Perhaps we should have been prepared for the Lacetti, given that the Nubira that preceded it boasted a rather slinky shape and some very neat detailing. Despite that precursor, the Lacetti still caught many of us on the hop, unaccustomed as we were to a Daewoo that didn't look like a mish mash of other manufacturer's cast offs. With neat, well resolved styling and a simple value proposition, the Lacetti has quietly done very well, and picking up a low mileage used example is a great way to land a modern hatch for a lot less than you may have been bargaining for.
A lot was riding on the Lacetti when Daewoo started the planning process. The company had just emerged from a troublesome period and the benefits of General Motors' investment, know-how and marketing muscle were starting to bear fruit. Lacking a credible contender for some time, it was vitally important for Daewoo to establish a meaningful presence in the family hatch sector. To date, their attempts at penetrating this potentially lucrative UK market had met with limited success. The Nexia and its successor, the Lanos, never campaigned on anything but lowest common denominator pricing, but the Lacetti could stand toe to toe with some of the more established family hatch favourites. Of course, Daewoo are realistic about their brand image and expecting the Lacetti to duke it out with the Volkswagen Golf isn't realistic. Nevertheless, pricing is a lot closer to the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra mainstream than previous Daewoo fare.
By the time the Lacetti hit the dealers in March 2004, prices were pegged at £9,495 for the 1.4SE and £10,495 for the 1.6SX. A 1.8-litre Lacetti Sport debuted at the 2004 British Motor Show but never made it to UK showrooms - at least not with a Daewoo badge. In October 2004, GM announced that the Daewoo brand would from 1st January 2005 be rebadged 'Chevrolet'. So it was that the Lacetti entered into a new existence less than a year after it was originally launched. As well as the hatch versions, GM decided that the Nubira saloon would also wear a 'Lacetti' badge, creating a wider 'Chevrolet Lacetti' range.