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Old 18th June 2011, 23:24   #1
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Default New Optra Magnum 2.0 LT [Sandrift Grey]

The search for a new car started with the Cruze. The test drive wasn't very pleasing except for me, since I was driving. The front bucket seats, the way the futuristic dashboard envelopes you, the small steering, the quietness of the engine, etc. was wonderful. My poor father sitting in the back seat however, was not amused. He had no leg room, nor head room for that matter. The new car was going to be purely chauffeur driven, with my old man in the back seat. All he wants is to be comfy. When three people sat in the back seat, it was quite cramped. In fact it reminded me of the time when I test drove the Beat with my office colleagues, and the three of them were packed in like sardines in the back seat. Silly Chevvy, it's like their ergonomics department is a chimpanzee with a slide rule. Why can't you make a car with decent rear leg room?

Our search was limited to Diesels since my father and I love diesels. My Palio Stile and his Accent CRDi have both been gems till this day.

You can read my detailed long term ownership report of our Accent here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...iled-pics.html (Hyundai Accent @ 135,000km *DETAILED PICS*)

And my Palio Stile thread is here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...e-1-3-mjd.html (Medium Grey Tank - New Palio Stile 1.3 MJD)

Getting back to the story, the only other diesel sedan they had was the long elegant optra magnum. They didn't have a car in the showroom, but the showroom owner had one, and that was parked outside. The car looks splendid from the outside, like a torpedo. Very elegant body line, and the rear lights are really chiseled and sporty looking. For some reason the word Pininfarina popped up in my head. Maybe somewhere I'd heard that the Optra was his design? Someone enlighten me on this please.

So anyway, we weren't very interested in looking at an old used Optra, so we just looked around inside, and out, and decided to get back to our offices (my father and I had run away from office during the lunch break for this Cruze TD). The one thing that stuck in my head was the fact that the Optra had the same 2.0L engine as the Captiva and the Cruze. This really appealed to me.

A week later, the salesman agreed to let me test drive the owners optra, which I did. I liked the auto climate control, the leather interiors, the AC, the handling and the lovely 2.0L. The only thing that made me uncomfortable was the dashboard design. Cheap looking wooden finish plastic everywhere. Looked completely flat. Bah.

Time flew by, with weekly follow up calls from the showroom about the Cruze and the Optra, and how the prices were going to go up and all that jazz. Our work kept us much too occupied to look for more cars, and two months went by like this.

Finally, the new Fluidic Verna launched and we decided finally to book the damn car, since our new car purchase was long overdue. Our relationship with Hyundai has been rather good, we got the first Santro when it released in 1999, followed by the Accent CRDi in 2005, whose engine was imported specially from Detroit, then the i10 1.2 Asta in 2005. We've pretty much been happy through and through with Hyundai, and we've been going to the same service center for the past 8 years.

We went to Mathura Road, Delhi, cheque book in hand. I had heard plenty of good things about the new Fluidic, and it looked pretty smashing on the tarmac outside the showroom. Inside the Hyundai showroom however, things went downhill. This was the same showroom where we got our i10, and at that time (2005), the service there was splendid. This time however, we had to prod around to get some attention, and we were pointed to a table to be seated, like a restaurant. Twenty minutes later, nothing. My mother got a bit fed up and decided to ask around. Finally, the salesman came toddling over, did the usual talk.

By now we had all marched over to the fluidic, and were marveling at the interiors, when my driver suggested we check the rear room, so we piled in, father, mother, and I. So here came the bummer. Half my father was jutting out of the car! I laughed pretty hard at this, and we had to really squeeze in to get the door shut. None of us are obese or anything, in fact, mother dearest is a modest 5 feet tall, and my father 5 foot 5 inches, wears about a 34 in trousers too. With a little investigation we discovered a raised section in the middle of the rear seat, which might've added to this discomfort. Anyway, so long Hyundai, and off we went to Toyota next door. Mathura road's got a whole line up of car show rooms for those of you who didn't know.

We entered Toyota, and it was practically deserted. The entire staff was piled up in front of a small tv, watching some dishoom dishoom bollywood flick. It was pretty funny, we just walked up to the Altis ourselves, sat inside, decided it was ok'ish, and walked out. Well we did enquire about the puny 1.4L diesel variant, but they said they didn't have it for a test drive. I've heard good things about that car, also it's 1.4L 'power' house, but yeah, too bad. We wanted to book, and time was of the essence. Off we went to Chevvy once more, who also happened to be the next showroom down the road.

I test drove the Cruze again. Once again, same story. Loved it, but my dad didn't. This Chevvy dealer however, had an optra magnum in the showroom, top variant and all that. My old man had a seat in the rear and liked the room. The seats were very soft and comfy, the leather and chrome was top notch, fit and finish cent percent. Again, the dashboard wasn't to my liking, but by then my father was already discussing finance and had paid the advance. I took the opportunity to examine the car under the hood. The 2.0L diesel fits in so well! No empty gaps, it looks built to fit. These are just some of the things I appreciate in this car.

We ended up booking the top variant, ABS, Auto climate control, all leather, chrome, alloys, air bags, the works.

Today, I went for the PDI. Everything was up to expectation. Two brackets in the engine looked rusty to me. It might be one of the exhaust manifold pipe fixture brackets or something, I couldn't figure out what pipe that was. The salesman said that happened to those particular brackets and even showed me the same thing on a Cruze parked inside. Someone help? Other than that, did all the usual PDI checks, started her up (the 2.0L monster sounds like an absolute charmer), all indicators functional, wipers, headlights, brakes, etc etc, engine idling normal. 31 kms on the odo, we're good to go. We asked for VKool tints on the front (Rs. 7,500), and for the sides and back (Rs. 4,500), which has to be done still. We got a cash discount of Rs. 30,000, out of which Rs. 12,000 has been deducted for the heat rejection films.

DELIVERY

Took delivery of our newest car this afternoon. I managed to take photographs only with my phone, but I'm sure it's decent enough to make the cut.

The car had a fine layer of dust all around when we arrived at the dealership. Understandable as she was standing there for 2 days. Staff was put on the job, and 4 sets of vigorous hands went to work on cleaning her up. The final formalities were being completed inside, while I got around inspecting the car and taking photographs.

Super long and visibly torpedo-like!

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Looks stunning from the front, love the lines

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A simple reminder, 2000 CC's of refined strength

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The alloys that came with the car were simple looking, but added to the overall feel of the car. I personally like bigger, but that's just my aftermarket bling brain speaking.

Ze alloys

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The boot flipped open with a simple button on the driver side door. First time around, I couldn't figure out how to open the boot! I looked and looked and looked but to no avail. The boot lid button is the same color as the door, and on the door, just above the front speaker. There's also a boot open button on the key fob.

The boot however, is very spacious indeed. I could've curled up in there and slept!

Captain caveman's lair

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Lift up the shiznit, and see the spare. Looked a bit dirty prima facie, but then again, it came with a 5th alloy!

'Spare' me! Oh dusty tire

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The door handles are delicious to open, they're just so big and chromey! They're extremely satisfying to actuate, unlike for instance the Tata Safari, which feels like a loose tooth about to break off.

The interiors are wonderfully plush, leather as far as the eye can see, chrome handles, lovely gap-less fit and finish, very very comfy seats and even the floor mats were really soft and fluffy!

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She does feel a class above our old Accent CRDi (see the link above), who felt like an old sturdy prison cell. The optra magnum however, felt like a hotel suite. I felt quite pampered getting in, until I laid my eyes on that disastrous dashboard. The OEM music system looks horrendous, and so do the air vents. I managed to get a look at the previous Optra, and the dash was beautiful! These circular eye sores, and that old retro looking music system just added to my pain. I mean, the whole car looked so wonderful...and then THIS! It just didn't make sense to me, but then again, the overall package made a lot of sense. For just under 10 Lakh OTR, you get auto climate control, more leather than a kashmiri leather jacket store, chrome, high quality plastics, ABS, air bags, superb leg room in the rear, leather gear knob, arm rests front and rear, leather steering (did I mention the amount of leather everywhere?), and MOST important of all, a stonking 2.0 nuclear reactor under the hood.

Last minute kapda call

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Rear door looks comfy, with lots of storage space

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This co-passenger and his box of wipes came with the car!

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Whats this little bit sticking out between the seat?

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Storage storage everywhere!

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The leather armrest

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Under the hood, the 2.0L diesel fits in smug. The engine was a pleasure even to look at. I beamed at the engine for a good few minutes.

Tan dan dannnnnnnn!

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What are these paint-like strokes around the sides?

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THE DRIVE

The engine purred to life effortlessly with a quick crank of the elegant looking keys. Gentlemen, so sweet a sound met mine ears, hardly audible, yet powerful. The noise level in the cabin was near silent, and the gentle growl every time I prodded the accelerator was simply fantastic. The tacho showed how responsive the engine was, and I was itching to go.

First things first, position adjustments. Other than the OVRM's, everything was manually adjustable, which was fine by me. The seats were height adjustable, the steering had tilt adjustments, and the OVRM controls, though not placed at the best of places, was easy to control.

Now comes the fun part. As I gripped the gear knob, I noticed how incredibly well it fit into my gripped palm. The stitched leather felt very sporty, and the gear shift even more. The gears just clicked into place, so sure slotted it was amazing. This reminded me of our i10 Asta. Unlike our weary but trusty old Accent CRDi and my Palio 'The Tank' Stile MJD, the Optra Magnum was so quiet, it was hard to tell if the engine was on. The car eased forward surely, with just a simple lift of the clutch, which moved like butter. This is one of the many things I LOVE about diesels. The low end torque.

Driving at slow speeds was heaven, the engine simply purred. My golden rule of not revving hard before the first service held good. I didn't go above 60 and didn't rev above 2k RPM. The auto climate control worked chillingly well in the 40 degree Celsius Delhi summer heat. The indicator and wiper controls were swapped, so that required a bit of concentration from time to time, i.e. wiper on the right, and light controls on the left stick.

The engine seemed very refined, in fact, even the surge of acceleration I'm so used on my Palio was completely missing. Even when I gently pushed down on the accelerator, the power stayed linearly refined. No earth crushing acceleration, no getting pushed back into one's seats. She's still new, so I'll give her some time before I put her through her paces. I'm sure the 2.0 liter will not fail to impress.

My father was happily comfortable in the rear, plenty of leg room, good air con, and a nice little arm rest with dual cup holders that folded out of the comfy leather seat. This was a welcome upgrade from our Accent, which didn't have anything of the sort.

We filled up on normal diesel (the dealer said that was fine, unlike our Accent, which we run only on premium diesels, that spoiled girl!), and continued on our way. I enjoyed every minute of the drive, every second even. Every shift up or down was tasty, just hearing the 2.0L purr all through was great, controlling the OVRM's with a button was great, and the brakes put a stop to the whole world with just a tap. I felt so in control driving this beast. Left arm resting gently on the arm rest, right arm on the steering, the seats prop you up just right. Other than the hideous front console, I couldn't find anything to complain about. I just couldn't.

For a diesel fan such as I, this car just did it for me. Going from the Accent CRDi, to my palio stile MJD, and then this. I live one good life.

Cheers my friends! High def photos with a pro DSLR will be soon to follow on my next day off! All questions are most welcome, along with any comments and or criticism!

Last edited by ByDesign : 22nd June 2011 at 23:15. Reason: Assembly line updation
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Old 18th June 2011, 23:30   #2
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Default Re: New Optra Magnum 2.0 LT [Sandrift Grey]

Congrats on the new optra! The dealer is Regent Mathura Road?
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Old 18th June 2011, 23:40   #3
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Default Re: New Optra Magnum 2.0 LT [Sandrift Grey]

Excellent write up this! For some reasons, I have always over looked the Chevy's. A 2.0 liter engine is a real bomb dude. Never imagined the Optra to have this. I hope your dad lets you drive this beast often

By the way, is this automatic transmission?
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Old 18th June 2011, 23:49   #4
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Default Re: New Optra Magnum 2.0 LT [Sandrift Grey]

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
Congrats on the new optra! The dealer is Regent Mathura Road?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkykar View Post
Excellent write up this! For some reasons, I have always over looked the Chevy's. A 2.0 liter engine is a real bomb dude. Never imagined the Optra to have this. I hope your dad lets you drive this beast often

By the way, is this automatic transmission?
He will let me drive it! He's always been good to me like that He let me have his Accent right?

No da, manual! It's an nice short plump leather wrapped gear shift. Please wait for detailed photographs, you'll see all the details!
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Old 18th June 2011, 23:56   #5
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Default Re: New Optra Magnum 2.0 LT [Sandrift Grey]

Congratulations on your new Chevy Optra.

Please do add some interior and engine bay pictures.

Happy Driving.
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Old 19th June 2011, 00:01   #6
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Default Re: New Optra Magnum 2.0 LT [Sandrift Grey]

Congrats man on owning the best cars under 10 Lac. Only if their A.S.S was good this car would be selling like hot cakes. Wait till you complete 5-7K km on this car. This thing has literally no turbo lag. My friends are always shocked to see reviews that there is a TURBO lag till 2k RPM. The car picks very well starting from 1200 RPM and becomes a beat right after 1800 RPM.
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Old 19th June 2011, 00:06   #7
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Default Re: New Optra Magnum 2.0 LT [Sandrift Grey]

Congratulations ByDesign, nice color!

What did the on-price come to finally? Did you push the SA to get the discounts or was it already on offer?
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Old 19th June 2011, 00:17   #8
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Default Re: New Optra Magnum 2.0 LT [Sandrift Grey]

Congrats on your new drive.

Excellent write-up and a frank comparison against the Fluidic Verna. The more I read about the Magnum, the more I'm liking the car.

Upgrade the headlights as IMHO, the Magnum's Headlights are absolutely inadequate, especially for highway driving at night.

Wish you many many miles of happy driving.
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Old 25th June 2011, 15:46   #9
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Default Re: New Optra Magnum 2.0 LT [Sandrift Grey]

Thread moved back to the Public Forum (from Assembly Line). Thanks for sharing.
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Old 25th June 2011, 16:42   #10
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Default Re: New Optra Magnum 2.0 LT [Sandrift Grey]

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByDesign View Post

THE DRIVE

The engine purred to life effortlessly with a quick crank of the elegant looking keys. Gentlemen, so sweet a sound met mine ears, hardly audible, yet powerful. The noise level in the cabin was near silent, and the gentle growl every time I prodded the accelerator was simply fantastic. The tacho showed how responsive the engine was, and I was itching to go.
Congrats mate! Good choice, I'd say. Nice writeup, especially the "The Drive" part

If you have driven the Old Magnum (read pre BS IV), would be good if you wrote a brief writeup comparing that to the new (post BS IV) one - Here or at the Choosing a Diesel Sedan thread where you discussed the selection before ( http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/sedans...-upto-12l.html (Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L) )

Thanks mate.

And ahh, I nearly forgot - Did you check on the power and torque stats? There was talk about them changing from 120bph to 125 bhp (albeit at a higher 3800 RPM) and from 314NM to 305 (now at a lower 2000 RMP) after the BS IV changes. I think the manual still shows the 120/314 figures. You may want to check with the company with your VIN/Chassis no. on this (doubt the dealer would really know).
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Old 25th June 2011, 18:48   #11
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Default Re: New Optra Magnum 2.0 LT [Sandrift Grey]

Congratulations for your new buy. Did you find the leather quality of the new Optras lagging behind the previous versions (pre-BS IV versions)? This was one of the other point (apart from power/ torque) which was changed as mentioned by some of our fellow T-BHPians.

@ Poitive:- I had read in some threads here about someone changing the music system head unit of their Cruze with some "CASA" unit (sorry if I have mistaken the name) which is a Chineese make and completely integrated with the steering mounted controls and all MID settings. This even had a GPS receiver and a DVD player (compared with CD player of OE). I remember reading that these guys have a head unit compatible with most of the car models. I think this model have even bluetooth connectivity in it (not sure though). Do we have a similar option here in Optra as well? This having no such integration requirement, should be a straight forward job.
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Old 25th June 2011, 19:30   #12
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Default Re: New Optra Magnum 2.0 LT [Sandrift Grey]

Congratulations on your new car and wishing you a lot of miles. It's indeed a car that checks all the boxes on this side of 10 lakhs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByDesign View Post
The one thing that stuck in my head was the fact that the Optra had the same 2.0L engine as the Captiva and the Cruze.
The engine is indeed a 2.0L engine but they are different. The Captiva and Cruze come with the VCDI engine from VM Motori and the Optra comes with a TCDI engine.
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Old 25th June 2011, 20:16   #13
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Default Re: New Optra Magnum 2.0 LT [Sandrift Grey]

Congratulations on your new car. Optra looks great in that colour. IMO Optra is a true VFM and offers best bang for your buck. I agree that the dash and stereo look a bit cheap but the overall package is great.
What was your final OTR price? Awaiting more snaps from your pro DSLR.
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Old 25th June 2011, 21:17   #14
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Default Re: New Optra Magnum 2.0 LT [Sandrift Grey]

@Bydesign,

Congratulations on the buy. You do have a scorcher on hand. Chevy never loked so delicious, thanks for the pics. Great writeup, you have detailed in almost everything, nothing I say is left. What was the OTR cost and what discounts did you get. The alloy too looks yummy.

Nuclear reactor under the hood, I liked it. How's the seat quality. Man I am getiing envious. Wish you happy mile cruching and drive safely.

Does Chevy still have the 3 year zero maintenance scheme? Did you opt for it if it did had?
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Old 25th June 2011, 22:11   #15
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Default Re: New Optra Magnum 2.0 LT [Sandrift Grey]

Bydesign,
congrats. i dont need to say much about this already great car.

I just have only one grudge against GM INdia, for discontinuing the old alloys. They added so much of character to it. Why on earth did they phase it out? If you folks are listening , do keep them as an option.

I would hold back for this, even if i had all the money to go for this car.

Thganks,
Abhishek
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