Mighty Matiz (Chevrolet Matiz 2005-2009)

ENGINES – It’s a simple life for Matiz owners as key to the car’s frugal, affordable character is the choice of engines. Powering this second generation Matiz is the familiar 0.8-litre petrol motor, plus a more recent 1.0-litre option. Obviously the latter is a little more powerful, although the former shouldn’t be ignored if your demands are low.

EXTERIOR – Although one of the last really small city cars, the Matiz’s upright stance ensures that most adults will find it comfortable inside, while the car’s sloping nose and upright tailgate should make parking and general visibility more than acceptable.

INTERIOR – When assessing something this small it would be wrong to expect too much in this department – the Matiz is, after all, a budget city car of modest dimensions. That said, the cabin is perfectly acceptable; build quality is good, space is impressive given the car’s size and there’s enough oddment storage.

DRIVING – Both engines are worthy of recommendation, with the entry-level 0.8-litre unit more than adequate for all bar long motorway journeys – the 1.0 motor has a few welcome extra few bhp. Elsewhere, the car stops and steers with confidence, and the ride quality is good.

OWNERSHIP – Modest purchase price aside, overall running costs should be low by virtue of the car’s low fuel consumption and road tax band. The Matiz is also a simple car, which should result in modest servicing bills. Living with the car should also be easy – parking and zipping around town will be a walk in the park for something the size of the Matiz.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR – Given the car’s city-centric role in life, it’s fair to assume the Matiz will attract its fair share of parking dents and kerbed wheels. Only you’ll be able to say what’s acceptable, although be wary of the latter as it could be hiding more serious problems. The safest thing would be to take a test drive to shake out any potential issues.

MODEL HISTORY

2005: Chevrolet produces an updated version of its Matiz city car. An revised exterior look and a general tidy up on the inside breathes extra life into the urban hatchback. Good equipment levels are balanced by the offer of an auto gearbox on the 0.8-litre variant.

REASONS TO BUY – low running costs, attractive styling, acceptable cabin space

REASONS TO BEWARE – not a car for regular long journeys, modest engine performance, ride comfort on rough roads

PICK OF THE RANGE – Matiz 0.8 SE 5dr

WHAT TO PAY

2005 55 2,725

2006 06 2,830

2006 56 2,990

2007 07 3,150

2007 57 3,300

2008 08 3,580

2008 58 3,745

2009 09 4,190

2009 59 4,460

2010 10 5,020

2010 60 5,260

Figures relate to showroom prices for cars in A1 condition.

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