The design team's brief for the Kalos of achieving compactness in the exterior dimensions but plenty of space in the passenger compartment would seem to be a basic contradiction. The new Daewoo, with its unusual form and efficient use of space, has shown that this is indeed possible. It has four doors as standard and a large tailgate that allow easy access to the car's interior and loadspace area. A wide range of well planned details, ranging from the safe Isofix child-seat fixing to the practical holder for notes or parking tickets in the driver’s door casing, are just two of the things that make life that little bit easier in day-to-day use. In addition, there are a number of attractive optional extras like the electrically operated glass roof and a 5-disc CD changer.
Inside: More than average head and legroom
With its exterior length of just 3.88 metres and small turning circle diameter of 9.78 metres, it is easy to guide the Kalos into even the tiniest parking space. Yet because of its unusually high roof (1.495 metres) and one of the longest wheelbases in its class (2.48 metres), there is still plenty of space inside the five-seater. The headroom of 0.95 metres and the legroom in the rear of 0.9 metres are significantly high for this segment.
Apart from the above-average amount of space, the seats are well padded around the thigh area so that long distance travel is achieved in perfect comfort. The tilt of the steering wheel can be adjusted, so together with the height-adjustable seat on the SX, drivers of different height and build should easily find an ergonomic and comfortable driving position. The seat is raised slightly in the front, MPV-style, to offer the driver an excellent view through the windscreen. The exterior door mirrors – optionally heated – can be adjusted from inside.
Safe seats: Three-point seat belts, simple Isofix fitting for children's seats
All five seats in the Kalos are fitted with three-point seat belts – a feature that cannot necessarily be taken for granted in this vehicle class. Attaching a child seat on the rear bench is, thanks to the outstandingly simple Isofix system, nothing short of child's play. There are small zip fasteners placed at the back of the bench on the outside rear seats that open up to reveal stable shackles into which the Isofix seat can be easily secured.
Useful shelves and trays: Nifty ideas for parking tickets and picnics
Both children and adults will find pleasure in the practical picnic tray that can be flipped open from the rear of the passenger seat in the SX version. This makes it easier to take a small snack during the journey, or perhaps keep a book ready to hand. There are hooks on the front headrests, on which small shopping bags or your favourite take-away can be safely attached. And there is no shortage of shelves and trays - the ticket holder on the driver’s side of the dashboard is another of Daewoo's practical ideas, handy for holding notes or parking tickets without having to stop and search for somewhere to put them.
Drink cans and cups are looked after in the retractable cup holders in the centre console or in the recess at the end of the centre console. More stowage space is available in the large compartments in the front doors, the glove box, the open tray below the radio and pockets in the back of the front seats.
A power socket is provided in the floor console for notebook computer, portable TV, portable DVD player or computer games.
Variable loadspace: Up to 735 litre capacity
It is not just odds and ends that can be accommodated in the compact Kalos; thanks to its outstanding variability, it can also accommodate bulky goods like a piece of furniture or sports equipment. The rear-seat backrest has a 60/40 split as standard and can be folded down. If more room is needed, the whole bench can be jack-knife folded and secured behind the front seats to the passenger headrest with a strap. The loadspace according to the VDA standard is then an impressive 735 litres. With all the seats and the parcel shelf in place, the luggage compartment has a capacity of 175 litres. With a maximum payload of 495 kg, the compact Korean is an exceptionally practical load carrier.
The actual loading and unloading operation is made easier by the high-opening tailgate, and a grip on the inside makes it easier to close without getting your fingers dirty. The illuminated loadspace is fully lined with carpet. The space-saving spare wheel is accommodated under the loadspace cover, but the Daewoo designers have taken care to make the recess big enough to accommodate the original wheel in the event of a puncture.
Plenty of features: Power steering, ABS and central door locking with alarm
The Kalos SE and SX are the two well-featured models to be launched by Daewoo in the UK market. The SE comes with a wide variety of creature comforts and practical details as standard including power steering with rake-adjustable steering wheel, four-channel anti-lock braking system, power windows at the front, central door locking with alarm system, tinted windscreen, rear windscreen wiper and RDS cassette radio with four speakers.
Safety features like the driver and passenger airbags front and side airbags; three-point seat belts throughout and the Isofix child seat attachment are also standard. The Kalos SX has, in addition, air conditioning, fog lamps at the front, electric windows in the rear, height-adjustable driver’s seat, dipping rear view mirror, tachometer and the practical picnic table on the back of the passenger seat.
Options available on both models include passenger compartment pollen filter, light alloy wheels, roof spoiler at the rear, electrically operated glass roof and 5-disc CD changer with six speakers.
Body and transmission system
With the launch of the Kalos, Daewoo is not only entering a new era in its company history, it is also moving into a new phase in Daewoo’s technical development, because this compact, fastback model boasts a number of features that have so far been the preserve of a higher vehicle category. They include wide-ranging acoustic and vibration-damping measures and a full range of equipment that includes three-point safety belts for all five seats. The modern 1.4-litre petrol engine, which is new to the European market in Kalos, makes for relaxed driving due to its good torque curve and power delivery. The engine's characteristics harmonise perfectly with the agile yet comfortable chassis – a chassis that has been thoughtfully tuned to suit European conditions.Safety: Stable body with modern protective features
A head-on collision is the most common type of accident of all, which is why the Daewoo engineers have paid a great deal of attention to the front-end structure of the Kalos. A stable, welded steel auxiliary frame serves to dissipate additional loads at the front and diverts the impact energy directly to the strong floor assembly. This made it possible, in combination with the very rigid passenger cell and special deformation zones, to significantly improve the impact safety despite the short front section.
For effective protection in the event of a side-on crash, tubular side intrusion beams have been integrated in all four doors to provide a stable barrier and significantly reduce the likelihood of penetration of the interior. The reinforced connection between the floor assembly and the B-posts also diminishes the consequences of such an accident. The rear section of the Korean newcomer has also been "crash-optimised".
A driver airbag with a gas volume of 60 litres is standard. The comprehensive safety equipment for both derivatives includes a passenger airbag with a content of 120 litres and side airbags at the front, each with 21 litres. All five seats are fitted with three-point safety belts and the front belts are height adjustable. The centre belt in the rear features a novel yet practical solution: the inertia reel is positioned on the left on the C-post, from where the belt passes through a moulded guide on top of the rear-seat backrest to two belt buckles at pelvis level on the right and left. Head restraints and the clever Isofix fixtures for attaching a child seat, round off the safety package.Cultivated power train: Superb traction, low noise
With its high-traction, fuel efficient 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine and standard five-speed gearbox, the Daewoo Kalos is certainly not lacking in temperament. The unit is a member of the so-called E-Tec engine family and has a capacity of 1,399 cc. The 61 kW/83 hp engine takes the front-wheel drive Kalos to a maximum of 170 km/h (105.4 mph), with 13.3 sec to cover the standard sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph). The new Korean weighs in at approximately 1,000 kg, and with so much power in reserve it stays completely relaxed even on longer journeys.
In addition to excellent driveability – the maximum torque of 123 Nm is delivered at just 3,000 rpm – the Daewoo development team was particularly keen to attain good noise and vibration damping. For this reason, the measures they have taken in the so-called NVH segment (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) are correspondingly varied and sophisticated:
The Kalos unit complies with the Euro 3 emissions standard and the variable geometry induction system contributes to excellent fuel efficiency. In the MVEG cycle, it consumes 6.0 litres of 95 RON premium unleaded fuel over 100 kilometres (47.1 mpg) in out-of-town conditions, and has an overall average of 7.5 litres (37.7 mpg). In combination with the 45-litre (9.9 gal) tank, this gives the car a considerable range of 600 km (372 miles). CO2 figure is 175 g/km (281.6 g/mile).Rewarding drive: European suspension set up and effective brakes
The modern suspension system of the new Kalos – at the front, individually on MacPherson struts; at the rear, on a torsion beam axle – and the sophisticated chassis geometry with its comparably long wheelbase and wide track, make for an optimum combination of driving safety and comfort. The Daewoo engineers designed the chassis specifically for European conditions at the MIRA (Motor Industry Research Association) proving ground near Nuneaton, and subsequent long-term testing throughout Europe confirmed that the selected set-up was right.
On the front axle, ventilated disc brakes with a diameter of 236 mm slow down the Kalos effectively and without any fading effect. At the rear, 200 mm diameter drum brakes are used. A four-channel ABS system with electronic brake power distribution is standard on both variants, enhancing the active safety still further. The Kalos SE is fitted with 155/80-R13 tyres and the SX with 175/70-R13 tyres as standard. Optional alloy wheels are shod with 185/60-R14 tyres.
The steering rack is mounted on the front auxiliary frame, which improves steering precision. The power-assisted steering system is engine speed-dependent and thus offers the driver both comfort and maximum steering accuracy. At low speed, when parking for example, the steering force is very low, making the car easy to manoeuvre. As the speed rises, the influence of the power steering declines, enabling very accurate steering and good ‘feel’ at higher road speeds.
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