Chevrolet Sail Facelift Review
Car Tested: 2015 Chevrolet Sail Facelift
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 6.16 – 9.13 lakhs
The Chevrolet Sail facelift gets minor exterior tweaks but much better interiors than before
The Chevrolet Sail was launched in India in February 2013 to compete in the booming mid-size sedan segment, replacing the Chevrolet Aveo. With an attractive value proposition, the Sail gathered positive feedback during its launch but in spite of that, General Motors is unable to churn out good volumes from the Sail. Is it because of the stiff competition in this segment or the bowtie logo, which is still struggling to convince Indian buyers? We take the new Chevrolet Sail facelift for a quick spin to see if the updates change the perception of buyers towards the car.
Exteriors – The styling of the Chevrolet Sail is quite neutral and safe but that doesn’t mean it looks ugly. The sedan is well proportioned and doesn’t look out of place from any angle. The boot is integrated very well that makes it appear longer than it actually is from the side. Neither the front nor the rear profile looks overdone or boring because everything falls right in place. Now General Motors has done minor tweaks on the exterior to break the extreme simplicity of the Sail. The front fog lamp housing has been revised with chrome embellishments and the rear gets a strip of chrome as well on the boot lip. The most substantial change is the new alloy wheels pattern replacing the bland 8-spoke ones. We would have appreciated more changes though, such as reworked bumpers, lights, new colours if not sheet metal changes.
Interiors – The most noticeable changes on the updated Chevrolet Sail are inside the cabin. You get a new dual-tone black and beige dashboard with colour coordinated steering wheel, which is leather wrapped. The steering now gets a proper bowtie logo fixed that was earlier engraved and looked cheap. However, they should have provided a horn pad in the middle rather than first generation Maruti 800 style horn buttons on either side. You also get blue illumination on the audio system screen and instrument cluster that looks neat compared to the orange treatment on the pre-facelift model. We still think that the digital tachometer should get replaced with the conventional analogue meter for ease of use.
Updated black and beige interiors on the new Sail are more appealing
The power window switches are now backlit but the position right ahead of the gear lever is relatively cumbersome. There is a new 2-DIN audio system in the centre console that looks neat and tidy compared to the previous version. This system comes with Bluetooth, USB and AUX connectivity which is quite easy to use but the sound quality is average. The new leatherette seats feel good in terms of quality and comfort and the car has enough space to accommodate five people in decent comfort. The overall interior quality, fit and finish of the Sail is satisfactory but when compared to the Toyota Etios, it’s definitely more appealing.
Performance – Needless to say there are no mechanical changes on the updated Chevrolet Sail. It comes with a 1.2-litre petrol and the famous 1.3-litre diesel engine. The petrol unit churns out 84 PS of power and 108 Nm of torque. The diesel engine produces 75 PS of power with 190 Nm of torque. Both engines are mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The pick of the bunch is the diesel engine and it does quite a good job of providing enough pep with pocket friendly fuel efficiency. The power delivery is linear that gets strong post the 2000 RPM mark. Power tapers off quickly near the redline and it’s the mid-range that keeps the car “sailing” in full swing. Gear ratios are oriented towards city driving but it performs adequately on highways as well. Gear throws are short but slightly rubbery. General Motors claims 22.1 km/l of fuel mileage but expect 17 km/l in real world conditions.
Driving Dynamics – The Chevrolet Sail is a family car that is meant for easy drivability, which it delivers quite fantastically. Of course it’s not meant for hitting the apex, so the suspension is softly sprung and handling is predictable. The steering is light and convenient to use for Indian road conditions and weighs up a little as it gathers pace. There is some body roll while cornering but the ride quality is excellent. The well appointed suspension with linear dampers provide pliant ride without much vertical movement of the body. The Sail has good stopping power with progressive brake pedal feedback. For effective emergency braking, the Sail comes with ABS and EBD on the range topping variants (LS and LT).
Verdict – The Chevrolet Sail is not a car for enthusiasts or those who want to arrive in style but it is a well rounded package for people who seek practicality. It is an easy to drive car with ample space for your family and luggage but at the same time it’s quite simple and basic. General Motors has tried to make it look more polished with the facelift and the interiors are actually a better place to be in. Apart from adding chrome elements on the exterior, the carmaker should have done more styling updates to make it look fresh. The Chevrolet Sail still has some room for improvement to fight with the competition but we think it’s better than the Toyota Etios in many aspects.
The Chevrolet Sail gets a facelift with little tweaks on the outside but tasteful changes on the inside. The exteriors are updated with chrome strips and new alloys, while the interiors get a new dual-tone black and beige treatment and an updated audio system.
* Black and beige dashboard
* Ride quality
What’s Not So Cool
* Minimal changes
* Certain ergonomics flaws
Alternatives: Toyota Etios, Ford Classic, Maruti DZire, Hyundai Xcent, Tata Zest, Honda Amaze
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