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Old 6th June 2011, 02:27   #181
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Default re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by enygma View Post
The experiences/perceptions being exchanged in this thread of late made me look up my previous Optra Magnum LT servicing bills. My Optra is Aug'07 model and has 45k kms.

Now coming back to the question of whether someone should buy it now. I still find it VFM for anyone who ends up keeping their cars for a long time (more than 5 yrs). It is not for someone who looks at the resale value every day - it is a disaster on that front. It is not a out and out driver's car w.r.t handling but it is a great car for someone who wants to explore the torque thrill ever once so often. It is a great highway mile-cruncher.

If one is only look at sales figure to buy cars, all of us would have been driving a Maruti. Last month if Optra sells more than Civic, does it mean Civic is being phased out? Chevrolet as a brand seems to be doing decently well, which is the more important thing. The market dynamics gives the buyers VFM opportunities every once in a while - this is just one such stage where petrol cars are not selling, Chevy does not a car in the segment below Cruze and hence has to price Optra appropriately.

No offence meant to anyone but I just want to put my experiences !
Hi enygma,

You have become my favourite newbie on the forum. The various posts on this thread based on second and third hand information running the magnum down were beginning to push me to post my own in my usual style which generally has members reaching for the report button (not that I care). However the brilliant assimilation of your ownership experience has saved me the trouble.

With a chassis designed by engineers while they were still free from the clutches of the cost accountants (who should be lined up and evicted from the auto industry) and further stiffened and strengthened to take on the heavier Diesel engine, an all wheel independent suspension, hydraulic steering, ABS, auto air con, one of the most comfortable rear seats (open the door and slide on to seats, not drop into or climb on to) after my lazy boy, and the second most comfortable driver seat (the most comfortable driver seat being my Cedia's) a 2600mm wheel base giving acres of interior space, excellent balance and low C.G. decent boot space and a gem of an engine designed and originally manufactured by Detroit Diesel (World leaders in Black oil fired engines) and finally the manufacturer selling it at a realistic price point, what more can one ask for.

People are worried as to how GM can sustain selling the car at such low prices. GM is not one of the leading global auto manufacturer for nothing. They know exactly what they are doing and making money out of it. To think that they would hesitate to drop a product if it were bleeding them is well naive. So stop worrying and buy from a company that is giving you an honest deal (albeit forced by market dynamics) for a change. I myself am a GM customer since the past 4 years and in my view f anything GM were very early to bring in the 1.6 ltr engine and then were forced to detune it to derive milage as forced by the "Kitna deti hai" populace. Today the roads are choc a block with 1.6, 1.8 ltr petrol engines giving anywhere from 8 to 11 kmpl and people are satisfied but still call the Optra a White elephant. Old perceptions like old habits die hard.

The other very valid point that you made is the one about resale value. People start talking of resale value even before they know what the EMI on their new car loan is. They speak with such conviction regarding prices years down the line that sometimes I wonder whether all of them are second hand car salesmen in disguise or are reincarnations of Nostradamus. A car is something to be enjoyed for the pleasures that you derive from the whole experience, not something that you put on an excel spreadsheet and dissect to bits.

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Originally Posted by Delta Wing View Post
I think it's a little flawed to call the Magum ten years old. That would make the Honda City, what, like 12-13 years old? And the yet to be launched Fiesta would already be 5 Years old. The Magnum is almost a new car since the facelift, barring the engines I guess.
Good point Delta Wing,

Infact it is the petrol Optra that is 10 year old. The Magnum came in much later about 5 odd years ago IIRC. Further the Optra is sold in various markets all over south east Asia and South America with a slew of engines. It is not going away any time soon. I currently drive a Cedia and will continue to do so till Petrol becomes 100 per litre at which time I will be at the nearest GM showroom to pick up the Magnum, as this is the only car that comes close to the Cedia in terms of driving pleasure/satisfaction and yes I am pretty sure that it will still be available then.
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Old 6th June 2011, 10:23   #182
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Default re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Eagerly looking forward to your comparisons mate. Would suggest you to try out the Optra in the end. What are your priorities in buying this car?
My priorities for buying the car are as follows. My usage is 1800 kms a month with 70% highway 30% Chennai city.

1. Good diesel engine with good acceleration
2. Decent safety features including decent handling on highways
3. Bluetooth connectivity for phone and media with steering controls
4. AC effectivity very important for wife and kids
5. Boot space also very important fro wife and kids
6. Gadgets are always nice but perhaps not so important in the long run.

Here are some points I noted after test driving the Verna, Vento and the Cruze. I know the Cruze is not up for discussion here because it is a higher segment than the other cars being discussed here, please ignore the Cruze details if you feel it is too off topic. Also please note that these are purely my personal opinions and I mean no offense to anyone here and I could be and probably am wrong about a few of these points.

Advantages
Vento Highline Diesel
Fantastic Engine
German Quality and reputation
Great Highway Suspension

Verna Crdi SX
Bluetooth (Phone and Media)
Dead Pedal
Peppy Engine
Height Adjustable Seatbelts
ORVM autoclose
ORVM indicator
Rear View Camera
Sunglasses Holder
USB /Ipod

Cruze LTZ
Black Interiors
Bluetooth (only media streaming)
Great Colour Selection
Height Adjustable Seatbelts
Looks Awesome
Phenomenal Engine
ORVM autoclose
Rain Sensing Wiper
Safe Highway Suspension
Sun Roof
Sunglasses Holder
Push Button Start
USB /Ipod

Disadvantages
Vento Highline Diesel
Poor rear visibility
Beige Flooring
Bland Interiors
Front Arm Rest not ergonomic
Hump in the rear
Long Waiting Period
relatively Loud Engine
no Auto Lock / Unock
No Dead Pedal
No Steering Controls
No USB / AUX
Rear Drum Brakes
Smaller Tires
Unknown long term Service Cost

Verna Crdi SX
Poor High Speed Stability
Poor Rear Seats Thigh Support
Engine not as much of a beast as the previous Verna's

Cruze LTZ
No Phone bluetooth
Comparatively lower Mileage
Center Console too Big intrudes into driver space
relatively Cramped Rear Seats
Hard Clutch
No Dead Pedal

I am presently leaning towards the Verna SX. But I am yet to test drive two very important competitors (Fiesta and Optra).

I've heard some very compelling arguments in this thread to consider the Optra even though it might be termed "dated". I will carefully consider it however since my Dad seems against buying a car which is not a newly released model it might be an uphill battle trying to convince him.

Last edited by Chrome6Boy : 6th June 2011 at 10:27.
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Old 6th June 2011, 12:07   #183
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Default re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

That was a great discussion over the weekend and thanks for the info and sharing your thoughts, enygma, mdsaab, khoj, breezydrive and souravc.

I have been keenly following the pre-owned market for Optra Magnum for over 3 months and till now not even one post-2008 model came into the market. I even have the service head of the authorised service centre on the lookout. There was only one car, 2009 model but the owner was selling it because it met with a big accident. Most of the cars on market are 2007 models with 45-70k or more on odo with a quote of 5-5.75 lakhs.

I also spoke to 3-4 owners of this car and they were absolutely happy about it and strongly recommended it to me.

I am not cutting a cheque favoring GM only because the New Fiesta launch is just few weeks away and thought it made more sense just to wait and check it out before I take a final decision.
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Old 6th June 2011, 12:08   #184
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Default re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

Guys,

Heard from a (reasonably reliable) source that GM is planning a major facelift for the Optra including both exterior and interiors, almost resulting in a different vehicle.

It may also have a new name to differentiate it from the current Optra Magnum which will also continue. Powertrain/Engine will remain the same.

Intent is to capture the segment between Optra (EX-S 8.6L to 9.6L) and Cruze (EX-S 12.2l to 14.7L).

Has anyone heard anything about this elsewhere?
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Old 6th June 2011, 12:16   #185
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Default re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
Guys,

Heard from a (reasonably reliable) source that GM is planning a major facelift for the Optra including both exterior and interiors, almost resulting in a different vehicle.

It may also have a new name to differentiate it from the current Optra Magnum which will also continue. Powertrain/Engine will remain the same.

Intent is to capture the segment between Optra (EX-S 8.6L to 9.6L) and Cruze (EX-S 12.2l to 14.7L).

Has anyone heard anything about this elsewhere?
Thats news to me. Did not hear of anything about it so far but if it is true then it would be awesome. Imagine the Magnum with better goodies like steering mounted controls, blue tooth, good ICE, MID, EBD etc.

Can anyone confirm itwasntme's info?
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Old 6th June 2011, 13:28   #186
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Default re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

Quote:
Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
Guys,

Heard from a (reasonably reliable) source that GM is planning a major facelift for the Optra including both exterior and interiors, almost resulting in a different vehicle.

It may also have a new name to differentiate it from the current Optra Magnum which will also continue. Powertrain/Engine will remain the same.

Intent is to capture the segment between Optra (EX-S 8.6L to 9.6L) and Cruze (EX-S 12.2l to 14.7L).

Has anyone heard anything about this elsewhere?
This is indeed great news. One more sedan to compete with the likes of Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Ford Fiesta, Fiat Linea, Maruti SX4 and VW Vento. As consumers, competition between the above manufacturers can only do us good.

Last edited by Chrome6Boy : 6th June 2011 at 13:29.
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Old 6th June 2011, 18:59   #187
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Default re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by NoRules View Post
That was a great discussion over the weekend and thanks for the info and sharing your thoughts, enygma, mdsaab, khoj, breezydrive and souravc.

I am not cutting a cheque favoring GM only because the New Fiesta launch is just few weeks away and thought it made more sense just to wait and check it out before I take a final decision.
It's wise to wait a little longer and test drive the Fiesta too.
Btw have you tried out the Verna? it may not be as great a handler ~ well actually i have no tested it so i can't say for sure ~ But going by what i read.
Being the petrol heads that we are test driving a new car is always a pleasure and something we look forward to keenly. Do let us know your views and if possible a comparo between the Verna and Optra.
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Old 6th June 2011, 20:34   #188
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Default re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by mdsaab View Post
Fantastic post!
How has the experience of Chevy service been so far? are they professional and transparent in their dealings?
in short to they instill confidence in you when you leave the car with them for a service?
mdsaab,

My experience with Chevy service both in Delhi and Bangalore has been decent. Mechanical niggles is one area where they struggle but they do their best in the earnest - I hear this is similar in other places as well. Escalations to GM are handled well. The best part that I like is most of the dealerships and service centers have a humble attitude - something I used to like of MASS - and dont behave arrogantly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khoj View Post
I currently drive a Cedia and will continue to do so till Petrol becomes 100 per litre at which time I will be at the nearest GM showroom to pick up the Magnum, as this is the only car that comes close to the Cedia in terms of driving pleasure/satisfaction and yes I am pretty sure that it will still be available then.
Khoj,

This one made me go back at look at my "What Car" thread of 2007 wherein I mentioned that Cedia v/s Magnum was a very tough one. Totally agree with your comments about Cedia ! Thanks for the kind words !
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Old 7th June 2011, 10:58   #189
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Default re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

Quote:
Originally Posted by enygma View Post
mdsaab,

My experience with Chevy service both in Delhi and Bangalore has been decent. Mechanical niggles is one area where they struggle but they do their best in the earnest - I hear this is similar in other places as well. Escalations to GM are handled well. The best part that I like is most of the dealerships and service centers have a humble attitude - something I used to like of MASS - and dont behave arrogantly.
Good to hear that your service experience with Chevy has been good. and that they have a humble attitude towards things. Mentioning the leader MASS in the same Para can only mean good things for Chevy.
Thanks for sharing your experiences, This will help a lot of folks to pick the Optra Magnum as a final choice. Knowing they will be in safe hands after sales.
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Old 7th June 2011, 14:00   #190
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Default re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

Quote:
Originally Posted by enygma View Post
The experiences/perceptions being exchanged in this thread of late made me look up my previous Optra Magnum LT servicing bills.
Thanks Enygma, for taking the time out and making this effort. It really is very useful and inspires more confidence.


Quote:
If one is only look at sales figure to buy cars, all of us would have been driving a Maruti. Last month if Optra sells more than Civic, does it mean Civic is being phased out? Chevrolet as a brand seems to be doing decently well, which is the more important thing. The market dynamics gives the buyers VFM opportunities every once in a while - this is just one such stage where petrol cars are not selling, Chevy does not a car in the segment below Cruze and hence has to price Optra appropriately.

No offence meant to anyone but I just want to put my experiences !
Good Point! When I read the sales figures of the Civic, it seemed ever more likely that the Optra would be around for a while. Though the Petrol version seems to have given way for the new Aveo.

And yes, it IS fantastic value.

Doubt you would have offended anyone. May have delighted some of us rather, with your post mate

Quote:
Originally Posted by prabhuferrari View Post
I really thank my lucky stars for landing in this thread. Am also lookin fo a diesel car in 10L range. Optra magnum sounds exciting.
Oh mate! It IS a lovely car if you can look beyond the gizmos and frills. At the core. Have test driven it a few times (including helping a fellow-Tbhpian decide). Khoj has outlined it's pulses beautifully, so won't repeat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khoj View Post
Hi enygma,

You have become my favourite newbie on the forum. The various posts on this thread based on second and third hand information running the magnum down were beginning to push me to post my own in my usual style which generally has members reaching for the report button (not that I care). However the brilliant assimilation of your ownership experience has saved me the trouble.
Yes khoj, that was brilliant.

About others sharing second and third hand experiences, it seems to be fine as long as they do mention that is is not first hand. It only adds to the available information. The reader has the choice of how much weightage one wants to give to such information.

You seem to be as much in love with this car as I am!

Quote:
With a chassis designed by engineers while they were still free from the clutches of the cost accountants (who should be lined up and evicted from the auto industry) and further stiffened and strengthened to take on the heavier Diesel engine, an all wheel independent suspension, hydraulic steering, ABS, auto air con, one of the most comfortable rear seats (open the door and slide on to seats, not drop into or climb on to) after my lazy boy, and the second most comfortable driver seat (the most comfortable driver seat being my Cedia's) a 2600mm wheel base giving acres of interior space, excellent balance and low C.G. decent boot space and a gem of an engine designed and originally manufactured by Detroit Diesel (World leaders in Black oil fired engines) and finally the manufacturer selling it at a realistic price point, what more can one ask for.
Wonderfully put maan!
A must read for anyone looking for cars upto 15L. Even the NVH management is very good and doesn't seem bothersome like many other deisels.

Seating comfort is very important in a car. It surprises me how many people don't seem to give it much weightage. For me it can be a make or break issue. And The Optra excels in it. Manza does so at it's price point.

Quote:
A car is something to be enjoyed for the pleasures that you derive from the whole experience, not something that you put on an excel spreadsheet and dissect to bits.
And this one is enjoyable and also makes more and more sense now for people not in a hurry to sell it off.
[/quote]


Quote:
I currently drive a Cedia and will continue to do so till Petrol becomes 100 per litre at which time I will be at the nearest GM showroom to pick up the Magnum, as this is the only car that comes close to the Cedia in terms of driving pleasure/satisfaction and yes I am pretty sure that it will still be available then.
Lovely post on the whole Khoj. Just lovely. These comments had me smiling with joy for a while - seeing your passion and love for cars and the Optra in particular.

Quote:
Originally Posted by enygma View Post
mdsaab,

My experience with Chevy service both in Delhi and Bangalore has been decent. Mechanical niggles is one area where they struggle but they do their best in the earnest - I hear this is similar in other places as well. Escalations to GM are handled well. The best part that I like is most of the dealerships and service centers have a humble attitude - something I used to like of MASS - and dont behave arrogantly.
If one is trying in earnest, it makes small shortcomings much much easier to bear. The good news is that escalations are handled well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdsaab View Post
Good to hear that your service experience with Chevy has been good. and that they have a humble attitude towards things. Mentioning the leader MASS in the same Para can only mean good things for Chevy.
Thanks for sharing your experiences, This will help a lot of folks to pick the Optra Magnum as a final choice. Knowing they will be in safe hands after sales.
mdsaab, from your posts it seems that you too seem to love the Optra!

@Mods, am making back to back posts as otherwise posts are becoming too long and unwieldy. And they also address slightly different issues. It is not for any disregard to norms, but for reader convenience and better structuring.
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Old 7th June 2011, 14:22   #191
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Default re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by Chrome6Boy View Post
My priorities for buying the car are as follows. My usage is 1800 kms a month with 70% highway 30% Chennai city.

1. Good diesel engine with good acceleration
2. Decent safety features including decent handling on highways
3. Bluetooth connectivity for phone and media with steering controls
4. AC effectivity very important for wife and kids
5. Boot space also very important fro wife and kids
6. Gadgets are always nice but perhaps not so important in the long

Here are some points I noted after test driving the Verna, Vento and the Cruze. I know the Cruze is not up for discussion here because it is a higher segment than the other cars being discussed here, please ignore the Cruze details if you feel it is too off topic. Also please note that these are purely my personal opinions and I mean no offense to anyone here and I could be and probably am wrong about a few of these points.
Some people have complained a bit about the AC on the Optra, but I had no such issue on the Test drives in Delhi's summer (late 30's temp). Both the Optra and Cruze have fantastic engines with amazing acceleration. The Cruze seems to handle a bit better. Whereas the Optra is a lot more comfortable to be in, with more space, far better seats and a more plush ride. On a day to day use, I expect one to be a lot more comfortable in the Optra.

In my books, the Vento is over-hyped. The Optra has better acceleration, high speed composure, brakes and the handling is only a tiny bit worse; but it is still very composed. For high speeds, I'd anyday want to be in an Optra than a Vento. Besides, the cabin is a LOT better in the Optra - space, sheer seat comfort, ergonomics, airy cabin.

Boot space is only moderate in the Optra. From the looks of it, the Double Din in the Optra should be easy to change to allow for bluetooth connectivity etc.

Steering mounted controls are bothersome for me. Would rather have a freer steering. Though the Optra's horn buttons aren't convenient either.

Haven't test driven the Verna, but from what I read, the rear seats are not really comfortable and are claustrophobic. Is not meant to be a good handler at high speeds. From what I read my impression is that it may be car which is only moderate in it's basics, while excelling in features and gadgets. The Optra is just the opposite - excelling in the basics with few (if any) frills.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with the cars. Keep them coming as u test more, mate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoRules View Post
That was a great discussion over the weekend and thanks for the info and sharing your thoughts, enygma, mdsaab, khoj, breezydrive and souravc.

I have been keenly following the pre-owned market for Optra Magnum for over 3 months and till now not even one post-2008 model came into the market. I even have the service head of the authorised service centre on the lookout. There was only one car, 2009 model but the owner was selling it because it met with a big accident. Most of the cars on market are 2007 models with 45-70k or more on odo with a quote of 5-5.75 lakhs.

I also spoke to 3-4 owners of this car and they were absolutely happy about it and strongly recommended it to me.

I am not cutting a cheque favoring GM only because the New Fiesta launch is just few weeks away and thought it made more sense just to wait and check it out before I take a final decision.
Your experiences with the second hand market suggests that most owners are happy with their cars. Most people who own the Optra seem to be happy with it, which is a very good indicator of how good the car is to be with.
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Old 7th June 2011, 14:30   #192
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Default re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

Quote:
Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
Guys,

Heard from a (reasonably reliable) source that GM is planning a major facelift for the Optra including both exterior and interiors, almost resulting in a different vehicle.

It may also have a new name to differentiate it from the current Optra Magnum which will also continue. Powertrain/Engine will remain the same.

Intent is to capture the segment between Optra (EX-S 8.6L to 9.6L) and Cruze (EX-S 12.2l to 14.7L).

Has anyone heard anything about this elsewhere?
Now this is BIG news. Thanks for sharing mate.

@itwasntme, can you reveal if the source is within GM or outside it? The reliability of this information may affect some members from picking up an Optra.

Has anyone else heard of any such information?

While many of us were wondering if this car will even continue selling, there is this news of it continuing and also of yet another version between the current Optra and the Cruze!

Would be good if people could share their views on the viability of having both these models below the Cruze.


One would normally expect a stripped down Cruze to fill that price bracket, or maybe even reduce the price of the Cruze (isn't it typical of GM to keep reducing their car's prices?)

I wonder if this could only be a rumor. Or maybe they will price the new model just about current Optra price and discontinue the current Optra. Well, this is just speculation from my side.
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Old 7th June 2011, 14:50   #193
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Default re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

If this news is infact true then I would prefer if they upgraded the existing Magnum with all the bells and whistles than downgrade the Cruze. I personally would not mind paying extra if they provide a better HU and some other fancy features like New Verna.

And any upgrade to Magnum will reinforce the confidence of the customers that the model is very much in focus of GM and would not be discontinued.
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Old 7th June 2011, 14:57   #194
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Default re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by Poitive
One would normally expect a stripped down Cruze to fill that price bracket,
+1, I would prefer the Cruze hatchback or a Cruze LS sans the airbags and ABS (will the mill being the same) at close to 9.5 ~ 10 OTR.
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Old 7th June 2011, 17:34   #195
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1, I would prefer the Cruze hatchback or a Cruze LS sans the airbags and ABS (will the mill being the same) at close to 9.5 ~ 10 OTR.
Didn't mean that I'd prefer the Cruze. Just what I'd expect from GM.

Personally prefer the comfortable cabin of the Optra anyday over the cramped Cruze's. Even though it is a bit dated, it is still high quality, more spacious and ergonomic. The seats of the Optra are miles ahead of the Cruze's.

What is needed in the Optra is a better looking console, change in AC vents' shape, better security system and better ICE (bluetooth, phone, USB) and some gizmos (reverse camera/sensors etc.). And yes, if possible a better shape from the front. Doing too much may even spoil an otherwise good cabin/car. A 'modern' broad console often messes up the knee room.

Is GM listening?
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