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Whether you've got a Tico or a Lexus, a Daelim or a Harley, this is the forum to discuss transport in Cambodia. Where to buy it, how much to pay and what to do when the wheels fall off.
Daewoo Matiz M100 and M150. (Supplemental information on the M200-250 generation also here)
Years Produced: 1998-2004 (2004-2008 M200-250 versions)
796cc inline 3 cylinder (6v)
998cc inline 4 cylinder (8v)
5 speed manual
3 speed automatic w/o converter lockup
800 kg (1,764 lbs)
52 bhp @ 6,000 rpm (38 kw)
66 bhp @ 5,400 rpm (48.5 kw)
71.5 [email protected] 4,000 rpm
91 nm @ 4,200 rpm
0-62 mph (100 kph)
17.4 seconds (manual) or 19.3 seconds (auto)
14.2 seconds (manual)
Fuel Economy Rating
38/56 mpg (imp)
31.6/46.6 mpg US
7.4 - 5L / 100 km
13.4 - 19.8 km/l
34/52 mpg (imp)
28.3/44.9 mpg US
8.3 - 5.4L / 100 km
12 - 18.4 km/l
Observed mpg (.8):
34.8 mpg (imp) / 28.9 mpg US
8.1 L / 100 km
Competitors: Kia Visto/Hyundai Atoz
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A MATIZ?
Welcome ladies and gentleman to one of the slowest production cars you can buy in Cambodia. 0-100 km/h happens in a sleep inducing 17.4 seconds with the manual and approaches 20 seconds with the automatic. However, the engine in this car isn’t actually a bad one mechanically, despite the lethargic performance figures.
The real sore spot with these cars though performance wise is the automatic transmission. Driving an automatic Matiz (especially with the aircon on) can be a woeful unpleasant experience. I suspect Daewoo wanted to keep fuel economy up because the transmission likes to keep the little 3 cylinder exactly where it doesn’t want to be, in the low rev range, so when putting around in the Matiz I constantly found myself “manually” shifting the car into 2nd when the road began sloping upward. In comparison, the Atoz / Visto is a much better matched automatic to the rev happy powerplant.
The Matiz is of course decent on fuel and better than it’s Visto/Atoz competitor, but like many of the superminis it competes with, it has the power to disappoint. City fuel mileage for me dipped into the 12 km/l range (34.8 mpg UK / 28.9 mpg US / 8.1 L / 100 km) with the A/C running half of the time. There are various reports saying that 19 and 20 km/l is possible on motorways but I seriously doubt that’s true unless you cruise around 65-70 kph with no passengers and no A/C. An advantage the Matiz does offer though is the ability to run on regular petrol here and not premium unlike the Atoz/Visto.
(Annoying, but most definitely tolerable)
Considering these cars were sub 6-7k Euro new in the European market, they are not finished to an impeccable level of detail, nor are they fitted with the highest quality of materials. However for what it is, the Matiz isn’t a hopeless case.
The main issues seem to all focus around the windscreen and the components related to it. The braces in the windscreen were improperly installed at the factory for many cars, so it’s very common for the front glass to crack for no apparent reason. If you have unbroken glass though, chances it’ll be dirty as the washer pumps on these cars are very prone to failure as well. Other than those small issues, in the minor reliability section the Matiz isn’t as bad as you might expect for a budget minded Korean car.
(Okay at best, iffy for most of the time)
Engine: (.8 liter 3 cylinder) The good news is that the 3 cylinder Matiz (every car until late 2001), is based on a very solid and proven Suzuki motor and is also the same basic motor found in the Tico. Believe it or not however, Daewoo made the Suzuki F8 motor even better by updating the valvetrain and adding a multi point fuel injection system (vs. TBI) so the Korean engine is actually smoother, more powerful and more fuel efficient than the Japanese engine it’s copied from.
The bad news, these motors have a semi decent chance to randomly start burning engine coolant and eventually blow the headgasket if the cooling system is left to the elements so to speak. So if you happen to get one, make sure you keep the cooling system in tip top shape to avoid this happening (good advice for any car).
(1.0 liter 4 cylinder) If you’ve heard of the Chevrolet Aveo (Daewoo Kalos), you might know of the early cam belt failures these cars experienced (some at merely 60k km). Joy of joys then, the 1.0 liter Matiz (some cars after late 2001) uses the same basic engine as the Aveo / Kalos. So if you happen to have a late model 4 cylinder Matiz, plan to get the cam belt and related components replaced immediately because it’s a definite weak spot on these engines. Long term reliability is also on the iffy side as these motors (being an all Daewoo creation) haven’t been the best at proving themselves in the long haul. If it were me, I’d avoid the 1.0 liter Matiz all together.
Strangely enough for the Matiz the manual transmission is actually the less reliable of the two. Actually it’s not just less reliable, it’s very unreliable and is quite a nuisance to live with. The shifter cables on these transmissions like to either bind or break, both of which are bad and will possibly leave you stranded, and the gearbox is incredibly picky when it comes to needing fluid changes otherwise the 1-2-3rd gear changes become very difficult and even impossible in some situations.
The automatic on the other hand is actually quite good. Even without constant babying and fluid changes it’s not uncommon for them to be up there in mileage and still be working fine. So if you can deal with a poorly setup shift program and lazy city commuter, the automatic most definitely is the way to go.
IF YOU OWN A MATIZ
800cc 3 cylinder Suzuki engine
1.0 litre 4 cylinder Daewoo engine
Camshaft / Timing belt: First thing is first, if you have a 4 cylinder Matiz, get that cam belt changed immediately along with any related components, such as your water pump and oil seals. As always, avoid the Chinese replacements and get a belt straight from Korea or at least from a reputable brand like Bosch or Gates (UK). If the belt breaks you will probably need a new engine or at the very least a rebuilt cylinder head.
If you have a Suzuki powered Matiz, be grateful because on the other side of the spectrum, these belts are known for making it considerably longer without being replaced. However you still want to change the belt as this motor will destroy itself if you leave it to break on it’s own like so many people here like to do.
Manual transmission fluid (if applicable): If you have a manual transmission Matiz (regardless of the engine type), get your transmission oil changed with the OEM fluid that Daewoo supplied for it (will update with fluid info later). It doesn’t matter if you have to import it, you must use this fluid and this fluid only. Other fluids for whatever reason are known to cause very rough gear changes, especially 1-2-3-2-1 shifts. Not only is this annoying, but it’s also very bad for your transmission as well.
However, fluid isn’t the only cause for rough gear changes in this car, see below.
Greasing the transmission cables (manual only): If your manual is shifting roughly, get the shifter cables checked first. They like to bind (sometimes break), so if gear changes are difficult get them looked at and greased. Unfortunately the cables are always going to be this way meaning they are needy when it comes to attention, so unless you replace them with new updated ones you’re probably going to have to get used to greasing them often.
Cooling system and headgasket checks: This applies specifically to the 3 cylinder Matiz but is good advice for the 4 cylinder as well, get your cooling system checked for leaks and watch your coolant level often. .8 liter Matiz cars like to eat coolant if they’ve been slightly overheated before or don’t have a properly serviced cooling system but are reliable otherwise. Don’t rely on your temperature gauge to tell you if the cooling system is in good shape because the temperature gauge on the Matiz is heavily weighted so that even if it’s slightly overheating, it still appears to be in the normal temperature range. The water pump is a weak spot for leakage (makes it also incredibly difficult to spot a slow leak as well), and the head gasket is also a common area for coolant loss to occur. Matiz cars that smoke white if they haven’t run in a day or so indicated that the headgasket is on it’s way out. If your car starts to lose coolant for seemingly no reason and/or smokes on startup after sitting a while, plan to order a headgasket kit for your car from a reputable parts manufacturer and get ready for a minor engine overhaul.
Regarding the M200-250 Matiz (2004-2008)
M200 Matiz (pre-facelift)
M250 Matiz (post facelift)
A few of these have been floating around Cambodia, however I would recommend against purchasing one at the moment as they are for the most part mechanically dissimilar to the M100 - 150 versions (1998-2004). While most mechanical changes are very much improvements in the new Matiz, the car itself hasn’t really caught on over here so it’s unlikely you’re going to find a good person to service it when things go wrong.
If you happen to already have one though, a lot of the information mentioned about the manual transmission and cam belts still applies as Daewoo did not make many changes to the engine itself relating to the timing components unfortunately.
If you want to buy an M200 - 250 version, they do offer slightly better fuel economy due to a revised intake and cylinder head and a more refined ride and, although irrelevant here, much lower emissions.
-Small size and easy maneuverability, like most superminis
-Shares quite a few components with the Tico (3 cylinder version), so easy to service for the most part
-Very cheap to purchase (considerably cheaper than the Visto/Atoz)
-Even the most reliable version of the Matiz has a few potential big issues
-By far the slowest and less pleasant to drive in town
The Matiz is one of the cheapest superminis, but also one of the most potentially annoying ones to live with. However, because the Matiz is a very cheap car to begin with it should be easy to budget a few hundred extra dollars to keep up on maintenance and a possible headgasket job, making it definite viable car to keep up with and enjoy.
If you buy one, go for a first generation .8 liter 3 cylinder automatic and keep a few hundred dollars available for parts.
Reckless driving cucumber - 成
^^I still maintain that one of my the best cars I've ever owned was an old BL built Triumph Acclaim (81). It wasn't reliable, wasn't pretty, but it was fuel efficient, 100% theft proof, and spares were available often times for free since so many previous cars were left in derelict shape, so I was happy to haul away a few parts off of people who had let them rot to keep mine running. Paid $500 for it, used it for 20,000 km, spent maybe $10 to pay for parts (the rest were free) and sold it for $1,000. The wonders of budgeting for an unreliable machine,
Reckless driving cucumber - 成
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