In the short time it has been on sale, the Chevrolet Cruze has already picked up an enviable reputation for delivering class leading value for money, as well as excellent driving dynamics and low running costs.

And now it looks set to build on those strengths further, with the arrival in showrooms of a new powertrain that makes owning a diesel-engined Cruze more affordable and accessible than ever.

The new 125PS VCDi powerplant complements the range-topping 150PS unit, and starts from only £13,745 on-the-road.

It delivers impressive performance, with 0-60mph attainable in 10.3 seconds and a top speed of 122mph, yet at the same time it offers excellent fuel economy, with a combined mpg figure of 51.4. This increases to 61.4mpg on the extra-urban cycle, with an urban economy figure of 40.4mpg. CO2 emissions are 145g/km, meaning an annual road tax bill at current rates of £125.

In entry-level S trim, the Cruze is still comprehensively equipped, with air conditioning, electronic stability control, a CD-radio with auxiliary input socket, front electric windows, remote central locking, body-coloured bumpers, Thatcham approved alarm and electrically adjustable heated door mirrors.

The 125PS engine is also available in the Cruze LS, which adds even more to the standard equipment list – at £14,345, it is still significantly cheaper than many manufacturers’ entry level compact family cars, yet comes with electric rear windows, 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome grille surround, rear park assist, steering wheel audio controls and a leather-covered steering wheel and gearknob in addition to the standard kit on the S.

Both models are available from retailers now.