The saloon is only available with either a 1.6-litre or a 1.8-litre petrol engine which produce 108bhp and 121bhp respectively. Neither is particularly good and only offer merely adequate performance - the 1.8-litre is the more popular choice but with the slack automatic gearbox is actually no faster than the smaller engine. With the manual gearbox the 1.8-litre Lacetti can cover 0-62mph in less than 10 seconds, but the gear shift is neither positive nor enjoyable to use.
The Lacetti saloon drives predictably and safely, with the suspension geared more towards comfort than handling agility. It's not a particularly good car on fast, twisty roads and driving on these routes quickly becomes an unpleasant experience. The body leans into corners and the front tyres run out of grip on tight bends. Although body control is poor, the benefit is a smooth ride over rough roads with decent insulation from potholes.
The interior is comfortable but the layout is dull, the plastics feel cheap and the wood trim (available on some models) looks naff. The air conditioning controls are easy to use, although they are placed low down and the aftermarket-style stereo is fiddly to use. Overall it feels dated and as though it was built on a budget. Visibility is fine from the driver's seat though and the driving position isn't bad either.
You can just about squeeze five adults in a Lacetti, although it's far more comfortable for four. The saloon version has about the same amount of rear legroom as the hatchback, but it's still not particularly generous. On the plus side, air conditioning is standard across the range, as well as electric windows. But engine noise isn't that well insulated, and can be intrusive at higher revs, particularly in the 1.8-litre version.
Thankfully the ride comfort is good, with the suspension soaking up most bumps without fuss.