Chevrolet Sail U-VA 1.3 LT ABS - Performance Review
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Performance Review of Chevrolet Sail U-VA 1.3 LT ABS
Last Updated at 03:12 pm, May 20, 2013Rating :
The Sail U-VA too relies on some of the most trusted engines in the business.
General Motors has a long history with Fiat and a part of it is also found in the Sail U-VA. Fiat and GM are the co-developers of the Small Diesel Engine (SDE), commonly known to us as the Multijet diesel engine (MJD). The Sail U-VA uses the same 1.3-litre oilburner that we have witnessed in cars like the Suzuki Swift, Tata Vista, Fiat Punto etc. The Sail though, uses a different turbocharger for the same. The Chevy turbo has a similar design as the regular unit but this one is cheaper says GM. The diesel engine puts out 78 PS of power at 4000 RPM and 205 Nm of torque at 1750 RPM. Chevy claims a fuel economy of 22.1 kmpl with this mill.
Unlike a typical 1.3-litre MJD powered car, the Sail U-VA has a decent low-end grunt even with its fixed geometry turbine that essentially makes you witness a fair bit of turbo-lag. Chevrolet has specifically tuned the engine this way taking into consideration the congested driving conditions that most motorists in India are subject to, everyday. The mid-range is quite meaty too, but the top end feels sluggish.
The petrol variant that is powered by the 1.2-litre Smartech engine, feels quite strong throughout the rev-range though. It puts out 86 PS of power at 6000 RPM and 113 Nm of torque at 5000 RPM. This engine claims a fuel economy 18.2 kmpl.
Coming to the ride and handling, the Sail U-VA incorporates a slightly soft suspension setup. It isn’t as soft as the setup on the Hyundai i20 or the Suzuki Swift, nor is it as stiff as the one in the Ford Figo or the Toyota Etios Liva. Therefore, the Sail U-VA isn’t as bouncy around corners as the i20, but it isn’t as sharp as the Figo either. The ride comfort is decent for your regular city commutes as the suspension handles the Indian road conditions pretty well.
The Sail U-VA runs on 175-section rubber wrapped around 14-inch rims. The Apollo tyres on our test cars offered mediocre grip and squealed quite a bit around the bends. The road noise from these tyres is relatively low though when cruising on the highway. However, at speeds over 100 km/h the steering feels jittery and may dampen your confidence to an extent.
Chevrolet has taken special care to make sure that the noise, vibrations and harshness levels are low in the Sail U-VA. While the engine and road noise has been taken care of, there is a fair bit of wind noise over 120 km/h. All said and done, the Sail U-VA isn’t a performance hatch (though the commercials may claim otherwise), but when it comes the city commuting, the newest hatchback from Chevrolet does a commendable job.
Lets sum it up then! For once we have a Chinese product that wears a ‘Made in India’ tag. The pricing however, makes it ridiculously more expensive than the likes of the Ford Figo and leaves the Sail U-VA is the territory of ruthless butchers like the Suzuki Swift and the Hyundai i20. It remains to be seen then, if this becomes another use-and-throw Chinese offering or turns around fortunes like the Figo did for Ford and becomes Chevrolet's epic Sail!
First Published on 08:02 pm, November 02, 2012