This car is an excellent, welcome surprise. The result of a collaboration between GM, GM Daewoo of Korea, and Suzuki, the Reno is a stylish, spacious, great-handling hatchback with a long list of standard equipment, great fuel mileage, and plenty of street cred.
I was looking for a practical four-door hatch with good mileage, but which wasn't ugly. After looking at what Honda, Toyota, Scion, and Hyundai had to offer, I leapt at the Reno. Not only is its price lower, but the car has a higher-quality feel, with excellent dash materials, controls that click precisely, steering that's precise, and a tight jewel-box feel that inspires confidence.
Add in Suzuki's 10 year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty (with no deductible!), the standard front driver/passenger airbags, the standard SIDE airbags for driver and front passenger, the excellent 8-speaker sound system, and the dealer's excellent sales and service experience, and Reno outpointed the competition by more than a mile.
People have questioned the Daewoo bloodline of this car (it was designed in Daewoo's design facility), but a quick look and drive of this car -- plus the generous warranty -- alleviates those concerns. The Australian-built GM engine gives good economy and is a proven, reliable powerplant. The gated-shift automatic is also a proven GM design, which bodes well for reliability.
It's hard to think of a better value in its class. Dealers will sell you this car at invoice price -- for a tick over $13K, you get a loaded, spacious, fun-to-drive, economical hatchback with a great warranty. You cannot go wrong. Your open mind will result in a delightful experience, and you'll rest easy knowing you've got more equipment, more space, and a better warranty than people who paid thousands more for a Matrix or Civic hatch.