Used 2000 Daewoo Nubira Review

Edmunds expert review

It's a cheap, good-looking car. But there are better choices in this price range, including the Nissan Sentra XE and the Hyundai Elantra GLS.

What's new for 2000

Nubira, already the most appealing choice from the Daewoo buffet, is restyled inside and out and becomes even more attractive to cash-strapped buyers. Firmer springs and a new rear stabilizer bar tighten handling, and the new SE trim level replaces last year's SX model. The five-door hatchback is dropped, but four new colors debut. Scheduled maintenance for the duration of the basic warranty, and three-year/36,000-mile 24-hour roadside assistance is standard.

Vehicle overview

Nubira. Sounds like a cloud formation, but it's actually the name of one of the three cars from Korean automaker Daewoo (pronounced DAY-woo). Nubira means "to go everywhere," and it's Daewoo's best shot at going anywhere in the fickle American marketplace.

The Nubira is available in two levels of trim: SE and CDX in either sedan or wagon format. The SE, which costs just $11,500, comes with a height adjustable seat, six-speaker sound system with cassette player and four-wheel disc brakes. An optional convenience package adds power windows, mirrors and locks, as well as remote keyless entry, tilt steering wheel, a car alarm and fog lights, for just $560. CDX trim buys air conditioning, alloy wheels, cruise control and antilock brakes, while leather seats and a moonroof are optional. A loaded CDX Wagon can be had for about $16,000. All Nubiras are covered by a new scheduled maintenance policy, which covers oil changes, tire rotations, and the like for the duration of the basic three-year/36,000-mile warranty.

The sole engine choice for the Nubira is a GM-designed Australian 2.0-liter with 129 horsepower at 5,400 rpm and 135 foot-pounds of torque at 4,400 rpm. This sprightly motor meets LEV standards this year. Mated to the standard five-speed manual transmission, the Nubira can reach 60 mph in less than 10 seconds, but acceleration is accompanied by plenty of engine racket. The optional automatic requires nearly 2 seconds more to reach expressway velocities.

For 2000, Daewoo has restyled the already appealing Nubira. New front and rear ends give the car a more modern appearance, while larger exterior mirrors improve visibility. Inside, a redesigned dash and new interior fabrics modernize the cabin. New seats are installed all around for improved comfort, and rear passengers now get an armrest and three-point belts for all three positions. Child seat-tether anchors have been added.

Suspension enhancements in the name of firmer springs and a rear stabilizer bar help improve handling for 2000, but the lame 14-inch tires we griped about during our test driving are still present. Overall, the Nubira provides a pleasant ride and decent, if not downright sporty, handling.

The Nubira may be Daewoo's best shot at finding a niche in the crowded sub-$20,000 economy car market, despite the stiff competition in this segment. It's attractive, reasonably powerful, and can be loaded to the gills with equipment for a seductively low price. Now, if only buyers could haggle on the price a little at the dealership, Daewoo might have a chance at selling a substantial number of cars in the United States.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.