Chevrolet Cruze: Used buyer's guide

12 Dec, 2013 10:49am Richard Dredge

The Chevrolet Cruze is an excellent-value family car that makes a genuine second-hand bargain

We all like a bargain, and as low running costs become ever more important for hard-pressed motorists, value-focused family cars such as the Chevrolet Cruze are increasingly popular.

Chevrolet Cruze review

With a long list of standard equipment, decent practicality and a good reliability record all part of the mix, buyers don’t mind that this Vauxhall Astra-based saloon, estate or hatchback doesn’t have the polish of more mainstream competitors.

But while you don’t have to search hard to find a barely run-in Cruze for little more than half its original (low) list price, is great value a strong enough reason to buy a used Cruze?

History

The Cruze arrived in saloon form in spring 2009, with a choice of 1.6 or 1.8-litre petrol engines, or a 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel. While the latter came with a manual gearbox only, an automatic transmission was available with the petrol engines.

By September 2009 a 123bhp 2.0 VCDi engine had debuted, while an automatic gearbox was offered on the 148bhp diesel from February 2010. The more practical five-door Cruze hatch arrived in July 2011, with a 161bhp 2.0 VCDi.

The best engine yet – the clean and punchy 1.7 VCDi – was introduced in May 2012. Three months later, the Cruze Station Wagon joined the range.

Alternatives

If value and reliability are key, the slightly smaller Hyundai i30 has a strong warranty and keen prices, and comes as a hatch or estate. So, too, does the Kia Cee’d, plus it has a seven-year warranty. For all-round ability and value, the Ford Focus is hard to beat, but don’t ignore the Vauxhall Astra, Renault Megane or Honda Civic.

Don’t overlook the brilliant Skoda Octavia, either; while it’s pricey, it always performs well in our Driver Power satisfaction survey.

Running costs

Used Chevrolet Cruze engine
Model Insurance group Fuel economy CO2 emissions Annual road tax
1.6 14-15 41mpg 159g/km £175
1.6 auto 14-15 36mpg 184g/km £220
1.8 18 41mpg 159g/km £175
1.8 auto 18 36mpg 184g/km £220
1.7 VCDi 20-21 62mpg 117g/km £30
2.0 VCDi 125 19-20 51mpg 145g/km £140
2.0 VCDi 150 22-23 50mpg 149g/km £140

A high-mileage early Cruze saloon can be yours for £5,000 – but most cars cost at least £6,000. This buys a 50,000-mile 2.0-litre VCDi, a 20,000-mile 1.6 or a 30,000-mile 1.8 saloon. Hatchbacks start at £7,000, while estates are priced from £10,500.

There are slightly more petrols around than diesels, while most Cruzes are manuals; if you prefer an auto, expect to pay £200-£300 more. Hatches are the most common, but saloons and estates aren’t hard to come by.

Read on for what to look out for, Driver Power information and our verdict.

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Cruzes out of Europe.

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