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.

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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)

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.......


qpgkx the unpro... 16 November 2009

Re: Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi

HyundaiSmoke wrote:
maybe for the next 10-20 years we are seen as a cheap German Alternative. We have to create a legacy first.
I think you may have a valid point Hyundaismoke. More and more of our technologies are becoming like white goods or disposable units once they are damaged in any way. This is not meant to be a dig at Hyundai or Kia but its the way of modern living. When we were younger if your car needed new parts you just bought them from your local dealer and fitted them, in fact most people my own age have memories of doing just that. Who of the younger generations will be able to do that, even if they wanted to. I fear the motor car as we know it will be gone in the next ten years, only to become the next disposable white goods replaced every time the next fad rolls into town. This is the very market that Hyundai and Kia will dominate as I fear the established higher quality brands such as the Germans will be too slow to change with the next generation of car buyers coming over the horizon. Bring it on.