Ed's take: Chevrolet got everything right on the inside of the Sail NB. It has space' sober styling and large boot. However' it missed it out on the quality front which could have been a tad better.
The Sail NB has been introduced after the Sail U-VA and its biggest USP is its space. The Sail NB being based on the same platform; gets the same interior space. The space in the Sail NB good is the first and the second row. The front row seats aren't very large' but the seating positioning is good enough for decent thigh support' though the side support could have been a tad better. The knee room for the rear passengers is good enough however' the headroom could be a bit tight. The features on the Sail NB are decent however' we would have been happier if the quality of the plastics was a tad better. It is more of the feel of the materials that doesn't make it look up market. The design and placement of controls has been done ergonomically' except for the centrally location of power window switches. Base: The base version of the Sail NB gets body coloured bumpers' AC' front power windows and engine immobiliser as the features on it.
LS is the next variant above the base and it comes with body coloured door handles' full wheel cover' leather wrapped steering wheel' rear power windows' central locking and driver airbag.
LS ABS is the version with all the bells and whistles of LS and ABS.
LT ABS is the top of the line variant available on Sail NB and it gets features like dual airbags' ABS' alloy wheels' integrated music system with Bluetooth connectivity.
The interiors of the Polo are well designed and even the bells and whistles now on offer are good in the segment. It is only the rear seat space that is a bit of an issue.
The Polo might be the smallest of all Volkswagens, but the German manufacturer has ensured their current smallest hatch also has high quality interiors. The fit and finish of the plastic is amazing and even the look and feel of the materials of the good too. The Polo now even offers most of the features that other B+ segment hatchbacks offer. It has a new music system with SD card reader, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and aux connection too. The Polo also has steering-mounted audio controls too.
The front row seats are large and feel comfortable just like any other big German car. These seats are good enough for a long drives and one won’t feel tired either. The second row of interiors isn’t that spacious as the first row as the knee room is a bit too tight for tall occupants. The boot isn’t that large also.
Ed's take: The 1.3-litre multijet here comes out as a clear winner as it doesn't just have better power delivery' but also is more economical.
The Sail NB is available with 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 1.3-litre oil burner. The petrol engine produces 84bhp of power at 6000rpm and a maximum torque of 113Nm at 5000rpm' while the diesel produces 76bhp at 4000rpm and 205Nm at 1750rpm.
The 1.2-litre petrol mill is the same one that also powers the Sail U-VA. This engine has low NVH levels and is highly refined. The power delivery is decent and one needs to rev this engine to extract maximum performance from it. The power produced by this engine is decent' however one does needs to downshift to make those quick overtaking moves. The engine has strong mid-range just like most of the petrol mills. This engine comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission. As the gearknob is short' the shifts are good and the throws are short. Though the only downside is the shifts are a bit rubbery in nature.
The Sail NB is powered by India's largest selling diesel engine' the 1.3-litre multijet that also powers about 10 other cars in India. We are smitten with this engine and this has low levels of NVH. The power delivery is fairly linear and the oil burner has a strong mid range. The oil burner pulls cleanly once the engine spins above 2000rpm and also there is good enough power to make those overtaking moves. This engine also power the front wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. The shifts are positive' but still are a bit notchy.
The power produced by the Polo engines is good, but the petrol and diesel have some drivability issues, especially when you consider the gearing that seem to be designed for European market.
A new Volkswagen engine has been used on the Polo. It has the new 1.5-litre diesel engine that replaces the 1.2-litre and even produces 90bhp instead of 75bhp. This mill has a strong mid-range and high end. There is a lot of turbo lag and the engine needs to be revved above 2000rpm to reach the power band. The power produced by most of the competition including the Swift is a lot more linear than the Polo. Volkswagen has upgraded the engine for more power and soon the GT TDI will be available with the same engine but 103bhp of power.
The five-speed manual transmission has short throws and the box is slick. It doesn’t feel even a bit rubbery. The ratios are good for highway driving, while in the city one has to work out his way to extract some good performance. The fuel efficiency of this mill is good as the 1.5-litre mill from Volkswagen is extremely frugal.
1.2-litre turbo petrol:
This is the new 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine and it is different from the regular 1.2-litre petrol as that is a three-pot mill. This engine produces 104bhp of power, which is equivalent to the 1.6-litre petrol engine that once powered the Polo. The NVH levels are fairly low, except for cold starts when the engine is noisy. The engine screams as it revs above 4000rpm. Blip the throttle, and the transmission responds immediately, and at the time it shifts smoothly while cruising. This is an all-aluminium engine and it has been turbocharged as well. Even though the power produced by this engine as same as the 1.6-litre, it is the torque spread that is much better on this new engine. As even the engine is lighter and has a lower displacement, it is more fuel-efficient. With this engine, Volkswagen gets the duty-cut as the displacement is under 1.2-litre.
Another segment first is that it is a seven-speed direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG). The gear ratios on this box are tailored as per the Indian driving cycle for maximum utilisation of power. There is also tiptronic transmission, if you like to make those manual shifts. We sorely missed the paddles shifts. From what we learn, Volkswagen could introduce the paddle shifts at a later stage.
1.2-litre petrol engine:
The 1.2-litre petrol engine on the Polo has the same displacement like the diesel engine. This is also a three-pot mill that produces about 75bhp of power. This engine has good power and even the low-end torque is good. The mid range is strong and the power increases with the rise in engine speed. We aren’t impressed with the NVH levels as the engine is louder than one would have liked.
The five-speed manual transmission has short throws and the box is slick. It doesn’t feel even a bit rubbery. The ratios are good for highway driving, while in the city one has to work out his way to extract some good performance. But it is the fuel efficiency that hasn’t impressed us, as it returns about 9-10km/l in normal city driving.
Ed's take: Chevrolet has done a good job on the ride and handling characteristics of the Sail NB and we are impressed with it.
The ride on the Sail NB is decent and it doesn't feel unsettled on bad roads. The suspension does a good job of absorbing the bumps and shocks from the road. The ride doesn't feel jittery even at high speeds and the comfort at the rear is better as the rear suspension has been softened for better ride.
The handling of the Sail NB is decent and the engineers have fond the perfect strike between ride and handling. The car doesn't feel nervous at high speeds and even the feedback from the steering wheel is good.
The ride and handling of the Polo has been tweaked for a perfect combination of both. The handling of the Polo is very nimble and even the ride is sorted, though it is wee bit stiff.
The Polo chassis has been designed for Polo Cup Racing and hence this design can take a lot more engine power and torque than what it is currently being sold with. The Polo chassis is extremely agile and the hatchback does handle well. The Polo is as good as any other Volkswagen vehicle when it comes to handling.
The ride of the Volkswagen Polo is also well sorted. The McPherson struts on the Polo are well sorted and ride is supple. The springs absorb most of the jolts and undulations the ride a lot more comfortable for occupants. The light steering wheel ensures convenient driving in the city and also tire-free long trips.