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Old 1st March 2012, 09:08   #241
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

I've drove the magnum in 2008. Loved the acceleration. Hated the way the showroom folks behaved. Other than that optra is spacious, and well costs double than that of an accent today i suppose. I'm no accent fan, but i do know it had a fancy suspension setup.
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Old 1st March 2012, 14:25   #242
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford5 View Post
Really? Have you forgotten you can still buy a Hyundai Accent with All wheel independent suspension even today for 5 Lakhs, and the "ride" is the same too.. Plush, infact very plush.
And so do Tata Indica, Indigo, Marina from the day of their launch!
They have always been with All wheel independent suspension.

The Indica eV2, Indigo eCS and Indigo XL still sell!

Here is a thread on the same!
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...uspension.html (Why are car makers abandoning independent rear suspension?)

Last edited by Auto freak : 1st March 2012 at 14:32.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 15:18   #243
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Mates, Let us look at the Optra Magnum and it's cousin the Cruze. Optra has a Fixed Geometry Turbocharger, whereas Cruze has a Variable Geometry Turbocharger. Theoretically, VGTs are supposed to reduce turbolag. The engines are the same. It is well accepted that the Optra has lesser turbolag than the Cruze (there is talk about a recent revision in the Cruze though, which probably has lesser lag than the older one, though). This of course is to do with other factors (state of tune?).

It is not only about having a certain feature/technology (independent suspension), it is also about how it is implemented.

The Indigo and Accent may be good in their own right (highly subjective), but not comparable. The Optra seems miles ahead in it's implementation of the suspension, even though others may have similar classification/technology. That ride at 9-10L seems like a steal. One would be hard pressed to find it at much much higher prices.

@phenomonstar : Mate, I vaguely recollect a post by you, where you mention how your father found the ride of the Optra similar to a Merc you own. I could not locate the post. Did you say that or was I dreaming?

Last edited by Poitive : 2nd March 2012 at 15:24. Reason: Minor formatting
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Old 2nd March 2012, 17:50   #244
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Default Experiencing The VVS Magnum

.
EXPERIENCING THE VVS MAGNUM
.
Every great player has learned the two Cs: how to concentrate and how to maintain composure - Byron Nelson (a respected American golfer)
.
A bit about the Composure of the Optra
and well, my concentration
.

Am narrating a few more experiences I had with the car and my interpretations about the same, based on my limited understanding. They are shared with the best of intent. Would be happy to be corrected. I would not be getting into the speeds the car was on.
  • While taking a fairly high speed left on a wide slip road with good visibility at night. Suddenly, someone decided to jump onto the road to cross it. It lead me to brake while in a curve - something I really really avoid (can easily be a disaster). I didn't have to jam the brakes at all; however was swerving the car, while still pressing the brakes quite hard. Was very happy to see that the car felt very composed in the maneuver. It exceeded my expectations a bit. Had only done about 2000kms on the car till then.
    .
  • This next one was even before the 2000kms mark. Was extremely stressed about some things then. Usually, driving relives me of stress. Something that has never happened to me, happened that night. The road was curving leftwards. Was narrow. I was not really slow. There was a sidewalk like raised concrete barrier. Should be almost a foot high, though had a tapered side (probably 4 to 5 inches). I miscalculated a bit, while trying to save the car from a some broken surface on the right of the road. The left of the car got onto the barrier. Thankfully I was holding the steering steadily with both hands.

    It happened so gently, that I remained totally calm. Just kept driving and (as if casually) just drove the car down and carried on.
    .
    It took a while for it to register what happened. That the left of the car had actually gotten onto the barrier for a few meters. I was again totally amazed by the compsoure of the car. Thankful that I was in the Optra. Totally mad at myself for this happening and how stress was actually affecting my driving (it almost never does).
    .
    What struck me was how very casually it all happened. How gently it happened.
    .
    A well tuned and soft and independent suspension might have saved me.
    .
    • The effect of one tyre was not felt as much on the other.
      .
    • Had it been a hard suspension, the centre of gravity of the car would have risen a lot and the car would have bounced (it reminds me of how @NoRules too got saved in his high speed accident). This can unsettle the car a lot. Remember, it happened on a curve, with the inner side getting raised - recipe for disaster. This was shockingly composed.
      .
    • Now, had the suspension been soft and not well tuned, then the car could have gotten bouncy. Imagine a bump hitting the tyre. The tyre rises higher. The suspension being soft, the CG of the car doesn't rise immediately. In a poorly sorted suspension, the CG would rise a lot, albeit after a delay (think of a trampoline). It may also tend to go up and down a lot (think of repeated bouncing on a trampoline). A good suspension will dampen adequately (not bounce repeatedly like a trampoline), based on the impact the tyre faces. This felt exemplary (just my personal impression).
      .
    • This also relates to how the steering of this car seems to be designed. Will refer to this incident, when I talk about the steering feel etc.
      .
    • All the above said, there is a very small possibility that the tyres never really got fully up on the one foot high barrier, but only want up on that tapered bit and then came down. Very unlikely though.
      .
  • Small incident - Late night. A guy on a medium sized roundabout suddenly decides to turn left to exit it, when he was in the right-most lane, after nearly having crossed the exit. I had to step hard on the brakes. The car skid some distance, but it totally held it's line. It wasn't one of those total skids when the tyres fully looses traction, but an almost controlled braking. Will refer to this incident in future posts.
    .
  • Was overtaking a Merc and after overtaking, had to turn left from a roundabout. Had ample time and distance. The Merc chap probably didn't like a "lowly" Optra overtaking him. He suddenly accelerated. I was in a spot. Had to take that left a lot faster than I would have liked. Tyres screeched (something I hate) and managed to take a turn almost while overtaking him at a pretty high speed. Another confirmation of the car being able to handle high speed turns. I really would not like such situations in life. Was scary; thankfully I was as composed as The VVS.
    .
  • Just the other day, again at night, a moron on the front-right of me, suddenly decided to brake while going quite fast on an interchange. It seems he suddenly decided to take a left. Had to do a quick left-right manouver. The car responded very well. The torque on tap helped, as I could quickly gain speed, to cross the other moron's car, before he came onto my lane and block any possibility of avoiding him/other barriers. The agility and composure was well upto the mark. It only reiterated my belief this car.
What I do dislike a LOT is that 2-5 such incidents have happened in 14k kms. Something I would not even expect to happen in a lakh of kms. The car can stir me more than it should; or shall I say - I get stirred more by this can than I should!

Concluding thoughts - Time to take up meditation?

----------------------

Additional thoughts later: How much this car can stir up someone who is usually quite calm (me), it seems to be a poor choice for a car which is to be driven around alone by a Chauffeur, unless you are sure you can find someone suitable (afterall a lot more powerful cars are also driven by Chauffeurs.)

---------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post

I have often taken those roundabouts in 4th gear, despite the higher gear ratios of this car.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
At times, haven't even dropped to 4th and taken roundabouts in Lutyen's Delhi in 5th!
Just mentioning that the above have not been on going 45-90 degrees around roundabouts. On small roundabouts with wide roads, one can take a 180 degree move across a roundabout, almost like a straight road.

What I am talking above is going atleast 3/4th of the roundabout (270 degrees). Heck I even tried it with about 180+360 (540 degrees - one and a half round around the roundabout) in fifth gear! It held up well.

Such drives are usually when I am alone in the car, with little traffic at night. With Delhi's weather, it has also been without the AC being turned on.



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Old 2nd March 2012, 18:30   #245
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Poitive - Excellently compiled report of the "VVS"!!! 5 Stars!

Whether you consider yourself an Optra expert or not, you certainly seem to understand your ride and are totally involved with the machine when driving. Hence you are able to make such accurate observations about the car. Very few people have the interest to do so. Hats off to your patience to compile such detailed analysis of the behavior of the car.

Now it has been a long time since some pics. So please pepper your post with some pics of the "VVS" so that some color is added to the thread! (Not that your posts are boring otherwise, so don't mistake me)

Last edited by abhinav.s : 2nd March 2012 at 18:31.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 17:16   #246
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
Poitive - Excellently compiled report of the "VVS"!!! 5 Stars!

Whether you consider yourself an Optra expert or not, you certainly seem to understand your ride and are totally involved with the machine when driving. Hence you are able to make such accurate observations about the car. Very few people have the interest to do so. Hats off to your patience to compile such detailed analysis of the behavior of the car.

Now it has been a long time since some pics. So please pepper your post with some pics of the "VVS" so that some color is added to the thread! (Not that your posts are boring otherwise, so don't mistake me)
When @ByDesign referred to me an Optra guru on his thread, I thought that the perception needed correction. About being totally involved when driving - yes it happens very often. It is almost meditative. Meditative because one is only focused on the car and driving it, with no other thoughts or distractions. That is what makes it a stress buster for me.

There also seems to be a perception that I spend a lot of time with those "Experiencing" posts. What may take time is to understand the car, which really happens on the fly. Once I am clear in my mind, putting it in a post is usually a breeze. Good typing speed also helps. Rather, often it is a lot simpler for me than putting up pictures! Off late, it is often multi-tasked, which is why I find the quality of my posts poorer than before in some respects (grammar etc). But I thought it better to post like that, than not post at all.

After your post, I realized what Ajay too probably suggested - besides the HPS fluid incident, there have only been a pair of pictures revealing the colour of the car after page 10 - high time I got the VVS to pose!!

And yes, thanks for the kind words Abhinav. You seem to relate to driving with total involvement. Thanks for the stars as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auto freak View Post
And so do Tata Indica, Indigo, Marina from the day of their launch!
They have always been with All wheel independent suspension.
@AF mate, how is your experience with your Optra progressing? How do you find it's ride?

For those who don't know - @AF picked up his Optra without even a Test Drive!!!!!!!

Corrections -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
The Accent is also amongst the lighter sedans around. IIRC about 950-970kgs.
I mixed up the weight with the Etios. The Accent is 1023kgs as per ACI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
The signature and my profile picture, is a reminder to me also. To remain calm and not to drive safely

What I really meant is that the picture reminds me to drive safely and within sensible limits; not "not to drive safely".
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Old 6th March 2012, 18:01   #247
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Default Re: Experiencing The VVS Magnum

Addendum to post about composure above

Another thing that would have contributed to the car's Centre of Gravity not rising in the incident quoted would be the weight of the car. A lighter is likely to have risen more.

More the weight and hence momentum, the more likely it would it would be to hold it's line of motion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
  • This next one was even before the 2000kms mark. Was extremely stressed about some things then. Usually, driving relives me of stress. Something that has never happened to me, happened that night. The road was curving leftwards. Was narrow. I was not really slow. There was a sidewalk like raised concrete barrier. Should be almost a foot high, though had a tapered side (probably 4 to 5 inches). I miscalculated a bit, while trying to save the car from a some broken surface on the right of the road. The left of the car got onto the barrier. Thankfully I was holding the steering steadily with both hands.

    It happened so gently, that I remained totally calm. Just kept driving and (as if casually) just drove the car down and carried on.
    .
    It took a while for it to register what happened. That the left of the car had actually gotten onto the barrier for a few meters. I was again totally amazed by the compsoure of the car. Thankful that I was in the Optra. Totally mad at myself for this happening and how stress was actually affecting my driving (it almost never does).
    .
    What struck me was how very casually it all happened. How gently it happened.
    .
    A well tuned and soft and independent suspension might have saved me.
    .
...................

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Old 6th March 2012, 18:29   #248
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Default Experiencing The VVS Magnum

.
EXPERIENCING THE VVS MAGNUM
.

Independent and Non-Independent suspensions
.

Since we are onto suspensions and there was talk about pictures, here is where they meet. Had casually taken a picture of a Cruze. Took one of the VVS. Have a look.


.

Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)-vvs24.jpg

Optra Magnum's Independent Suspension
.

---------------
.

Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)-vvs25.jpg
Cruze with that bar linking the wheels
.



I really am not expert on suspensions, but even a casual look at the pictures tells me a story. In the first picture (Magnum) one can see that an impact felt by the left tyre would have a movement on the horizontal rod. Point A will move vertically. The movement will be largely restricted to point B; it will not pass off the C. Similarly from the right tyre. This provides it with a better ride, more stability and composure.

In non-independent suspensions (eg. the Cruze picture above), we can see that any movement in the left tyre will go through points A,B,C,D and eventually to the right tyre. In this case, one needs to compromise the ride relatively more, to get good handling.

A soft ride need not necessarily mean poor handling!


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Old 7th March 2012, 03:52   #249
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Default Re: Experiencing The VVS Magnum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
.
In non-independent suspensions (eg. the Cruze picture above), we can see that any movement in the left tyre will go through points A,B,C,D and eventually to the right tyre.

The Cruze has a semi-independent suspension (not non-independent) - it is basically a twist beam or torsion bar / beam. This beam twists within limits and actually does not transfer the entire 'movement' to the other wheel (although it does transfer some)

So, there is a twist between A - B and C - D, thereby not transferring the shock fully.

In an independent suspension, a anti-roll bar is normally added to offset the car roll due to independent movement (as in the Optra), which partially takes away the fully-independent part of the suspension.

If a torsion bar is designed correctly, it can compete well enough with the independent suspensions (especially the MacPs), but in the Cruze, it does not seem to be so!


Double Wishbone suspensions and Multi link suspensions are much better than both MacPhersons and Torsion bars. But between MacPhersons and Torsion bars, there are advantages and disadvantages of both, and both are direct competitors of each other.
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Old 7th March 2012, 16:07   #250
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Quote:
Originally Posted by keyur View Post
The Cruze has a semi-independent suspension
Thanks for correcting, Keyur.

Quote:
Double Wishbone suspensions and Multi link suspensions are much better than both MacPhersons and Torsion bars. But between MacPhersons and Torsion bars, there are advantages and disadvantages of both, and both are direct competitors of each other.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auto freak View Post
And so do Tata Indica, Indigo, Marina from the day of their launch!
They have always been with All wheel independent suspension.

The Indica eV2, Indigo eCS and Indigo XL still sell!
Suspensions are tricky. Difficult to put on paper. There are too many factors in suspension design - most I don't even find myself capable of appreciating in terms of design. One really needs to be sensitive to how the car drives and then feel it in the drive.

The Indigo etc. are on Multi-link (3 link) suspensions. That is supposed to be better than the Optra. However, the experience in the Optra is a lot lot better. The proof of the pudding is in it's eating
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Old 7th March 2012, 19:49   #251
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Default Experiencing The VVS Magnum

.
EXPERIENCING THE VVS MAGNUM
.

Centre of Gravity
Some data on heights
.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
  • Don’t have a good enough way to compare CG’s of cars. Had complied an Excel sheet with some data, while on that break from the forum, to check if my opinion is objective enough. Will make it presentable and post it on the thread soon.
So, here is that list.


The following applies to this post and other ones with data, which will follow.

What cars are in the list?

I am simply not sure. It was made a long time back. What I vaguely recollect is that I had taken all sedans with diesel engines upto 2000cc. Added some other cars for getting a broader perspective on things. This included petrol models, if there wasn't a diesel version of it.

The data is picked up from that buyers-guide section at the end of Autocar India; IIRC I used the October 2011 issue. Some data was checked/verified/added from other websites (typically manufacturers). Being about diesels, the weight (coming up in a separate post) was taken to be the higher one, from the range in ACI. At times, some approximations were made.

I don't find myself inclined to recheck all the data etc. Some of you may be owning or knowing more about the cars listed -
If you find anomalies, do PM me, preferably with the source of information. Eventually, if needed, will post an updated sheet.

The Optra Magnum is marked as Optra Magnum (1) and (2).
You may remember that there was some confusion about power and torque figures of the Optra last year. This change was probably made with the BS4 changes, but we aren't sure. (1) represents the old figures. (2) represents the newer ones. Barring the power and torque, there is no separate data available for (2), so the one from (1) has been used.

Newer car designs have often been higher, to allow better use of cabin space. Cedia and Civic have been appreciated for their lower CGs. The Magnum - have a look!

This in ascending order of the height.

.

Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)-vvs26.jpg
.

Data on power, torque, 0-100 etc coming up later.

Last edited by Poitive : 7th March 2012 at 19:51.
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Old 7th March 2012, 23:09   #252
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
The proof of the pudding is in it's eating
Agree! And what better pudding than the Optra
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Old 9th March 2012, 15:36   #253
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Default Experiencing The VVS Magnum

.

EXPERIENCING THE VVS MAGNUM
.

Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)-vvs27.jpg
.
The Dash
.
On first look, it felt pretty dated
But over time the part above the wooden strip has grown on me
I like the finish
.

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Old 10th March 2012, 14:02   #254
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Default Experiencing The VVS Magnum

.

EXPERIENCING THE VVS MAGNUM
.

Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)-vvs28.jpg

.
Desi "philim ishtyle inishpiyed" by fellow owner chetan_l
Bluntly put - Copied
.
As they say "Imitation is the best form of flattery"
Hope Chetan is flattered!
.
Had loved that second picture in his post here (From upcoming 2012 launches to a decade old model - my Chevrolet Optra Magnum thread).
.
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Old 11th March 2012, 01:42   #255
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Default Re: Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)

Had come across an old magazine, with this at it's back cover. I guess it would be from the time the Magnum was still pretty new.

.

Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)-vvs29a.jpg

.
-----------------
.

Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra)-vvs29b.jpg

.


This mentions a 0-100kmph at 9.8sec. ACI puts it a 10.9.
Any idea what this X-Pro safety system is?

.


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