Back in November 2008, we reviewed the Chevrolet Epica, an enigmatic saloon that was part of the American company's push into Europe.
Back in November 2008, we reviewed the Chevrolet Epica , an enigmatic saloon that was part of the American company's push into Europe. And the large saloon did indeed up the ante for not budget, but cost-effective motoring.
The all-new Chevrolet Cruze is in much the same vein and although it is effectively a replacement for the Lacetti, it has more in common with the Chevrolet Epica. Especially when it comes to looks. This is a generalisation, of course because in detail, the two are quite different.
The front end of the Chevrolet Cruze displays a prominent, body-coloured, bar across the upper part of the front grille, onto which, the large, 'bowtie' emblem barely fits. The bar follows the bonnet line, which is not unusual but, the upper part of the grille eats into the bonnet and that is a little different. Depending on the trim level, the edges of the grille are finished in matt chrome giving a distinctive 'face', which is part of Chevrolet's new 'global design'.
Either side of the bonnet, the top, outer corners of the otherwise rectangular headlight clusters, stretch to a point along the side of the lid, above the wheelarches. When viewed from the side, they seem to extend to the base of the window-line, as they follow the contours of the wing. The integrated front bumper has a flexible lower lip which can cope with minor bumps and manages to miss speed bumps. This area houses the optional fog lights in black recesses that compliment the lower grille.
The Chevrolet Cruze is longer and wider than the Chevrolet Lacetti and it shows in the elegant, planted lines that make this four-door saloon look more like a four-door coupe. The car sits low on wheels that fill the arches perfectly and this element, together with the tight shut-lines, adds to the 'up-market' impression.
The idea that the Chevrolet Cruze has ideas above its station is no bad thing and one that Chevrolet was aiming for, but for me, the rear end goes a long way to spoiling the effect. All is well as we follow along the broad, concave shoulder-line that blends into the rear light clusters. However, these large units are in two parts which extend into the boot lid and each section contains a circular moulding. Chevrolet says that this is a traditional element, but it is somewhat garish. The sculpted rear bumper emphasises the size of the taillights and generally this whole aspect is just too fussy.
Chevrolet Cruze Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 VCDi LT|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.7 seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||58.9 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 09/03/10)||£16,045|