Notably, the Matiz was at the center of a 2006 international intellectual property rights controversy, its design allegedly copied outright by Chinese manufacturer Chery's QQ.
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.