Used 2002 Daewoo Nubira Wagon

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2002 Daewoo Nubira
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2002 Daewoo Nubira

Pros

  • Spunky motor, low price.

Cons

  • Daewoo's impending death in U.S market, noisy motor, low-grade tires, cheap interior bits, ABS no longer available.

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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 the Hyundai Elantra instead.

vehicle overview

Nubira. Sounds like a cloud formation, but it's actually the name of one of the three cars from Daewoo. Nubira means "to go everywhere," and at one time, it was Daewoo's best shot at going anywhere in the fickle American marketplace. Limited U.S. visibility, slow sales, and recently, a total lack of support from the parent company's new owner, General Motors, have put an end to that hope. You see, when GM purchased Daewoo Motor Co. in 2001, 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 shop elsewhere.

For 2002, Daewoo is offering its Nubira sedan and wagon in just one trim level each, rather than two. In the process, some of the Nubira's nicer features -- including antilock brakes, a power moonroof and leather upholstery -- have been eliminated altogether.

Previously, Daewoo used SE and CDX to differentiate between base and uplevel models; now, you can choose between the decently equipped SE sedan and the better-equipped CDX wagon. The sedan comes with a height-adjustable driver seat, six-speaker sound system with cassette player and four-wheel disc brakes. The optional convenience package adds air conditioning, tilt adjustment for the steering wheel, two door-mounted tweeters and power windows, mirrors and locks. A Premium package sets you up with cruise control, a CD/cassette player combo, an alarm system and remote keyless entry.

The CDX wagon comes with all of the sedan's standard equipment, plus air conditioning, power everything, a tilt steering wheel, tweeters, a rear wiper, a roof rack and 19.4 cubic feet of luggage space. The wagon is also eligible for the Premium package.

The sole engine choice for the Nubira is a GM-designed Australian 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 129 horsepower at 5,400 rpm and 136 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. This sprightly motor meets LEV standards. Mated to the standard five-speed manual transmission, the Nubira's engine 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. Fuel economy is rated at 22/31 with the manual or the automatic.

Overall, the Nubira provides a pleasant ride and decent, if not downright sporty, handling as long as the driver isn't pushing the car for all it's worth. Body roll is kept to a minimum in slower turns, and steering is reasonably responsive, if a bit numb. The factory tires, however, could certainly use upgrading, as could the rather weak brakes.

Surprisingly, there's plenty of room up front for those with longer legs, though rear legroom is severely compromised when the tallest of drivers has the seat moved all the way back in the track. Cabin materials could stand improvement, but at this price, they certainly meet the standard.

The Nubira was Daewoo's best shot at finding a niche in the crowded economy car market, despite the stiff competition in this segment. It's somewhat attractive, reasonably powerful and offers a decent amount of equipment for the money. But given Daewoo Motor America's all-but-certain demise, not to mention the Nubira's mediocre performance and lack of ABS, we would urge you to consider other compacts in this price range -- our top choice would be the Hyundai Elantra.

2002 Highlights

Daewoo trims the Nubira ranks for 2002 -- you can purchase either an SE sedan or a CDX wagon.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Daewoo Nubira.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

$ - Very Good
Tiggerguy,08/27/2003
My Daewoo was a X-mass Gift and It would not have been on my list BUT It really should have!! I have had No problems with it. It has Great pick-up, looks Good, Very Good Air-Con, Excellent Sound System and Brakes well. Do you really need more?
Beware - no parts out there
Totaled,07/14/2002
We purchased this vehicle for an errand runner. Great value with lots of options. Gas mileage lower than hoped, but other than that, no problems. UNTIL... had a minor accident and are told there are NO PARTS available, except maybe from Korea. The insurance will not wait that long and is declaring it Totaled! Since these vehicles have such a low resale value, we are ending owing money on a car we no longer have. Lesson learned!
My Nubi, the commuter mule
ckrockett,01/03/2003
this is actually a 2000 nubi cdx wagon. all bells and whistles except sunroof and cd changer. love the car. swore I'd never own a new car (since my '67 Datsun RL411 SSS), but a week in a rental nubi sedan was enough to convince me. it's a very economical, but fun-to-drive car, so the 'bang-for- the-buck' quotient works for me. great for the commute, very comfortable on long trips, flies low with ease on the open flyways (aka I-5, etc. here in california), and VERY nimble. I've autocrossed the car (that's road-racing in a parking lot for most of you who don't know), and it's only weakness there is lack of low-end power.
A great car for the price!
SatisfiedCustomer,04/16/2002
After 4000 miles of city and highway driving, I find the Nubira Wagon to a great buy. I use it for business and have plenty of space for my equipment. I also like the comfortable seats for driver and passengers.
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Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
129 hp @ 5400 rpm
See all Used 2002 Daewoo Nubira Wagon features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2002 Daewoo Nubira
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Should I lease or buy a 2002 Daewoo Nubira?

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.

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