General Motors are trying to build up a separate brand name for their products in India and the best way would be to start with the very successful Chevrolet brand. Save for one or two models from the brand, every other car is a success. The lackluster ones are the Chevrolet Aveo and its hatchback variant, the Chevrolet Aveo U-VA in India. The latter is the object of my attention today. It was launched in India way back in 2006. This is essentially the Daewoo Kalos hatchback with a rebranding done to it. The company even got Bollywood hearthrobs Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukherjee to promote this car but it was a no win situation in front of other capable performers like the Maruti Swift and the Hyundai Getz. Since we at Indiandrives believe in either comparing, testing or reviewing each car available in the market now, we couldn’t resist ourselves when the chance came to actually test drive a Chevrolet Aveo U-VA. General Motors on the other hand were all too pleased to give us a loan vehicle for the test drive. Some publicity is better than none. What say folks?
Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Italian design guru designed this hatchback as well as its sedan version. One thing is for sure. The sedan and hatchback duo don’t look related to each other except for the Chevy bowtie on the grille and at the back. The head lamps are chrome finished with a bezel effect. The single chrome bar with the Chevy bowtie doesn’t cut the mustard now, even though it has been designed by one of the best automotive designers in the world. It is an inoffensive looking hatchback which would age well with time. The top variant gets 185/60 R14 alloy wheels whereas the lower variants make do with 155/80 R13 steel wheels. There is no rear wiper in this car however the tail lamps are now refreshed keeping it in times with the competition. It now gets clear lens tail lamps and twin reflectors on the bumper. The best color, we would recommend, if you are interested in buying this car would be white. All other colors tend to fade but then not the white one. Also a black Aveo with red wheels would look all the more alluring.
Moving onto the interiors, they give you the same feel as the Chevrolet Spark. The 3 spoke steering wheel is similar to the one found on the Spark. The interiors look and feel plasticky in face of newer competition. Way back in 2006, it may have been okay but then not now. The meter dials still exude a sense of occasion every time you will drive this car. In the face of the grey plastics, the middle portion of the dash gets black colored plastics. They have a music player as well as the air conditioning system. There is a double glove box for those looking for storage space. As with all the Chevrolets, this one also seems configured for a left hand drive country with its head lamp stalks to the left and wiper functions to the right. It actually took us sometime to get used to this arrangement. Power goodies are present in the cabin but then not to the same level as what modern cars provide. The front seats were comfortable but then they were a bit lacking in the under thigh support. The rear seats can easily seat 3 people with no transmission tunnel intrusion or anything. Infact, they are in the same league as the Tata Indica Vista which is a segment leader as far as cabin space goes. Boot space is also at par with the Indica if not a bit more.
The front suspension of Chevrolet Aveo U-VA in India is made up of Mcpherson struts with anti torsion roll bars whereas the rear features torsion beams along with hydraulic and gas shock absorbers. This setup is slightly on the stiffer side but then this doesn’t impact ride quality. On the contrary it makes it all the more pliant. General Motors cars in India have a very good ride quality, even if the handling is a bit soggy. The steering wheel, which is usually the weak link in any Chevrolet car in India is different in the Chevrolet Aveo U-VA in India. It is well weighted and infact better than the over assisted unit in the Maruti Swift. The ride is equally good in the city as well as highway speeds. It is just that once at the highway, the car becomes more planted. NVH is also particularly low. Handling as expected was a bit reluctant with the car displaying lots of body roll but then the well weighted steering wheel makes up for it by relaying accurate feedback. Infact in the city, the U-VA is very nimble to pilot around.
There is a single petrol engine option for the Chevrolet Aveo U-VA in India. It is a 1.2 liter SOHC engine with 76 Ps of peak power at 5500 rpm whereas the torque figure rates at 110 Nm at 4,400 rpm. The transmission is a 5 speed unit. The transmission like all the Chevrolets in India is slightly notchy but then if you have gotten used to Chevrolet vehicles, it shouldn’t be a problem. The engine surprisingly, inspite of its lower power output is very peppy to drive and responds immediately to just small jabs on the accelerator. Due to its lower power to weight ratio, the accelerations runs are hit. The 0-100 kmph run was completed in 15.4 seconds whereas the top speed that it maxxed out was on 151 kmph. Towards its redline, the engine does feel strained and uncomfortable. Braking is complete with discs in the front and drums at the rear. ABS is optional and our test car came equipped with it. Braking feel was a bit lacking but nevertheless, the car came to a complete halt well before the safety mark. It was also calm and composed during this feat. As far as safety goes, there was only a driver air bag, side intrusion beams, energy absorbing bumpers, 3 point seat belts and a collapsible steering column. Fuel efficiency is good for such a heavy car (as compared to the competition). It stands at 12.9 kmpl in the city and 16.6 kmpl on the highway. These figures were achieved with the AC on full blast. The AC however feels a bit weak as compared to the competition and it takes sometime to cool the cabin down.
Chevrolet Aveo U-VA Photo Gallery
Finally done with the test drive, it was time to return the car to General Motors. Well, did we like the car? Not really. In the face of competition it seems dated now. The interiors need to be revamped big time and should be fitted with some of the Beat’s gizmos. Also the engine should get the Beat’s power output if not more. Space is excellent as also fuel efficiency in keeping with its ancient roots. Driveability as well as manueverability are also excellent for this car. Moreover, having a diesel version under the hood wouldn’t hurt. Infact it may widen the appeal for those looking for a diesel hatch with plenty of space. Pricing has always been General Motors forte and it is so with the U-VA as well. The Chevrolet Aveo U-VA price in India starts at Rs 3,97,579 and the top end version that we tested goes for Rs 4,55,643. All these prices are ex-show room, Mumbai.
Technical specifications Of Chevrolet Aveo U-VA
Engine details: 1.2L SOHC In-Line Engine
Maximum Power: 76 Ps @ 5,500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 110 Nm @ 4,400 rpm
No. of Cylinders: 4
Valves Per Cylinder: 2
Fuel Supply System: SEFI
Valve Configuration: SOHC
Compression Ratio: 9.3:1
Bore x Stroke: 68.5 x 78 mm
Transmission details: 5 Speed Manual with hydraulic Power assist and Rack & Pinion
Front Suspension: Hydraulic shock absorbers and Mcpherson Struts with Anti Torsion roll bars
Rear Suspension: Torsion Beam
ShockAbsorbers Type: Gas Filled
Turning Radius (wheel base): 4.73 m
Front Brake Type: Ventilated Discs
Rear Brake Type: Self-Adjusting Drums
Top Speed: 151 kmph
Acceleration (0-100 kmph): 15.4 seconds
Mileage-City (kmpl): 12.9
Mileage-Highway (kmpl): 16.6
Fuel Type: Petrol
Fuel Tank Capacity (litres): 45
Emission Norm Compliance: Bharat Stage III
Tyre Size: 185/60 R14
Tyre Type: Tubeless Radial
Wheel Size: 14 x 5.0 J
Seating Capacity: 5
No of Doors: 5
Cargo Volume: 240 litres