Chevrolet Cruze LT 2.0 VCDi - CHEVROLET CRUZE Car Review
Added: 30 May 2010
NOT many car makers are immortalised in song – indeed some have never been sung about by anyone - but Chevrolet probably tops the league when it comes to being name-checked in the musical world.
First up was probably the country & western classic ’57 Chevrolet’ and in the ensuing decades Chevrolet has been a favoured focus of lyricists, with such luminaries as Don Maclean, Taj Mahal and ZZ Top having mentioned the marque, arguably giving it the status of the best-known American automotive brand throughout the world.
Of course these days Chevrolets are about as American as Alf Garnett, being manufactured as they are in Korea rather than California.
When General Motors revived a brand with the kind of cachet that can’t be bought, they bestowed it on Daewoo, formerly cheap and cheerful cars from Asia.
It has been something of a success, though there are probably plenty of cynically minded people out there who still balk at the very notion.
While no-one expects people to be flocking to the doors of former Daewoo dealerships to buy what is now a Chevrolet, if you’re a global automotive giant with a selection of well-known and instantly recognisable names in your possession you might as well use them.
The new Chevrolets might be struggling to keep up with the breathtaking pace being set by the likes of Kia and Hyundai, there’s no doubting that Korean cars have come a long way in a short time.
In much the same way as Japanese manufacturers once sought to equal their European rivals, now the Koreans are on the case.
And they’re making progress at a rapid rate.
The Chevrolet Cruze isn’t a bad car it has to be said.
For a start it’s easy on the eye and from some angles even has the look of a small Audi about it.
It’s a small family saloon competing in a market sector dominated by hatchbacks and is always going to be a car aimed at the sort of people who prize value for money above all else.
Some of the interior trim leaves a little to be desired, a sign that this is an area where the Koreans are playing catch-up, but these are minor details when assessing a car that manages to be a reasonable all-rounder.
Its greatest strength is that it’s actually a half decent car to drive.
It handles nicely, has a stiff and sure-footed feel on the road and with the 2.0-litre diesel engine fitted to my test model performed rather well.
It boasts a top speed of 124mph and will take you from 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds.
With a combined economy figure of 50.4mpg it will certainly prove economical to run.
And with an official price tag of £16,045 (a lower powered 125bpp variant is just £14,400) one has to concur it certainly offers value for money – even if it’s unlikely to be sung about.
Chevrolet Cruze LT 2.0 VCDi
Mechanical: 150bhp, 1,991cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 124mph
0-62mph: 8.7 seconds
Combined mpg: 50.4
Insurance group: 10
CO2 emissions: 149g/km
BiK rating: 21%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles
Keywords: chevrolet, cruze