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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 definitely not for the driving enthusiast

Go for… 1.6 SX

Avoid… 1.8 CDX

Chevrolet Lacetti Saloon
  • 1. Legroom is generous in the rear
  • 2. The boot is large, and the rear seats split and fold
  • 3. The driving position is good and has plenty of adjustment
  • 4. The steering lacks feedback
  • 5. Don't spend extra cash on a 1.8 model - the 1.6 will do just as well
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Chevrolet Lacetti Saloon 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 hatchback and saloon were available from Day One, when they were badged as Daewoos, and the estate was introduced when General Motors rebranded the range as Chevrolet. Like all Lacettis, this saloon 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 hurried through corners. 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

As in the hatchback, there's no diesel engine in the saloon, so your choice is limited to petrol power. And, with the basic 1.4 confined to the hatch, saloon buyers only have a 1.6 or 1.8 to choose from.

Our favourite model is the 1.6-litre SX, which 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.

There's also the 1.8-litre in luxury CDX trim, which features sat-nav, a CD changer and automatic climate control, as well as leather seats. However, we think you get all that's good in a Lacetti in the 1.6, and the smaller engine doesn't feel that much slower in the real world, so there's no point spending the extra on the 1.8.

There's no choice when it comes to the gearbox. Although other Lacettis can have an auto 'box, it's manual only on the saloon. Mind you, that's no bad thing, as the automatic gearbox isn't worth bothering with.

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 1.6 SX is group 7, while the 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.

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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