Daewoo gives the Nubira new styling touches for its second season in the United States. The Korean automaker entered the U.S. market in fall 1998 with the compact Nubira, the subcompact Lanos and the midsize Leganza. Nubira comes in sedan and wagon body styles. The company now has more than 200 sales outlets in 42 states and is aggressively marketing cars over the Internet and through college students recruited as "campus advisers."
New seats with adjustable headrests in front and new upholstery throughout give the interior a new look and feel. Both the base SE sedan and upscale CDX seat five, and the rear seat, split 60/40, folds for additional cargo space. The trunk holds 13 cubic feet; with the seat folded, capacity increases to nearly 32. Power windows, locks and mirrors, remote keyless entry with a theft alarm and air conditioning are standard on the CDX and optional on the SE. An in-dash CD player is standard on the CDX and leather seats are a $400 option; neither is available on the SE.
Styling changes include larger, triangular headlamps, body-color side moldings, larger and more aerodynamic outside mirrors and new alloy wheel (CDX) and wheel cover (SE) designs. At 177 inches bumper to bumper, the Nubira is 2 inches longer than a Honda Civic sedan.
Under the Hood
Nubira's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 129 horsepower and teams with a standard manual or optional automatic transmission. Anti-lock brakes are standard on the CDX and not offered on the SE.
Nubira lags behind rivals such as the Civic and Toyota Corolla in acceleration, ride quality and refinement, but it handily undercuts nearly all competitors with its low prices. A loaded SE won't be much over $13,000. However, Daewoo is still largely an unknown in reliability and durability, so a low price may not mean great value in the long run.