfully use even today.

J200 demonstrates an enviable longevity (though traditional for most Daewoo models) without any significant changes was produced until 2013, and with some changes is producing today (as Gentra II). In 2009 only the next generation was started - Lacetti Premiere / Cruze (J300), although this car is a simplified version of Opel Astra J, but not Korean development or right successor of Lacetti J200.


NAME


Meaning? Manufacturer's explained etymology by latin word "lacertus", which means literally the muscles of the hand, and in a figurative sense - "muscular, brave, strong." Although we remember consonant "lacerta / lacerti", ie a "lizard". The original name, Nubira, comes from the Korean concepts roughly meaning "to move anywhere and everywhere", and actually "Daewoo" means "Great Universe".


How to pronounce? No unified theory on this subject because of the "synthetic" name. Koreans prefer the soft neutral "la-se-ti", russians often say "la-tz-etti". But taking into account the origin of the model and the existence in the name of the modern italian ending, we adhere to the pronunciation "la-ch-etti".

Synonyms. At different markets J200 sedan was sold under names Chevrolet Lacetti Sedan, Daewoo / Chevrolet Nubira III, Daewoo Lacetti [Ex], Suzuki Forenza, Holden Viva Sedan, Chevrolet Optra, Buick Excelle...


EXTERIOR


At the beginning of this section many writers use the sacramental phrase "sedan design developed by studio Pininfarina". In fact, it does not mean anything - just look the portfolio of this study for last twenty years to ensure - stable good designs for Ferrari but at least "controversial" projects for other brands.

But in this case, the italians rose to the occasion - the exterior is functional, harmonious from all view angles, no "avant-garde", no "primitive", and noticeable even few "generic" style elements. Exterior, proportions, and dimensions of the car are more consistent with asian D-class models of millennium edge, a look good at the background of classmates of that period, even today Lacetti looks not "archaic" but rather a "classic".


Variants. In addition to the sedan the family J200 includes a five-door hatchback (body design by Italdesign-Giugiaro) and wagon (own design by Daewoo, which combines sedan external elements with hatchback interior).


INTERIOR. MATERIALS


J200's interior looked relevant at the moment of creation, but over the years the automotive fashion has made significant progress, and the most competitors had to change one or two generations.


Lacetti sedan, CDX grade

An important role in the perception of the interior plays the grade and options pack of particular car. In the simplest version, where instead of decorative elements only a rough black plastic used, the interior looks depressingly primitive and cheap, but even ordinary silver inserts and small chromed details of medium grade bring a noticeable revival. And the salon of asian version with the full set of options - is simply unfair to blame it archaic and misery.

The apparent simplicity of decoration is also relatively - only around the driver can count more than a dozen different types of materials and textures. "Soft-touch" plastics used for dashboard trim and door upper lining, the rather nice "leather" - for steering wheel and selector lever, some vinyl - for center armrest finishing. Negative emotions caused by easy scratched glossy plastic inserts at selector and sticky rubber ribbed bars on the steering column combination switch.


Quite nice and quality (comparable to the classic Japanese) light grey velour is used for seat upholstery, easy cleaned by simple brush. Unfortunately, in 2008 supplies of version with velour trim was stopped, and all grades received usually dark cloth interior, not pleasant by touch and easily soiled.


Lacetti sedan, SX grade

Note, that although the cream coloured asian version of interior looks much better than the gray or black european version, it has a global disadvantage - for upholstery used not fabric, but low quality imitation leather.


Buick Excelle Wagon (2003)


SALON


Evaluation of comfort is always subjective - somebody accustomed to the low seat and "racing" poses, somebody likes tight cockpits... Well, we prefer highest possible and free "van-like" position and assess Lacetti from this point of view (knowing, this is just car, not full-size SUV or minivan).

But as for seating comfort, J200 exceed not only many competitors, but also some modern models of higher class - developers are right proud of the most spacious interior in segment (at that time).

Entry and exit are straightforward thanks to a sufficiently high roof, not yet pressed by current fashion, and not too wide thresholds.

The driver's seat, even in the upper position is not so high off the floor as we would like (280 mm only), but compared to the sedans of 1990s progress is noticeable The range of longitudinal adjustment - exhaustive, even no need to move the seat to the rear end position. Separate height adjustment of the front and rear parts of seat cushion, switching lumbar support - not bad. Seat back tilt adjustment by handwheel performed extremely precisely, but the access to handwheel is poor (North American and asian version got more comfortable adjusting lever with the spring holded backrest). Unfortunately, there is no headrest tilting. Hold the steering wheel by arms from armrests is not convenient (the central box installed far enough, and its upper cover is made fixed - what a pity), but possible.


Passenger seat devoid of height adjustment, but the lack of steering wheel and pedals allows to stay in comfort, without constraining the rear passengers.

The rear seat is set higher than the front, that with a slightly sloping roof leaves a smaller but still acceptable height reserve. The space behind the driver's seat is present, although for more or less long trips still better to stay on the right - here is a reasonable compromise with the front passenger comfort (by the standards of the 2010s longitudinal space is small, but at the time of the car creation it was excellent value). The space for feet under the front seats - just enough. Minus - rear armrest is available not in all trim grades.

The myth of "insufficient pronounced lateral support" can only occur when you try to drive in unnatural for the Lacetti "active style". But in contrast to the journalists testing of extreme driveability, the real owner annually spend hundreds of hours in routine driving. Real driver and passengers do not need unnecessary obstacles of deep sport seats every time of the entrance and exit. The real driver appreciates not only the fixed "correct" pose, but the possibility to change the pose from time to time during long trip. In addition, the seat of the purely civilian everyday car should be comfortable not only and not so much to "racer" wearing T-shirt, as for drivers of different sizes, dressed in winter coats.

The steering wheel has not only tilt adjusting but also telescopic one, that was very rare at this car segment in the early 2000s (but it's still impossible to pull out the wheel as far as we would like). As for the myth of the "too big wheel" - in fact, it has an optimum diameter and thick enough. Firstly, it is not so big - the outer diameter is 380 mm, while at other classmates - from 360 to 385 mm (and at premium cars can be 400). Second, the steering wheel can be "too big" only if its size prevents the comfort entry-exit and steering - but unlike some machines even more compact, but lying on laps wheels, there is no such problem arises in Lacetti. Third, the advantages of large diameter are obvious: easier to manage from armrests, easier to rotate (steering effort here is not easy, so with the smaller arm of the force it would be just uncomfortable).

Pedals unnecessarily shifted to the right and pressed against the center console, so even taking into account the traditionally big step between the brake and the accelerator, to operate the pedals quickly is a few uncomfortable, especially in winter boots.


LUGGAGE COMPARTMENT. CAPACITIES


Sedan trunk passport space - 405 liters - now only meets the minimum requirements of the class. On the other hand - the width, depth, height, loading height, shape and size of the opening - are quite suitable. The rear seatbacks fold down individually in the proportion of 3:2. The trunk is opened with a key, from the remote control and with the button on the driver's door. No complain about the absence of the internal handle - its role executes by lock unit.


Buick Excelle

The main drawback of the trunk - lid hinges. For example, four standard wheels are placed in the trunk normally, but it can not be closed. But such a problem did not arise before: hinges was less or installed successfully (at least close to the wheel arch). The obstacles arise with lots of small luggage too - significant part of the useful volume lost, there is a risk to break cargo by hinges of closing lid.


Variants. The luggage compartment of a hatchback (275 liters) is suitable for urban use, but it is too small for utilitarian family car. Wagon could successfully remove all questions to the spaciousness, if not a critical flaw - by a strange whim of GM, at rus-market was not available wagons with automatic transmission.


Lacetti Wagon

Additional volumes. The largest space is formed under the trunk floor - around spare wheel can put a lot of useful things - from fire extinguishers to entrenching tools. The glovebox has illumination and cooling deflector, but its size is so modest that even a Letter paper sheet must be folded in half. It will not help to place papers drawer under the passenger seat, but it at least serves as a compact "secret place".
Would like to complain on the lack of normal cup holders - available is inconvenient and is intended for high-capacity paper cups only.


VISIBILITY


Visibility on the road almost excellent, helped by the absence of design refinements and the large glass area. Known general claim - front pillar overlaps view, especially in the left turn (but if approach objectively, its angular size as seen from the driver's seat is not the biggest in the class). Parking manoeuvres somewhat complicated by the fact that the contours of the body do not allow to reliably control the stern margins.

Exterior mirrors are small, but informative enough on the road, and when manoeuvring in reverse, and option "panoramic" mirror in salon just eliminates the problem of blind spots in the rear hemisphere.

Some "warranty" defect related to door glasses - deep scratches that occur if operated frequently. However, non-smokers owners should not encounter this problem.

Variants. Hatchback almost devoid of invisible stern part, but its own problem - side-back view is strongly overlapped with wide rear pillars.


COMBINATION METER


The combination meter made in common fashion with all Daewoo models of 2000s, and still looks quite elegant - good readability, nice font, large digits, a full set of gauges, calm neutral illumination (brightness is adjusted by a simple resistor).


Disadvantage - the trip-meter goes to the next "round" after just 999 km - enough to detect the distance from the last refuel, but not for a long voyage or service intervals.

Since the car not impart any information except by combination meter and standard digital clock, the owners often use auxiliary trip-computers - for the benefit represented in a wide range.


ENGINE


F16D3 - formally belongs to the large family GM FAM 1, but with the obvious general similarity, has some significant differences from a purely Opel motors and is an accessory only for Daewoo models. It is known since 1997 as A16DMS and traces its origins to the first 1.5 DOHC of Nexia and Espero.

- 1986-1991. Daewoo consistently mastered production of Kadett E (LeMans / Cielo / Racer / Nexia) and Ascona C (Espero / Aranos). While Opel in the subcompact class offers only SOHC engines 1.4 and 1.6 (16SV ..C16SE), Daewoo built on this basis their own 1.5 SOHC, later known as G15MF → A15SM → F15S3. Fits to Nexia, Espero, Lanos, Kalos.
- 1993-1994. Daewoo has already become an independent makers, built on its basis new 1.5 DOHC, known as A15MF → A15DM → F15D3. In some parts it copies Opel DOHC (1.6 and 1.8), but has a noticeable layout differences. Also installed in Espero, Nexia and their successors.
- 1996-1997. For Nubira I on the basis of A15MF was built new 1.6 DOHC, known as A16DM. Thanks to a common roots, it is similar to Opel 16-valve engines of the same dispalacement, but the direct counterpart does not matter. Installed in Nubira I and II, Tacuma, Nexia, Lanos.
- 2002. Lacetti / Nubira III engine received A16DMS with new designation - F16D3.
- 2005-2006. F16D3 version for the North American market (Aveo) equipped with electronic throttle (ETCS).
- 2008. Modification F16D3 with ETCS is installed in Cruze (J300). Thus, the engine A16DMS → F16D3 was originally belong only to own Daewoo models.


Some details

• Classic multi-point injection, control system - Siemens Sirius D4 (D42), ensures compliance to Euro-3/4 (1.8 - Delphi control system - MR140 or HV240 (Euro-2)). Good old MAP-sensor, in the era of MAF dominance. Rough road control options carried out by the ABS. A useful feature - activation of the fuel pump for a few seconds immediately after the ignition is switched on.

• Throttle body (MTIA). Accelerator drive is honest (by rope), but the traditional idle control regulator is already absent, and instead it electric motor employs that opening and closing the throttle directly. The unit is not so unreliable, but inadequately complex, with a lot of springs and switches, requires adaptation after any intervention. (At J300 engine was equipped with electronic accelerator pedal and a more simpler ETCS).

• VGIS (analogue of the familiar Toyota VIS) changes the geometry of the intake manifold (path length), at high speed opens the shorter passage for air. Fortunately, in the performance of the engine, it plays such a minor role that does not cause problems.

• Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) - dark heritage of Opel, the use of which was not justified in the compact gasoline engine and causes only a massive pollution of intake with carbon deposits and exacerbation of chronic diseases. The best solution - a ruthless jamming of the valve by additional gasket in accordance with known recipes.

• Ignition system - DIS-2 type, with remote coils, high-voltage wires and the ordinary spark plugs - as for endurance and maintainability it is better than individual coils or Opel's rogue ignition module.

• At engine mechanical, should not forget the recommendation of changing the timing belt every 60,000 kilometers (with all pulleys and, if desired, with the pump) - unfortunately, if belt broken the pistons and valves damage is guaranteed.
The lash adjusters (or in this case valve lifters) are not weak spot, but still require accuracy of oil choose and change intervals.
Operating experience giving a right to expect a good durability before first overhaul, comparable with Toyota A series engines.

Disadvantages

• Leakage of the cylinder head cover gasket - can be also classified as incurable Opel "features". The result of oil leak to plug holes - misfiring and damaged wire ends. But the traditional for Opel high oil consumption is not typical for these Korean motors.

• The peculiar temperature. Theoretically, the thermostat should begin to open at 87 and fully open to 102C, but in practice the temperature when driving at an average speed is 78-84C (regardless of the season) - it means the thermostat opens much earlier then specified and the coolant is cooled in the radiator by air stream. In the dense traffic jam or at long on-site heating of temperature eventually reaches the operating value and is supported by a fan within 92-99 C. In the traffic jam or at long on-site warming up, temperature eventually reaches the operating value and is controlled by electric fan within 92-99C. The result - driving at temperature 15-20 lower than the nominal is uncomfortable in the cold season, and it affects the engine (continuously increased fuel consumption, deposits in the lubrication system, etc). There are not safe solutions (hard to attribute safe more "hot" thermostat installation), and even these values in our case has been achieved only by replacing the factory thermostat by warranty - until that the temperature when driving was 5 more degrees below. Many owners in winter use the classic solution - cardboard if front of the radiator.

• Moderate efficiency - this will be discussed below.

• The next point is not associated with the car, but is related to the manufacturer. We strongly not recommend to use the original GM/Opel engine oil "dexos 2" appeared sinece 2010 (made by Total).

• But the most important, the most significant and most expensive problem of these engines - valves. It begins as the misfires at cold engine and appearance the nightmare of all the owners - P0300 error. In rare happy cases, the cause is in the ignition system, but for most it means a standard disease - the valve covered with soot deposits are no longer normally closed. It can be as a deposits on a working facet of valve head, and deposits on the valve stem, preventing it to move in the guide. The consequences of this failure are clear - misfiring, power loss, overheat of catalyst because of unburned fuel.
The defect occurs massively and irregularly, in a variety of operating conditions, at low and high mileage, several times... Rubbish about "poor fuel quality" - is just a cheap trick to escape from the warranty obligations - hundreds models of other brands use the same gasoline and do not even know the term "hanging valves", but for GM brands this problem is notorious since early 2000. However, Daewoo in 2005-2007 released several updated versions of the intake and exhaust valves, valve guides, authorize warranty repair, but the final solution to the problem did not happen. So owner must be ready at any time spend at least $250 for work and $250-300 for spare parts to cylinder head overhaul.

At Lacetti and Aveo with 1.4 and 1.6 engines occur unstable cold engine running, "CHECK" indicator lights on. DTC stored: P0300. Few steps to correct the problem carried out at 2005-2007.

1) TSB - 04.01.2006. Loss of compression when engine is cold due to poor contact between valves and valve seats. Basic facets angles: valve - 45°00'-45°15', seats - 44°30'-45°00' As a result, the angle between the facets (which should not be less than 7'30") in some cases reduced to 0', which causes a decrease of compression. From 01.2005 used a new valves, the angle increased to 45°7'30"-45°22'30". To fix the problem on the previously released vehicles: installation of modified valves (intake and exhaust), valve guides cleaning against sludge, valves grinding.
   96376881 ⇒ 96440081 (intake valve)
   96376980 ⇒ 96440079 (exhaust valve)
1.4 DOHCKL1NF48715K167110-25.01.2005-
1.6 DOHCKL1NF35615K166964-25.01.2005-

2) TSB - 07.02.2007. Stuck valves in guides due to excessive fouling. To fix the problem on the previously released vehicles: installation of modified valves:
   ⇒ 96440081 (intake valve)
   ⇒ 96830500 (exhaust valve)
If the vehicle was manufactured after the date specified in the previous TSB or valves replaced according the previous TSB - exhaust valves only replacement.

3) TSB - 06.12.2007. Modified valve guides and valves. Since 05.2007 modified valve guides used in production. Modified exhaust valves must be installed with these guides (96896008). The exhaust valves of previous construction (with groove) (96830500) must be installed at early manufactured vehicles.
1.4 DOHC574722K-01.05.2007-
1.6 DOHC922628K-02.05.2007-

During the production the following components was used:
(* - the last years of release, Kaliningrad assembly plant)
MYp/n
Intake valves
-1012852003-200596376881
101286-6960812005-200796440081
696082-2007-96896007
--25182287*
Exhaust valves
-1012852003-200596376980
101286-5603002005-200796440079
560301-696081200796830500
696082-2007-96896008
--25184804*
Valve guides
-2003-200796336671
-2007-96103034


Variants. At various times J200 was equipped with the following engines:

ModelTypehp - NmNote
F14D31.4 DOHC 16V  94 - 131FAM I, with manual gearbox, officially delivered to rus
F15D31.5 DOHC 16V106 - 139FAM I, for Korea -MY2005, further replaced by 1.6
F16D31.6 DOHC 16V109 - 150FAM I, officially delivered
T18SED1.8 DOHC 16V121 - 165FAM II, a good Opel's old school motor for markets with Euro-0..2, officially delivered
F18D31.8 DOHC 16V119 - 169FAM I, since MY2006 for markets with Euro-3..4, officially delivered
U20SED2.0 DOHC 16V126 - 177FAM II, option for the Asia-Pacific and North American markets, not delivered
Z20S12.0D SOHC 16V118 - 280R420 FGT diesel by italian VM Motori, since MY2007, not delivered


FUEL EFFICIENCY


Original J200 engines was designed for gasoline with RON 91, but after Euro-4 implementation in the recommendations for european market appeared RON 95. However, that does not prevent to use "regular" with the same success (especially in the cold season). The so-called "RON-switch" installed in modifications Euro-0..2, and is not available for Lacetti with Euro-3..4. Judging by the state of spark plugs, the fuel quality in the capital district has improved markedly over the past decade, but one unfortunate refill in province is still able to destroy all positive.

Today make sense to discuss fuel consumption only taking in account average velocity and mileage for a day (ie idling in traffic jams, length and type of the typical routes). In our case, consumption (hereinafter - per 100 km) in urban cycle, daily mileage ~50 km and relaxed driving style is: average speed 40 km/h - 9-10 l, 30 km/h - 11 l, 20 km/h - 12-14 l... The maximum average consumption - 28 l per 100 km (6-7 hours of heavy traffic at average speed ~5 km/h), the minimum (highway in "eco mode") - 7.5 l.

Absolute value say little without comparison with other cars - and there are some questions. Exactly in the same conditions lo-end Lada 2170 wins at least 2 l, Subaru Forester 2.0AT - 2-3 liters, and even older Toyota Camry 2.0AT needs "up to 12" where Daewoo 1.6AT need "12+"...

Although it is not a reason to panic, but only an indirect assessment of design excellence. Excessive appetite affects the "autonomy", so 60-liter fuel tank is good decision. As for the finance... In case of fuel consumption for 2-3 l lower it could be ideal urban cycle value, so daily savings about fifty cents - it makes little sense to develop this theme.


TRANSMISSION


1.6 engine is aggregated with classic 4-speed Aisin Warner 81-40LE, known to us under the designation Toyota U441E - it was installed with 1.0 and 1.3 engines in Vitz, Corolla 120, Probox... Also, at the time it installed in small-displacement models of Suzuki and Ford.


Aisin Warner 81-40LE

Introduced since the late 1990s new generation of Aisin ATs are not so durable and trouble-free as their predecessors, but in the smaller models worked quite well. But the original 81-40LE was designed for engines with a torque below 130 Nm (Japanese strictly observed, and even 1.5 1NZ-FE was equipped with higher class transmission), while Daewoo 1.6 makes a maximum 150 Nm. Despite GM said that mechanical part was specially strengthened, but in reality, already weak planetary mechanisms and forward clutch work overload.


Aisin Warner 81-40LE

The doubtful solution of Daewoo - to remove traditional "O/D OFF" mode, so range choice shortened to the ladder P-R-N-D-2-1 (version with german ZF gearbox has also range "3"). So it is impossible to limit the range changing at the first three gears, "when driving on roads in hilly or mountainous terrain in urban areas with heavy traffic and low speed and downhill". Pressing the "HOLD" button at the appropriate selector position allows to start from the 2nd or 3rd gear (emulating the traction control), as well as to forced change gear, simulating manual more of more advanced transmissions.


AW 81-40LE

ZF 4HP16

Another disadvantage - a high sensitivity to ATF level fluctuations at low temperatures. Even if a "hot" level on the dipstick is normal, then at -15 and below the working fluid is reduced in volume (due to thermal contraction), so that after the engine start the dipstick became dry and the car refuses to go forward or backward without significantly acceleration. Therefore it is necessary, especially in winter, to keep the "hot" ATF level at the upper mark or higher.

Variants. 1.8 engine is aggregated with other 4-speed AT - ZF 4HP16, diesel - with a 5-speed AW 55-51LE.

Manual gearboxes we traditionally get round, and therefore add just few words. D16 manual transmission is not the best part of J200 - too large lever stroke, not always good selectivity, while the other side - the mechanical part is sufficiently reliable, and there are less successful boxes at the market. The clutch pedal is long-stroke and not so easy, but the main problem - instead of the traditional for former Daewoo scheme with external slave cylinder and fork, here combined unit is installed (central release bearing and cylinder). But construction made by Valeo is unreliable - seals of cylinder leaks even in the warm season, and in frosty weather defect becomes widespread. The result - a wrecker (tow car), workshop, removal of the gearbox, $100+ for bearing and $150+ for job...


SUSPENSION


When viewed from bottom J200 shows no significant differences from the majority of the mass japanese cars of 1990s - front and rear McPherson struts, front lower arms with typical silent blocks, one trailing and two holding arms in the rear suspension - all of this is familiar from the time of Corona 190 or Corolla 100. Unusually perhaps that lack of front longitudinal beam and only three mounts of the power unit. Visually the suspension components do not seem too shaky, there are no alloy levers and fixed joints, and practice with the statistics say about the absence of specific weaknesses.


However, can find some difficulties - for example, the rear hub, as usual for FF cars is non-separable, but in addition it is integrated with the ABS sensor and, of course, has no OEM counterparts. So regular replacement of the bearing or just replacement of damaged wheel stud (not supplied separately) will require at least $220 just for parts.
Disappointing and the fact that in spite of the many years of life, aftermarket manufacturers has not established a decent supply of duplicates. For example, the range of drive shafts is reduced to the original outer CV joint for $200-250, and the one noname duplicate (besides not fully replicates the original sample), while for the previous Daewoo models can be found any joints and a host of other components from any reputable manufacturer.


BRAKE SYSTEM


In this configuration the car is equipped with disc brakes on all wheels and conventional ABS/EBD type 5.3 (from MY2006 - production of Continental Teves). It should be clarified that the EBD - Electronic Brake Distribution - of J200 distributes brake force only between the front and rear axles, but unlike some other brands, does not adjust the force to the right / left wheels when braking in a turn.

Variants. Versions with the stabilization system are not available in principle, but top grades was equipped by TCS, which brakes the slipping wheel - in the winter-road conditions is useful thing.


STEERING SYSTEM


The construction of power steering is rather traditional, so the reliability raises not a lot of claims. Minor - harmless and buzz reminiscent sound from the rotating steering wheel (like electric power steering) to typical knocks that after warranty expired becomes just "feature". Major - leakage of the hydraulic fluid through the seals - and a huge drawback in this case - "zahnrahd principles" - the steering rack is considered as non-separable unit, so no tie rods, no repair kit are not officially available. Meanwhile, the cost of a new rack starts at $900, and the garage overhaul by local repairers is not too cheap.


WHEELS AND TYRES


Supplied in russia cars were equipped with the only approved tyre size 195/55R15, in our case - with Hankook Optimo K406 (factory alternate - Kumho Powermax 769).

The first drawback - the non-traditional ratio of profile height and width, not popular among tyre manufacturers and most car manufacturers. Due to the relatively small spread, the price of such size tyres is critical overstated in comparison with tyres of normal size, and the choice of brands/models is not so rich.

In addition, low profile makes the car stiffer, reduces damping possibility of tyres and increases the shock loads on the suspension and steering. And, as can notice, lower profile did not improve driveability in comparison their classmates with conventional tyres.

So after warranty expired it is better to install normal tyres - 195/60R15 or even 195/65R15. Although in our case, as winter set used Nokian stud tyres of alternate dimension - 185/65R14 with KFZ 6555 steel discs - tangibly better in smooth ride.


Optimo K406

Powermax 769

The second feature - the model of original tires. On the one hand - this is more or less satisfactory Korean tyres made in China, calling the claims basically from unadequate "racers". Generally normal on dry and wet asphalt, not the worst of aquaplaning threshold, tolerant to the first wet snow. On the other hand - noisily, stiffness, firmly holds caught stones by the tread, but the worst thing - it is impossible to buy new tyre instead of a damaged - this model supplied only to plant, not for rus-aftermarket, not delivered by independent traders, and then was fully discontinued. Absence of full size spare wheel aggravates this deficiency - the owner has not even one spare tyre of so rare model.

Myth. "R14 wheels does not look good" It should be understand, that the budget Korean car looks exactly the same with all wheels - as budget Korean car. But it looks dumb with low-profile R17 wheels.

Myth. "Remove the original tyres, buy the leaders of the tests - security is to overpay" There anecdote comes to mind: "Comes "Great Wall" owner and said: - Install me xenon discharge lamps, but good brand, not some Chinese shit." Heated argument about the abstract security is very peculiar by customers of lo-end asian model introduced in 2002 model year, without a full set of airbags, without 5-star EuroNCAP, and even without stabilization system.


CLIMATE


Climate system of standard for Daewoo construction - with Delphi compressor type V5 (variable displacement axial piston pump and a simple control valve).

During warm months, the task of maintaining a breathable atmosphere system performs normally. Dashboard central vents, as it should - closable. Two radiator fans allow to not overheat the engine in a traffic jam when the air conditioner on, which sometimes happens in models with manual gearbox and one fan.


In autumn and spring the need for conditioner even increases - it is need to dry cabin air constantly, or windows will be fully misted. Generally, stronger "sweating" was generic feature of all modern Daewoo, pointing to the non-ideal interior ventilation.

In winter, the main is heater - but its efficiency is poor, due to the above-described features of the cooling system. Alas, at 40-50° from the vents first warm appears, at 70-80° heat becomes perceptible... but that's all - of course, that freezed interior and frozen windows will be thawed very long, unless engine can not be fully warmed up in a traffic jam. Can complain about noisy, starting from the second speed, heater fan (though the main role played by air flow in ducts and deflectors). Some positive - warm air ducts to the feet of the rear passengers.

Its is difficult to assess power loss in concrete terms, but the influence of the compressor operation somehow felt. However, since Daewoo not forgot about standard function of compressor clutch disengage during acceleration (depending on the throttle opening or rpm), so full acceleration should not be affected by air conditioner.

The total technical problem - failure of the control panel (indicators not lights on, air conditioner works, rear window and mirror heaters do not work). It occurs usually in wet weather and may disappear by itself after drying cabin air. The reason - cracks in defective soldering on the board, remedy - a new board for $150, plus job or soldering contacts. Even less pleasant refrigerant leakage: firstly, through the seals cracks of compressor pipes, secondly, through the cracks of high pressure hose to radiator.

Version with factory seat heaters was not delivered to rus-market for a long time, so we use heated seat pad.

Variants. The simplest grade is devoid of air conditioner, that seems impossible today. The top grade is equipped with climate control - and although its operation, as well as most asian automatic climate control, is far from ideal, but it makes a nice view of the center console.


RESTRAINT SYSTEM (SRS)


Restraint system - Siemens SRE-6, with two front airbags and pretensioners in this grade, added with two side airbags in the top grade.


At North American IIHS tests sedan showed normal results at frontal impact, but not better at side and back - however, the same results demonstrated many Japanese and North American cars of that time.

In any case, no desire arises to check the efficiency of SRS and the strength of the body structure.


LIGHTING


Head light quality assessment is subjective, and the interests of the owner are usually in direct conflict with the interests of oncoming car owners. At least, lighting performs its function. Pleased pretty tail lights reflectors, each of which, in spite of fashion trends, equipped with fog and reverse lamps.


Some questions arise in service - for example, to replace front lamp bulbs on sedan / wagon it is required to remove the headlamp assembly, unscrewing the inconvenient nut on the long stud. Stop lamp sockets so stick to the housing, that it is reasonable to detach it with lamp assembly removed. There is also a question about the durability of low beam lamps - at J200 to annual replacement becomes the norm, although on other cars the same bulbs can shine for years.

Local illuminations available in a prosperity, with the exception of doorways lighting.


MEDIA


Standard audio system includes a simple CD-radio Blaupunkt CD32 RDS Series with removable panel, six speakers in the doors, remote control on the steering wheel and active antenna on the rear window. Unfortunately, almost similar to the head unit, however, provided with a function of MP3 reading, was available since 2008 model year.

In comparison with other cars, the sound seems good - not high-end but quiet nice. Plus - remote control under the steering wheel and the ability to operate with ignition off. Unfortunately, system has no USB-port or memory card slot, and even existing AUX terminals of audio unit have not cord and external output. Lack of visual integration in the dashboard allows to set instead it any 1/2DIN modern audio / video / navigation system with minimal efforts.


Variants. The top grade offers strange 2-DIN device with CD-changer, but a little more modern unit, similar to other Daewoo, not supplied to rus-market.


ELECTRICAL


• Battery - 55 Ah Delkor, shows good performance, but unstable vitality - somewhere it is four or five years, somewhere about a year or two, but, for example, in 2006 factory batteries were so stale that had to be replaced under warranty in the first months.

• Delco 85A alternator relatively strong in theory, but it does not mean that can lose the control of the current balance - at snow-rainy evening lights, wiper, heater, radio and mirror heater at idle create limit load - so long riding in traffic jams may gradually discharge battery.

• The central lock at rus-version has not traditional control buttons on the door armrest - only door pin behind driver's shoulder.


• Door mirrors are equipped with indispensable heater, but have a huge disadvantage (at rus-market) - lack of electric folding.


• Windshield wiper has a rather weak springs, but even with it speed drop at cold weather is noticeable (caused by freeze lubricate). In addition, some unusual that operating at constant speed wipers do not switch automatically to intermittent mode when the vehicle is stopped. Washer at sedan can be considered normal, but at hatchbacks and wagons in cold weather begins traditional and unpleasant problems with the distribution of flows - all the liquid goes to the rear door.

• Recessed in the steering wheel spokes horn buttons only cause irritation and totally useless at threatening traffic situation.

• Combination switch located normally, but the "rubber" efforts are at least ignoble in comparison with precision switch machines of the old school cars.


PAINTWORK. METAL


Judging by local deformations, the body panels metal is too "plastic" (or even "thin" - that does not think, looking the car's curb weight). The corrosion resistance of bare steel of different elements differs quite noticeable. In general, from the analysis of body shops can conclude that modern korean cars if not comparable with the best japanese of the early 1990s, but not so bad at the background of modern japanese - global trend of "disposable" cars production pull together all.

Korean paint seems normal - no sharkskin or badly dyed areas, satisfactory resistance, but expect the same quality as twenty years ago, at era of ecology and economy - too naive.


NOISE


Soundproofing is far from ideal. No complaints to the engine - quiet at cruising speed range with neutral tone at high speed. No extreme rattles in the saloon while driving road irregularities or even paving. The roar of the tyres and the suspension noise can be heard better than we would like, but what can be expected from mass asian vehicle. But street noise... sometimes feeling of unclosed windows becomes so obvious that force to move door glasses down-up. It only remains to seek the benefits of the "feature" - such as road conditions and manoeuvres of neighbouring cars can be perceived not only by windows or mirrors, but also by ear.


ON ROAD


About Lacetti driveability written over the years so much that there is no sense no opportunity to invent something new and original. Main - always remember that it is a utilitarian mass vehicle of the third-rank korean brand, infinity far from terms "premium" or "sporty". And then Lacetti will be able to deliver unexpectedly positive emotions - normal turns, normal acceleration, not so shake - and indeed likes many classmates, including the more expensive and famous.

Dynamics. At city 1.6 AT potential is sufficient to maintain the traffic rhythm. Still not fully choked with ecology engine vividly responds to pressing the accelerator pedal. At highways torque reserve melting, quite noticeable load become. The result - dynamics meets the intended purpose of the car, no catastrophic power loss is felt, the main regrettable - the lack of the usual traction on close to idle speed for crawling.

Transmission. The combination of the gear ratios made the transmission very "long", even compared with cars having a more powerful, which should affect the dynamics. On the other hand, it provided a comfortable rpm at cruising speeds (100 km/h - about 2200 rpm). Gear changing smooth depends on the intensity of acceleration and external conditions, but in general is commendable. Kick-down triggering requires a pause, but the delay can not be considered excessive; also there are not too often up-down "jumps". Some engine braking is significantly even at 4th gear, not to mention the 1st or 2nd - it is impossible to ask for more. When the complex manoeuvring no need to fuss, too fast moving selector between D-N-R-N-D, to not obtain serious harsh-shifting.

Brakes Brakes are quite sensitive and vigorous (after driving all reference Toyota cars first brakings in Lacetti are over intensive - hence for the same "usual" effort on the pedal brake force is higher). Under the influence of the heating of brake mechanism or vacuum change in the manifold, brake characteristics change significantly but not critical. Front pads lifetime (up to 30.000 km) taking into account the automatic transmission and city conditions - not good but acceptable. ABS while "reasonable" driving does not show itself, when operates - functionality is adequate its capabilities - at least, the car retains semblance of control. While it works, subjectively, rather early, and very unnecessary its intervention during braking on uneven surfaces (broken asphalt, ice mounds). With regard to braking in a layer of snow over the "black ice", there is no means of tyre quality or brake operation, but only pre-selected speed and fortune.

Ride smooth. On usual roads suspension seems too "stiff". Especially at low speeds - minor irregularities transmitted as detailed as possible, the old asphalt, gravel or uneven frost grader produce tangible swell, big irregularities causes uncomfortable knocks. When accelerating classic "high speed - less pits" works - small swell becomes fading itchy, punches turn into elastic bumps, harsh knocks are not allowed. Suspension travel, especially on the rebound, casing a certain respect; body roll is not so great. As a result, the car seems the most comfortable to front passenger, the driver gets an extra vibrations through the steering and pedals, at rear seat is more noticeable vertical acceleration. On the other hand, radically more comfortable classmates can be counted on one hand, while the bulk of C/D-class models are similar.

Off-road capability. The clearance value in different sources and at different measurement methods - not bad for civil asian car 145-160 mm; overhangs are small, but front bumper could be for pair cm higher. In practice, often more important it is the ramp breakover angle - for example, on the ground unevens, mutilated provincial asphalt or driving over curbs. However, off-road is limited not only by geometry, but also by thrust - automatic transmission makes invaluable assistance, but even with them is not enough torque to crawl - hence inevitable accelerations that lead to jerks and unnecessary vertical dives. Alas, but in this case no medics except additional displacement exist. Installation of steel undershield of engine significantly reduces ground clearance, but the main - with such arrangement of units it does not make much practical sense.


Driveability. Steering needs to make efforts and does not allow, as in the classic japanese, to rotate the wheel by "one finger". It is good for steering sensitivity, near-zero point it could be done less. Manoeuvrability is good - minimum in the class turning circle. If exceed the speed at turns understeer becomes more contrast, but additional correction by steering can cause sharp "dive" to the small radius. On slippery surfaces the reactions to steering, traction and brakes are calm and "canonical". Unlike cars with 1.8, right drive shaft is simplified design (one-piece, without extensioner with intermediate support), so the acceleration and deceleration torque steering is noticeable. The result is a simple and banal: do not scorcher - and the car will be safely and predictably.


DEALERS. WARRANTY SERVICE


The personnel of GM dealer network in the capital was not the worst among all brands. On the one hand, it was somewhat ennobling by work not only with the budget models, on the other - it also automatically makes the owners of Daewoo - third grade customers. Affirmative action of internal competition is noticeable - over dozen official service centers (but unofficial - - alas, vanishingly few even compared to japanese brands). General lack of most of them - located in deaf and even unsafe places with inconvenient approach paths.

The time for minor repairs and scheduled service can even get on the same day, the quality - from average to good. Body repair for insurance traditionally slow (our experience - about 3 month since light crash to receiving car from workshop - call supersonic fast), sometimes the process needs to bribe servicemen individually, the quality of work - below average.


PRICES


Start of official sales in russia once began from quite reasonable price - $13800 ($16800 for 1.6AT).

Until 2007, the price rose slowly - as a result our car was purchased for equivalent of $19000 - however, it was probably the best offer in the class (especially a two-week waiting instead of half-yearly at that time was real advantage).

A year later the Crisis started, but GM needed the money for restructuring - and the price became $16500-23500, in our grade - $21000 (!). Rise in prices in local currency was almost the highest among the brands available on the market. So the purchase of any new Chevrolet, without radical discounts and promotions, has become woefully inadequate.

However, now it can be considered a thing of the past. GM in russia normally endured beginning of a major crisis in 2008, company's internal crisis, but aggressive madness swept all the country in 2014 was too serious challenge. Well, suum cuique.

And as a postscript to this section - small review Chevrolet Cruze (J300).


Daewoo GENTRA '2013


And a few comments about the return of Lacetti to the post-soviet markets badged as Daewoo Gentra.

Firstly, should not confuse this Gentra with the previous - restyled Aveo T250 for domestic market at second half of the 2000s. Well, exterior of J200 sedan with hatchback front part is already known - Chevrolet Optra for the markets of the third world. As for the Uzbekistan assembly... of course, it is not korean, but the experience of other Daewoo no prejudice causes.

The new/old car likes for light velour interior, who disappeared on the Lacetti to 2009 (unfortunately, the top version still has a jacquard upholstery); full-size spare wheel; heated front seats; folding mirrors in all trim grades; tyres of decent brand. Do not like: steering telescopic adjusting only for top version; unnecessary sunroof; disappearance of the illumination rheostat and second power socket at the bottom of the console; the insertions of a plastic "wood" look great in the beige interior, but not gray; primitive audio system.

"Dark horse" - new engine - no longer the legacy of Daewoo or Opel, but native chinese SGMW (SAIC / GM / Wuling).

Engine Displacement, cm3 Bore x
Stroke, mm
Compression ratio Output, hp Torque, Nm Weight, kg
B15*148574.7 x 84.7 10.2107 / 5800146 / 4200112
* at rus market - B15D2, GM RPO designation - L2C.

Timing drive - tooth (not roller) chain - a strange reason for joy for some owners who probably have never heard of "features" of GM timing chains. Adjustment of backlashes of valves - a set of different height tappets (as Toyota AZ-NZ-ZZ), no lash adjusters. Some oddities in the top - a reminder that the B15 are inherently with DVCP (variable timing) at intake and exhaust, so L2C - just simplified version, without the variable timing. There is not anything unusual in the injection system - electronic throttle drive, plastic intake manifold with changing geometry, traditional EGR, separate ignition coil for each cylinder.

Authentically talk about reliability and durability of the engine, which only in 2013 came to russia, it is impossible - it is need to monitor the population of Gentra and Cobalt with this engine. And make some parallels in respect of the previous SGMW engine, installed in Aveo and Spark (B12D).

No notable changes in body and suspension - difficult to speak about the materials and part suppliers, but the design remained the same.

But the main and critical drawback of Gentra - GM Hydramatic 6T30 transmission instead of quality japanese Aisin. And simply amazing when somebody said something like: "Well, that archaic 4-speed changed to a modern 6-speed". Even if know nothing about technique, can at least see the heartbreaking experience of these transmissions on other GM models. Perhaps should to talk separately about the worst hydro-mechanical transmissions of our time, which causes to exclude from consideration all GM cars.


CONCLUSION

J200 was the "swan song" of Daewoo Motors and the last successful project of company. The car is simple, but rather comfortable; with some generic defects, but overall reliability is acceptable; quite budget, but with adequate driving characteristics... In assessing of any car there is always a more expensive and better substitution exist, but not every model deserved as Lacetti in 2006-2008, the title of "best car for this money".



Toyota-Club reviews:
Subaru Forester '2009 · Toyota RAV4 '2013 · SsangYong Korando/Actyon · Kia Sportage / Hyundai ix35
Chevrolet Cruze · Chevrolet Lacetti · Renault Logan II










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