How much impact will the golden bow have on the former Daewoo’s sales? Year-to-April Chevrolet and run-out Daewoo combined figures (3,917 and 2,383 respectively) show an 8% uplift in a market down more than 6.5%.
That’s not just due to the badge – the Lacetti range has been extended to include Station Wagon (i.e. estate) and Sport variations. But it’s the four-door saloon that is attracting most interest.Starting at £10,495 to compete against rivals like Kia Cerato and Suzuki Liana, our £11,995 1.8-litre top-spec CDX offers respectable performance and is loaded with equipment.
It’s designed for families, offering generous leg space front and back and a fair sized boot. The company says one of the key attributes is the car’s ability to “take long trips in comfort” and after a 440-mile round-trip from London to Scarborough, we’d agree (not least because on the motorway there’s less need to use the rather wallowy gearstick).
The seat position is better than on some premium cars, and offers excellent back support and head restraint.
There are niggles, however, which cannot be excused even allowing for the car’s budget positioning. Interior trim is flaky – the plastic drinks holder popped out on first use – while the fuel cap is very tough to unwind.And with budget cars appealing to many older buyers, that’s a problem.
Worse still is the back end build quality: press down on the boot when closed and it moves a good few millimetres. We had to slam it shut a few times just to make sure that it was actually closed.
If customers can live with these faults – and it’s possible that our car is not representative – then the Lacetti is a sharply styled, well-equipped option that delivers on family values.