Used Car Expert

Chevrolet Kalos 1.2 SE - Chevrolet Kalos Car Review


Added: 09 Feb 2006
Last update: 22 Dec 2009

IN the grand scheme of things I doubt that any Chevrolet Kalos will ultimately become a classic or cult car.

In fairness, I don't think its designer would expect it to either.

I know that Chevrolet makes great play of figures which suggest that over in America, it was the best-selling small car in 2004.

Even so, the SE is uninspiring and sedate. It does the job in the sense that it motors along quite sweetly, but there's no real zip in the acceleration and it doesn't fill you with confidence as far as power is concerned.

You get the feeling that on a busy motorway you would feel "muscled out" by other drivers in bigger vehicles.

It's not a car which you want to throw about either. The ride is fairly smooth and it seems to take minor holes and ruts reasonably well, but the steering seems light and unsatisfactory.

When the engine is revved it sounds harsh and on fast roads the sound is quite intrusive.

Wind and road noise is less of a disturbance, though some can be heard around the screen when travelling at higher speeds.

It's Italian designed and looks quite impressive. The styling looks agreeably contemporary, and comes from the same design studio that produced handsome cars like the original VW Golf and Scirocco, the Alfa GTV, the Fiat Punto, Panda and Uno.

The front end has huge headlights striking in their clear glass lenses with indicators that are arranged almost like eyelashes.

Most people driving the 1.2 will not be bothered about outright performance and therefore the economy figures will be of more interest.

In those stakes it scores highly, ekeing out more than 44mpg on the combined cycle - very satisfying for those who dislike having to pop into petrol stations too often.

Inside is pretty well laid out, although some of the plastics and fabrics look a little dowdy and cheap and the steering wheel and gearknob have a clammy, rubbery feel.

It's just a pity the manufacturers chose these materials. I am sure with just a little more imagination inside the vehicle would be transformed into something with a far brighter, more modern feel.

As it is, I feel this vehicle will appeal to older people rather than young families.

The driving position is good, offering the good all-round vision you would want and expect and the steering wheel can be adjusted.

Most controls are sensibly positioned placed and feature clear, easy-to-use rotary dials. There's a pair of dash-mounted cupholders and headrest-mounted hooks from which to hang shopping bags.

I drove the five-door version and it gives good space in the front, even for taller drivers. The rear seat has reasonable legroom, but I suspect adults will find their heads brushing the roof. However, there's no denying it's a car which is ideally suited to nipping around town.

The boot is small but can be enlarged using the split rear seats to give far more room.

The SE features power steering, anti-lock-brakes, central locking, driver and passenger airbags, electric front windows and an alarm.

Alongside a three-year and 60,000-mile warranty, Chevrolet also offers three years free servicing.


Chevrolet Kalos 1.2 SE 5dr

Price: £7,595

Mechanical: 72bhp, 1,150cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5spd manual gearbox

Max speed: 98mph

0-62mph: 13.7 secs

Combined mpg: 44.1

Insurance group: 3

CO2 emissions: 153g/km

BiK rating: 17%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles; 5yrs paint; 6yrs anti-rust

Words: Andy Richards

Keywords: chevrolet, kalos

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