BECAUSE we prefer European, preferably German, to American cars, anything with a Chevrolet badge has to offer something more to get us to part with our cash.
The fact that the latest Chevrolet, the Cruze, is actually made in Korea, goes some way to explaining why we get a lot of equipment at a competitve price.
Built on the latest GM platform as used in the new Vauxhall Astra, the Cruze also give buyers new technology as well as value for money.
It’s a pity its only available as a four door saloon when there are good five door hatcback competitors like the Kia Ce’ed and the Hyundai i30, also, incidentally, Korean.
But it also challenges more expensive rivals like the Astra and Ford Focus because of its specification, pricing and impressive build quality.
Engine choices are 1.6 and 1.8 litre petrol and 2-litre diesel. The 1.8 petrol on test with the standard five speed manual box had top LT spec which includes cruise control, rain sensing wipers, climate control anti-dazzle rear view mirror, an upgraded high output stereo with 6 CD changer and rear parking assist.
The standard of interior finish was good with nice, soft touches plastics, upmarket fabrics gave an overall feel of quality.
On the road it feels safe and secure, noise levels are well within acceptable bounds and the 139bhp engine works well, reaching the 0-62 benchmark in 10 seconds.
After a week with the car which included seperate runs from the North east to Skipton and Manchester, I was well satisfied with almost 45mpg, as it is only supposed to give 41.5, according to the official figures – I can only put it down to the feather footed skills of the driver 🙂
Rear leg and head room are acceptable, though tal passengers might find the back seat less comfortable.
There’s a 450 litre boot and 60/40 split rear seat to extend carrying capacity.
Even the cheapest Cruze S costing from £12,245 comes as standard with air conditioning, remote central locking, follow me home lighting, a quality CD radio with auxiliary input socket, electric front windows, a fully adjustable steering wheel and drivers seat, and blue backlit dashboard dials.
The top LT trim in 1.8 petrol costs from £13,845. Satnav is a £750 option.
Its in insurance group 7E and you’d pay £150 excess duty.
I couldn’t find any NCAP safety rating on either the NCAP or Chevrolet websites, but as it has six airbags and ESP as standard and ticks all the required boxes, I would expect full five star ratings for occupant protection.
The Cruzze is a good car at a low price, but the biggest downside is likely to be depreciation in a few years. Amercian badged cars generally have poor resale values.