1995 Daewoo Cielo 1.6 from Australia and New Zealand


An economic car and good both inside and out


Mechanically the car has been excellent, apart from a few minor problems, which in total have cost about $500 all up over the last 9 years.

Interior is solid and comfortable. A bit of wear and tear on the car seats, but that is mainly my fault.

General Comments:

The car is quick and sturdy, with A1 suspension. The suspension is probably the car's best feature and hasn't given me any trouble since day one.

The seats are comfortable for the size of the car and the back is quite roomy.

The car is good on the road and the tyres have good grip.

The car steers well and has pretty much been mechanically excellent since I bought it.

I had to replace the tyres after the first 100,000km's, mostly because I live in the country and drive on dirt roads a lot of the time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th September, 2004

1995 Daewoo Cielo GLE 1.5 SOHC MPFI from Jamaica


Under-rated diamond in the rough


Driver window control module faulty at purchase (got worse with time and to be replaced shortly)

Speakers blown (replaced in 2002)

Front brake rotors warped (replaced about 2 weeks after purchase)

Air conditioning weak (repaired several times until 2003 when it was nicely repaired, piping modified to route around an installed turbocharger. This re-routing later failed when the pipe broke under vibration. To be rectified in a few days).

Engine stalled at odd times Fault traced (by myself) to a faulty distributor cap. This was replaced along with the rotor brush and spark plugs (Bosch Platinums) and plug leads. Problem solved.

Rusted muffler caused car to fail annual inspection. Replaced by local technician.

Front passenger central locking actuator failed. Replaced by me.

Rear-light cluster developed fault shorting out entire circuit. Rectified at dealer.

Cam cover gasket fails quite often.

Oil pressure light indicated problems with oil delivery. Engine almost shut down one morning. Cause was traced to a clogged sump pick-up strainer. I shall not say which oil caused this, but it's a popular brand with surprisingly many race teams. A questionable decision because here in Jamaica any mechanic worth his spanner will tell you don't use C******. <wink>

Cylinder head gasket failed causing massive misfire, followed weeks later by massive overheating. Cylinder head was found to be corroded at a water jacket and was taken to a machine shop and was rectified.

Power-steering developed leaks (at the pump and at the rack). To be rectified soon.

Transmission mount failed.

Headlamp relay failed 3 times.

Front brakes developed a bind (sliding pin calipers are poorly designed and cause the car to swing when under hard braking... more so when the pads have worn down a bit). Caliper service helped, but now needs to be rebuilt.

Rear brakes converted to discs (Vauxhall Astra GSi) to help rectify otherwise fairly heavy brake fade.

Fuel pressure regulator failed causing fuel mixture to run lean. Rectified by dealer.

MAP sensor damaged due to poorly installed turbocharger (that unit has since been removed and the MAP sensor replaced).

Radiator has developed leaks. Soon to be rectified.

General Comments:

I love my car despite the things that have gone wrong. The brakes out of the factory are poor, the spark plug leads are poorly designed (only to be used once apparently and changed every time the spark plug is changed because removing that lead normally results in it coming apart). The cam cover gasket is a joke and leaks with amazing ease.

This transmission is the best ever made. It's a GM TH-125C, 3 speed and carries an electronic lock-up torque convertor. This transmission is brilliant. Shifts smoothly and downshifts and holds gears like a manual. It's good for 200lb-ft of torque and is used on everything from the Cielo to the likes of Buicks and Chevrolets.

The steering is nicely weighted and gives good feedback.

I (foolishly) installed a turbocharger, but soon undid that mistake due to a blown MAP sensor. This car was built to be boosted (compression ratio of 8.6:1) but care has to be taken. This car is mechanically identical to the Vauxhall Astra so anything that can fit an Astra will fit a Cielo. And that goes for the lovely high-performance Vauxhall engines (2.0 16v and 2.0 16v Turbo).

Torque on the 1.5 SOHC is amazing. It is not rev-happy at all, but it blows away most other 1.5L cars in it's class. Toyota Corollas and Nissan Sunnys are no match.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st January, 2004