From £14,220
New hatchback, generous kit and flexible diesel should tempt buyers from Ford and Vauxhall

Our Verdict

Chevrolet Cruze
Keenly priced family car puts new Astra underpinnings to good use

The Chevrolet Cruze raises the bar for Chevrolet, but not for rivals including Skoda, Hyundai or Kia

17 July 2011

What is it?

We drove the chiselled ‘compact sedan’ version of the Chevrolet Cruze in 2009. Now, a hatchback joins the line-up in a realistic bid to increase Cruze sales by 7000 a year to 10,000.

What's it like?

The addition of the hatchback model makes the Cruze a more practical family car. Although luggage capacity has been reduced by 37 litres to 413 litres compared with the saloon, the absence of a bulkhead allows 883 litres to be stowed with the seats folded down. The Vauxhall Astra – a car that shares the same global Delta platform as the Cruze – offers 75 litres less boot space but better rear passenger accommodation.

As with the saloon, we’re impressed with the new car. The interior feels as fresh and original as it did in 2009, with an attractive centre console design that’s not as fussy as the Ford Focus’s. The seats are supportive, the driving position is good and there’s lots of kit as standard. In mid-spec LTZ guise, you get parking sensors, automatic wipers and headlights, 17in alloy wheels, Bluetooth and USB.

Until now, sales of the Cruze have favoured petrol power over diesel, which is surprising considering the 50mpg 2.0-litre diesel’s first-class flexibility. Mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, it can hit 60mph in 8.3sec and go on to 127mph (9.1sec and 129mph with the six-speed auto ’box). Come 2012, the Cruze will be available with a 1.7-litre diesel engine, which should prove popular.

At motorway speeds, the cabin is surprisingly hushed, more so than in the petrol-driven versions. And the steering is light and precise and works well with the composed chassis. The ride is firm but never uncomfortable.

Should I buy one?

For the money, there’s much to like about the Cruze. Although it isn’t as polished as its main rivals, you’ll save thousands on the purchase price.

Alex Kertsen

Chevrolet Cruze LTZ 2.0 VCDI

Price: £17,795; Top speed: 127mph; 0-62mph: 8.3sec; Economy: 50.4mpg (combined); C02: 147g/km; Kerb weight: 1480kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 1998cc, turbodiesel; Power: 161bhp at 3800rpm; Torque: 265lb ft at 1750-2750rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
9

20 July 2011

Having driven a small petrol engined automatic variant of this I can honestly say the two things needed to make it a genuinely good car were a bigger engine and manual box.

The diesel tested here has some pretty appealing figures, I would honestly consider one of these if I was looking for a new car of this size. It seemed bigger than a focus / astra sized car to me too, more like mk3 mondeo size.

20 July 2011

I really don't see any problems with Chevrolet selling this car at all. It is tidy looking, reasonably dynamic and a good price.

The biggest issue I can see is for Vauxhall and this car stealing the Astra's sales. This car is so closely related to the Astra in both mechanics and interior fitting that private buyers will be voting with their pounds rather than their brand loyalty.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

Anonymous

20 July 2011

Seems like a very good car and offers impressive value for money. For me, the only blip is the rear end. I think it looks quite ugly compared to the saloon. Other than that, it should seriously be considered if your thinking of buying an Astra or Focus as you get a lot more for your money compared to them.

21 July 2011

Interior looks extremely impressive, nothing budget about it at all. I would certainly consider one. Hopefully this will be the car that helps them lose them the "rebadged Daewoo" image they have been saddled with the last few years (since they started rebadging Daewoos lol)

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

21 July 2011

Good car, good price. What more could you ask for? Thumbs up.

21 July 2011

Looks decent enough, and should be a good fallback option when one is obliged to hire a car in the USA.

21 July 2011

The biggest worry for the established manufacturers will be it nicking bottom end sales off Vauxhall Astra, there might always be the threat of this being GM's European arm in the event of Opel & Vauxhall being sold off.

21 July 2011

Shame, I think the saloon is quite good looking.

  • If you want to know about a car, read a forum dedicated to it; that's a real 'long term test' . No manufacturer's warranty, no fleet managers servicing deals, no journalist's name to oil the wheels...

21 July 2011

[quote Autocar]

Until now, sales of the Cruze have favoured petrol power over diesel, which is surprising considering the 50mpg 2.0-litre diesel’s first-class flexibility.

[/quote]

Not at all. Look no further than the price guide Autocar publish alongside their article and you'll find the answer. I'd suggest most buyers of this car will be private therefore costs are everything:

If you want a LT spec car, 1.6 petrol £14900, 2.0 diesel £17200

If you want a LTZ spec car, 1.8 petrol £16100, 2.0 diesel £17800

That's some advantage the petrol has. The diesel will only achieve 7mpg more than the 1.6 and 8mpg more than the 1.8 - Co2 levels are pretty similar as well.

As a private buyer doing a typical 10k per year, the diesel makes no sense. This car is crying out for one of GM's new eco friendly 1.7tdi units.

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