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Old 3rd June 2011, 10:23   #1
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Default Chevrolet Optra Magnum 2.0 LT - Black

I share below my initial ownership report and my buying experience.

Initial Ownership report:

I have driven the vehicle for around 3500 kms now. The experience has been fantastic except for 2 hiccups. One of it was part of the buying process and has been elaborated below under buying experience.

Features of the car: Model LT

2 Airbags (Driver & Co driver)
ABS
All 4 disc breaks
Leather interiors (Beige)
6 cd changer Clarion music system.
Automatic climate control
5 Alloy wheels
Apollo Accelere tyres.

Accessories:
* Sun film
* Reverse parking sensor (both offered as freebies)
* 3m Paint protection (1+2)
* 3M under chassis coating (Rs. 9500 approx together).

Like:
* Pick up after 1800 rpm is addictive and mind blowing
* Does 140 at highway with ease with no strain on acceleration or lag
* Fantastic ride quality
* Very very spacious. I am a 6 footer myself and have enough space at the rear to accomodate even me with the same driver
seat settings.
* Driver Arm rest is very comfortable and provides good storage space under arm rest
* Cooled glovebox is a boon
* Airconditioning is very effective and good even at 40+ degrees of heat
* Though i have had initial hiccups with dealer, subsequent interactions have been pleasing and satisfactory.
* Handling is pretty decent and could take corners at 130 kmph with ease and confidence.
* Low seating position
* Steering feedback is decent though would have preferred little heavier steering and some more feedback. (I come from a
fiat )
* OE headunit and speakers are fairly good and do not intend to change in the near future. Aux port lends versatility.

Dislike/ Issues:
* Once on my trip to yercaud, the mal function light came on and there was sudden loss of power near Ambur. Parked the vehicle and checked engine oil and saw it was empty. Called the GM service who responded immediately, asked me to use some engine oil and go to Salem. He conferenced the Manager service at Salem and ensured i can drop my vehicle there 24*7. This was on a friday evening at around 7 pm. However, the light disappeared after 10 minutes and I climbed the hills to Yercaud with no issues. Took the vehicle to the service station at Salem and the vehicle was immediately attended to and was on the ramp. They checked for any oil leakage and there was none. They did nt have the Tech 2 machine to do the computer checking and requested me to leave the vehicle for a day offering to drop the vehicle back at Yercaud. Instead, i opted to take the vehicle, came back by Sunday to do the check. They had obliged and ensured availability of appropriate personnel to attend to me. On inspection, Tech 2 showed 2 errors. They cleared it to check if it crops up again to ensure it is a problem. However, it did not show any error. Spoke to the GM Service at KLN motors Chennai and arranged for vehicle to be inspected on Monday. Returned to Chennai on Sunday night. No issues faced during this time. I had been up and down the ghat section 6 times during this time and had done more than 600 kms. Monday, they inspected with Tech 2 again and the problem did not repeat. I then recollected that a small part of a plant branch had got stuck underneath in the highway when we pulled back after a break. I pulled it out. Not sure if it is because of that. however, I have done more than 700 kms now post that issue and it has not resurfaced. Will keep the post updated if i face any similar issues. The GM was kind enough to call me after 2 weeks to ensure everything was fine.
* Turbolag below 1800 rpm could be frustrating. It is important for you to accelerate slowly. I have got used to it and think it is
a good habit to accelerate gradually.

I have few pictures of the car which I would upload soon. I have given my laptop for service and await for the same to upload the pictures.

I have opted for CPCO and my 1000 kms service was done with pickup and drop of the vehicle. They had filled the tyred with Nitrogen on my request and have given me free top up for a year.

Learning:

I was told that engine oil levels are to be checked only when the engine has cooled down. When i had checked for the oil level initially on surface of the issue, the levels showed below min. I was surprised and alarmed. However, when i tried to top up with oil, i had done with only 1 litre and it then showed that the level is at maximum in the dip stick. (By this time i had spent more than 40 minutes and the engine had cooled down).

Buying experience:

It all started when i decided to upgrade from my Palio MJD. I started getting niggles and realised that the parts are more expensive than the Linea. With a promotion round the corner and an increment, I was thinking of upgrading.

Out on the market, I had almost zeroed in on the Fiat Linea Multijet. I am a huge fan of Fiat. With the launch of T jet and with me clocking just about 1500 kms per month, i was wondering if I could go for the T jet. Took a test drive of both vehicles. Was spell bound by the acceleration and the feel of T jet, however I realised it would cost me more than Rs. 10L on road. With a petrol engine, that would throw my financial logic to drains...

When i almost decided on the Linea Multijet, i realised i would rather buy a car which has its service centre close to my house. I had Chevy, Skoda, Mahindra and Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki and Ford close to my house. This made me think endlessly about buying the Fiat. A newspaper ad at this time on Chevy Optra Magnum made me curious. I had always liked the Magnum. Have read owners praise the 2 litre engine and the ride quality. Requested for a test drive and the dealers (KLN and Sundaram) were prompt in responding. Though Sundaram gave the usual excuses and delayed it by a day.

Day of test drive 1 (KLN Motors), the sales guy said, "Sir, test drive this car, you will definitely want to buy this and look no further". I smiled then, only to realise he was right when i was done with my test drive. I was overwhelmed by the car. It comes with Leather interiors, Clarion 6 cd changer, ABS, Airbags, all 4 disc brakes.... This was more than sufficient for me. Though i did have an option to buy a cheaper variant without ABS and Airbags, i thought, it is better off buying it with ABS and Airbags especially with this rocket...

After a couple of days, had test drive 2 with Sundaram motors, this helped me confirm the initial opinion. I let the driver drive it for a while when i sat on the rear seat.. im 6 ft 2 inches tall and trust me there is more than ample space at the rear.

Decided it would be the Optra Magnum LT. With the service station less than 2 kms away, it was like sealing the decision. Checked with the bankers... realized SBI works out to be the cheapest and thankfully had de centralized for Auto loans to be processed and disbursed at the branch level. Got the loan approved in 3 days, paid the booking amount. Initially i opted for Sandrift Grey... was promised a week delivery time, max 10 days.

Call them after 10 days.. am told, that the color has not gone into production line, only white is available, else a 2010 grey is available. I insisted i want only a 2011 model and the alternate colour would be black.

Waited for another 2 weeks following up with the sales guy and the car finally arrived on 21st February (Black). I was all enthusiastic that I could take delivery by 25th.

This is when one of the biggest disasters happened, my mom passed away on 22nd due to a cardiac arrest. Everything went helter skelter, called the guys and asked them to postpone delivery. I did nt want to take delivery until the 13 days rites were over.

In between went to the showroom to pay for CPCO. I felt it would be more hasslefree to get into teh CPCO than keep paying for service everytime. Though I agree it is debatable and there is no one answer to say if it is worth it.

Post all the rites, called the sales guy only to hear excuses. Gate crashed into the showroom and luckily had the GM Sales. Created a small ruckus by telling them im not moving without the vehicle that day. GM Sales then arranged for the vehicle to be delivered that evening. All through this time, from the date of arrival of the vehicle to the yard, I was told the delay to register the vehicle is because the Truck invoice was not with them. This was very suspicious reason and I kept pushing the sales rep.But finally, the vehicle was gettin registered and I put this behind my mind.

Evening, came early from work to take delivery of the vehicle. It was dusk/ twilight and while taking delivery, i was asked to do the formalities while they cleaned the car. Being a black car and with the showroom being on the mainroad, there was constant dust accumulation. Did an inspection of the vehicle and observed some bursting (Paint) on the bonnet. Highlighted this to the sales rep only to hear that, sir these are nothing big.

Finally took home the Chevy Optra Magnum and thus began the wonderful journey with this black beauty.

Post two weeks of ownership, i was nt very happy with the bursting (paint) issue, looked at it from multiple angles and felt the paint quality on the bonnet was nt good. A friend of mine, a second hand car dealer, checked and confirmed that the bonnet was repainted. In the mainwhile to ensure i had a strong case, I had recommended the Chevy Beat to my neighbour and had arranged for a test drive. I called the sales rep and driver and asked them to have a look at the bonnet of my car. They confirmed that the bonnet has been repainted. Called my sales rep and told him about the issue. I also asked the sales rep at home ( who came for the test drive) and the driver to talk to him and confirm the issue.

Subsequently, i also called the GM sales and informed him on the issue who asked me to call the CRM. Spoke to the CRM, who thankfully lived closeby and scheduled for a detailed inspection the following Sunday morning.

Come Sunday, CRM came home and inspected the vehicle. Within 2 mins, he confirmed the bonnet has been repainted and then took a test drive of the vehicle. I accompanied him. Checked and confirmed that there were no mechanical faults and arranged for the bonnet to be repainted.

They took the car on the following wednesday and promised to give it to me on Friday. Friday evening, they gave all excuses for not giving the vehicle. I decided to go to the workshop Sat morning. Reached the workshop on Sat and inspected the paint job. I was nt happy with it and raised the issue to the GM service Mr. Kumar. Thankfully, Mr. Kumar is a very hands on and receptive individual. He was extremely courteous, understood the issue and promised me that they would repaint the bonnet again and confirm proper finish. They asked for 2 more days. I called the MD of KLN motors and briefed him on this issue and told him that if this time they dont get the paint finish right, I would need a replacement car (new car), else i am going to the court to file a case. On digging on the root cause of this issue, I was told (I repeat I was told, as I have no means to confirm it) that after offloading the vehicle from the Truck, a steel rod had scratched the bonnet when at the yard. This had triggered the paintjob. When i questioned them on how this cleared the PDI, they had no answer to it.

With no choice left and having escalated this to the highest level, i pushed them to give me a spare car for two days. Got a spark as a spare car and left the workshop. On Monday evening, i got the car delivered at work place. Checked for the paint quality and it was satisfactory. There was no Orange peel this time and the dullness was gone.

Finally took the vehicle and the experience thus far has been very good. There have been few hitches with the sales folks and the accessories guys when i wanted to do the Sun film but considering the larger ordeal, i would rather discount it.

This is my first ownership experience that I am writing and request you to pardon me if I have missed out on anything.

Last edited by visweshkalambur : 13th June 2011 at 15:18.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 10:45   #2
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum 2.0 LT - Black

Congratulations for your new car. Sad to hear about the tragedy.

You could have possibly avoided all the trouble with the bonned with a thorough PDI before registration at the dealer's yard. Malpractices like these are very common and many go to the extent of pushing a TD car.

The torque is addictive. Especially on the highways its fun and brings a big grin on your face. The space in the car is awesome and absolutely essential for a tall person like you. Black looks superb but takes a lot of trouble to maintain. Be extra careful from the beginning.

EDIT:
Quote:
This is my first ownership experience that I am writing and request you to pardon me if I have missed out on anything.
Do post some pictures man! and also some more info on your driving experience

Last edited by benzinblut : 3rd June 2011 at 10:52. Reason: see EDIT
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Old 3rd June 2011, 10:53   #3
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum 2.0 LT - Black

Viswesh,

Congrats on the buy. Sad to hear the initial running around you had to do for the painting job. CPCO makes sense given that there have been some fuel pump failures etc.

Having done 45k kms and 3+ yrs on the Magnum, am sure you will enjoy the driving experience ! One another thing I have seen is that Chevrolet is responsive and does take corrective action, just that a little escalation is required once in a while ...

Couple of other things you may want to look at are changing the headlights (if you travel a lot on highways/at nights) and the tyres. I am still running both of them stock but planning to change them soon.

Be safe and enjoy the torque !
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Old 3rd June 2011, 10:56   #4
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum 2.0 LT - Black

Viswesh -

I could not take the honours of being the 1st one to congratulate you, but never the least.

Many a congratulations for owning the beast.

Did you confirm in the owners manual on the following?

Torque - 314@2125
Power - 120.5@3000

Wishing you many a Happy Miles with her !!

Happy Motoring !!
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Old 3rd June 2011, 11:28   #5
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum 2.0 LT - Black

Hi vishwesh.

My condolences for your great loss buddy.
Congratulations for your optra magnum.Suddenly the optra magnum is being noticed for being such sheer VFM. Chevy has positioned this car in the right segment now.In fact iam looking at it as my next car albeit a used one.Do upload some pics.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 11:29   #6
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum 2.0 LT - Black

Benzinblut, enygma, Torquedo... thanks for your wishes.

@ Benzinblut - I was unable to do the PDI because of the unexpected death of my mother. Agree black is troublesome to maintain. I have done an AMC with this company called Pegasus facility which would do exterior polishing (Wax), interior cleaning, perfuming and tyre dressing once a month. It costed me Rs. 6K incl of tax. I think it is worth the deal. Have ordered for 3M car cleaning cloths from the US. Await the same. The normal cloth has already given me some swirls, hoping the second round of 3m paint protection coating would help me remove these things. Though, after the first round of wax polishing, it did help remove quite a bit of the swirl marks.
Pictures will follow soon. The driving experience has been nothing less than fantastic. I have been to yercaud (around 380 kms one way) and vellore ( 138 kms one way) and both experiences have been very good. I could easily take curves @ 130. I should mention this, on my return from Yercaud, there was this guy in the ANHC in front of me who was holding to the right most lane and not crossing 110. I was finding it difficult to overtake him... but come a curve towards the left, the ANHC moved lanes to the middle and I could easily accelerate, hold my lane and overtake him with no sweat. This really made me smile esp on the handling part of it where I can easily take curves on the highway at 130 without worrying. Remember, all this on stock tyres! The torque is addictive and exhilirating to say the least. Another beautiful part of the engine is there is no knocking sound if you are in 4th gear, remove your foot from the clutch accelerator and breaks. The car maintains a particular speed ensuring there is no knocking sound. This, in an engine built 4 years back.. is really nice......

@ enygma - I did consider upgrading the headlights with OSRAM (as this does not need a cut out), though am skeptical with the CPCO. Anything done from outside could void the contract. Being careful about this. wrt to tyres, i have Apollo Accelere at the moment, planning to use this for the first round till it wears out before i can upgrade the tyres. I have already stretched my budget to own this beauty, so taking it a little slow. The fuel pump failures have already been addressed in 2008 from which time they are using a new one to avoid the issue.

@ Torquedo: Though i can confirm the numbers off my head. Let me recheck with the manual and confirm. If I am not right, i did check the manual and confirmed this to you earlier over phone. When are you buying yours mate.

Last edited by visweshkalambur : 3rd June 2011 at 11:32.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 11:39   #7
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum 2.0 LT - Black

@ shantyrocks... thanks mate.. pictures will def follow. Will try to do it over this weekend. This car, at the price point is definitely a fantastic buy. I can tell you without a blink of my eyes that, given the All New Verna, Vento and the All new fiesta, i would have still gone for the Optra. Esp with the 2.0 Litre engine and the ride quality. The ride quality is really something to write about. And let us not forget, the Optra is definitely a segment higher than the 3 cars i mentioned above (adds to the perceived image )...and it comes cheaper than their top end model with more space and all the necessary features. (I am indifferent to bluetooth option, I dont think we would use the speakers for our phone unless we are alone in the car). Ofcourse, here I would give credit to the All New Verna which gives you 6 airbags, which is definitely a segment first and a wonderful mvoe by Hyundai.

Last edited by visweshkalambur : 3rd June 2011 at 11:41.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 11:47   #8
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum 2.0 LT - Black

Man buying a car is such a Pain. Look at this. Trying to pass off a car with repainted bonnet as brand new. This spoils the whole experience. Who knows whether it was just a steel rod or something else. I don't think you should suggest any prospective buyers to that dealership anymore. And also do take it to higher levels. If you stop now it will ensure that they will pull this trick on someone else too.

That they did it on you means most likely they did on someone before who did not bother to bring them to task.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 11:58   #9
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@ Download2live - Agree it is such a pain when something like this happens. I was allotted the engine number and chassis number before the car came to the yard. So, i dont think this car was considered for some one else. Agree that it need nt have been a steel rod cud be anything else, I have escalated this to the MD. He, GM Service and the CRM have been extremely apologetic. This has given me a window to interact with the GM Service personally and I see him as a very nice guy. When i went to do the 3m paint coating and under chassis protection and over other interactions, the service folks came across as very good people. I would nt want to sideline the dealer for this. Agreed they made a mistake, but all of us do right and they have salvaged it well too....!
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Old 3rd June 2011, 12:29   #10
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum 2.0 LT - Black

Wonderful writing & start up. Lots & Lots of positive reviews for this beauty. And good that you chose the version with ABS & Airbags - A little extra might come handy.

And yes, you did forget one thing! Pictures please.

Wish you miles of happy & safe motoring ! Enjoy your rocket.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 12:51   #11
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Quote:

@ Torquedo: Though i can confirm the numbers off my head. Let me recheck with the manual and confirm. If I am not right, i did check the manual and confirmed this to you earlier over phone. When are you buying yours mate.
Thanks for rechecking Mate, I do remember having a dicusssion on the specs, but don't really recall if you did look into the manual at that point in time.

As for me buying, I will have to discard one of my cars to buy the Optra, with the kinda highway ability of my Swift, I don't want to sell it. So basically holding myself back as long as I can, it should be about a couple of months away.

Viswesh - what are the service intervals for the Optra?
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Old 3rd June 2011, 13:49   #12
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Torquedo..I am having the owners manual in front of me now. I confirm the following

Max Power - 121@ 3000
Max. Torque - 314@ 2125
Tank Capacity (Fuel) - 60 litres.

Service intervals per the CPCO are

1st check - Initial inspection and top up of oil if need be @ 1000 kms.
Every 5000 kms - Inspection and replacement if needed.

Oil change is for every 10k kms starting 5000
Air cleaner element change @ 10K kms and subsequently every 15K kms
Fuel Filter change every 30k kms
Timing belt change at 60k kms.

These are per maintenance schedules in the manual.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 14:02   #13
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum 2.0 LT - Black

Thanks for the quick update, Viswesh.

I have heard Optra owners complaining about the Ground Clearance.

Did you have any GC issues?

As in any underbody scrapping?

There is another regarding the Optra, which people have faced in the past and would be suggestive that you might as well check.

It is the Fuel Pump, a few 2008 batch owners have reported issues with the fuel pump resulting in breakdown.

I read somewhere on the post, that the fuel pumps with the 'BLUE' stickers are the faulty ones and the ones with 'YELLOW' stickers are the right ones.

Thanks once again for providing the specs.

Happy Motoring !!
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Old 3rd June 2011, 14:24   #14
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum 2.0 LT - Black

Hey Torquedo.. you are most welcome. Regarding fuel pump failures, I understand they have started using new fuel pumps starting 2008 after the issue was traced and dont hear any after that. If any of our friends are aware of it, please do highlight.

Well, i would not say that the ground clearance is pathetic, but yes, you do have to be careful when you are going over the illogical speed breakers that we face... best to slow down. That said, i had a look at the under chassis once.. and its so neatly packed...only the silencer is visible and other places sans the fuel tank is covered. The fuel tank also has two clamps (steel) running across the width holding it and hence would insulate it from any major damage, unless.. u try desperately..
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Old 3rd June 2011, 15:37   #15
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Default Re: Chevrolet Optra Magnum 2.0 LT - Black

Vishwesh,

Nice writeup and sorry about the loss. What was the final price? Did they offer you any other freebies than the ones that you have mentioned?

Regards
tifosi.
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