General Motors has launched the Chevrolet Sail U-VA hatchback in both petrol and diesel variants to replace the old Aveo U-VA. The Sail U-VA comes in seven variants (four petrol and three diesel) and is priced at Rs. 4.44 lakh to Rs. 6.62 lakh . It is available in seven colours.
Chevrolet Sail U-VA Base: Rs. 4.44 lakh
Chevrolet Sail U-VA LS: Rs. 4.83 lakh
Chevrolet Sail U-VA LS (ABS): Rs. 5.18 lakh
Chevrolet Sail U-VA LT: Rs. 5.57 lakh
Chevrolet Sail U-VA 1.3 LS: Rs. 5.87 lakh
Chevrolet Sail U-VA 1.3 (ABS): Rs. 6.19 lakh
Chevrolet Sail U-VA 1.3 LT: Rs. 6.62 lakh
The pricing of the Sail U-VA is directly targeted at the segment leader, the Swift, with the car actually being slightly cheaper when you compare top-end variants, and at a par in the mid and lower variants.
The Chevrolet Sail U-VA will compete in the premium hatchback segment with cars like the Maruti Swift, Ford Figo, Hyundai i20 among others, and it GM really has its task cut out if it wants this car to be a best-seller. Fortunately for it, GM too now has the tried-and-tested 1.3 multijet diesel engine from Fiat in the U-VA diesel. This is the same engine in the Fiat Punto, Maruti Swift, Maruti Ritz, and Tata Vista, and this should give the U-VA some decent traction in sales too. GM has also upped the safety factor by adding airbags on all diesel variants and on three petrol variants, and also power by increasing output on the 1.3 litre diesel motor.
Old-school looks and design
The Sail U-VA has been developed in association with General Motors Chinese partner SAIC and is really not the best-looking car there is. The design overall is rather bland and understated. The front looks fresh thanks to the Chevrolet’s trademark grille and bow-tie logo, with swept back headlamps. If you look at the car in profile, it has a rather large overhang in the front and the rear looks too abrupt, although it is a fairly spacious car. The tail-lamps design and boot of the U-VA look pretty old school and not that attractive.
Fit and finish is decent overall, although the plastics look fairly cheap and feel hard to the touch. The design of the dashboard is a dual “cockpit” style, and looks fairly busy. Power window switch placement is rather odd, in a straight line in front of the gear-lever. It has one of the longest wheelbases among premium hatchbacks at 2465 mm, with a total length of 3946 mm. Also read: Top 6 premium hatchbacks with the most rear legroom!
Smart engine choices
What is the Chevrolet Sail U-VA’s redeeming factor is the choice of its engines. It comes with a 1199 cc petrol engine that puts out 85 bhp of power at 6000 rpm and 113 Nm of torque at 4400 rpm and a 1248 cc diesel engine that puts out 77 bhp of power at 4000 rpm and 205 Nm of torque at 1750 rpm. Both come with five-speed manual transmissions. On paper, the Sail U-VA can compete head to head with the Maruti Swift and Hyundai i20. This will work well for GM when buyers do a head to head comparison.
Average comfort, added features, better space
The cabin of the Chevrolet Sail U-VA is quite spacious, but the seats don’t seem supportive enough. Legroom and shoulder room is good, although headroom at the rear is a bit compromised. Boot space is better than the Swift at 248 litres and is fairly spacious for its class, but not as much as the Figo, i20, Polo or Punto.
In terms of features, the top-end Sail U-VA LT offers two airbags and ABS, an integrated music system with Aux-in and USB and Bluetooth phone connectivity, power windows, power adjustable mirrors, speed-sensing door locks, but does not offer steering audio controls or climate control, only manual HVAC. All variants get front power windows and power mirrors.
What’s interesting is that all diesel variants (LS, LS ABS and LT) offer airbags, while three of the petrol variants get it. as well. The instrument panel is interesting, with a digital tachometer and fuel gauge and a large analogue speedometer dominating the panel.
It has a ground clearance of 174 mm for the petrol variant and 168 mm for the diesel variant, which is about the same as the Ford Figo, while the petrol variant is slightly more than the Swift. The split folding 60:40 rear seats offer good flexibility for luggage with 248 litres of boot space that extends to 1134 litres with seats folded, and the fuel tank is placed under the driver’s seat allowing for a deeper floor in the boot and rear seat. Also read: Spy photos: Chevrolet Sail notchback and U-Va seen testing
Decent claimed fuel economy
In a fuel-economy obsessed segment, GM has finally got it right. The Chevrolet Sail U-VA has a claimed fuel economy of 22.1 kmpl for the diesel variant and 18.2 kmpl for the petrol variant. The diesel engine, being the same as the Swift, Punto, Vista, Ritz etc, can easily clock over 16-17 kmpl in city traffic we assume, and the petrol, being the same as the Beat’s engine, tuned for more power, is likely to be slightly less fuel efficient compared to the Beat.
What we think
Chevrolet is offering the car with a 100,000 km, 3-year warranty, and a 3-year maintenance package for 45,000 km (where you don’t have to pay for service charges for three years, paying for it upfront instead). In addition it gets 150,000 km, 5 year warranty on the engine and transmission, which is something that buyers will find attractive.
The car is decently loaded with features and although its design may seem dated, it is quite practical, offering buyers plenty of space. While it still may be tough to dethrone the Swift as the leader in the pack, this car will give the Ford Figo a run for it money, and will probably be GM’s best-selling car yet, along with the Chevrolet Beat. Also read: Upcoming small car launches
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