This front-drive compact returns in sedan and wagon body styles for its third year on the U.S. market. Nubira fits between the subcompact Lanos and midsize Leganza in size and price in Daewoos lineup.
Daewoo had big plans when it entered the U.S. market for the 1999 model year, but this Korean-based company has run into serious financial problems and is looking for a suitor to bail it out. Meanwhile, the U.S. operation continues with more than 450 dealers nationwide.
At 177 inches bumper to bumper, the Nubira is 2 inches longer than the Honda Civic sedan. The Nubira sedan comes in base SE and better-equipped CDX price levels.
Both the base SE sedan and upscale CDX seat five, and the 60/40 split rear seat folds for additional cargo space. The trunk holds 13 cubic feet; with the seat folded, capacity increases to nearly 32 cubic feet.
Remote keyless entry with a theft alarm, air conditioning and power windows, locks and mirrors are standard on the CDX and optional on the SE. An in-dash CD player is standard on the CDX, and leather seats are optional. Neither feature is available on the SE.
Under the Hood
The Nubiras 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 129 horsepower and teams with a standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission.
Antilock brakes are standard on the CDX and not offered on the SE.
The Nubira lags behind rivals such as the Honda Civic and Ford Focus in acceleration, ride quality and noise suppression, but it undercuts nearly all competitors with its low prices. A loaded SE wont cost much more than $13,000. Daewoo is still largely unknown in reliability and durability, however, so a low price may not mean great value in the long run.