General Motors is one of the largest automobile companies in the world, though of late its stature has reduced from the giant it used to be. GM made its India foray quite a long ago with Opel. This was later followed by Chevrolet which gained decent success too. While Opel was pulled back a long time ago, GM finally terminated the sales of Chevrolet cars on 31st December 2017. During its considerably long operation period in India, GM introduced quite a few models through Opel and Chevrolet brands. A lot those cars now lay forgotten by people as most of them didn’t make it big in the market. Today, let’s take a look at 10 forgotten Chevrolet and Opel cars that were once on sale in the country.
The Opel Astra was GM’s first-ever C2-segment car for India. Launched back in 1996, the sedan had a comfortable cabin loaded with several high-end features. It is said that the Astra is responsible for introducing the acclaimed German build quality to the mass market (yes, Opel is a German manufacturer). Despite being a decent package, the Astra only found a few takers and could never surpass the Honda City or the Mitsubishi Lancer in terms of sales and popularity. Available with both petrol and diesel engines, the most popular variant of this car was the Astra Club which had a sunroof.
Probably the most well-known model by Opel in India, the Corsa was also among the last cars from the company on our shores. The Corsa rivalled the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Esteem and the Ford Ikon. It had an amazing ride quality and came with two petrol engine options – 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre. Though the car became popular, it never reached the sales numbers other cars like the Esteem and the Accent had.
Opel Corsa Swing
Now stations wagons have never been a thing in India and Opel learnt that the hard way with the Corsa Swing. During the phase it was launched, a lot of other manufacturers were also trying their hands on station wagons but none of them succeeded. The Corsa Swing was basically an estate version of the Corsa sedan but with a more spacious cabin and similar great ride quality. While its sedan sibling offered 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrol engines, the Swing was available with the 92 bhp 1.6-litre engine option only. Thanks to its powerful motor, the Swing was capable of hitting speeds in excess of 170 km/h.
Opel Corsa Sail
Another body variant of the Corsa was the Corsa Sail. As already made obvious by the image above, the Corsa sail was a hatchback version of the sedan and was offered at an affordable price of Rs. 4.39 lakh. It came with many features and was quite a premium offering in the segment. The Sail had a 1.4-litre engine that offered 86 bhp. There was also a Sail Sport variant that was powered with a 1.6-litre motor with 103 bhp on offer.
Opel brought the Vectra on our shores in 2002 as a D-segment sedan. The car was pretty much ahead of its time and was powered by a 2.2-litre motor that offered 146 bhp. The Vectra had a really comfortable cabin and was loaded with features but despite that, it didn’t find many takers. The manufacturer even tried to lure some buyers by coming up with a minor facelift that was significantly cheaper but the Vectra could barely manage to find roughly 500 owners.
The Chevrolet Forester sold in India was basically a rebadged version of the Subaru Forester sold in the international markets. The SUV was launched here in 2003 and was powered by an excellent 2-litre Boxer engine that offered 120 bhp and 178 Nm. It probably the only car in India to be sold with a boxer engine. The crossover came across as a premium offering though with a price tag of Rs 16 lakh. As with many other chevy cars, this one too didn’t find many takers.
The Chevrolet SR-V was a hot looking hatchback with a powerful 1.6-litre petrol engine. It was based on the Optra sedan and was larger than most regular hatchbacks back in the day. However, despite being on sale for nearly 5 years, the SR-V failed to gain traction in terms of sales, a major reason behind which was its high price tag of Rs 7 lakh. This made it quite expensive as compared to other hatchbacks of its time.
Chevrolet Optra Magnum
Easily the most powerful mid-size diesel sedan of its time, the Optra Magnum came with a 2.0-litre oil burner that offered a respectable 125 bhp of maximum power and a whopping 305 Nm of peak torque. The Optra Magnum was launched in India in 2007 and was on sale till 2012. While the Magnum did find some takers, it lost the limelight to the Cruze D-segmenter.
The Chevrolet Aveo was a C-1 segment sedan which is often referred to as the logical successor of the Opel Corsa. Just like the Corsa, the Aveo came with 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrol engines and was a pretty powerful sedan. It had a comfortable cabin and while the sedan didn’t set the gold standard in any department, it was the jack of all trades. At its time, the Aveo was a pretty good option for those wishing to buy an Optra but had a lower budget.
A the time when Chevrolet launched the Trailblazer in India, the big SUV became the most powerful SUV on sale in its segment. Carrying typical big American SUV traits, the Trailblazer was powered by a 2.8-litre diesel engine that generates 197 Bhp of maximum power and a huge torque of 500 Nm which made it the quickest SUV in its segment. The SUV also came Android Auto and Apple CarPlay which was something not very common at that time.