Chevrolet has every reason to smile. Irrespective of growing gloom in the Indian automobile market, Chevrolet thanks to Beat seems to be its clocking it targeted numbers.
Beat’s ultra-chic design, performing with efficient petrol motor and high class interiors are some of the crucial factors compelling more and more customers to get out of shadow of Japanese and Korean manufacturers.
After giving you a comprehensive review about Beat Diesel earlier, this time we drive its Petrol version to find out how accomplished package Beat is when compared to other popular hatchbacks? Read more to know the verdict
STYLE & SUBSTANCE
Beat uncanny styling is one of its biggest USP. There is no doubt that attention has been paid and that too at very minute level. Petrol model has been around for quite some time though it still looks very fresh & stands out as a new design.
Large grill separated by equally prominent Chevrolet Bow-Tie with wrap-around bumper gives the Beat an air of sophistication. Multi-elements headlights look classy & provide good illumination too.
Sharp edges & lines along the sides add to Beat’s elegant tall-stance. Innovative door integrated rear-door handles are not only unique but also adds to customer convenience, even though, it takes some time getting used to this new placement.
Boomerang shaped rear add to Beat’s stand out design. Retro looking tail-lamps along with seamlessly fusing pronounced bumper compliments the overall design philosophy. Large rear windscreen is a welcome change from usual small letter-box slits as seen in other small hatchbacks.
INTERIORS, SPACE & ERGONOMICS
Beat carries over the innovative design philosophy quite seamlessly to its interiors. Steering mounted illuminated centre console with a separate digital pod for other car related information is quite a shift from normally designed car centre console. Plastic quality as well as fit & finish are almost a category benchmark. Intelligent use of black color lifts the ambience. In-fact the cabin is one of the best places to be in the Beat when compared to other small cars. Analogue speedometer is easy to read though same is not true for tachometer having digital display.
Front seats are large & wide. Seats are nicely sculpted & contoured but bolstering is not great. More thigh support along with side would be more supportive especially in long drives.
Rear bench is set high and features good thigh support. Head-room is ample thanks to tall stance but legroom is at a premium. Knee-room is tight with driver seat pushed all the way back. Seat squats are nicely sculpted but limits the possibility of inclusion of third passenger. Doors do not open very wide & along with low floor make things a little inconvenient in terms of ingress-egress. Boot capacity of 170 liters is quite a compromise, though the option of split-foldable rear seat is useful in carving out some extra boot space as and when required. Auto AC, music system with USB & Aux-in along with tilt steering are some of the useful touches in overall interior scheme.
POWER-PLANT & TRANSMISSION
The 1.2 L Beat petrol power plant breathers through 16 valves mounted on modern architecture of double overhead cam shafts over 4 cylinders placed in-line. Power figure stands at 80.5 PS while usable torque of the tune 108 nm is at user’s disposal.
Mileage figure of 18.6 km/l as certified by ARAI is quite impressive, but what is more impressive is cylinder-deactivation technology of the motor which deactivates one cylinder below 2250 rpm. So in city traffic below this pre-set rpm, engine uses only 3 cylinders which makes the overall efficiency figure to go up by a considerable margin. On highway when you need instant acceleration, microprocessor of the engine activates the 4th cylinder to deliver the much needed additional power.
Idle of the engine is silent and refined. There is no noise inside and motor settles down instantaneously. Throttle responses are sharp and Beat starts its stint briskly. There is no problem in tackling the slow city traffic. Drivability of the car is good, even though, not the best in its category.
Mid range of Beat is just about average and like its diesel counterpart, Beat makes more sense for the city rather than on highway. Overall the motor is tuned to deliver near ideal mix of responsiveness and mileage.
Engine is mated with 5-Speed manual transmission. Clutch is light and so is the power steering thus aiding city drive. Gear shifts are precise and inspiring though throws could be shorter.
Up front Beat uses McPherson strut while at rear compound link type suspension is used to suspend the wheels. Beat uses 155/70 R14 specification of tires. Suspension is tuned in favour of the of ride, than for handling. Absorption of rough patches is impressive but potholes need to be approached with caution.
Like the engine, car doesn’t like to be cornered hard. Body roll is quite evident because of the pliant suspension setting. Steering is electrically assisted & feather-touch light. It is boon to use in the city & at tight parking slots.
With starting price of 3.72 lakh, Beat scores tremendously on Value for Money proposition as it offers a package which is certainly very commendable, the deal gets further sweetened by the 3yr/1,00,000 Km standard warrant and Chevrolet promise. So if you are looking for a stylish hatch and are bored of Japanese and Korean cars then Beat is the best option for you.
Style & Substance : 4/5 Ride & Handling : 3/5
Interiors & Space : 2/5 Safety & Equipments : 3/5
Power Plant & Transmission : 3/5 Mileage : 3/5
Value for Money : 4/5