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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For The Lacetti represents good value for money, and has decent looks and equipment

Against It delivers a below-par driving experience, and there's a lack of cabin refinement

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

Go for… 1.6 SX

Avoid… 1.4 and autos

Chevrolet Lacetti Hatchback
  • 1. The cockpit is straightforward, with a good, adjustable driving position and plenty of stowage
  • 2. Check the bodywork for damage and look for misaligned body panels
  • 3. Check that the seats, locks and switchgear are all in perfect working order
  • 4. Check the exhaust for signs of excessive rusting
  • 5. Check the alloy wheels for signs of kerbing or other damage
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Chevrolet Lacetti Hatchback 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.

This hatchback and its saloon brother were available from Day One (when it was still a Daewoo), and the estate was introduced when General Motors rebranded the range as Chevrolet. Like all Lacettis, this hatch is reasonably practical, with generous rear legroom and a large boot, with split/fold rear seats.

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 driven hard. 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

With no diesel available, it’s a choice between three petrol engines – a 1.4, 1.6 and 1.8 – each bringing a particular trim level.

The 1.6-litre SX five-door hatchback has everything you need, including air-con, alloy wheels and electric windows all round. It's our favourite model in the range and, like all Lacettis, it comes with power steering, central locking and a CD player.

There's also a 1.8 in Sport trim, with traction control and a sporting bodykit, but it doesn't feel that much quicker than the 1.6 in real life. And, while the 1.4 (which comes in basic SE trim) is an acceptable engine, it lacks the urge of the 1.6. Don’t bother with the automatic gearbox.

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.

Insurance won’t be a big worry, even if the Lacetti ranks a group or two higher than Ford’s Focus. The 1.4 is group 5 or 6, the 1.6 SX is group 7, while the 1.6 Sport and all 1.8s fall into group 9.

You’ll fare respectably at the pumps, too. The Lacetti's claimed fuel economy is in the high 30s mpg for most of the range, with the automatic recording around five miles per gallon less.

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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