Station Wagon’s Just The Ticket (Chevrolet Lacetti Station Wagon, 2005-2011)

ENGINES - Chevrolet has never been too hot on diesels so it’s a choice of two petrol motors here (1.6 and 1.8-litre), but given the car's modest price the petrol option isn't that bad. If you're into lugging loads, the latter will be better able and quieter when pushed hard.

EXTERIOR - The Lacetti won't turn heads but it does look respectable. Colour coded exterior trim helps to give the car an expensive look. Just make sure said trim decoration is devoid of any parking scrapes.

INTERIOR – the car’s interior is on the bland side and the materials used are of modest quality. Don't worry, it all works as it should, but if you're seeking more sparkle you'd better look elsewhere and prepare to pay more. Cabin space is decent enough and the Wagon's load space is a generous size, plus it's wide and flat.

DRIVING - It won't set your pulse racing, but neither does it feel out of its depth on greasy roads or windswept motorways. The two petrol engines are willing if not hugely powerful by current standards, and the major controls require little effort to operate.

OWNERSHIP - Easy to own and drive, the compact Chevrolet load-lugger is unlikely to disappoint. Boasting proven mechanicals, running costs should be modest and easily offset the car's modest fuel economy. Not that it will be much of an issue if your annual mileage tally is average.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR - On the mechanical front, any unusual noises heard when on the test drive should have you walking away - likewise if you spot any damage or rust. The car’s various electrical gadgets should work, and the air-con should blow icy cold. Kerbed wheels, worn pedal rubbers and soiled upholstery - especially the driver’s seat - could be signs of a hard life, so make sure the service intervals and current mileage looks genuine.

MODEL HISTORY

2005: Chevrolet launches Lacetti range (hatch, saloon, Station Wagon). Engines are 1.4, 1.6 and 1.8 petrol units, although the Station Wagon does without the 1.4. Wagon equipment levels are generous: power steering, CD player, electric windows and mirrors, remote locking, air-con and alloy wheels.

REASONS TO BUY – Good value, spacious and practical load bay, durable.

REASONS TO BEWARE – No diesel option, low-key cabin ambience and trim quality.

PICK OF THE RANGE – Lacetti Station Wagon 1.8 Sport.

WHAT TO PAY

2005 05 1,515

2005 55 1,625

2006 06 1,875

2006 56 2,010

2007 07 2,270

Figures relate to showroom prices for cars in A1 condition.

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