The New Chevrolet Matiz | Part Three

Chevrolet Matiz

Chevrolet Matiz

Lots of gadgets but only what you really need

Everyone claims these days that their cars are fully loaded with specification but what really matters in this price-sensitive sector of the market is not the number of gadgets but their value to the owner.

Chevrolet has taken a long hard look at costs and specification levels and made sure that its customers get the right balance of what really matters.

Firstly, around town you need power steering for those constricted parking moments and frequent tight turns to avoid the jams. Second is remote controlled central door locking when you have armfuls of shopping and really need three hands. Next, a 60/40 split folding rear seat where the cushion folds up too for maximised capacity - the boot itself is also bigger on this new model - following the weekly or monthly shop. And there’s even a CD player for that chill-out in the traffic jam.

Safety is also important. Driver and passenger are protected by individual airbags, not just the small ones but a full 50 litre bag for the driver and 100 litres for the passenger - that means greater protection. With front seatbelt pre-tensioners too, that means optimum security in the event of a collision, further enhanced by a stronger body structure using state-of-the-art light but strong steel to provide overall, much improved crash performance. And all this comes as standard even on the 0.8 S entry model.

Move up to the SE, predicted to be the most popular Matiz, and you add even more useful features like electric front windows for effortless grabbing of that car park ticket, internally adjustable door mirrors, really useable door pockets for driver and passenger and two additional speakers in the rear. There’s even a seat undertray on the passenger’s side, home for the handbook pack, winter ice scraper and other maybe less often used items that we all need to hand one day.

And it looks cute too

The Matiz has always been praised for its cheeky looks. Chevrolet has recognised that not only should the car retain its overall dimensions, as its compact nature really matters in a mini-car, but that it should retain its personality too. ‘Evolution not revolution’ was therefore the motto for the team designing the new Chevrolet Matiz.

The designers have developed the cute looks into a more modern yet contemporary feel without going as far as overtly funky, ‘fashion’ features that very soon age. The headlights are all new but still gaze at you over a smiling grille. Side profile is stronger with the kick-up over the door mirror adding a certain solidity and the new rear lights build real character into the view from the rear.

Inside, modern design thinking results in a more robust and sturdy facia with centre mounted instruments and circular design features such as the fresh air vents for a slightly more offbeat look. Three different background colours give the instruments a fresh, young look. Depending on which of the upholstery fabrics and body colours is chosen, the displays have a blue, green or orange background. Warning lights are sited right ahead of the driver to ensure that important messages are not missed. The facia also incorporates accessible trays each side for smaller objects such as pens or coins.

All interior mouldings and seating fabrics are designed to be robust and easy to clean - and you won’t find any squeaks or rattles in a new Matiz.

To complete the new look there are some fresh, bright new body colours such as Apple Green, Electric Yellow, Jazz Blue and Peach Orange sitting comfortably alongside the less flamboyant options of Ocean Blue, Teal Blue, Super Red, Poly Silver and Pearl Black.

continues... | Part Four
Published 30 March 2005 Melanie Carter
 

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