Can the new Chevrolet Sail U-Va challenge the Maruti Swift?

The Chevrolet Sail U-VA has been priced neck and neck with the Maruti Swift, with some of the variants providing more value than the Swift. But will it really change the way things are in the market? The Maruti Swift is the current leader in the premium hatchback space and it will take considerable effort from General Motors for the Sail U-VA to be able to even dent its market share.

CarToq takes a look at the key selling points that the Sail U-VA brings to the race in comparison to the Maruti Swift. Also read: General Motors launches Chevrolet Sail U-VA

sail vs swift

Where the Sail U-VA is better

Safety and features

The Chevrolet Sail U-VA places safety better than what Maruti does with the Swift. It offers all its diesel variants with a driver’s airbag, with the top end variant getting two airbags. The mid and top-end variants get ABS with EBD. Among petrol variants as well, all except the base get a driver’s airbag and the top-end getting passenger airbags as well.

In terms of features too, the Sail U-Va manages to better the Swift, with all variants offering a tachometer, power windows, central locking and power mirrors. In the Swift, only the top-end variant and mid-variant get power mirrors and tachometer. The Sail also offers Bluetooth phone connectivity which the Swift does not offer.

Interior space and comfort

The Sail U-VA is clearly much larger than the Swift on interior space. It has much better legroom in the rear-seat than the Swift. It also has a larger boot than the Swift at 248 litres compared to 210 litres for the Swift. Those looking for a spacious car for four and five at a squeeze would prefer the Sail U-Va over the Swift. With a larger wheelbase and softer suspension setup, the U-VA is a more comfort oriented car.

Engine performance

The Swift has a peppy 1.2 litre petrol engine that puts out 86 bhp (87PS) of power and 114 Nm of torque. The Sail U-VA matches that at 85 bhp (86PS) and 113 Nm of torque, both with five-speed manual transmissions. Among the diesels, both cars use the same 1.3 litre multijet diesel engine, although General Motors has managed to tweak and tune it for more power in the Sail U-VA at 77 bhp and 205 Nm of torque, compared to 74 bhp and 190 Nm of torque in the Swift. The petrol Swift is better, but the diesel U-VA definitely has a fighting chance.

Warranty and maintenance coverage

What is a selling point for the Sail U-VA is the kind of warranty coverage that General Motors is offering. The Sail U-VA comes with a five-year engine and transmission warranty valid for 1.5 lakh km. It also gets a bumper-to-bumper 3 year warranty valid for 1-lakh Km. And General Motors is also offering a three-year maintenance package (valid for 45,000 km) on the car. These are good points to consider for any buyer, and are better than Maruti’s warranty coverage on the Swift.
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Where the Swift is better

Driving and handling

The Maruti Swift has always been one of the driver’s favourites and continues to be one of the better performing cars in its segment. We have not yet test driven the Sail U-VA, but going by initial reports the petrol car is not really a thrill to drive, although it probably has better ride comfort than the Swift. Among diesels, the Sail U-VA may have an edge over the Swift.

Brand and service network

There is no beating Maruti’s service network. The company has the largest service network in the country and that’s something that General Motors will take a long time to match up to. In the metros it won’t really make much of a difference as both have a presence, but in tier II and rural areas, Maruti clearly has a dominant position.

What we think

While the Chevrolet Sail U-Va and Maruti Swift may have their share of fans – we’re not even looking at looks and design here, as both have their plus and minus points – the Swift will continue to sell on the back of the Maruti brand and its extensive reach. The Chevrolet Sail U-VA will appeal to those who are looking for a spacious car with decent performance, especially the diesel. But can it challenge the Swift? Not really, but it may sway a few buyers from the Swift as well as other brands, especially in larger cities. Also read: Is the Chevrolet Sail U-VA overpriced?

Share your thoughts on the Chevrolet Sail U-VA vs the Maruti Swift.