Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi LT - CHEVROLET CRUZE Car Review

Review

Added: 10 Jul 2010
Last update:

TIME was when the accepted mode of family transport was easily recognisable by the fact that it was usually a four-door saloon.

Although the saloon may no longer be considered a common or garden member of the UK motor world, there are still some around and one of the most recent additions is the Chevrolet Cruze.

Destined, says the US car maker, to be the most important Chevrolet to date, leading the way for a further eight Chevrolet newcomers by 2012, this four-door mid-sized saloon comes with distinctive design pointers aiming to make an indelible mark in the sector for quality, refinement and value for money.

Despite the five-door hatchback being a firm favourite for family car buyers in the UK, a Cruze hatch is not expected here until next year.

On offer to power the Cruze are four engine choices, two petrol in the 1.6-litre 111bhp and 1.8-litre 139bhp units while diesels are two 2.0-litre VCDi engines pulling 123bhp and 148bhp respectively.

Three trim levels, S, LS and LT, are progressively generous, the entry level 1.6 S coming with standard kit which includes air con, remote central locking, 'follow me home' lighting, a quality sound system with CD and auxiliary input socket plus electric front windows, all for a range price opener of a little over £12,000.

While the mid-range LS trim continued to be the range best seller during the first year of sales, driven here is the flagship range topper LT model which comes with leather upholstery, cruise and climate control, uprated sound system, electric windows all round, plus 17-inch alloys.

This car was powered by the 2.0-litre 148bhp VCDi turbo diesel engine paired with a five-speed manual gearbox, although, for a premium of just over a grand, there is a six slot automatic gearbox available for those who enjoy driving the auto way.

The cabin is a comfortable place to be, benefiting from some soft touch vinyls and plastics. The figure hugging front pews move fore and aft in very user friendly fashion and there is some extremely generous leg, height and shoulder room.

In addition, a pretty decent boot provides some 450 litres of stowage space in the neatly squared off luggage bay with all seats taken while some thoughtful storage areas on board include a centre console CD store, oddments tray atop the dash, plus cup and bottle holders.

A comfortable driving position is easily arrived at via height the adjustable driver’s seat and reach and rake adjustment of the steering wheel.

A neatly sculpted dashboard includes some attractive soft blue backlighting which I find decidedly soothing during night driving.

A handsome looker, the Chevrolet Cruze shows up good on the tarmac, its coupe-like outline featuring a sleek roofline while a decidedly muscular front end adds to its attractive profile.

Quiet and smooth on the move while sitting nicely on General Motor’s Delta 2 platform, the Cruze handles attentively. It's nicely stable and a neat handler while there is some good quality comfort and refinement to be enjoyed in all parts when on the cruise - or should that be cruze.

Overall, this is a decent family affair, the 148bhp turbo diesel power source adding more than a touch of individual character to its roadway progress while a well appointed interior endorses its well deserved good value reputation.

FAST FACTS

Chevrolet Cruze LT 2.0 VCDi

Price: £16,045

Mechanical: 148bhp, 1,991cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max speed: 130mph

0-62mph: 8.7 seconds

Combined mpg: 50.4

Insurance group: 10

CO2 emissions: 149g/km

BiK rating: 21%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles

Words: Malcolm Robertshaw

Keywords: Chevrolet, Cruze, Sports Saloons and Hatches, Chevrolet, Cruze, Manufacturers, £15-20,000, 149