Washington Post writer Warren Brown recently spent some quality time in Switzerland with a Chevy Matiz and came away feeling that it's not suitable for American roads. Since General Motors have given no indication that they will ever bring the Daewoo-designed Matiz here, why should this matter? Well, the latest rumors about the Chrysler/Chery alliance have the first product here being the Chery A1, which is a clone of the Matiz.
Cars like the Matiz have done reasonably well in Europe where the 800cc three cylinder engine sips the $7 a gallon gas. While the Matiz does fine in the inner city driving, it just can't cut it on the highway. In Europe where drivers demonstrate lane discipline and actually stay to the right except when passing others, a slow car like Matiz can get by. However, in a land where people regularly plant themselves in the left-most lane regardless of their speed or the traffic flow, a little machine like this could pose a significant speed bump for Hummer drivers.
Unless, gas prices quickly accelerate toward $4/gallon here, something slightly larger, perhaps closer in size to a Yaris or Fit would be more suitable as a first effort from Chrysler/Chery. The Read link actually goes to the Detroit News reprint of the story since, unlike the Post, they don't require registration.
[Source: Detroit News]