Car Specification

01 February 2013

Review: Chevrolet Tavera Neo 3

Chevrolet brings the Tavera back from the attic with all-new common rail diesel

Ashish Masih
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What do you do if your moderately-selling MPV suddenly has to be killed off (in the metros) because it can’t spell BS-IV? If you are Chevrolet then you go to your rival and ask them for their engine. Well, that’s exactly what Chevy has done. The American giant has gone to the Sonalika group and borrowed the 2-litre engine from their MPV, the slow-selling Rhino (better known as a Qualis look-alike in North India). Sonalika had got this engine from Rover of UK, so the basics are good. The Tavera gets a new grille, bumpers and headlamps but no major changes to its sheet metal.

The 2-litre engine develops 106bhp and 262Nm of torque. What immediately impresses is the refinement of the engine. There is little resonance and once on the move, the engine isn’t obtrusive. Slot into first gear and you will immediately notice how drivable it is. Unlike most diesels where power starts coming in around 2,000 rpm, the Tavera’s unit becomes responsive from 1,600-1,700 rpm making it an easy car to drive around town. The gearshift quality is decent but the long throws do remind you that it’s an MPV. Chevrolet took the opportunity to retune the suspension and we are happy with the results. The pliant ride offers plenty of confidence even at triple digit speeds.

Step inside the cabin and you will immediately be reminded of a bygone era. The dashboard is a mix of lots of boxy shapes. The big dials and clunky switches all remind you of the late 90s. Thankfully, the Tavera also gets very nice captain seats in the cabin. These are one of the most comfortable seats we’ve been in and offer very good support all across. The last row though doesn’t have enough room for adults and with the last row up, there’s little room left for luggage.

Overall, the Tavera Neo 3 is much-improved in terms of the engine. But the rest of the car still falls short of rivals in key the area of quality, so vital for success in the personal passenger segment. Besides, the goalposts of an MPV has moved way ahead from the days the Tavera first entered India. Despite the flaws, does it spell strong value? Well, the top-end LT version here (and the only one worth considering for personal use) comes for Rs 11.52 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), which means its not exactly stellar value either.

The numbers
2-Litre, 4-cylinder common-rail diesel, 106bhp power, 263 Nm torque, RWD, 5M, Rs 8.62-11.29 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)

The verdict
The engine upgrade is welcome, but the car falls short of segment rivals to be considered as a personal vehicle

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