From £17,010
Decent budget family car but some rivals are better

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.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
VX220EDDIE 19 November 2009

Re: Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi

this cruze is a huge improvement over the lacetti and its good to see that car gone from chevys line up! i hope future chevrolets will continue to get better! i was very surprised in a recent test drive in a cruze! i hope this car becomes a success for gm (could this be the next reasonably priced car on top gear)

HyundaiSmoke 17 November 2009

Re: Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi

I support Hyundai enough to say we.

qpgkx the unpronounceable, maybe on your side of the pond the Germans have better quality, but my side of the pond the Germans lag behind us in every indicator except: Interiors and tech options.

Though, that will be a different story in 18 months. We will only behind in tech, but guess what?

We make tech for BMW, and VW/Audi. HyundaiMobis just won contracts to be their low cost Korean Supplier: of microchips, ECUs, and other various electronic components. That means that tech gap will narrow to be statistically insugnificant within the next 5 years.

Overdrive 16 November 2009

Re: Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi

HyundaiSmoke wrote:

qpgkx the unpronounceable, and that's quite fine that maybe for the next 10-20 years we are seen as a cheap German Alternative.  We have to create a legacy first.......