Which is a better car between Sail U-VA and Swift 2011?

Maruti Suzuki Swift since its launch has caught fancy of Indian car buyer and has been the envy of all other Indina car manufacturer wanting to make a mark in the premium hatchback segment. Chevrolet Sail U-VA is GM's attempt to nibble some share in the premium hatch segment in its favour. 

Car Comparison Sail U-VA Vs Swift 2011

GM with Chevrolet Sail- UVA wants to make a mark and chip some numbers from the large premium hatch segment in its favour . Whilst the focus and ambition seems to be right, however, what needs to be seen is whether at least on paper if the Sail U-VA has power to excite and attract the buyers of Maruti New Swift 2011.

 But before we proceed lets decode a premium hatch car buyer in India. Premium hatch buyers in reality are sedan buyers and are mostly upgraders. However, their budget limitation forces them to limit their sedan dreams to their starting or mid model. Indian car manufacturer have not given enough goodies at the entry level or mid-level sedan in terms of features and top-end features is what these upgraders are looking for in their next car purchase. This desires of theirs along with budget limitations forces these upgraders to consider premium hatchback. Premium hatch buyers therefore look at their new car purchase as a step-through to their next logical car purchase which is a loaded sedan and/or even an MPV or Compact SUV’s like; Ertiga, Duster, Evalia or Quanto. Since the premium hatch buyers are upgraders they normally end up buying the top-end variant of these models which are loaded with features. These cars offer them premium up-market tactile feel and is normally an indulgent purchase. A premium hatch buyers will not just settle with basic car features like; power steering, power windows and an audio system. He/she is looking for an automatic instead of a manual AC, yes he wants power windows but with express touch down/up and pinch gaurd, audio system better be top-end with USB and Aux-in and definitely a double DIN, reverse parking a must and with camera would be a bonus, the upholstery if not leather should be a premium fabric with great tactile feel. It’s with this background and mindset that one needs to evaluate and understand Sail U-VA LT ABS Diesel Vs the Maruti New Swift 2011 ZDi purchase decision.

Since premium hatch car buyers in India are looking for great tactile feel and premium features we at www.ecardlr.com have deliberately avoided a spec comparison. This has also been done as even today most Indian car buyers do not get excited by the cars grunt and roar. An indulgent buyer would open his wallet more eagerly for a car loaded with features rather than its performance.

GM has strategically priced Chevrolet Sail U-VA LT ABS Diesel at 6.62 Lacs, which makes it around Rs.18000 cheaper than New Swift 2011 ZDi. Will this low entry cost support the Sail U-VA to win the confidence of the New Swift 2011 buyer to switch preference, let’s see.

Instrument cluster of the Sail U-VA though designed quite well with its sunrise effect, is quite basic in terms of the readings it offers. It has a speedo, odo, tripmeter, digital clock and tachometer but it does not offer the Instant Fuel and Average Fuel consumption reading on a Multi-information display screen as is being offered by the New Swift 2011.In the comfort zone, Sail U-VA comes with manual AC whilst the New Swift 2011 comes with Maruti’s ever popular automatic AC. Both cars come with premium fabric upholstery. Sail U-VA with its gas-filled shock absorbers which might be an advantage, but will it be sufficient to beat the benchmark ride quality of the New Swift 2011 could be a matter of back-to-back test drive of these 2 cars


Sail U-VA LT ABS Diesel

New Swift 2011 Zdi

Overall length (mm)



Overall width (mm)



Overall height (mm)



Wheelbase (mm)



Boot space (ltrs)

248 with Rear Seat Upright. 1134 Ltrs with Rear Seat Folded


Ground clearance (mm)



Space wise Sail U-VA has a good advantage over the New Swift 2011. It offers more legroom (thanks to 100 mm  longer length and 35 mm longer wheel base) and luggage space (44 ltrs more boot space), whilst its evenly matched with the New Swift 2011 in terms of shoulder room (Width) and headroom (height). Sail U-VA with its higher ground clearance will ensure far smoother ride over the speed breakers (or car breakers as popularly known). Comfort through space is a territory that clearly belongs to the Sail U-VA.

Sail U-VA thanks to its Bluetooth option does try to make a mark in offering creature convenience to its owners, however, the 3 spoke steering wheel with silver accents of the New Swift 2011 looks far more premium than that of the Sail U-VA. Driver side power window in the New Swift 2011 comes with Auto Touch Down, which is absent in Sail U-VA’s power windows.  Car locator and Lane Change Indicator are other convenience features being offered by the New Swift 2011 but not by the Sail U-VA. Both Sail U-VA and New Swift 2011 come with top-end entertainment system  which offers, radio, MP3, CD, USB and Aux-in functions with 4 speakers, however, New Swift 2011 offers steering mounted audio control, which is absent in the Sail U-VA. Basis, these key feature comparison, we will rank the New Swift 2011 higher on Convenience vs Sail U-VA.

Externally the Sail U-VA is definitely not as stunning or radically different like the New Swift 2011. We are sure, that whenever,  they are placed side-by-side the New Swift 2011 will wins hands down in the styling/looks department.

It seems as if GM has deliberately designed the Sail U-VA with a ‘Please All’ mind-set, one therefore does not feel excited on the first look. Yes the nose with ‘V’ shaped grille and chrome piping does look good on the Sail U-VA. The strong V bonnet lines, nicely wrapped headlamps and the rising window lines do give the Sail U-VA a sporty front look. Rear though seems to be devoid of any design inputs, the tall vertical C pillar integrated tail lamps looks tired in terms of design, with flush mounted rear windscreen (though a good idea) having fitment issues lets the Sail U-VA down. We think Sail U-VA does have some distance to cover in the design arena if it has any ambition to compete with Indian car buyers all time favourite, the New Swift 2011.

We also wonder why GM decided not to offer integrated turn indicators on the ORVM in the Sail U-VA, which is a present in the ORVM’s of the New Swift 2011. The low aspect ratio (185/65) tyres mounted on the R15 Alloy wheels in case of New Swift 2011 vs 175/70 tyres mounted on the R14 Alloys in Sail U-VA would definitely aid ride comfort in the New Swift 2011.

Externally therefore the brownie points goes to the New Swift 2011 and not to the Sail U-VA.

With Dual Front Airbags, ABS, EBD, Fog lamps, Rear Defogger, Ant-Theft Alarm, Immobiliser, Front disc and Rear drum brakes available in both Chevrolet Sail U-VA and New Swift 2011, makes both car equally competent on safety front.

Having studied the Sail U-VA and New Swift 2011, we believe that premium hatch buyers will still consider and give a serious thought to the New Swift 2011, basis its looks, ride quality and better tactile and up-market feel internally. However, those car buyers seeking more space as a primary requisite from a premium hatch will not find a more spacious car in the premium hatch segment than the Sail U-VA. 

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