The Daewoo Matiz started production in 1998 and sold in South Korea and many European markets with the code name M100. The exterior design is based on the Lucciola, a Fiat Cinquecento concept by Italdesign Giugiaro which had been rejected by Fiat. The 0.8-litre gasoline engine and the transmission were carryovers from the Daewoo Tico. The car became the best selling Daewoo model in Europe for the next four years.
The Matiz is available in one body style: a five-door hatchback.
The Matiz was originally launched with just a 0.8L 3-cylinder engine, however with the 2001 model-year revisions a 1.0L 4-cylinder was added to the upper models of the range. In 2008 the 0.8L was revised to fall below the 120g/km level, thus qualifying for the UK's £35 road tax band and no London Congestion Charge.
A facelifted model (codenamed M150) was introduced in South Korea in late 2000, and exported from 2001. Following Daewoo's takeover by General Motors in 2002, the engine range was updated with a 1.0-litre S-Tec unit.
In 2005 the Matiz received a facelift (M200), based on the Chevrolet M3X concept car shown at 2004 Paris Motor Show. The S-Tec engines were updated and the car's drag coefficient was lowered, resulting in better fuel economy. One notable feature of this car is its centre-mounted instrument cluster.
The aging Alto platform will be replaced with a new city car platform developed by GM Daewoo engineers and based on GM Gamma platform.
The 2005 Chevrolet Matiz scored three stars (with one strike through) in the EuroNCAP crash test: "The final adult occupant protection star is struck through because there was an unacceptably high risk of life-threatening injury to the chest in side impact." test: "Overall this is a creditable performance from a car without a side airbag." By contrast, the pre-2005 Daewoo Matiz was awarded 72% in the side impact Euro NCAP