Review: Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon (2012 – 2015)

Rating:

Spacious and usable 1478 litre boot. Well-equipped. Easy to drive. 1.7 VCDi is smooth and quiet. Good value.

Steering is vague. Petrol engines are inferior to 1.7 VCDi diesel. Kia Cee'd and Hyundai i30 offer larger load areas and better quality.

Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon (2012 – 2015): At A Glance

Following the introduction of the Cruze hatchback in 2011 the only missing model in the range was an estate, which is now available. Like most manufacturers, Chevrolet has distanced itself from the traditional estate name, adapting the Cruze SW badge for its more practical model.

It's certainly spacious – with the seats folded flat there’s a generous 1478 litres of boot space, accessed through a nice wide tailgate with no load lip. But while this is enough for hefty items like furniture, both the Kia Cee’d SW and Hyundai i30 Tourer offer larger load areas.

There’s an adjustable and removable rear load cover and a clever shelf behind the rear seats for storing odd bits and pieces, along with a few storage bins at the sides of the boot. Plus there’s a selection of cubby holes under the floor itself - handy for hiding away valuables or carrying smaller items.

The rest of the car is familiar Chevrolet Cruze. It’s solidly screwed together but lacks the soft touch materials seen in more expensive rivals. The centre console is a little bit confusing, with a lot of buttons that are hard to understand. This is made worse when sat nav is fitted – it’s quite hard to get used to. The engines are familiar too – there are 1.6-litre and 1.8-litre petrols but both feel underpowered. The 1.7-litre VCDi diesel is better with plenty of torque.

What does a Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon (2012 – 2015) cost?

Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon (2012 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4681 mm
Width -
Height 1484–1521 mm
Wheelbase 2685 mm

Full specifications

As you’d expect from an estate model, the Cruze SW majors on practicality. The rear seats have decent legroom and there’s plenty of space in the boot for luggage and shopping with the rear seats in place. With them folded down there’s room for bulkier items like furniture, which are easy to load because there’s no lip over which to lift them.

There are also numerous useful cubby holes for storing tools or other odds and ends, along with underfloor storage cubbies for protecting valuable. It’s worth noting that the Kia Cee’d SW and Hyundai i30 Tourer offer more space and a more attractive cabin.

In the front, the plastics are hard but durable and the driving position is good, but the centre console layout is confusingly cluttered with buttons and can take some getting used to.

You’ll want for very little with a Cruze SW. All models come well equipped as standard there’s air conditioning, a split fold rear seat, 12v socket in the boot and ‘follow-me-home’ lights across the board. Top LTZ models come with sat nav and a very handy reversing camera.

Standard equipment from launch (July 2012):

LS models come with steel wheels, rake adjustable steering, front electric windows and air conditioning, 60/40 split folding rear seats, 12v socket in boot, brake assist, stability control, Isofix child seat mounts.

LT trim adds alloy wheels, reach/rake adjustable steering, electric windows all around and cruise control and parking sensors.

LTZ trim adds automatic headlights, rain sensing windscreen wipers, sat nav, reversing camera, Bluetooth and larger alloy wheels.

Child seats that fit a Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon (2012 – 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 Station Wagon (2012 – 2015) like to drive?

Out on the road the Cruze is an undemanding car. It drives the same as the Cruze hatch or the saloon, with a relaxed and secure nature. While it’s not the last word in driver enjoyment it is stable and composed. There’s a little body roll in bends but nothing too serious.

The steering is curiously sensitive to engine choice though. Petrol-powered models have very light, vague steering that really needs a bit more ‘bite’ when turning into a bend, but the extra weight of the diesel engine makes a difference. The steering is still the weakest point of the drive though.

The ride is impressively smooth and comfortable, plus there’s not much road noise regardless of speed. On A-roads and motorways the Cruze is fairly serene and will cruise along nicely. Even over more twisting routes it's adequate if not particularly exciting.

The 1.7-litre diesel engine is versatile thanks to a decent torque figure of 300Nm from 2000rpm. Peak power is 130PS and emissions are 119g/km, while official fuel economy is 62.8mpg. The engine clatters a little at idle and when pushed hard but is otherwise fairly subdued. While it’s far from scintillating, it’s wel suited to the Cruze with enough poke when you need it.

The other two engines in the range are sadly lacking in comparison. There is a 1.6-litre petrol with 124PS and a 1.8-litre petrol with 141PS. Neither are particularly strong – they are coarse and strained when pushed hard and aren't particularly powerful. Economy is reasonable though with a claimed average of 42.2mpg for the 1.8 and 44.1mpg for the 1.6. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.4 50 mpg 14.6 s 134 g/km
1.6 43 mpg 13.4 s 151 g/km
1.7 VCDi 63 mpg 10.4 s 119 g/km
1.7 VCDi 110 72 mpg 12.4 s 104 g/km
1.7 VCDi 130 63 mpg - 117 g/km
1.8 Automatic 39 mpg 11.9 s 170 g/km
2.0 VCDi Automatic 46 mpg 9.4–10.0 s 164 g/km

Real MPG average for a Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon (2012 – 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

84%

Real MPG

26–61 mpg

MPGs submitted

12

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 Station Wagon (2012 – 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

Is the BMW 316i engine powerful enough?

What do you think of BMW 316i? Bearing in mind that I'm not the kind of driver that tends to push the car towards its limit, I'm concerned that the engine is not powerful enough. For example, just for town driving and on motorways, do you feel that the car is crippled when overtaking with the heat or AC on? I've had that particular problem with Chevrolet Cruze 1.6 engine 115PS and it was awful. I've not driven BMW before.
Yes, it's very underpowered.
Answered by Honest John
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