|Chevrolet Beat Car Review|
The New Chevy Beat – Conception to Execution... FINALLY!
Ever since GM first unveiled its concept car trio in the New York 2007 Motor Show, we’ve been awaiting with baited breath, the launch of well any of the breathtaking beauties we saw that warm spring day.
The most common lag with any concept car launch anywhere in the world is what we like to call the Concept-Execution Paradigm. Every year we come across a plethora of concept cars and eventually the ‘Production Ready’, ‘Market Viable’ final products. Some match the original concept impeccably, others exceed expectations, many conceptualizations remain forever only on paper, but more often than not what the consumer gets is a down trodden version what vaguely resembles the original deliberation.
Enter the new Chevrolet Beat. The first and foremost of the critique to follow is what filled our media ridden hearts with glee. The new Chevy Beat managed to avoid the detested final segregation mentioned above and bears striking resemblance to the original concept. What is better is that the Indian Beat is 5-Door model as opposed to the original 3-Door conceptualization.
The Chevy beat which was the best received at the 2007 New York Auto Show bears uncanny resemblance to its preconceived version. Well almost we do miss the sporty front angular split finish beneath the grill in the original concept.
On first looks what one encounters is a car well finished - The newfound norm of angular modelling on the sides and a fair number of acute angles in the right places, from the hood to the front grille to the split rear bumper. We positively relished the slanting window sill and the arrogantly grinning front bumper. And this is one of the main things that distinguish it from its more boring counter parts running the Indian roads. The rear door handle is mounted very slyly next to the rear seat window. And this whether or not you like it, is well your call. Personally from a design perspective it looks nice although this form of handle placement does mar the view outside for the rear seat passengers.
Doors opened and enter inside. The first thing that one notices is the steering mounted control panel, the main highlight of which is the LCD Screen that displays the digital tachometer, odometer, fuel gauge and time. The speedometer is a conventional analogue. Everything is LED lit icy-blue. And it looks gorgeous! Shut the background lights and you’ll know what we mean! The top end model comes equipped with Air Bags, a USB Music System, ABS and Climate Control … Phew! Another plus is ample leg room, albeit it’s only so much in the front.
On a negative note, something that bothered us a lot is the positioning of the LCD screen. To Keep the LCD at the same height as that of the steering wheel Chevrolet has mounted the LCD screen atop the steering wheel back. This although ensures that the screen moves with the steering wheel if and when the need to adjust may arise has led to the screen being placed abysmally close to the driver. The result is the constant effort of focusing and re-focusing every time one tries to look at the LCD or the speedometer. This especially while driving can get very cumbersome. Another minus is the small boot.
All this talking done and we finally got behind the wheel. At 1.2 litre, the 79 bhp petrol engine lacks in the beginning, but four gears up, the car starts to run quite well. What we also noticed was how hushed and still the engine is at lower revs although at higher revs the effectiveness of the noise depreciation decreases substantially. Typical of the Chevrolet Vehicles the drive is smooth, light and crisp. The car absorbs the bumps nicely and interestingly this was a special tweak, worked upon by Chevrolet bearing in mind the Indian roads. Also we loved how the car took turns; I for one was particularly impressed by the feel of the grip. The car promises an average of 18 kmpl on the Indian roads what we managed to attain was almost 12 kmpl in the city and about 15 kmpl on the highway.
In a market flooded with small cars the Chevrolet Beat manages to shine on many fronts and is by far the most interesting small car on the Indian Roads for its segment. The car for the young Indian family says Chevrolet. It’s definitely ‘young’ and would be a fair fit for the intended demographic but we see the Beat as the car for the young and the restless of India- A great first car to gift your daughter.
Intentions no bar we see a winner in the new Chevrolet Beat and it shines pretty much the whole way through.
Pros: Well finished. Competitively priced. An all pervading sharp design. Handles well.
Cons: Visually uncomfortable LCD Screen placement. Rear Passenger and boot space. The engine could’ve been better – Acceleration issues, Increased torque would’ve been much better.