Review: Chevrolet Cruze (2009 – 2015)

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Good value for money. Also comes with a six-speed automatic. Decent VCDi diesels. Driver and passenger seats both height adjustable.

Lacks more sophisticated rear suspension of Astra on the same platform.

Chevrolet Cruze (2009 – 2015): At A Glance

The proportions of the body are very pleasing from all angles. And though ‘C Sector saloons aren't offered by many manufacturers, they are precisely what a lot of people want, particularly the recently retired who have got hooked on golf.

It's got everything most people are likely to want, it drives, rides and handles decently, and it's a really good looking car.

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What does a Chevrolet Cruze (2009 – 2015) cost?

Chevrolet Cruze (2009 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4597–4603 mm
Width 1788 mm
Height 1477 mm
Wheelbase 2685 mm

Full specifications

The large 450-litre boot easily swallows two sets of clubs lying sideways in the handy indentations behind of the wheel-arches, with enough space for two compact trolleys tucked away in front of them.

Another unusual but much requested feature is height-adjustable driver and passenger seats across the range, starting with the £11,495 1.6 S model, which also has air-conditioning, electric front windows and electric mirrors.

Sold already? I'll go on. The fascia is nicely styled with the radio controls set sensibly high. There are adjustable cup-holders between the front seats and bottle-holders in the doors. There's enough leg and headroom for three across the back.

Child seats that fit a Chevrolet Cruze (2009 – 2015)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Chevrolet Cruze (2009 – 2015) like to drive?

Out on the road, the steering is light, but with enough ‘feel' to let you know what the wheels are doing. Our 1.6S could hardly be called a tearaway, but it had only done 600 miles, so the engine was still ‘tight'. Handling and roadholding are perfectly safe, and fine for most people's requirements. North West Monsoonal weather conditions ensured we checked that out with due diligence.

In contrast, the 2.0 150PS diesel LT at a rather more money grabbing £15,195 (£3,700 more than the perfectly adequate 1.6S) at first seemed a disappointment. When the engine is relatively cold there's very little pulling power under 2,000rpm and it's reluctant to trickle along at low revs. It improves as it warms up, but the fuel metering is nothing like as precise as a VAG Piezo system and can leave the engine gasping if you leave it in too high a gear when you're turning into a roundabout, for instance.

But eventually I got used to it, and also to its inclination to understeer, which can be countered by letting it move a little bit on its tyres. I guess if I could settle into the car in half an hour, any owner could in a day or two. But I'd still question the wisdom of forking out that extra £3,700 for the benefit of just nine more miles per gallon on the combined cycle. The cheaper, lower spec 125PS version, coming late summer, will obviously narrow this particular gap, of course.

Finally, we got to try the 1.8LT automatic that comes in at £14,695. Though a 6-speeder, it doesn't hunt between gears in the 30 and 40 limits and is pleasant to drive. On the motorway it cruises at the same relaxed 35mph per 1,000 rpm in 6th as the diesel does in its top gear. Its disadvantage, of course, is a relatively high CO2 of 184g/km that puts it in Band J for road tax.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.6 38–43 mpg 10.9–12.7 s 153–174 g/km
1.6 Automatic 36 mpg 12.9 s 184 g/km
1.7 VCDi 110 76 mpg 12.2 s 99 g/km
1.7 VCDi 130 63 mpg 9.6 s 117 g/km
1.8 38–43 mpg 10.0–11.1 s 155–174 g/km
1.8 Automatic 36 mpg 11.5 s 184 g/km
2.0 VCDi 43–52 mpg 8.5–10.3 s 141–175 g/km
2.0 VCDi Automatic 42–45 mpg 9.4–9.9 s 167–177 g/km

Real MPG average for a Chevrolet Cruze (2009 – 2015)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

27–51 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Chevrolet Cruze (2009 – 2015)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Height adjustable passenger seats?

Looking for a normal medium size car two to four years old with height adjustable passenger seat and enough roof height after adjusting, probably to the maximum, for a 6 feet tall passenger. Something like a Golf (?Plus). Don't want SUV's, 4x4 etc. Max Price £10,000. Thanks
The Chevrolet Cruze always had this feature.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What Cars Are Similar To The Chevrolet Cruze (2009 – 2015)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Diesel engine, Economical and Small family.

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What do owners think?

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