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Review: Chevrolet Sail
Driven February 2013
Chevrolet, since it stepped on the Indian soil, has constantly been on a quest to increase its portfolio of cars. From Spark, a compact hatch, to Captiva, a full grown SUV, it has almost all bases covered. What they didn’t have in their stable is an entry-level sedan after they stopped production of the Aveo that failed to set the charts on fire. Until now.
After the recent launch of the Sail U-VA, Chevrolet is ready to bring out their latest notchback. And we’ve driven it.
At the first glance, the Sail doesn’t look too long or too wide and just the right size for city use. It gets an identical front to its hatchback cousin. At the back, the boot blends in more seamlessly than say, in the Swift Dzire or the Indigo CS. The Sail actually looks a bit better-proportioned and stylised compared to the Sail U-VA hatchback. At little more than 4.2meters, it’s more than 200mm longer than the competition.
On the inside though, it’s the same story like the hatchback. Abundance of beige and grey doesn’t help the car look upmarket in any way. The fit and finish is not exactly class-leading. In the top-end variant you get all-four power windows, ABS with EBD, electric mirrors and front airbags. The rear seats don’t offer great under-thigh support and putting three adults will be a tight fit. But you do get a lot of cubby holes and bottles holders placed all around.
You get an option of two engines to choose from – 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.3-litre diesel, both of which do duties in the hatchback version of the Sail. The petrol churns out 85bhp and 113Nm of torque. The petrol is not one of the most free-revving engines and you need to work the throttle quite hard to bring out the juice. You really start feeling the 85 horses only once you’ve passed the 4000rpm mark.
The diesel on the other hand, has a decent low-end grunt but doesn’t send that sudden surge of power as you start piling on the revs. At max, the diesel puts out 77bhp of power and 205Nm of torque. The oil-burner is noisy but vibrations are not too much of a concern. Expect highway figures upwards of 16kpl.
Both the engines are mated to a slick 5-speed tranny. The shifts are smooth and precise and you don’t need to fight the lever to slot it in place. The ratios are on the taller side which should help in squeezing more kilometres to a litre.
The ride quality of the Sail is probably the best in its class and excels in disconnecting what the road has to tell your backside. The steering is light which helps in the manoeuvring the car in tight spaces but feels disconnected as you speed up. In the handling department too, the Sail is no champion given the light steering and noticeable body roll.
The Sail petrol ranges from Rs 4.99 lakh to Rs 6.41 lakh and the diesel starts at Rs 6.29 lakh and the top-end is pegged at Rs 7.51 lakh (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi). You get basic features like the AC and power steering even in the lowest specced Sail. The prices are almost similar to the Maruti DZire, but what you get is a bigger boot and some extra features. With an aggressive pricing, the Sail has ticked all the right boxes to make a good case for itself. So here’s a decent-looking sedan that will not hurt your pocket too badly.
Petrol: 1199cc, 85bhp, 113Nm, FWD, 5M, 1065kg
Diesel: 1248cc, 77bhp, 205Nm, FWD, 5M, 1124kg
Good looks, good features and an aggressive pricing will help Chevy give some nightmares to the top dogs in the game.