Chevrolet Tacuma Estate 2005-2008

Chevrolet Tacuma Estate 2005-2008

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Spacious and practical with 5 full-size seats
  • Cheaper than similarly-sized French alternatives
  • High level of standard equipment

Cons:

  • Thirsty petrol engines and no diesel option
  • Copycat exterior design
  • Dull interior with parts falling off
  • Not enjoyable to drive

Overview

Chevrolet is often associated with muscle cars and large comfortable sedans. Lately, a string of budget cars have been rebadged as Chevrolets changing the perception of the brand, at least in Europe. The Tacuma started its life as a Daewoo, but after Chevrolet took over in 2005, the car was rebadged to bear a Chevrolet emblem. The new badge doesn’t mean that the European Chevrolets are as exciting as the muscular models offered in the USA. The Tacuma is an average 5-seater family MPV attracting customers mainly due to its low price and good reliability record.

Exterior and Interior

This is one of the many variations of the age-old theme "How to build a car that looks like a Renault Scenic". If the Nissan Almera Tino is a forgivable effort (considering they’re in an alliance with Renault), the Tacuma’s appearance is bordering on plagiarism. The car was designed by Pininfarina and you have to be wondering, what were they thinking? Similarities aside, the car still looks more Korean than Italian. Although the visual appearance of the car is acceptable, it’s certainly not the best of Pininfarina’s designs. The interior was designed by an in-house team and it tells. The lines are outdated and dull. It’s the usual Korean build quality, meaning that the interior items will rattle and the door locks will squeak. On a positive note, the SX and CDX trim levels are surprisingly well equipped. They feature natural leather, ABS, climate control system and other extras. The CDX gets alloy wheels, a car audio system and four airbags. The overall impression of the higher-spec models is totally ruined by the horrible fake-wood inlays.

Performance and Economy

Green motoring enthusiasts shouldn’t read any further. The Chevrolet Tacuma is not an environmentally friendly car. Although one of the trims is named CDX suggesting that it might be a diesel, it is not. Its dated petrol engines are thirsty and produce excessive CO2 emissions. The smaller 1.6-litre engine delivers 35mpg while the heartier 2.0-litre unit peaks at 32mpg. Neither of the figures are competitive if you compare it with French MPVs. Paying a premium at a petrol pump can be justifiable if you’re driving a high-performance car offering you excellent and breathtaking handling quality. The Tacuma is not too dynamic so you have to decide if you want to pay more for the fuel. Performance-wise, both engines offer a reasonable power rating. They are very average but they can do the job even when the car is fully loaded. Generally, anything over 100 horses is enough for a medium-sized family car and with Tacuma there’s a choice between a 105bhp and 120bhp engines.

Like to Drive

It’s not at all pleasant to drive. You try to remind yourself that you bought this car because of the low price and high practicality, but the disappointment never leaves. Handling is inaccurate and the gearbox is awkward and sticky. Pray that the parking sensors are included in your trim level, without those it’s really difficult to park. Because of the strangely-shaped body, you can never quite understand where your rear bumper is. Although the passenger seats are comfortable, it’s not a driver’s car. The driver’s position is awkward and the controls are scattered around.

Faults and Repairs

Beside the practical value, reliability is another reason why Tacuma is a good buy. The car came with 3-years warranty suggesting that the company was confident about the build quality. Indeed, the Chevrolet Tacuma rarely goes wrong. The mechanical parts are sturdy and built with longevity in mind. Most complaints are related to loose interior parts and faulty electronics.