Chevrolet Cruze review

Chevrolet Cruze

The Chevrolet Cruze is positioned as the quintessential family car. It takes its place in a long mine of Chevrolet cars in South Africa. Think Bel Air, Biacayne, Impala, Kommando, 3800/4100, Lumina. Chevrolet was at the centre of the car business and had the jingle  “braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet”, to establish its position.

When GM left the country, Delta took over, concentrating on Opel, Suzuki and Isuzu. But now Chevvy is back.

The Cruze completes the basic line-up of the Chevrolet range in SA. From the small Spark, to the Aveo, Sonic, Optra, the SUV Captiva, Cruze sister Orlando and big car, the Lumina. Watch out for the hatchback version, which is on its way.

The Cuze comes with ABS and 4 or 6 airbags, remote keyless entry, air-con, power steering and so on.

The good

The Cruze does what it sets out to do. It provides spacious, comfortable, safe and pleasant transport for a family, with a touch of style. It’s a great car, in its context. It is just a little bigger than the Corolla, which is a good thing, because it does not feel like a small car.

GM have tried hard to get it right, and I think they have succeeded. It is a smart looking car, with clean lines and an uncluttered appearance. The same is true of the interior. The cabin is a pleasant place to be. It is well laid out and well put together. It is slightly let down by some hard plastics.

It has a slightly narrow but biggish 450 litre boot.

Prices of the Cruze range are really good as standard specification is comprehensive.

The bad

GM have made a mistake with the 1.8 automatic model. It is not a happy combination. The box is slow and the set-up is somehow not right. The manual cars are all fine.

Although the overall impression of the interior is good, there are a few bits that disappoint.

Driving impressions

In spite of the reservations about the 1.8 auto the Cruze actually behaves very well on the road. It is set up for comfort so there is a bit of body roll if you push her along but she has no obvious vices. Steering is responsive, brakes work well and the drive is smooth.


The Cruze starts from R197 400 for the 1.6L manual petrol model to R280 100 for the 2.0 diesel. The 1.8 automatic in LT trim is R266 500. There are 5 models to choose from.

Warranty & Roadside Assistance – 5 years/120 000km

Service Intervals – 1 Year/15 000km
Service Plan – 3 Years/60 000km
Anti-Corrosion – 5 Years/Unlimited km

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