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Chevrolet Cruze estate
Chevrolet’s Astra-based estate looks better than the saloon or hatch. Quietly competent and very good value

 

Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon 1.7 VCDi LTZ 130PS 

Chevrolet car review: LUKE MADDEN

What is it?

DESPITE the connotations with big American gas-guzzlers, Chevrolets in UK and Europe are anything but.

In fact, if you’re a football fan, you’re more likely to have come across Chevrolet as shirt sponsor of Manchester United.

Among the cars that Chevrolet offers company car drivers is the Ford Focus-sized Chevrolet Cruze SW. This is the estate variant of the Cruze family (there’s a hatchback and a saloon in the range).

Chevrolet Cruze estate
Interior feels much better than previous Chevrolets. Smart, well-equipped and quite the grown up car

The Chevrolet Cruze SW is based on exactly the same platform as the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer. It’s got a fairly large 500-litre boot and comes with a choice of four petrol and diesel engines. You won’t find it as sharp to drive as a Ford Focus Estate but the Cruze SW feels refined, grown-up and great value.

The Cruze Station Wagon is available in three trim levels with prices starting from £15,375.

Chevrolet Cruze estate
Smart, practical Focus alternative, but starting at around £2000 less

 

What’s hot?

  • We like the way the Cruze SW looks. Compared to the slightly awkward looking hatch or saloon variants, the SW design works, including Chevrolet’s famous double-level grille and bow tie badge.
  • The interior feels upmarket and well built, with gloss black inserts and brushed metal accents. It’s far from what you’d normally expect from Chevrolet.
    Chevrolet Cruze estate
    500 litres of load space isn’t class-beating, but it’s plenty for most business users
  • The SW is all about practicality and while the 500-litre boot is trumped by the Golf Estate, it’s certainly big enough. Clever touches like a sculpted parcel shelf featuring three separate sections maxmimise usable space, too.
  • A 1.7-litre VCDi diesel engine is the pick of the range and comes with 129bhp. That’s good for a 0-62mph time of 10.4 seconds.
    Chevrolet Cruze estate
    The Cruze is well-equipped for business
  • Refinement from all of the engines is good and the ride is comfortable. That helps make long distance motorway journeys far more bearable.
  • If you do go for the 1.7-litre VCDi engine you’ll get company car-friendly CO2 emissions of 119g/km and 62.7mpg.
  • The Cruze SW is good value, with a generous list of standard equipment but a price that undercuts many of its rivals.

 

What’s not?

  • The Cruze SW’s handling isn’t great. The steering feels a bit vague and light, and there’s a fair bit of body roll in the corners.
  • Both the 1.6-litre and 1.8-litre petrol engines feel too sluggish for every day use. Their running costs are far higher than the diesels, too.
  • And although the 2.0-litre diesel engine feels punchy and smooth, it’s only available with an automatic gearbox. That hampers fuel efficiency, CO2 emissions and pushes up the price-tag – and company car tax you pay.
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