I LIKED the saloon version of the Chevrolet Cruze I drove some time ago and the more practical five door hatchback has only enhanced that impression.
The chassis and suspension are well set up so that there’s very little body roll when cornering. And there’s also plenty of grip, giving excellent speed through sharp or shallow bends.
The steering is quite vague and doesn’t give very much feedback but the rest of the handling and the excellent suspension makes it good enough to rival such cars as the Vauxhall Astra or Hyundai i30.
I drove the 130bhp VCDi 1.7 diesel and found it smooth and quiet, with easily enough power for the weight.
It pulls beautifully from low revs and can be exhilarating to drive, with good enough acceleration for swift overtaking.
Reliability is said to be good in the trade and the drivetrains have already been proven in other cars.
In LT trim, the Cruze comes with six airbags, stability control, traction control, electronic brake distribution, 60/40 split fold back seat and a big boot.
The seats are supportive and comfortable on long journeys and although two adults will fit comfortably in the rear, there is room for three on shorter journeys.
Chevrolet Cruze VCDi
Mechanical: 128bhp, 1,686cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 123mph
0-62mph: 9.7 seconds
Combined mpg: 62
Insurance group: 21
CO2 emissions: 117g/km
BIK rating: 17%
Warranty: 5yrs/ 100,000 miles
Main rival: Peugeot 308