Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi LTZ Exec Auto - CHEVROLET CRUZE Car Review
Added: 24 Mar 2012
WITHIN a comparatively small range, the Chevrolet Cruze packs a big appeal.
Initially launched as a saloon and last year followed by a hatchback, the Cruze runs to 14 variants in three trim levels with a choice of 124bhp and 141bhp 1.6 or 1.8-litre petrol engines and a 163bhp 2.0 turbo-diesel, with five and six-speed manual gearboxes or six-speed automatic transmission.
Even the usual price range of just under £14,000 to almost £20,700 has been massaged by marketing incentives, so you will find them on sale with lower windshield stickers.
They all add up to an initially attractive proposition. And when you drive one it makes even more sense.
The top of the range model is a genuine five seater hatchback with a boot capacity which extends from 413 litres to 883 litres when the back seats are folded.
Access is good through the doors and the fifth door has a low level opening to ease loading with a shallow rear sill over which to lift items.
Driver and passengers have plenty of room, with particularly comfortable front seats but the rear bench lacks shape and support.
Visibility is good with only a comparatively slight blindspot over the shoulder when pulling out but the high tail means you have to be careful not to touch the back when reversing but you have parking sensors to help.
Lights and wipers were good, but the wipers seemed noisy because the car was otherwise fairly quiet.
The powertrain is a good starter and it pulls reasonably well but not with enormous urge and this is reflected in the acceleration figure. Changes are very smooth and slick and it cruises without complaint at the legal motorway limit.
The brakes slow and stop the car without drama or fuss but I would have welcomed a bit more feel to the steering, but the assistance and turning circle were both good for urban use.
Secondary switches were close to hand and operated well, the instruments were basic but clear and easy to read.
Heating and ventilation climate control was straightforward and effective at warming the interior, keeping the windows clear and it was not too stuffy or cold, backed up by four powered windows, and an electric roof is an extra £510. Oddments room was good throughout.
The leather covered seats and suspension combine to give driver and passengers a comfortable ride.
It soaked up bumps and ridges but you could hear how hard it was coping with road noise the most noticeable feature of the whole car. It really does lack insulation in this area.
The Cruze is not an outright sports car but its handling is good for a medium sized hatchback apart from the lack of steering feedback.
The performance is adequate for most uses but you have to ensure you are in the right gear when overtaking and I managed close to 40mpg overall but often saw it head into the mid-30s.
The Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi LTZ Executive Auto is a fairly conventional package which will not cause you a moment's driving concern, while its price and warranty will raise a few eyebrows with the competitiveness and ownership costs.
Against more expensive and less well equipped rivals, the Chevrolet Cruze is a very attractive proposition.
Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi LTZ Exec Auto
Mechanical: 163bhp, 1,998cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox
Max speed: 129mph
0-62mph: 9.8 seconds
Combined mpg: 40
Insurance group: 22
CO2 emissions: 167g/km
BIK rating: 27%
Warranty: 5yrs/ 100,000 miles
Keywords: Chevrolet, Cruze, Family Cars, Chevrolet, Cruze, Manufacturers, £20-25,000, 167