Handling is tidy but fails to excite
For the price the Cruze is a practical and comfortable car
Interior is decent quality with good spec
What is it?
This is the new entry-level diesel Chevrolet Cruze, which in lowest trim drops the price to below £14k for a Focus-sized diesel family car.
What's it like?
Functional, which is what you expect given that the Cruze majors on affordability rather than flair. The 123bhp engine is quite noisy at idle and around-town speeds, settling into a more easily ignored thrum at motorway speeds.
The narrow power band also disappoints, and you have to work the gears hard if you don't want to find yourself stuck below 1300rpm with almost no acceleration available until the turbo kicks in.
But for this price the Cruze is a practical, economical and comfortable car. The quite decent interior quality and reasonable spec that includes rear parking sensors as standard in this LS trim is also something many buyers will appreciate.
Should I buy one?
There are equally affordable cars, such as the Kia Cee'd 1.6 CRDI, that are better to drive and have a more practical hatchback body. We would recommend this or the Hyundai i30 over the Cruze, but still, the 125 VCDI is a well-priced and usable family car.