Chevrolet Beat Facelift Review
The definition of a hatchback some years ago was a small car which satisfied basic requirements of driving. Such cars scored low on design and performance making Indian consumers compromise on their wish list from a hatchback.
Many justified these compromises with low pricing. It was the Chevrolet Beat which brought in a new trend in small cars. With its sporty funky looks and a motorcycle inspired instrumental cluster, the Beat brought in a fresh wave in the otherwise boring category.
Being one of the most fuel efficient diesel hatchbacks at 25.44 kmpl, Beat has got a facelift to take on the battle of hatches with a new spirit. We take a quick look and find more on it.
Sporty is the right way to describe the Chevy Beat. It was a fresh looking car at the time of its inception. Among the entire Chevy’s portfolio, it is only the Beat and Cruze which look interesting while the latter scores a lot more for its muscular design. In the new Beat, the design has been tweaked with minor updates but unfortunately they don’t stick out and appear new.
Headlights get detailing in the reflectors and promise to have better illumination. It is the grille which has been changed and it now features the famous Chevy bow-tie design. The twin partitioned radiator grille which gets a chrome surround as well occupies a generous area on the front face. The plane jane fog lamp housing have been replaced by a newly designed black housing with subtle chrome accents.
The side profile remains intact with the same alloy wheels and the unique pillar positioned rear door handle. It aims to give the Beat a two door car look and to some extent it works. It has flares running on arches with certain lines running along its length but then it does not sufficiently occupy enough area to make the design look attractive.
There is jewel finishing on tail lamps now. The rear bumper gets minor updates in the form of revised lines for the plastic cladding. The reflectors have been re positioned. Overall, the new changes in the Beat are too subtle to be noticed and it does not create any excitement.
You cannot ignore the motorcycle cluster inspired instrumental panel which is the only modern funk present inside the cabin. The central console looks neat with a simple layout of buttons and knobs. They are not exactly upmarket and the poor finishing is visible in certain areas.
The wavy front dashboard is attractive but when it comes to blocking space, it does that too. I am 6’1 and my left knee kept rubbing against the panel cause of its oddly flowing lines. It is the weirdly designed storage area flowing along the length of the dashboard that eats on knee room of front passengers. The legs can still manage to get some room to breathe as remains the case for rear passengers.
Seats are decently cushioned for a city drive. They are not at their best when it comes to highway driving. They lack sufficient support and cushioning. The under thigh support for both row seats is on the lower side. Front doors have a vertical bottle holder while the rear door doesn’t have any. The storage area is reasonable but the loading area is not convenient.
Beat retains its three cylinder 936cc diesel engine which featured on the earlier version. To begin with, it is not a quiet little diesel engine and the fact that it is a 3 pot, the rattling of the unit is evident at lower engine speeds. The motor doesn’t feel rev friendly and has a lazy response.
It produces a power of 58.5 PS at 4000 rpm and a torque of 150Nm at 1750 rpm. The engine does not feel responsive in stop go traffic. Till the 2000rpm mark, the car feels very sluggish. But as soon as it gets an open stretch and the digital tachometer crosses 2200rpm, the engine shows some level of enthusiasm. With a performance like this, the Beat Diesel is clearly not for the city traffic but for the highways. Quick and short gear shifts come in handy in city and also shadow the bland engine response.
Agreed, the motor does not feel enthusiastic but then if you are travelling at a stable speed and ignore quick overtaking then the Beat diesel does a decent job. Ride and handling continue to remain impressive and even on broken roads; the suspensions do a great job. The area where it needs improvement other than making the car feel more engaging is cabin insulation. One can feel and hear each and every type of noise which includes the diesel engine revving or the suspensions going through a hard patch. Compare it with the Grandi10 and the difference is evident.
On the positive side, the cute lil Chevy can take almost any by-lane inside the city cause of its amazing manoeuvrability. The only way you can get the best out of the engine is to keep it high on revs and there is enough torque to play with but the moment the engine speed drops, it gets bland. We got a best combined mileage of 18.5 Kmpl.
|Variant||Diesel - LT(O)|
|Power in PS/RPM||58.5 PS / 4000 rpm|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||150 NM / 1750 rpm|
|Gears||5 / M|
|Wheel base mm||2375|
|Kerb Weight in Kg||NA|
|Ground clearance mm||175|
|Fuel tank capacity L||35|
|Tyre Spec||165/65 R14|
|Fuel Effeciency Kmpl||25.44|
|Cup Holders in Centre Console||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Front Door Map Pockets||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Door Ajar Warning||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Low Fuel Warning||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Rear Seat Back Folding^||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Remote Fuel Lid Opener||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Remote Tailgate Opener||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Seat Covers||Semi fabric + Design Insert||Semi fabric + Design Insert||Semi fabric|
|Steering Mounted Audio Controls||Yes||No||No|
|Anti Lock Braking System||Yes||No||No|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||Diesel - LT(O)||Diesel - XV||Diesel - Sportz|
|Power in PS/RPM||58.5 / 4000||65 / 4000||70 / 4000|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||150 / 1750||160 / 2000||160 / 1500|
|Gears||5 / M||5 / M||5 / M|
|Wheel base mm||2375||2450||2425|
|Kerb Weight in Kg||NA||978||NA|
|Ground clearance mm||175||150||165|
|Fuel tank capacity L||35||41||43|
|Tyre Spec||165/65 R14||165 / 70 R14||165 / 65 R14|
|Fuel Effeciency Kmpl||25.44||23.08||24|
|Power Windows||Front & Rear||Front & Rear||Front & Rear|
|Rear AC Vents||No||No||Yes|
|Rear Parking Sensors||No||No||Yes|
|Electrically adjustable ORVMs||Mechanical||Mechanical||Electrical|
The new Beat gets updated styling which may not be substantially different. If one os looking for a diesel hatch with modern styling and is tight on budget, the Beat makes good practical sense.