So we’ve been driving a Chevrolet Sail U-Va around for a couple of days and there are some things this car makes you realize only after you’ve lived with it for a bit. Sure, it’s not the most attractive car out there, and probably not the sportiest either, but it’s got something that other premium hatchbacks don’t quite have. It’s strange why this car isn’t catching on as it should, considering it’s the largest- selling car in China. Also read: Chevrolet Sail U-Va road test and review
Of course, there are also a few downsides and it’s not the perfect car. GM has also realized that and has “right priced” the Chevrolet Sail U-Va recently, while adding a new base variant to the diesel line up priced very attractively at Rs. 5.29 lakh ex-showroom Delhi. It now has eight variants – four petrol and four diesel. Also read: Chevrolet cuts prices of Sail U-Va
Now here are five reasons why you should consider a Chevrolet Sail U-Va, especially if “value for money” is one of your key priorities.
Better space and comfort than most
The Chevrolet Sail U-Va ranks among the best in premium hatchbacks when it comes to interior space. This car has more space than some mid-size and entry level sedans in terms of seating space. Rear seat space, for instance, is comparable to the Toyota Etios Liva and Honda Jazz. The seats are a bit firm, but give you ample legroom, kneeroom and head room. The front seats are not height adjustable, but they are already quite high set. Plus lower back support is quite good with firm cushioning. The car has a decent 248 litres of boot space, which can be extended to 1,134 litres with the split (60:40) folding rear seats. This gives it more luggage capacity than the Maruti Swift.
So if you are looking for a spacious car with comfortable seating for five compare this with the Toyota Etios Liva and Tata Vista. Also read: Chevrolet Sail U-Va vs Toyota Liva vs Ford Figo
Good warranty and maintenance package
A key selling point of this car is the incredible warranty that General Motors is handing out with the car. You get a five-year warranty on the engine and transmission, valid for up to 1,50,000 km. You get a pretty comprehensive three-year warranty on the entire car, valid for up to 100,000 km. The Maruti Swift offers only 80,000 km warranty. And then there’s the maintenance package, which would please those bothered about service costs. Chevrolet charges Rs. 19,500 for a three-year maintenance package (valid up to 45,000 km), which covers all service charges, parts and labour. It also has a “Chevrolet Promise”, which you can avail if you don’t pick up the maintenance package. Here any charges for regular service over Rs. 25,000 are reimbursed to the customer, subject to some terms and conditions.
Safety and convenience features at affordable price
If you are keen on safety features at an affordable price, the Sail U-Va tops the charts here. It offers a driver’s airbag as standard on six variants out of the eight. The top two variants also have passenger airbags. Other car makers offer airbags only on the top-end variant. The top four variants (two petrol, two diesel) also get ABS as standard. And then there’s the Bluetooth integrated music system that’s rather simple to use for streaming music or making calls on the top four variants. All variants get power adjustable mirrors.
And then there’s the price. The LS-ABS diesel mid-variant, which has ABS, one airbag, Bluetooth is priced at Rs. 5.90 lakh ex-showroom Delhi. The comparable Maruti Swift VDI, which does not have airbags or Bluetooth is priced at Rs. 5.99 lakh. The Sail U-Va LS ABS is slightly cheaper than the Ford Figo Titanium diesel as well and offers comparable value.
The base diesel 1.3 Sail U-Va is priced at Rs. 5.29 lakh, a good Rs. 30,000 cheaper than the Maruti Swift LDI. The base Sail U-Va offers power mirrors, tachometer and two power windows, features that the base Swift does not have. Also read: Chevrolet Sail U-Va vs Maruti Swift
Ride quality is among the best
GM has managed to get a good balance between ride and handling in the Chevrolet Sail U-Va. It does have a fair amount of body roll in corners if driven hard, but that’s not the way this car is meant to be driven. Under normal driving conditions, this car soaks up potholes and bumps very easily without upsetting passengers. You can confidently drive over rough roads without getting tossed around, even in the rear seat, and that’s a good thing. Plus the cabin is fairly well insulated and suspension noise does not intrude, unlike say a Honda Jazz or Toyota Liva. The ground clearance is also adequate at 168 mm for the diesel. It’s almost as good as the Fiat Punto.
Diesel variant feels refined and has good drivability
The diesel 1.3 litre engine is the same as the one used in the Maruti Swift, Fiat Punto and Tata Vista. However, GM has tweaked this engine to deliver more torque (205 Nm compared to 190 Nm for the Swift) and slightly more power (77 bhp compared to 74 bhp for the Swift) and the results are good. Peak torque develops from 1750 rpm and it has less of a turbo-lag compared to the Swift. One can smoothly pick up from 50 kmph to 80 kmph in fifth gear without a fuss. At cruising speeds the engine is silent and refined.
What could be better
Now that GM has right-priced the Chevrolet Sail U-Va there are some things that can be forgiven for not being the best, but still these are areas of improvement. The plastic quality for instance does not feel plush and premium. It’s quite hard to the touch – quite like the Toyota Etios Liva. The overall design of the car too is not outright attractive – the front is quite stylish and contemporary, but the rear is bland and a bit too boxy. Plus things like climate control in the top-end variant could have improved its prospects. Also see: Chevrolet Sail U-Va walkaround video
Share your thoughts on the Chevrolet Sail U-Va. What do you think GM should do to give this car a better chance in the market?