Chevrolet Lacetti 1.6 SX - CHEVROLET LACETTI Car Review

Review

Added: 18 May 2006
Last update:

LET'S cut to the chase - the Lacetti 1.6 SX automatic is a good looking, competent family hatchback that is priced to grab your attention.

If price is paramount and you want something that offers a family hatchback at about the cost of a decent supermini, is well equipped and is competent on the road then this Chevrolet needs serious consideration.

When I first saw the Lacetti on the drive it reminded me of the old Rover 25 with its snub backside and cute lines.

The exterior accommodates a lot of influences as European style and an American icon is incorporated into a basically Korean design.

The big gold Chevrolet crosses sit slightly uneasily on the front and back of the Lacetti - but the price-tag of a shade under £12,000 plus smart alloy wheels and roof rails help ease any aesthetic concerns.

Climb inside and the Lacetti is surprisingly roomy for such a snug-looking motor.

The driving position is good as the seat is fully adjustable while the steering wheel alters for rake and reach and includes controls for radio and CD player.

This proves a plus as the buttons on the music system are tiny and impossible to read while stationary - let alone when driving.

The rest of the centre console arrangement is simplicity itself with everything logically placed and easy to use.

There's a nice little storage compartment in the driver's armrest for keys and mobile phones and there are two cup holders within easy reach of driver and front passenger.

The air conditioning is basic but effective and the vents look stylish while the interior in general benefits from the use of good quality materials.

It may be relatively cheap but the Lacetti still includes nice touches such as sun visors equipped with vanity mirrors and headrests on all seats.

For two passengers in the rear there's adequate leg, head, and shoulder room - but it's a bit of a squash for three adults.

The boot is big enough to handle a couple of suitcases or the family's weekly supermarket shop while the seats split and fold to create more room.

The Lacetti is well equipped with the already mentioned CD player, power steering, central locking and electric front windows.

The SX version of the car I drove adds air conditioning, alloy wheels, powered and heated door mirrors and rear electric windows.

The Lacetti has good levels of safety equipment with front and side airbags and anti-lock brakes fitted as standard. There are also ISOFIX child-seat mounts and the central rear seat gets a three-point seatbelt.

The 1.6-litre petrol engine develops 109bhp which with the aid of the smooth four speed automatic transmission takes the car from 0-62mph in 11.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 109mph.

It's reasonably easy on the wallet returning a fuel economy figure of 34.9mpg.

The car is aimed at buyers who simply want a relatively smooth ride rather than a rally experience so the set up errs on comfort rather than excitement - so don't be surprised if tight fast corners become slow turns as the steering gives little clue to what's happening with the wheels.

But these quibbles tend to be balanced by goodies such as the three year warranty and breakdown cover.

FAST FACTS

Chevrolet Lacetti 1.6 SX 5dr auto

Price: £11,895

Mechanical: 109bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 4spd automatic gearbox

Max speed: 109mph

0-62mph: 11.5 secs

Combined mpg: 34.9

Insurance group: 7

CO2 emissions: 195g/km

BiK rating: 26%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles; 5yrs paint; 6yrs anti-rust

Words: Peter Keenan

Keywords: CHEVROLET, LACETTI