Tavera is a compact multi utility vehicle produced by General Motors and marketed in India and several ASEAN countries. It is based on the platform of Isuzu Panther, a diesel driven MUV sold in Indonesia. Chevrolet Tavera has been a part of MPV segment in India since 2004 and its chief competitors include Toyota Innova and Maruti Ertiga. This car’s production was stopped temporarily and in 2013 GM had to recall 1.14 lakh units (manufactured between 2005 and 2013) because of certain emission and specifications issues.
After going through some mechanical and design changes, it came back in a fresh avatar and since 2012 it is known as Tavera Neo 3. The engine that powers it is a 2.5 litre, 4 cylinder direct injection turbocharged diesel churning 73.4 PS (at 3900 rpm) and with 171 Nm (at 1800 rpm) of peak torque. It is mated to 5 speed manual transmission. But the Isuzu 2.5 litre engine could not be tuned to meet BS IV norms in the metros and so GM has a different powertrain for some variants of Tavera. It is a 1994 cc, 4 cylinder inline common rail turbo diesel with 106.5 PS (at 4000 rpm) and 262.8 Nm (at 2500 rpm). This multi purpose vehicle comes with different seat configurations – there are 7, 8, 9, and 10 seats trims in a price bracket of Rs 7.17 to 10.62 lakhs (ex showroom price Delhi).
A quick look at the Tavera Neo 3 may show it to be very similar to the old Tavera we have known for years. But even if it is a close replica of its predecessor, the new version does come with mild cosmetic changes on its grille, headlamps and front bumper. And there are stickers to help you identify it as the ‘Neo 3’.
It’s a new honeycomb design for the front grille and the Chevy bowtie crest sits on the body coloured band. Lower down the bumper is a similar honeycomb pattern for the air dam. On the top LT variant there are round, chrome bezel fog lamps. Fifteen inch alloy wheels with 205/65 R15 tubeless tyres are used for the LT trim and lower end segments have fifteen inch steel wheels with same tyre size. Aluminium running board is provided for convenient ingress and egress. Again on Tavera Neo 3 LT, chrome garnish adorns the tailgate and all door handles are also in chrome.
The Tavera has had a stronghold in the cab service market but General Motors has tried to make the BS IV version a family car. Cabin of the top end trim is black and beige but the quality of materials does not really feel as good as in Mahindra Xylo. There is a built-in audio system with radio, CD+MP3 player and an Aux in port. You get 4 speakers with 2 tweeters. All windows are powered now, irrespective of the variant you opt for. You will see new dials with blue illumination but the ill-fitting instrument cluster surround looks awkward. The centre console has faux carbon-fibre finish. GM had added a dead pedal in the footwell.
Primary comfort attributes in LT model include manual air conditioner & heater with vents for second and third rows; tachometer; rear window defogger, wash & wipe; central locking and remote keyless entry. For safety, Tavera Neo 3 comes equipped with seat belts on all front facing seats, rear door child locks and a high mount stop lamp.
The standard colour range counts Linen Beige, Caviar Black, Velvet Red, Moonbeam White, Summit White, Switch Blade Silver and Sand Drift Grey.
Chevrolet Tavera was voted the 'UV of the Year', New Delhi in January 2005 by Overdrive. It was also the winner of BBC World's Wheels Awards in 2003.
GM’s custom MUV for India is still a favourite of cab service providers thanks to its decent cabin space and performance. But the dated looks and poor fit & finish still keep it far from being an enjoyable personal vehicle.