Engines: gasoline 1.5–1.8 liters (98–116 hp).
Transmissions: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic (1.8 l).
Options: Comfort, Luxury.
Price in Russia: $ 15 650 - 21 610.
Issued by a joint venture GM DAT (GM Daewoo Auto and Technology). In Russia, “Lazetti” with hatchback, sedan and wagon bodies are sold under the Chevrolet brand name.
Engines: gasoline 1.4–1.8 liters (94–122 hp).
Transmissions: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic (1.6-1.8 l).
Options: SE, SX, CDX.
Price in Russia: $ 13 800-19 050.
Japanese or Korean? - the consumer asks himself more and more often. A few years ago, such doubts would have seemed blasphemous - how can you compare! Today, the Japanese bite their elbows: they technologically armed their neighbors, taught them how to build solid cars - and at the same time inexpensive ones.
We’ll pick up a couple of such … middle peasants. And let them not be offended by this title, because not only social status is hidden behind it, but also orientation towards the mass consumer. The reason is suitable - a whole flock of Daewoo disguised as the Chevrolet brand has entered the market. Among them there are quite interesting novelties of a completely European appearance at an attractive price. And the middle class of buyers takes this into account in the first place.
The American-Italian consonance of the Chevrolet Lazetti sounds intriguing. And the hatchback itself looks energetic and attractive: a stylish profile, a spectacular rear. He would add a little aggressiveness and - hold on, competitors.
A partner - time-tested and warmed by consumer sympathies of the Nissan Almera. It seems that an energetic and fashionable beginner can easily put it on both blades. Let's not rush to conclusions.
As often happens, the perfect pair did not work out. The Nissan Almera hatchback decided to seriously demonstrate strength by enlisting the support of not only the most expensive equipment, but also a 1.8 liter engine paired with an automatic. Chevrolet Lazetti is significantly cheaper, more modest in power supply. But, it seems, the modern unit (1.6 liters, 109 liters. From. With the "mechanics") will still compete with the 116-horsepower with automatic transmission. And then, the Almera is more modest, and the Lacetti is more expensive.
ON LOVE AND ON ACCOUNT
Who says Nissan Almera is out of date? Of course, it became familiar for several years, but in the hatchback version it is still very personal. Lightweight, agile, dynamic silhouette, precise proportions. Maybe he loses in size to the “overgrowths” of the last generation, but by no means in design.
Inside is the classic Japanese. At first, in this combination of gray and black look there is nothing to catch on. For those moments while I try to remember the last time I went to the Almer, the car turns into an old friend. On the rights of the owner, he allows me to sit comfortably, boasts of an expensive complete set: a relief, leather-trimmed steering wheel, air conditioning and a huge information display. On a simpler machine, we would be content with air conditioning, a conventional radio and three “twists” of climate control.
So-so: although the seat is comfortable, it feels that the range of longitudinal adjustment of the seat is selected. It will be a little crowded here. The box selector is a bit archaic: as if in contrast to the latest “tronics”, it offers a traditional scheme with an overdrive button. The instrument cluster also looks somewhat stretched. No, of course it is perfectly readable, but the speedometer and tachometer are disconnected. The rest is a maximum of rationality and convenience.
In the back seat, alas, closely. It would seem that the place here is quite enough for two, also with a margin. But the knees rest against the back of the person sitting in front, and the thought of a long journey does not inspire.
Chevrolet Lacetti seems to be listening to our dialogue with Almera. Say, my appearance is attractive, but it's still half the battle. Even in this mid-range SX configuration, I can argue with the Japanese. Leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever, air conditioning, power windows and mirrors … And the seats! Well, try to sit back. Did you feel the difference? It is unlikely that you will object that there are more places, especially for legs, and it’s more convenient for passengers.
That's just … I crawled in the driver's seat for a long time: the seat was pushed all the way, but something else was wrong. The back does not find the desired position, and after accepting it, it suddenly falls into an invisible hole - and everything has to be started all over again. The clutching steering wheel is obviously too big in diameter, which makes the compact and nice instrument cluster seem disproportionately small. A powerful windshield pillar (a tribute to passive safety) clearly interferes with visibility. Some light shade of incompleteness is present in this car. The gear lever is pushed further than necessary, its movement and clarity leave much to be desired. For some reason, the clutch pedal makes you twist the leg. I remember that I once experienced such inconvenience at Nexia …
In a word, having appreciated all the internal virtues of the Lacetti, in my sympathies I am inclined to a more thoughtful (albeit expensive) “Japanese” (by the way, designed and manufactured in Europe!).
RIDING, NOT RIDING
It is interesting, but even after driving a few hundred kilometers on the Almera, you think for a long time: what would you complain about? Already painfully sound on the go, this solid, good-looking man. Yes, it is noisy and harsh when driving through small irregularities, the brake pedal requires the same jewelry handling. But in general, everything is not bad, and most importantly - honestly. The engine and the "machine" interact perfectly. Only when starting, you need to be more careful with the accelerator, avoiding jerking and slipping of the drive wheels. The rest is a peaceful response, quick and soft switching, good balance of the machine in terms of noise and vibration.
Pendants do not show anything supernatural, in control - no sharpness. But what Nissan can do, it does easily and naturally. Even if you somewhere overestimated his capabilities, he will warn in time. The car does not promise more and requires that they adapt to it.
Chevrolet Lazetti was more awkward. Its rather brisk motor and “mechanics” easily resist the “Almera”. The engine is clockwork, with a noticeable pickup after 3000 rpm. However, there is a fly in the ointment - an extended transmission. If you turn the motor from the heart - everything is great. But it’s worth dropping the tachometer needle below the three thousandth mark, “Lazetti” begins to get bored, losing its bright character. The fact that it is simpler than the Nissan is noticeable primarily in terms of acoustic comfort. As soon as the starter sounds, you are already on your guard. And the engine noise is clearly distinguishable in the cabin already from 2500-3000 rpm.
The settings of adapted suspensions are peculiar here. As if in opposition to the opponent, “Lacetti” perfectly swallows small bumps, is not afraid of deep holes. But at a speed it suddenly becomes tough and bouncing, like a rubber ball. It would seem that I was just driving here on the Almer, without thinking about what's under the wheels. And this one is constantly dancing on gentle waves, carefully repeating their profile. At 110–120 km / h, endless tremors begin to tire. But once the real potholes appear, the pendants recall their purpose, again “locking themselves” on a flat road.
Their character was reflected in handling. Against the background of the rival, the Lacetti is sharp, even athletic. But in fast bends, solid banks and even a slight buildup of the body suddenly appear. And although the machine is controlled reliably, all this affects the accuracy of its reactions.
Time to think - what to prefer? Perhaps the verdict is not in favor of the “Korean” with an American-Italian name. Despite the brightness of its individual driving properties, the competitor Nissan Almera looks smoother … And therefore it is preferable.
Nissan Almera is a convenient, practical rationalist. Solid good at almost everything.
+ Functional interior, balanced driving ability, comfortable trunk.
- Close for rear passengers, uncomfortable on small bumps.
Chevrolet Lacetti - interesting in separate nominations. But in general, you expect more from a beginner.
+ Modern European appearance, good basic equipment, convenient for rear passengers.