Daewoo Kalos Hatchback 2003-2005

Daewoo Kalos Hatchback 2003-2005

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016


  • The car gives its value for money
  • Running the car is cheap
  • Its well equipped


  • The interiors are cheap
  • Refinement is lacking
  • It is noisy on the motorway


The Daewoo Kalos is a lovely small family hatchback and which is suitable for those who generally only travel short distances. The car is not very sporty or stylish, but is compact but generous in size. It is a very cost effective vehicle to purchase and will be a solid car for the owner.

Exterior and Interior

The Kalos looks modern and compact coming with dials and controls that can easily be read. The trims and dashboard are made of cheap plastic but should be expected from a car in this price range. The seats are positioned high giving the driver and passengers excellent visibility all round. The Kalos is comfortable for driving through town but the seats do become uncomfortable on long drives due to their lack of back support. The five door Kalos is quite spacious with a surprising amount of headroom and sufficient legroom for the car's size. The three door Kalos is not as spacious as the five-door model but is acceptable enough. The car has a boot space of 220 liters, which can be increased to 980 liters, by folding down the rear seats which split 70:30 providing enough space for everyday tasks. There flip up trays at the back are of aircraft style at which makes it easier to keep kids entertained while driving. The Kalos comes with three levels of trim with the standard coming with the bare minimum which includes electric front windows, ABS and central locking and is only available on the 1.2. The SE trim doesn't offer much more apart from side airbags and remote central locking. The top of the range and the one most people choose is the SX trim which comes with air-con, CD player and electric rear windows.

Performance and Economy

The fuel efficiency given by the 1.2-litre engine is 42mpg, with the 1.4-litre engines coming in at 40mpg. the insurance is also very cheap with the 1.2 and 1.4 engines falling into groups 3 and 4 respectively. Although, the 1.4-litre and five-door cars will cost more than that of the 1.2-litre or three-door car, it would be a better investment as they are both better all round vehicles and retain a higher resale value. The 1.2-litre does a decent job in and around cities or town but can be stressful on the motorways, especially with a full load. The 1.4-litre does a better job than the 1.2, and is suitable for everyday use, such as nipping through town or going on the highways. It's not advisable to try and overtake someone with it though as by the time you have overtaken you will more than like have missed your turning.

Like to Drive

The feedback from the steering wheel and brakes are low but not unpredictable and the ride on dry roads is excellent with the car feeling nimble and grippy. The car loses confidence on wet roads and very noticeable body roll on the corners in all conditions. Overall the ride is quite good on all surfaces. The engines do make a lot of noise especially at high speeds and no matter which engine you opt for. The 1.2-litre does struggle in hilly areas where it feels under powered.

Faults and Repairs

The car is reliable and comes with relatively cheap servicing costs. The car can be serviced by the owner if desired by using high quality oil and an original service pack. The car should be serviced every 10,000 miles, and there is a warranty for a period of 3 years or 60,000 miles. The safety features include four airbags, anti lock braking system which stops the car from skidding, ISOFIX mountings on child seats, and three point seatbelts to protect all the passengers. Other features to prevent theft are an immobiliser, alarm and central locking.