An aggressive price tag is bound to help Chevrolet to carve a bigger pie for itself in the mini segment. Market share ambition will get a boost from rocketing petrol prices and increasing consumer preference for diesel cars. Timing and mindset seems to be just perfect for Beat Diesel. Will the car, now cover itself with glory, ecardlr tests it, to find out its chances.
STYLE & SUBSTANCE
Beat styling is one of its biggest USP – call it the attention getter. One simply can’t miss it on the road. Even though its petrol version has been on the job for over a year; it still looks very fresh. Large grill, prominent Chevrolet badge and wrap-around bumpers gives the car an air of sophistication. Multi-elements headlights look classy & provide good illumination too.
Sharp edges & lines along the sides provide the elegance to the tall-stance of the car quite naturally.
The rear continues the innovative design philosophy unlike many cars which seems to lose focus by the time it reaches the rear. It’s almost, as if the designer gets tired and loses focus. Retro looking tail-lamps, boomerang shaped back, pronounced bumper and large rear windscreen is a welcome change from usual small letter-box slits.
INTERIORS, SPACE & ERGONOMIC
Fit finish, plastic quality and intelligent use of black color lifts the ambience & in-fact makes the cabin one of the best places to be in versus other small cars. Wave-theme along with center console scheme is in-line with the youthful and techy image the brand is trying to project and own. Steering column mounted instrument cluster gives it’s a sports bike like feel. Analogue speedometer is easy to read though same is not true for tachometer having digital display.
Nicely sculpted large seats could have done with some additional bolstering and thigh support in the front. Rear bench seat however does have good thigh support.
Head-room is ample thanks to tall stance but legroom is at premium particularly in the rear. 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 is merely 170 liters.
Auto AC, music system with USB & Aux-in along with tilt steering are the useful touches in overall scheme of things.
POWER-PLANT & TRANSMISSION
The heart is where the mind is. Beat diesel plans to own ‘Small = Powerful’ with its new diesel power plant, a first derivative of Fiat 4 cylinder multi-jet diesel. The 936 cc, 3 Cylinder, 12 V DOHC diesel power plants delivers a rated Power of 58.5 ps@4000 rpm and a stunning torque of 150 nm @ 1750 Rpm.
Crank the engine & it settles quickly. No diesel rattles but there seems to be a persistent continuous noise emanating from engine. However the car has very good NVH (Noise Vibration, Harshness) value which cocoons you in a silent cabin once the door are shut. Sharp throttle response communicates a sense of urgency and is able supported by a light clutch. Shift the gear-lever; prod the throttle & car moves with great alacrity. Engine’s got amazing tractability thanks to turbo kicking as early as at 1500 rpm. Drivability is great with almost no turbo lag. This makes the car ideal for puttering around in the city with minimum downshifts. You can easily negotiate the traffic in 3rd gear without the car asking for downshifts even at lower spends.
Trade-off, however, comes in the form of weak out-right punch. Overtaking requires some planning & can really test your patience. It’s really hard for 3-cylinder motor to maintain the three digits speed mark thus making the car suited more to sedate driving rather than hurried one. Best way to extract the maximum performance is adopting relaxed driving style. In any case don’t expect any surge in power as one experiences in the I 20 or Swift.
Engine is mated with precise and positive 5-Speed manual transmission. Throws are short and overall the transmission box does its job quite capably.
The 165/65 R14 speced tyres of Beat Diesel are 10 mm wider than its petrol counterpart, resulting in a better ride quality. Suspension is tuned in the interest of ride than for handling. Absorption of rough patches is impressive but potholes need to be approached with attention.
Like the engine, car doesn’t like to be cornered hard. Steering is electrically assisted & feather-touch light. It is boon to use in the city & at parking places but doesn’t inspire confidence especially at high speed.
Beat Diesel comes with ARAI certified mileage of 24 Km/l, making it one of the most fuel efficient hatchbacks in the country. Light kerb weight, small displacement along with short gearing has helped it to achieve these astonishing figures. We at ecardlr.com believe that it can return a healthy city mileage of 15-16 Km/l, which will get stretched to minimum further to 18-20 Km/l on highways.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Beat diesel has many things going in its favor; excellent drivability, city friendly dimensions, potent motor & light controls. Add to this the aggressive pricing (which we at ecardlr.com are sure are introductory prices only) makes it a great VFM. Indian car buyers tired of long waiting list of existing diesel cars on need to rejoice as they get one more competent diesel option from a world leader.
Style & Substance : 4/5 Ride & Handling : 3/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: : 3/5 Safety & Equipment : 3.5/5
Power Plant & Transmission : 3.5/5 Fuel Efficiency : 4/5
Value for Money : 4/5