The two Chevrolets you see here are of American descent, have undergone research and development processes in China, and are to be assembled and sold in India and use Indian components. Apart from the boot, both these diesel-powered vehicles are essentially the same car, like the Maruti Swift and Swift DZire.
The U-VA badging is now a thing of the past. Although it boasts taut lines, swanky head- and tail-lamps, and flashes of chrome, the Sail is not as visually striking as some of its competition.
The 74bhp, 1,248cc engine is a real treat, with grunt kicking in as low as 1,600rpm. The five-speed gearbox is smooth, and the engine’s bottom and mid-range has enough grunt to haul the Sail hatch and sedan to 100kph from standstill in a respectable 14.80s and 15.02s, respectively. Both the sedan and hatch felt comfortable cruising at 100kph at 2400rpm in fifth.
The cabin is airy, and visibility is good all round. The Chevys offer generous under-thigh support and legroom for all five occupants. The hatchback and saloon can seat three full-grown adults comfortably at the back. But, the Sails disappoint when it comes to features. Yes, there’s ABS, EBD and airbags, but you’ll feel a bit shortchanged considering these top-of-the-line LT variants don’t come with driver’s seat-height adjust function, steering-mounted audio controls, driver’s side auto window, or even reverse sensors. Even the door locks appear to have been salvaged from a Maruti 800 parts bin.
The steering wheel offers moderate feedback. Behind the wheel lies an instrument cluster that is primarily dominated by an analogue speedometer, which is flanked by small digital readouts: tacho, fuel level, trip and odometer. While the readouts are easy to decipher on the go, the same can’t be said for the audio system. Thanks to a stiff suspension setup, ride is a bit choppy and feels more suited to speeds in excess of 50kph. NVH levels, too, could have been better.
With an asking price of ₹6.81 lakh for the hatchback and ₹7.79 lakh for the sedan (both prices ex-showroom, Delhi), the cars are not the cheapest around. They lack a premium feel, but if you need a sorted and spacious car, the Sail sedan and hatchback may fit the bill.
4-cylinder, 1,248cc, 74bhp, 190Nm, 5M, 1,124kg, Fuel tank: 40l, 0-100kph: 14.8 (hatch), 15.02 (sedan), City kpl: 12.6, Highway kpl: 16.8, ₹6.81 lakh (hatch); ₹7.79 lakh (sedan), ex-showroom, Delhi
Facelift could help the Sail stay afloat. It has a spacious cabin, but could do with better interiors.
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