Kia Forte/Spectra vs. Daewoo Lacetti/Chevrolet Cruze

Kia Forte has seen a remarkable response from South Korean consumers since it went on sale in August. Already in it’s debuting month, with sales of 8,900 units, the Forte outsold Hyundai Elantra, which was the best-selling compact vehicle in South Korea for several years.

In response to a huge success Kia has had with the Forte, GM Daewoo launched a Lacetti compact sedan last week and with it, the company is aiming directly at Forte sedan with the goal to steal as many buyers as possible away from Kia!


Known also as Chevrolet Cruze in some overseas markets, the Lacetti is the first member of the next generation GM Daewoo cars that is expected to hit the roads in the next few months. Designed and engineered in South Korea, Lacetti will initially be powered by a 114 horsepower, 1,6L gasoline engine, mated to the six-speed automatic transmission.

In Korea, Lacetti will be available in six trim levels and will come competitively priced. Starting at really low of 10.9 million won or $7660, the price should be one of its biggest selling points. [Image Source: bobaedream.co.kr]


Daewoo Lacetti vs. Kia Forte





23 thoughts on “Kia Forte/Spectra vs. Daewoo Lacetti/Chevrolet Cruze

  1. Why does it matter the transmission? That is not even close to a selling point for a car! People don’t go to a Kia dealership and say, “O, I love the Forte, I love it for the price, features, warranty, and build quality, but it has a 4 speed transmission, so I’m going to go to the Daewoo dealer, so I can get less warranty, not as good of a build quality and a 6 speed transmission.” WHAT is the deal with transmission speeds? What does it matter??? Please TELL ME. Thank You, because to me, it is just a dumb expensive gimmick.

  2. The Cruze was delayed for the US so when it arrives (sometime in 2010 as a 2011 model) it will be facing entrenched competition from Kia, Hyundai, Mazda, Honda, Toyota etc…. It *may* be a decent vehicle, but if past entries from Daewoo (or the current Aveo) are any example then the Cruze will be facing an uphill battle even if it arrives with a dozen gears in its transmission…

  3. Four door Forte is coming in summer 2009, while it’s spoorty two-door model, based on KOUP concept, will hit the dealers a few (3-5) months later.

  4. I would still like an explanation as to why everyone thinks that transmission gears are such a big deal! To me they are a waste of time and money to engineer and build.

  5. More gears generally means that the engine can be run more efficiently through a greater range of the driving cycle. This can manifest itself in improved performance, as well as better fuel economy. There are diminishing returns at some point but this is generally true. A 6-speed transmission *is* more desirable than a 4 speed transmission in this case. This isn’t to say that a 4-speed transmission is automatically junk. Still, you most likely will *not* be seeing the 6-speed auto in the base model Lacetti depicted above.

    Personally, I’d love to see the Forte/Spectra with a 6-speed *manual* but I’ll take a well geared 5-speed in its stead if need be.

  6. Yes I agree with comments from Bancho with regards to his comments on the 6 speed Auto Vs 4 speed transmission.
    it’s heaps better with the more ratios, especially with a small high revving 4 cylinder engine with limited low down torque. With 6 or more speeds the drive experience is much smmmoother, because the steps from ratio to ratio are a lot less and the 6th gear ratio can be a lot higher, (lower RPM) thus a lot better fuel consumption, with less stress on the gear-box and engine. Also the first ratio can be set a lot lower, so you can get off the line quicker than the 4 speed trans. I haven’t driven a 4 speed automatic transmission for at least 10 years, so I don’t want to go backwards now. Six speeds and more are the norm now and let’s keep it that way. I’m not keen on the 6 speed manual trans though, I’m over that forever changing gears….in any car!! It’s ok for you young fellas, where you want to red-line in every gear.

  7. now the 1.6 soul [gas] should be able to give a range of 650 km based on the ratings shown in that korean catalogue. 6 speed tranny might’ve pushed that to 680-690km.
    just look at how many ‘people cars’ are getting 5 and 6 speed tannies. And Kia has just started using 6 speed for their MOhave!

  8. Oh, and another thing Greg, the manufacturers wouldn’t be updating and modernizing their vehicles at a cost to them if they didn’t think the market or customers didn’t want it. If it was up to them, they’d still have us driving around in single cylinder direct drive (no speed Transmissions). If a car sold like that, we’d be still driving them. You know, no roof, no doors, no windscreen no wipers, no seats, no heaters or aircond, no radios, no CD or DVD players. You could go on forever. Thank god we’ve demanded a few luxuries from the manufacturers and so we got what we have today, beautiful, comfortable nice to drive and be in and seen in motor vehicles.

  9. I like the lacetti. chrome grille and those simple flowing design of the large alloys like the golf. Just amke Lacetti a tad better for me – just a tad. I still like Forte as well. it looks sporty in its own way.

  10. No offence but Americans confuse me.
    How can you go on about 6 speed AUTO transmissions and how they are more fuel efficient when it is AUTO. If you so concerned then buy a manual – no offence Americans but what is so wrong with manuals, I’m sure the nation isn’t so fat that you can’t change gears LOOL.

    Anyway, I think the Forte looks GREAT. The Daewoo bagde looks much neater than the Chevrolet – which ruins the front.

    Kia should bring the Forte to the UK instead of the Magentis (aka Optima).

  11. Sorry Jonathan, I’m a big fat Aussie (well not too fat) and I’m just over manual transmissions. Why not have the best of both worlds with a “tiptronic” or sport change if you want and beautiful sweet auto when you want, where all the gear changes have been scientifically worked out for the best and most efficient for the size motor. Rather than red-linning it in every gear. Not saying that you would.
    I don’t know about where you come from, but here, if there’s any problem traffic condition, they just put in a set of lights, which is a real pain in medium to heavy road conditions, you’re sitting there riding the clutch most times just inching forward. Well I know in that situation I’d rather have an auto. Sorry mate, but that’s my opinion.
    Anyway good to see a pom on this forum, see you next year when we come to take the Ashes back.

  12. I was talking about Americans =S
    Anyway, I wasn’t saying autos were bad BUT I thought it was hypocritical to fuss about the difference in fuel efficiency of a 4 speed auto and 6 speed when auto uses more fuel over manual in the first place

  13. we dont want automatics. we want manuamatics. :)
    there are alot of traffic jams these days and autos are needed for these jams. fine, a 6 speed tranny will not give better fuel economy compared to a 6 speed manual but…

  14. Jonathan 6 spd Autos have proven (in GM’s case anyway) to be as efficient and faster than their manual counterparts. Take a look at the CTS-V and the Camaro. Sure these are performance iterations, but 6spd autos can be calibrated for the best of both worlds. The Malibu 4cyl 6spd gets better mileage numbers than a comparable Camry with 5spd manual.

  15. Are you kidding people? I’ve avoid some cars just because they have 4spd trannys. In my opinion they are old technology and they do get worse gas mileage. Manuals are fun, I’ve owned some, but ever drive a manual in bumper to bumper traffice for 3 hrs, well, I have! My next manual will be a weekend car.

  16. i don’t like manual cars because they don’t sell. People in the Chicago land area have some of the worst traffic conditions and manual is simple too much of an annoyance. Granted its fun when you are driving around on the highway in light traffic but other then that automatic is the way to go.

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