Chevrolet Cruze 1.8i LTZ hatchback - CHEVROLET CRUZE Car Review

Review

Added: 23 Oct 2011
Last update:

MY earliest recollection of the name Chevrolet came as a teenager on visits to the cinema.

This was the early 1950s when American cars were also stars of the silver screen and the likes of Chevrolet Bel Air and Chevrolet Stylemaster Convertibles boasted silhouettes to drool over which were simply dripping with chrome.

On today’s motoring scene the Chevrolet organisation has a great deal to offer in the showrooms and I recently tried one of its latest members to test the quality of the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback.

The Chevrolet Cruze saloon arrived in 2009 and has sold well and there is every indication that the new hatch model will follow suit.

Throughout Chevrolet’s 100th birthday celebrations the five-door Cruze hatchback is a key model, the newcomer being offered in three trim levels, LS, LT and LTZ, plus, there is a choice of a brace of petrol engines and one diesel with the promise of further engine variants to follow including a smaller capacity oil burner.

The entry level LS model with a 122bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine features a hugely generous array of standard kit including air con, remote locking, electric front windows, follow me home headlights, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors plus a quality radio/CD player with auxiliary input.

Driven here is the LTZ model which comes with a 1.8i 139bhp petrol engine paired with a five-speed manual gearbox.

Standard kit at this level adds the likes of cruise control, electric windows all round, parking distance sensors, steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth, automatic headlights, a USB port and rain sensing wipers.

Settle into the comfortably supportive seating and opening up before you is a cabin of great quality.

This is an interior with a high spec finish. It also boasts a feeling of durability looking well able to withstand the knocks and bumps usually brought on board via youngsters and their toys.

Instrumentation is nicely positioned within reach of the driver and, while padded armrests are a thoughtful addition, plenty of storage options are on offer including a very usable glovebox, central bin and seat pockets.

In addition, while four grown ups, five at a pinch, can be transported in relative comfort, a family style boot shapes up nicely to provide a surprisingly larger than average 413 litres of luggage space which can extend to 880 litres with rear seats folded.

On the road the 1.8i petrol engine showed the Cruze to be a fine motorway cruiser and, nicely stable on twisty counrty lanes,

Standard safety features include six airbags, ABS braking with electronic brake force distribution, electronic stability control and traction control.

Very much a smooth operator, thanks to its racing heritage, the compact Cruze hatchback is a sensibly mature motor.

It offers a fine balance between practicality, style and space with a handsome shape which shows off more than a hint of sports coupe in its make-up led by a neatly sculpted front end sporting Chevrolet’s now legendary bow tie emblem.

FAST FACTS

Chevrolet Cruze 1.8i LTZ 5dr

Price: £16,095

Mechanical: 139bhp, 1,796cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max speed: 124mph

0-62mph: 10.1 seconds

Combined mpg: 42.8

Insurance group: 14

CO2 emissions: 155g/km

BiK rating: 23%

Warranty: 5yrs

Words: Malcolm Robertshaw

Keywords: Chevrolet, Cruze, hatchback, Compact Family Cars, Chevrolet, Cruze, Manufacturers, £15-20,000, 155