Chevy seek­ing to pros­per from United’s glory

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - ROAD TEST - Keith Ward

THE big­gest pre-sea­son football trans­fer this year had noth­ing to do with a star striker.

It was Chevro­let fork­ing out a re­ported $500m-plus to re­place Audi as spon­sor of Manch­ester United.

So when TV cam­eras fo­cus on gum-chew­ing gaffer Sir Alex Fer­gu­son in his pitch-side dugout, or the team’s mil­lion­aire sub­sti­tutes along­side him, they now also pick up the yel­low bow-tie badge of Chevro­let en­graved on the back of the seats.

And that means Andy Hig­gins is, in soc­cer par­lance, “over the moon”. The re­cently ap­pointed man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Chevro­let UK is a life­long United sup­porter, born within a hefty goal kick of the Old Traf­ford sta­dium.

Lit­tle sur­prise then, that the club’s glitzy tro­phy mu­seum at the sta­dium should stage the UK press launch of the lat­est Chevy’s model.

The Chevro­let Cruze Sta­tion Wagon is a five-door es­tate car ver­sion of the Ford Fo­cus-sized Cruze saloon, un­veiled three years ago to be­come the US com­pany’s most suc­cess­ful model, with over 1.3m sold world­wide. From the cen­tral door pil­lars rear­ward, the es­tate is all-new. The rear seat is a fixed bench, with the back­rests split 60:40 to drop for­ward into a fairly flat boot floor ex­tend­ing to 1,650 mm ac­cord­ing to our tape, about aver­age for its class, for an ex­panded ca­pac­ity of nearly 1,500 litres.

There are tie-down points for larger items of lug­gage and a hid­den stor­age com­part­ment un­der the boot floor.

Use­ful in the fairly plain cabin is a split-level glove box. The heav­ily cowled in­stru­ments can be dif­fi­cult to read. Given the sharp im­prove­ment in eastern Europe and Far East com­peti­tors, the South Korean Cruze smacks of a last gen­er­a­tion. The doors and tail­gate clang rather than clunk.

But it car­ries five-star safety cre­den­tials, a fiveyear war­ranty and of­fers most of the lat­est giz­mos. The Sta­tion Wagon range start­ing at £15,375 runs to four engine op­tions be­tween 1.6 and 2.0 litres – two diesel and two petrol – and three trim lev­els.

Stan­dard are air con, elec­tric win­dows and mir­rors, cruise con­trol, six airbags, two-way ad­justable steer­ing col­umn and au­dio con­trols on the steer­ing wheel.

Top LTZ trim in­cludes cli­mate con­trol, Blue­tooth, rain-sens­ing wipers, au­to­matic head­lights, 17-inch al­loys, satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion and rear park­ing sen­sors with re­vers­ing cam­era.

On the road, we tried the new 1.7-litre turbo diesel engine with stop-start as stan­dard. It gen­er­ates an im­pres­sive 130PS and torque of 300 Nm. By stir­ring the six-speed gear­box, tempt­ing a rau­cous note, it can reach 60mph in 10 sec­onds.

With com­bined fuel con­sump­tion rat­ing of 62.7mpg and a CO2 out­put of a tax-friendly 119g/km, it is the most fru­gal unit ever of­fered in a Cruze, al­though the com­puter in our car was record­ing a more mod­est 44.7 mpg.

ON SIDE: The Cruze has be­come the com­pany’s most suc­cess­ful model.

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