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Chevrolet Cruze 5dr: Test Drive Review

Date: 09 August 2011   |   Author:

Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £19,110
Key rival: Hyundai i30

At last Chevrolet has a diesel hatchback in the UK's biggest-selling sector, in the form of the five-door 163hp 2.0 VCDi Cruze.

For a budget brand to enter this volume sector with what's a pretty high-powered diesel engine is unusual, with rivals such as Kia and Hyundai preferring to use a 115hp 1.6.

The engine is louder than expected at idle, but quietens down nicely at speed and under acceleration, although it seemed a little lacking in performance in the test cars, which were admittedly fresh out of the factory and not even run in.

It's a shame emissions are high for the sector at 147g/km, especially as Vauxhall's 160hp Astra, with stop/start, is below 120g/km, but Chevrolet promises more efficient models will follow on from what's been a revamp of the entire range in recent times. The firm also points out that a low P11D helps tax payments, even against more efficient rivals.

We drove the top-spec LTZ Executive model that comes complete with satnav, leather and heated front seats, which form the £1500 Executive element of the name. There are also LT and LTZ trim levels for the diesel, with all models getting cruise control, parking sensors, alloys and a leather steering wheel.

The boot out-points all its major rivals at 413 litres and is a nice square usable shape too. Rear legroom is reasonable for the sector, and while most of the interior is nicely designed with decent quality materials, there is some cheaper plastic on the doors that betrays the Cruze's budget roots.

Chevrolet thinks the fleet:retail split for the hatchback will be around 60:40, compared with a more usual 50:50 for the brand.

The five-door Cruze is a decent entry for Chevrolet, but loses out on fleets looking for a budget lower medium model because brands like Kia and Hyundai have lower-power and therefore cheaper models. That leaves it competing as a better-equipped and cheaper alternative to mainstream 150hp diesel hatchbacks. It could be a challenge, but the costs look like they'll stack up for at least some fleets.

Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi LTZ Executive Pack
P11D price£19,110
Model price range£13,775-£19,975
Fuel consumption50.4mpg
CO2 (tax) 147g/km (22%)
BIK 20/40% per month£70/£140
Service interval12,000 miles
Insurance (1-50)group 22
Boot space min/max413/883litres
Engine size/power1991cc/163hp
Top speed/0-62mph127mph/8.5secs
On sale August 2011
Score6 or 7/10
VerdictFirst true fleet
Chevrolet is competent
if not outstanding


First true fleet Chevrolet is competent if not outstanding
6 or 7/10