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Chevrolet UVA 1.2 LS test driven

Saturday, April 14, 2007

/ by Srikanth Eswaran





Well well well, what more can i ask for? A HATRICK for today! i some
how managed to squeeze in a test drive of the aveo UVA 1.4 LS today at
Sundaram motors, Kasturba road. The friendly neighbour hood salesman
was ever ready to offer me a test drive. The test drive car had done
2000+ kms which means to say test drive cars are not sold to us
unknowing customers! hurray chevy, you scored on that one! i went to my
wife’s office to pick her up and on my way back since other work was
over, and i had time to kill, asked the guy whether i could come for a
test drive today itself instead of tomorrow and he told me to come
there immediately. what more could i ask for? took my wife and landed
at the chevy showroom to drool at the UVA.



when i write reviews, i want to make it as unrelated as possible to any
other car and i see each new car in its own natural perspective and
enjoy it before making comparisions. Enough of talk now, to the
features: The one i saw was a 1.2 LT and the one i drove a 1.2 LS, only
marginal features differences which i ll point out later on.



The car itself:



1. SPACIOUS!! really spacious. well its more or less like the getz or
palio in space, but you really feel different here! you feel at home.

2. integrated power window switches onto door panels, nice looking good job chevy

3. tilt steering - when people cant provide height adjustible seats,
atleast they must provide tilt steering which might compensate for that
for short people or tall people alike. and to my expectation i found
it, good addition chevy! my wife was also comfy sitting in the car.

4. loads of space for rear passengers. quite asthetic. in terms of
practical space usage, sorry chevy, you stand second w.r.t getz. no
proper cup holders, only one bottle holder near console box, and no
intuitive coin storage etc etc. i can excuse that though.

5. glove box is good too and dashboard is pretty usable here too. while
the LT version includes digital clock and other things the LS doesnt
but only has space for the same. cost cutting chevy, perhaps to sustain
the organization!!

6. digital ODO, chevy here ties with getz for first place. good. damn FIAT

7. i did not notice a tacho on the ls, maybe in the lt it was there (again forgetful)

8. remote boot release and fuel cap release - available, good again

9. boot, comparable to both fiat and getz, good job chevy.

10. rainforest colour - great, plus six other colours.

11. gearshift is smooth when seen in showroom.

12. i must say chevy has got one of the most beautiful and fresh
looking cars in the UVA - rear light assembly is simply too good and
the front is also acceptable!



now to the matter - test drive …..



the route: from kasturba road, onto vijaya mallya hospital road, then
right, around kanteerva, back to kasturba road ~ about 1km with varying
traffic, sometimes bumper to bumper, sometimes rip, some even sized
humps and a full u turn!



1. the first thing i noticed when i started the car is its silence. just like getz. full marks to chevy on this count

2. the headlights dont go on until the engine is started. its kind of
funny to think of as i may require them sometimes when the car maybe
off, a silly mitake maybe from chevy, excusable.

3. wipers and indicators swapped, i hated this initially, but got used to it in 2 mins.

4. the clutch is amazingly easy to operate and i found this to be the
biggest benefit of city driving. some cars that are in this segment of
easy clutches - santro. getz, and uva until what i drove till now,
maybe ford ikon too. damn fiat, i hated that clutch and if i dump that
car, it will surely be becuase of the clutch and tilt steering non
availability.

5. the gear shift is definitely notchy, but nothing as bad as xeta,
looks like i ve got a TD vehicle where the gear shift has been worked
upon. i find the gear shifts in getz and uva easier to operate than
palio. though palio has got a disticnt feedback as to which gear you
slotted into.

6. the power windows did their job well. the a/c wasnt exactly chilling
like palio, but initially he kept it at full blast and then i reduced
it to level 1 since i was frozen. so good a/c overall. now when he kept
the a/c at highest, it was my turn to challenge the car to perform
under that condition and 3 huge adults in the car.

7. i was skeptic about the torque (though not about bhp) as it was
110Nm at 4400 rpm, almost 1k rpm more than palio and getz. i was
wondering that it wont pull with the a/c and 3 people, but how wrong I
was!! first gear gives little more freedom than the other two cars i
reviewed, after which i slotted into second. at this stage with full
blowing a/c and 3 people i hit the gas pedal real hard and it took a
few seconds to understand that input and translate it to surging
forward. i guess this was becuase of the a/c. then for the next
distance i put the a.c in level 1 and tried the same trick of 2nd gear,
this time it pulled mighty well (and the sound is like a super smooth
mixie grinding its contents - so sweet! its like a cat purring), 2nd
gear i went upto 60 with ease and then decided the car has given me the
confidence to go to third. so i went on further 3rd, 4th and finally a
notchy 5th. the fifth gear i feel is difficult to engage with the same
ease, and it might just be my misfortune that i drive a 4 gear maruti,
and i need to always remember that dude, there is another gear!!

8. when in fifth this time without a/c i pushed the car hard and its
response was encouraging. moved forward with a smooth glide. up ahead i
faced bumper to bumper stop-move-stop-move traffic. in this section i
first tried with a.c at level 1 and second gear, i had to revv the car
a bit for it to keep up. then i decided the first gear is the best and
i tried with first, it was good at first as expected. of course i am
the 2nd gear kind of guy if you know what i mean - like some people
drive their erstwhile bajaj chetak scooters directly into 2nd gear!! the bumper to bumper driving one may need getting used to with UVA but
the car simply doesnt let you down. very good job chevy. now if you
would kindly reduce the price. damn and thou shalt enocourage half of
india to buy thy car!

9. last step, u-turn on kasturba-mg road junction back to showroom.
quite a wide road, and with 4.95m it was smooth and nice, personally i
felt the u-turn i took on uva is better than the one on getz for some
reason. the power steering was just superb! silky smooth.

10. and then the brakes, quite sensitive as the palio, but werent like getz.



and with this i handed back the keys to the guy and bade him a tired
goodbye. and with this review i need to do that to you all once again,
a tired goodbye!



so whether i will suggest this car to someone? : well heck definitely
yes!! forget the safety ratings for once and enjoy a well made car.
that ways all our cars are unsafe. all depends on how you drive. and in
the morning hour rush, definitely you cant get killed.



prices OTR:



base 4.58, LS 5.03, LT - 5.48, LT with option pack (sick option pack of
abs and leather gear knob! holy cow! whats wrong with chevy) - 5.83



for arizona amber, rain forest ( a beautiful color) and velocity



LS - 5.08, LT - 5.54, LT with option pack - 5.94 (6 lacs for a hatch?
skoda, learn from these guys, you can also mint money …. grrr)









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