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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For You'll get good value for money, decent looks and plenty of equipment

Against Unfortunately, you'll also get a below-par driving experience and a lack of cabin refinement

Verdict It's an affordable small family car, but it's definitely not for the driving enthusiast

Go for… 1.6 SX

Avoid… 1.4 and autos

Chevrolet Lacetti Estate
  • 1. The boot is large but no match for a Focus estate's
  • 2. Check the bodywork for damage and look for misaligned body panels
  • 3. Ensure that the seats, locks and switchgear are all in perfect working order
  • 4. The rear seats on all models split and fold to increase the load bay
  • 5. An automatic gearbox isn't available on the estate, so a manual it is, then
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Chevrolet Lacetti Estate full review with expert trade views

Born in 2004 as a Daewoo and rebranded in 2005 as a Chevy, the Lacetti is a mid-sized family car that’s slightly smaller than Ford’s Focus. It is good value and has a splash of style, too, having been designed by Italian studio Italdesign.

The range was available initially as a hatchback and saloon, and this estate was introduced when General Motors rebranded the range as Chevrolet. Like any Lacetti, it's reasonably practical, with generous rear legroom and a large boot. The rear seats split and fold, but overall it's still no match for a Focus estate.

The cabin design is straightforward, with a good, adjustable driving position and plenty of stowage.

On the road, the Lacetti is reasonably comfortable, but doesn’t like being hustled through corners. On top of that, the transmission isn't terribly smooth, the steering lacks feedback and the gearbox is far from slick. Refinement is disappointing, too, with plenty of engine and wind noise in the cabin.

Trade view

John Owen

Take this Chevy to the levee

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

You won't have a lot of choice when you're buying a Lacetti estate, as the range never included more than two models - and even that was eventually trimmed to just one.

The one constant through the car's life was the 1.6 SX. Still, that has everything you need, including air-con, alloy wheels and electric windows all round. Like all Lacettis, it comes with power steering, central locking and a CD player.

You might also track down the short-lived 1.8-litre model, which came only in Sport trim. However, apart from a few extra horsepower, a slightly quicker 0-60mph time, traction control and a sporting bodykit, there's not a lot to choose between it and the basic 1.6-litre car.

Of the two, we think the basic car is the better buy. It doesn't feel that much slower than the 1.8 on the road, and gives you everything that's good about a Lacetti estate for the least expense.

You'll find plenty of Lacettis in the Chevrolet dealer network and the small ads.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Chevrolet badge didn't help - saloons drop most value

James Ruppert
Used car guru

One of the Lacetti’s strongest points is value for money, which is bolstered by a generous three-year servicing, warranty and recovery package from new.

Insurance won’t be a big worry, even if the Lacetti ranks a group or two higher than Ford’s Focus. The 1.6 SX is group 7, while the 1.8 falls into group 9.

You’ll fare respectably at the pumps, too. The 1.6 and 1.8 return 36.2 and 38.1mpg respectively.

As an example, a typical 1.6 SX is slightly cheaper per mile to run than a more expensive Focus 1.6 LX or similarly priced Kia Cerato LX, but servicing costs – when you do finally have to pay them – can be around 30% more expensive than the Ford’s. They’re still cheaper than the Kia’s, however.

Trade view

John Owen

Take this Chevy to the levee

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

As with any used car, the Lacetti requires a keen going over. From the top down, check the bodywork for damage and look for misaligned body panels, which may indicate a crash repair. Look at the exhaust for signs of excessive rusting, and at the alloy wheels for damage. Inside, check that the seats, locks and switchgear all behave as expected.

Previous Daewoos have fared badly in JD Power’s customer satisfaction survey, and in the 2005 and 2006 reports, Daewoo ranked below average. No news is in yet on whether the Chevy rebranding will improve things, but many expect the change to have a beneficial effect.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Chevrolet badge didn't help - saloons drop most value

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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