Used 2002 Daewoo Lanos Sedan

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2002 Daewoo Lanos
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2002 Daewoo Lanos

Pros

  • Snazzy styling, cheap sticker prices, fun in turns.

Cons

  • Daewoo's impending death in U.S. market, unproven reliability, whiny engine, cheap interior materials, ABS isn't available.
Daewoo Lanos years
2002

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Daewoo's new owner, General Motors, has no plans for the brand in the U.S. market -- as such, supplies to dealerships have been cut off. Although provisions will be made to honor owners' warranty claims, we'd urge you to steer clear of this situation and check out a Hyundai Accent or Kia Rio instead.

vehicle overview

The Lanos is Korean automaker Daewoo's most affordable model in the U.S market, and like other Daewoos, it has been a tough sell to American consumers. Before you consider buying one, you should know that General Motors purchased Daewoo Motor Co. in 2001, but the U.S. sales arm, Daewoo Motor America, was not part of the deal. This means that Daewoo dealerships in the U.S. will be running out of supply by the summer of 2002 (Daewoo Motor America should continue to honor current owners' warranty claims until GM sets up a trust fund of sorts). Our advice? Save yourself a headache and head over to the Hyundai or Kia dealership instead.

Available as a three-door hatchback or a four-door sedan, the subcompact Lanos is about the size of a Hyundai Accent. That means small. Because the Lanos is such a tiny car, anyone over 6 feet tall should not bother trying to find a comfortable seating position. But the price matches the car's size, and for that nominal fee, you get suspension tuning from Porsche and styling from ItalDesign.

Every Lanos is powered by a 1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine that makes 105 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 106 pound-feet of torque at 3,400 rpm. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, but buyers may choose an optional four-speed automatic. As you would expect, acceleration is rather leisurely; 0 to 60 takes 11 seconds with the manual gearbox and 12.5 seconds with the automatic. Fuel economy is rated at 25 mpg city/35 mpg highway with the manual and 22/32 with the automatic. Refinement is not a strong point for the Lanos, as the engine thrashes at higher rpm. Manual transmission drivers will note the absence of a tachometer.

All models are equipped with an independent MacPherson-strut front suspension and a semi-independent rear. Stiff tuning makes the Lanos fun when driven enthusiastically around corners. Thank you, Porsche.

The model lineup includes the base S Hatchback and S Sedan and the better-equipped Sport hatchback. The base cars come with a driver seat height adjuster, a 100-watt cassette stereo with four speakers, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, and 14-inch wheels and tires. You can add the Comfort Package, which includes power steering and air conditioning, and the Convenience Package, which includes power controls for the windows, door locks and passenger-side exterior mirror. A 140-watt stereo with a CD and cassette player is available as a separate option.

The Sport hatchback comes standard with all of the above features, including the deluxe stereo. Exclusive features include red leather upholstery, a red leather-wrapped steering wheel, faux aluminum interior trim, alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and body-color side skirts and molding. What's missing from this sporty package is more power.

If you scrutinize a Lanos, you'll note that the build quality is quite good and that the paint positively shimmers. But some of the interior materials -- the dash, in particular -- look and feel low-grade. Safety features don't go beyond the basics; you get the requisite front airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners, child-seat tether anchors, and that's it. Of course, you'll encounter these issues with the Lanos' similarly priced competitors, the Accent and the Kia Rio. But these cars also come with industry-leading warranties and are backed by a financially stable parent company.

The Lanos might seem attractive if you're low on funds and desperate for fresh wheels, but there are better choices in this price range -- if not an Accent or a Rio, then a larger, gently used car from one of the Japanese manufacturers.

2002 Highlights

A new Comfort Package for the S Hatchback and S Sedan includes air conditioning and power steering, while the Convenience Package adds power windows, power locks and a power passenger-side exterior mirror.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Daewoo Lanos.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

GREAT SMALL CAR
cristian,09/05/2015
Every one talks bad about the car since brand is not well known, but if go in to detail youll see this daewoo stopped production on 2002 but the car itself (machine under chasis) continue to be produce under different makes and model names. This is way people would say (You will never find parts for that car) and when you go online youll find that engine search like amazon or Google would say this car fits several parts from different makes, so guess what!!! you have more parts than any one car out there. now, when it comes to cheap yes, is a cheap and reliable car, dont complain about this car saying how crappy [non-permissible content removed] it is, is true is cheap, but thats what you're paying, dont compare it to a bmw or fancy one, as far I myself I've one bought this year and got clear was a cheap standar car, no bad or excellent at all, but it turned out to be a very good reliable car, super smooth to drive not as hard as the volskwagen jetta I've had before and being a better make, but this one comes out ahead on comfort, overall I'm happy with this car, is just what I was looking for and what I need.
2nd Worst Car I've Ever Owned
AnyComonSens,06/03/2009
I bought a 2002 Daewoo Lanos with only 51,000 miles on it about 11 months ago. I bought this car when gas prices were at $4+ per gallon, and I got stuck needing a new car at the wrong time. I've always driven small 4 cylinder cars and prices on them soared last summer right when I needed to replace mine. This Lanos was the only thing I could find in my price range so I fell for it. The only car I've ever owned that was actually crappier than this car was an '86 Ford Escort. There really is no comparison between this car and the other 4 cylinders I've owned. I've owned Volkswagons, Toyotas, Nissans, Fords, etc. and this Daewoo is by far the cheapest piece of junk I've owned since the Escort.
We bought TWO Lanos S sedans
Norm Wherrett,09/23/2005
In February 2003, we bought two used 2002 Lanos S sedans sight-unseen from a wholesaler in Arizona for $3,650 each. Both cars were loaded, used only 10K miles, with remaining factory warranty. We could not be happier! They drive well, get 30+ mpg, and have been totally reliable. Factory recall [electrical] handed PDQ by local Daewoo dealer [our cars didn't have the problem]. Cars now have 21K each.
Kicking butt
Ricardo,02/28/2002
This little car has a lot to offer. As a student I found the Daewoo Lanos the best way to get dependable, affordable and good looking transportation. The engine is very peppy if you don't drag a crew around with you. I am always by myself so it takes off really quickly. I got the SX which has everything it it but the kitchen sink.
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Features & Specs

MPG
22 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
105 hp @ 5800 rpm
See all Used 2002 Daewoo Lanos Sedan features & specs
More about the 2002 Daewoo Lanos
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Should I lease or buy a 2002 Daewoo Lanos?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Daewoo lease specials
Check out Daewoo Lanos lease specials