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Used Chevrolet Optra – Low on budget, high on performance

People who are constantly bogged down due to the budgetary constraints, but secretly yearned for a big car, a used Chevrolet Optra, for an approximate Rs 6 lakh, is just the ultimate choice. Initial offering of the launch, in the year 2003, was a take-it-or-leave-it 1.8 L petrol engine. General Motors (GM) in their wisdom later decided to introduce a 1.6 L petrol engine option. This made the car a good value proposition without compromising much on the key aspects of performance and drivability.

A 3-piece grille, during the initial period was effectively replaced by a single-piece grille. This was unveiled with the special 2004 NY edition. Its worth mentioning that both the machines are practically trouble-free, at around 35,000 km mark, the timing belt needs to be replaced. Be dead sure that you don’t miss on that while and make sure that the second hand Chevrolet Optra that you are mulling to buy has got it replaced on time. Both the rear and front brakes call for attention once you have registered a 40,000 km mark. Many, if not most owners replace only the frond disc pads at this juncture, but if the brakes squeal in the car that you are test driving, infer that as a signal to change the disc pads to immediate effect.

Another common complaint made by some Optra owners is the size of the wheel, 14-inch, of being too small. Hence don’t be surprised if you come across a 15-inch rim, as it neither impedes fuel economy nor impacts the suspensions. A Chevrolet Optra was offered to buyers with a 2 year service package, but the good news is, it is transferable from one owner to the other. The company promises to honor the service deal, through a network of dealers, as long as the schedule of service is adhered to. Under the terms of the same scheme, Chevrolet has undertaken to pay for the coolant as well as the oil for regular servicing. One downside of owning a used Chevrolet Optra is the expensive spares. They are pricier than say, a Hyundai Elantra or a Honda City. Quickly to add, Optra has proved to be more reliable than many of its brand’s other offering hence, it may after all not be too costly to maintain

An accounting disadvantage attributed to a used Chevrolet Optra is its depreciative value which declines steadily unlike other cars in the segment, for instance, the Elantra, which saw a much steeper decline in its value.

But let us not forget the fact that parts such as front brake discs cost as much as 2 times for the same Honda City spare. Cost of replacing the door is an astronomical Rs 21,000, while the replacement of the hood can pinch you a further Rs 16,000.

There is little doubt that Optra is a seemingly good looking vehicle, but it is still advisable to inspect it thoroughly during day time. If you happen to notice a lighter paint on few of the body parts, be assured that it is a case of an accident job. As a cardinal rule one must stay away from such deals or bargain to get a bigger discount. One of the strongest points of even a second hand Chevrolet Optra is its suspension, which are beyond failure and could carry the car gracefully even to a mark of 60,000 km. if the car you are mulling to buy has been used generously, you must inspect for suspension noise and worn bushings. Being a high-cost spare car, one must be wary about the suspension noise, as it cost a whopping Rs 6,700 to replace the lower front suspension arm and front shock absorber combined.

A lot of efforts have been invested on part of GM to make the Chevrolet Optra’s fuel economy efficient by working on the management system of the engine and changing the ratio of the gear. A well maintained Optra will usually turn around a figure of 9 to 10 Kpl inside city parameters.

A parting recommendation would be, go for the Optra with the 1.6 L engine as it is more efficient on its fuel economy without any significant effect on its performance vis-à-vis the 1.8. The second hand Chevrolet Optra price in India would be approximately Rs 4.75 lakhs whereas the 1.6 one from 2007 would cost you approximately Rs 6.8 lakhs.

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