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Chevrolet Sail U-VA
    Change Model
Customer Rating
: 3/5
Expert Rating
: 7/10
Warranty
: 3 Yrs / 1,00,000 kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
Delhi
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
    Change City
5.93 Lakhs-5.93 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Spacious cabin 
  • Good diesel mileage 
  • Value for money car
  • Top-notch diesel drivability
  • 60:40 split flat folding rear seat

Weak Areas

  • Plain & bland looks 
  • Average interiors
  • Rubbery gear shifts 
  • Lacks rivals appeal and flair 
  • Missing driver seat height adjustment 
Chevrolet Sail U-VA
 
 

Chevrolet Sail U-VA

GM is known for marketing products sourced from different parts of the globe and after offering Astra (from Germany), Optra (from Korea) and Tavera (from Japan), it brought Sail U-VA from China.


Author

By

ecardlr.com National

Chevrolet Sail U-VA is a well rounded premium hatchback that was largely customised for India with beefed up suspension, strengthened body and stronger chassis. It was the first of many India-bound products from General Motors India’s partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). 
 
This hatch has a simple design and looks very subtle when compared to its eccentric cousin, Beat. It comes with option of petrol or diesel engine and is available in four variants for each of the categories: 
 
Petrol car is powered by 1199 cc 4 cylinder engine with 85 bhp and 11.52 kgm of torque 
 
Diesel model has 1248 cc 4 cylinder engine that churns out 77 bhp and has 20.90 kgm of torque 
 
For both the cars Chevrolet uses 5 speed manual transmission. And how good a value proposition Sail U-VA turns out to be? We present a thorough review:
 
Exteriors 
 
Positioned in the premium hatchback group that has stylish contenders such as Maruti Swift, Hyundai i20 and Toyota Etios Liva, this GM hatch is rather unassuming and plain. The basic profile is quite simple and may seem dated. But the frontal styling is not all that bland. The radiator grille divided in two parts by a body coloured strip, the stretched back angular headlamps and the slightly raised hood are some finer points. Sail U-VA has a longish front overhang and fog lamps with chrome surrounds have been integrated neatly on the bumper.
 
                                                
When checked from the sides the big size of rear door catches attention but flappy door handles look old-fashioned. The wheel arches are subtly chiselled and Chevrolet uses 175/70 R14 tyres for this hatch. 
 
At the rear the big tail lamps stacked vertically look somewhat banal. Integrated reversing lights have a blue tint. The rear glass has a thick black border on its sides and this restricts rear visibility for the driver. While the petrol car has a ground clearance of 174 mm the diesel sits low at 168 mm.
 
                                        
 
Viewed as a whole, the exterior design for Sail U-VA is plain. While the fit and finish is good the quality is mediocre. The assortment of colours available includes Linen Beige, Caviar Black, Misty Lake, Super Red, Summit White, Switch Blade Silver, and Sandrift Grey. 
 
Interiors 
 
With its wheelbase of 2465 mm Sail U-VA has a spacious cabin particularly at rear. If compared to its prime rivals, it comes second only to Indica Vista in this regard. The interiors also feel roomier than those of some mid sized saloons. Light brown tones and beige colour scheme give it more airy feel. But with these the cabin also has a tendency to reflect more of dirt and grime. In terms of aesthetics, again things are simple but smart. The dashboard extending towards the windscreen has an ordinary design and reflects more of functionality than style. At the same time the bulging centre console and its sharp upper contours look neat with tan coloured plastic. But the feel of that plastic is not up to mark and the quality is disappointing.
  
           
 
A centrally located large speedo dominates the instrument cluster. On the left it has a digital RPM gauge. The odometer and trip meter data have LCD display on the right side of the speedometer. The one touch power window switches are positioned on centre console in front of the gear lever so even the front passenger can control the car’s windows. 
 
This car does feel ergonomically well designed. You get a clear view of the road thanks to the wide windscreen. But the A pillar is thick and so the driver needs to be more careful while driving in narrow, twisty lanes. 
 
Sail U-VA (top end model) comes equipped with integrated music system that has radio, CD/MP3 player, an Aux line and a USB port. Bluetooth enabled hands-free telephony and mobile music streaming are nice additions. 
 
The front seats feel ergonomically designed and are bolstered nicely from the sides. But the driver’s seat cannot be adjusted for height – not even in the top end trim. This however is not a very big issue because the seats are high set and there is adequate frontal visibility even for shorter drivers. The front head rests are adjustable. At the rear there is ample legroom, shoulder room and headroom for three passengers. The air conditioner works well especially in the diesel car. It takes a few seconds to cool the entire cabin on a scorching summer day. This car’s rear windows do not roll down completely and about 10 percent of the glass panel remains over the sill. Old fashioned push pull type door locks make a comeback with this GM hatch. 
 
Cubby holes on the centre console, voluminous front door pockets and a 7 inches deep glovebox canb hold your small things. With the rear seats upright there is 248 litres of space in the boot and when the seats are pushed down there is 1215 litres volume to hold additional cargo. Split fold ratio of 60:40 for these seats is another convenience feature.
 
                                           
 
In terms of safety equipment, all variants except the PS (base trim) get an air bag for driver. LS (mid segment) variant comes in ABS and non ABS trims. The top end variant LT ABS has additional safety features in form of front passenger airbag, speed sensitive door auto-lock and security alarm system. 
 
Engine, Transmission and Performance 
 
The 1.3 diesel engine that drives Chevrolet Sail U-VA is in essence the same unit that is used in some other diesel Indian cars including Vista, Swift and Punto. The modification is in the form of new fixed geometry turbocharger. Chevrolet has also given it a new air filter, a new inlet and exhaust. All these changes and the revised tuning have made the motor quite refined and its responses have also improved. So when this 4 cylinder 15 valve unit is started it thrums to life and then settles into hushed idle. After a warm up too the clatter is not very audible. As the car is slotted into the first gear it is noticed that the rather light clutch pedal bites early. The power delivery is gradual and linear post 1750 rpm and Sail’s engine is not as responsive as that of Maruti Swift. Low end driveability is better thanks to less of turbo lag. At 1750 rpm comes the peak 20.5 kgm of torque and this makes it an ideal city car usable in bumper to bumper traffic. 
 
Short throws and narrow gate make the five speed transmission exciting to use although the gearshifts do call for some effort and feel bit notchy. 
 
The diesel driven car does 0-60 km/hour dash in 6.12 seconds and takes 15.25 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/hour. Till the 4200 rpm mark, the spread of power is good and overtaking is not a problem. Driving in 5th gear at 100 km/hour, you find the rev counter at 2500 rpm. This motor performs pretty well on highways. Sail U-VA is obedient in third gear and the mid range of engine is sweetest. The car loses its stream of power past the 100 km/hour mark. If it is loaded with cargo (and it does have ample space for same) or has occupants on all seats there is a noticeable struggle past the 120 km/hour mark.
 
                                                
 
Diesel cars now rule India and so the bulk of this review speaks about that variant. For those who are interested in the petrol version we had a brief ride in Sail U-VA 1.2 LT ABS too and found it to be a competent car. The 1199 cc 4 cylinder engine has power of 85 bhp (that comes at 5000 rpm) and 11.3 kgm of torque (at 6000 rpm). In the beginning throttle response is good enough and thanks to ample torque available in low rev range you can pull ahead of slow moving vehicles easily. As you work through gear ratios power begins to build up well and U-VA displays its prowess as a quick petrol car. The engine stays refined in lower rpm bands, gets audible as you floor the pedal but it’s not really obtrusive. On a comparative note, gear shift quality is better in diesel. 
 
Ride and Handling 
 
Ride in Chevy Sail U-VA is on firm side but surprisingly this hatch deals with road undulations quite well. The suspension does not transfer much of jerks into the cabin and only the large potholes are felt with a thud. Low speed ride is supple for most part. At high speed too it keeps you comfortable and there is no pitch and wallow. The road grip is felt all the way and this brings more confidence.
 
        
                                             
 
The car also feels composed round the corners and body roll is under control. As a lively and easy to maneuver hatch, it changes directions willingly. Although, it does understeer around the corners if pushed really hard. 
 
The steering wheel has a turning radius of 5.15 metres and although it is light for all kinds of drives, there is not much of feel or feedback. Braking system works nicely thanks to ABS optimisation. In the diesel car, the close gated gearbox and its short throw shifter are enjoyable. Controlled NVH levels and minimal wind/road noise at high speeds are other aspects that make Sail U-VA a pleasant car. 
 
Fuel Economy 
 
Diesel driven U-VA manages to deliver a good fuel economy of 12 km/litre within the city and up to 18 km/litre on the highways. The petrol car has a company claimed fuel economy of 18.2 km/litre. 
 
Verdict 
 
A compact hatch with spacious cabin, nice ride quality and appreciable fuel efficiency, Sail U-VA is practical for driving on crowded city roads. Chevrolet’s warranty coverage for three years is another USP. The prime areas where Sail U-VA lags behind competition are its dated looks and poor cabin finish. Furthermore, you need to have a firm control of that steering wheel at high speeds. 
 
                                            
The car’s praiseworthy ride quality and short throw gearbox in diesel also help it win buyers. 
 
For the petrol variants the price ranges between Rs 4.21 lakhs and Rs 5.51 lakhs and the diesel trims cost between Rs 5.17 lakhs and 6.54 lakhs (all prices ex showroom Delhi). 
 
Comfort: 4/5
 
Refinement: 4/5
 
Safety: 3.5/5
 
Ride: 4/5
 
Handling: 3.5/5
 
Value for Money: 4/5

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