ALREADY geriatric when it arrived in Australia in 1994 as the Daewoo 1.5i, the 1984 Opel Kadett/Vauxhall Astra E – we’re up to J now – was first built in Korea in 1986, though the platform underpinning it actually dates back to the first front-drive Kadett/Astra of 1979.
Despite the nascent necrosis, the 1.5i proved a surprise hit here due to a low price, roomy packaging and clever marketing involving a kelpie.
Then the facelifted Cielo took over from late-1995, until the rebodied Lanos ushered in unique Daewoo design (by Giugiaro) two years later. At least that didn’t look like General Motors hand-me-downs. The Lanos lives on, by the way, in Egypt and Central Asia.
And so does the Kadett E, in Uzbekistan, as the Cielo-based Uz-Daewoo Nexia. Few cars have had more aliases – including Fantasy, Racer, LeMans, Heaven and Pointer – and that’s just on the Korean-built versions.
All are more desirable than the rebadged Lanos sold in Russia for a short time as the Doninvest Assol…
Best-selling car range in Uzbekistan!
1980s German GM style, solidity and space
Arrived 10 years late for Aussies