2005 Chevrolet Cruze LS 1.3


Underpowered, but decent quality vehicle for the price


No problems have occurred yet with this car.

General Comments:

As with previous year reviews this car's engine is underpowered. We opted for the 1300 cc model due to lower fuel costs - Gas in Japan is expensive!

The vehicle is very light, and is effected by wind due to being slightly higher off the ground than a typical sedan. Tho even with this problem and the heavy winds in Fukushima Japan we haven't had much trouble controlling.

The interior driver and passenger seats are a little high for us tall gaijin (anyone over 160cm) and when you first start to use the car it will feel odd. Unfortunately there is no control to lower the seat vertically. It is quite suitable for 99% of the population in Japan however. I, being 190cm tall have actually gotten used to it. This high seating gives the driver a very good view of the road ahead and to the sides.

Automatic 4WD mode in our model performed extremely well during heavy snow conditions during the past few weeks. I was waiting for the first heavy snowfalls before writing this review in fact. Because the car is fairly evenly weight proportioned driving through deep snow was no problem. This was after installing a set of new Blizzak tires mind you. I don't believe this car will be used for real off-roading.

Handling is adequate, especially considering the nature of the small narrow roadways in Japan's suburbs. It reminded me of the way my old 2000 Golf 1.8T handled - just without the HP kick.

Cabin noise is very low during city driving, and not too bad during higher speed driving.

Turning at different speeds doesn't seem to give me a sense of imminent tipping, it may have been a change from previous model years of the Cruze as I did read people complain about this before.

Tire width seems to be sufficient for the weight and dimensions of the vehicle. Compared to most of the cars here it is actually wider than normal.

The optional 4 way sterio system and Navi (gation) system are a must in an otherwise bare vehicle. Nice additions to this model are heated (driver only) seat, folding side mirrors (almost every car over here has this), and a defrost for said side mirrors.

In closing, if you don't mind the lack of power this car will do quite well for general use and during adverse weather. Most cars over here are rather short on HP anyways so it's not surprising.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th December, 2005

2001 Chevrolet Cruze LX 1.3


A generally reliable car, with a few weaknesses, for driving in Japan


Transmission passing gear needed and still needs adjustment. Slippage when passing speed needed at highway speed.

General Comments:

Good car for city driving although a little wide for some narrow streets.

1300cc is too small for the car if to be used at toll road speeds or in hilly terrain.

Tires are too narrow for a vehicle of this height. Cornering at even very moderate speed give a feeling of pending tip-over. Moderate crosswind also causes instability.

Inside width is very good and overall seating in comfortable for four.

Driver sits high and has very good visibility.

Overdrive light is the opposite of what would be normally expected. "O/D On" light would be more appropriate that "O/D Off" light.

Gasoline near empty warning light is needed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th November, 2004

2001 Chevrolet Cruze 1.3


Nothing yet. Only have had this car for one month.

General Comments:

1300cc engine is too weak for this size (weight) car. Runs fairly well on flat terrain, but slows down on grades.

Seating is good, but a little more comfort is needed.

Driver sits in a high position and has excellent visibility to the front. Rear visibility somewhat poor.

Car bothered by crosswinds due to height and possibly narrow tire treads.

165X65X15 tires do not provide enough stability. Car tends to tip when cornering which gives driver a somewhat uncomfortable feeling.

A good car for flat terrain country in which high winds are not common.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd April, 2003

19th May 2009, 12:29

It runs very well.

2003 Chevrolet Cruze LT 1.3L DOHC 16v


Cute, but slow


Nothing so far, it's a brand new car.

General Comments:

Cute design, but the engine is too weak. If I had the money I would've gone for the 1.5l model. Past experiences with Chevrolet have satisfied me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th February, 2003