Chevrolet Sail Review
Chevrolet has not been very successful in the Indian car market but then they are trying hard to be a strong player. The Cruze, which is a segment leader in the D segment, is the only car which is doing decent numbers.
However, the low may not be there for long as the company has some ambitious plans for India. They recently showcased their compact SUV concept, Adra, at the 12th Auto Expo in Delhi and it received great response. Apart from the Adra, even the Beat facelift was launched at the same venue which now sports the new bow tie grille.
Part of the revamping strategy, Chevrolet launched the Sail U-VA hatchback and Sail sedan to take on competition. The Sail sedan marks Chevy’s re-entry in the mid-size sedan segment which is primarily led by DZire and Amaze. While it does not boast of an exhaustive features set, the Sail promises to be a practical solution for daily commute. We explore it in different sections of our review.
The Sail sedan similar to its hatchback sibling does not look wow from any angle but then it comes across as a decent looking car. The bow tie grille dominates the front and it also gets sweep back headlamp design. The bumper looks very cheeky with subtle profile on the lower section.
Till the B-Pillar, it is very reminiscent of the U-VA but the real difference starts post the B-Pillar. There is a strong shoulder line running on the side profile and the C-Pillars gradually flow down to the boot. It also gets 8 spoke 14” alloy wheels on the top trim which is attractive. The rear overhang is very evident and it does look rear-heavy.
The rear profile is very simple with bare minimum. It does manage to conclude the design in a nice way. The best aspect of Sail’s design has to be the balance maintained in the overall profile. The DZire, which seems to have a retro-fitted boot. Looks totally out of proportion but then the Sail does not look a quick-fix job.
The Sail is a very simple looking car built for a purpose. It may look dated to some because of lack of jazzy lines or sophisticated creases but then it manages to look presentable from outside.
The headroom and the legroom remain sufficient for the front row passengers but the sloping roof line can make the space a little cramped for tall passengers seated behind. The legroom is sufficient for an average sized individual.
It has a four speed AC but then the AC takes its time to cool the cabin. This is not cause of the AC capability but Mumbai heat which can get very challenging at times. We often were using the AC at its maximum speed to cool the cabin.
The glove box is not generous when it comes to gulping articles but miscellaneous paper tickets can find its place there. There are bottle holders on front doors. On the central panel, there is a very smart interim recess which can take a phone as big as Samsung Note. The rear passengers get one cup holder located just after the hand brake.
The music system offers good playback quality. It has a 4 speaker output range with 2 speakers placed in the front and 2 at the rear. The speakers perform well till upper mid range as when the frequency hoes in higher ranges, the speakers give up on quality. The music output can be adjusted for different Bass, Treble, Fader and Balance levels. It also offers an option of pre-saved equalizer options.
The steering wheel feels nice and confident. It however does not offer any sort of controls on it and this you have to reach for the actual controls every time. One more hassle is the power window buttons since it’s a row of them it often happens that you end up sliding up/down the wrong window. These buttons are too closely placed with each other. The ORVM adjustment button has a very neat arrangement.
Mechanically, Sail’s engine remains same as the U-VA. We drove the diesel variant. 1.3L SMARTECH Diesel engine, which has a displacement of 1248cc produces a peak power of 78 PS at 4000 RPM and a torque of 205Nm at 1750 RPM. It is meshed with a 5 speed manual transmission.
Power delivery is not quick enough and it takes time for this 1.3L engine to generate enough power to make the drive feel interesting. Like many other cars in this segment, the Sail too is at its best in mid range engine speeds. Post 2000rpm there is ample speed to play around with. Even overtaking does not take efforts.
Even though it feels torquey, it does not manage to hold ground firmly at high speeds. In fact, crossing 100Km/h is a task indeed and the diesel motor barely sticks on to high speeds. The rattle gets evident and the steering too loses on giving precise feedback.
On the highway, the Sail might not “sail” in the smoothest way but then inside City is where one can enjoy it. It is a fully grown sedan specially when you compare it to the hatch but even then manoeuvring it is very easy. The 14” tyres provide sufficient grip to hold on to the tarmac. It also gets decent suspension dampening. The Amaze scores more in terms of suspension, ride and handling but the Sail is not disappointing.
Overall performance of the Sail is very much like a daily commuter. City commuting will not be an issue at all. Even with the car occupied completely, it did not have any sort of lag. The power delivery could have been better at higher engine speeds.
|Variant||1.3 LT ABS|
|Max. Power (PS@rpm)||78 PS @ 4000 rpm|
|Max. Torque (NM@rpm)||205 NM @ 1750 rpm|
|Fuel Efficiency (Km/l)*||22.1|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (l)||40|
|Suspension & Brakes|
|Front Suspension||Mac Pherson Struts|
|Rear Suspension||Torsion Beam Axle|
|Front and Rear Shock Absorbers||Passive Twin-tube gas filled Shock Absorber|
|Brakes ( Front & Rear)||Front : Disk, Rear :Drum|
|Overall Length (mm)||4,249|
|Overall Width (mm)||1,690|
|Overall Height (mm)||1,503|
|Wheel Base (mm)||2,465|
|Ground Clearance (mm)||168|
|Cargo Volume (l)||370|
|Wheels & Tyres|
|Wheel||14 X 5.5J|
|Tyre Size||175/70 R14|
|Kerb Weight (kgs)||1,124|
|Gross Weight (kgs)||1,519|
|Turning Diameter (m)||10.3|
|Features||1.3 LS||1.3 LS ABS||1.3 LT ABS|
|Rear Power Windows||No||Yes||Yes|
|Central Door Locking||No||Yes||Yes|
|Digital Clock on Audio Display||No||No||Yes|
|Remote Keyless Entry||No||No||Yes|
|Fun Wide Audio System||No||No||Yes|
|Integrated Audio System with Radio,MP3 & CD Player||No||No||Yes|
|4 speaker ( 2 Front & 2 Rear)||No||No||Yes|
|Auxiliary Input & USB Socket||No||No||Yes|
|Mobile Music Streaming||No||No||Yes|
|Phone Pairing ( 5 Phone)||No||No||Yes|
|Make/ Receive a Call||No||No||Yes|
|End a Call / Reject a Call||No||No||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||1.3 LT ABS||VD||EXL|
|Max. Power (PS@rpm)||78 PS @ 4000 rpm||68 PS @ 3800 rpm||90 PS @ 4000 rpm|
|Max. Torque (NM@rpm)||205 NM @ 1750 rpm||170Nm @ 1800-2400rpm||200Nm @ 1750-3000rpm|
|Fuel Efficiency (Km/l)*||22.1||23.59||18.8|
|Overall Length (mm)||4,249||4265||4413|
|Overall Width (mm)||1,690||1695||1703|
|Overall Height (mm)||1,503||1510||1550|
|Wheel Base (mm)||2,465||2550||2520|
|Ground Clearance (mm)||168||NA||165|
|Cargo Volume (l)||370||595||460|
It has a simple yet smart design and spacious interiors. The area where it scores low is the cabin does not feel premium and the passenger engagement with the car is very less. Dimensionally it is bigger than competition especially the DZire and Amaze but then the latter offer better quality interiors and a more efficient engine. Thus, if you need a decent looking car with spacious interiors and at a decent price, the Sail sedan can be a good option.