Why not go on a pleasure Cruze?

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Introducing a five-door model to the Cruze range was a logical step that Chevrolet just couldn’t afford to overlook and the hatch is a well-finished and handsome addition to the line up.

It’s priced aggressively, although it really is worth ignoring the rather nasty petrol engines and viewing the diesel engined models as the entry-level cars.

No, they don’t justify their cost premium purely in terms of fuel savings, but unless you want a car that’s just going to be used to trundle to the shops, the driving benefits of the diesel engine are well worth springing the extra for.

There’s little that’s particularly innovative about this car but what is perhaps most impressive is getting this practical car with the huge quantity of kit that LTZ Executive trim level brings and the punchy 2.0-litre diesel engine for less than £20,000.

This nets you cruise control, electric windows all round, a multi-function trip computer, parking distance sensors, Bluetooth, a USB port, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, an electro-chromatic rear view mirror, 17-inch alloys, aluminium-effect trim on the instrument panel, leather trim, satellite navigation and heated front seats. To put that into perspective, even the base Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi diesel is £200 pricier.

The Cruze is the sort of car that makes sense if you value in-car equipment over investment in, let’s say, a complicated multi-link rear suspension setup.

I think a decent number of customers might. Will this help to drive down the average age of Cruze customers? That remains to be seen.

FACTS AT A GLANCE

CAR: Chevrolet Cruze hatchback (pictured)

PRICE: £13,995 - £20,295

INSURANCE GROUP: 14-22

CO2 EMISSIONS: 147-174g/km

PERFORMANCE: [2.0 VCDi] 0-60 8.2s / top speed 127mph

FUEL CONSUMPTION: [2.0 VCDi] (combined) 50.4mpg

STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Electronic stability control, ABS with brake assist, twin front and side airbags

WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: Length/Width/Height mm 4510/1797/1477.