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Old 19th June 2008, 22:20   #1
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Default My Chevy Optra magnum LS 1000 KM review

After year long research, test drives, finally got my white Chevy Optra magnum LS delivered last Wednesday.

I had shortlisted Cedia Sports and Magnum from the lot.
Cedia is a great car and is an asset for a passionate driver. (Infact my friend booked the Cedia, we started the hunt together).

Cedia Pros
Absolute drivers car.
Real rally build, i have test driven on worst roads
sport carbon black interiors
Fully loaded for 9.7 Lacs- ABS, Airbag, Leather seats, Spoiler, Skirts and what not

Cedia Cons
As i said before , FE is low but not when you know its a 2 liter engine.
Only 4 colours, I feel none of the colors except yellow does justice to the design

The one and only criteria on which i was disappointed was the fuel economy, ( that too i believe is pretty decent for a 2 litre petrol engine).
I wanted a diesel engine as i have long trips and clock an average of 1500 to 1800 a month.

So magnum it was and i believe i made the right choice.

And frankly it beats expectations by miles. I have clocked 960 kms so far and have tried highways, city rides and rough roads.
The torque wave is simply addictive. The ride quality is excellent. Car is roomy and the interior finish is top notch.

I guess the turbo lag issue is sorted out by an ECU remapping, as i don't feel it much.
Bit of sluggishness in low RPM but there is an abundance of power in any gear at RPM > 1800. getting to 140 has never been easier. However i felt city ride is jerky, the car is always rushing forward.
I know its just a matter of getting used to it.
I love the grunt of the engine and the way the engine sounds after 2200 RPM.

PS is heavy, thus handling in city is bit of a pain. AC is a pleasure and like most CRDIs doesn't impact the power at all. Climate control wud have been more fun.

the power is brutal, unlike verna, the car accelerates on full control and power delivery is predictable. High speed handling is good.

Gear shift is smooth.

Back seat comfort was not great for my mother who had back ache, solved the problem with a cushion. Leg room is ample. Lot of small storage spaces.
Did not feel tired after a day long driving and that was quite surprising.

The stock audio is below average, the speakers are hopeless.
I can post pics if anyone is interested.

Team BHP has influenced me a lot in taking the decision and i thank all of you guys for the support.


cheers:
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Old 19th June 2008, 22:45   #2
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Sweet Review kris905. I have finished 6K in my magnum today. In city trafics i never use the accelarator at all. First gear and second gear will pull the car with 4 adults on board without even a touch of accelarator. As u said amazing power after 1800.

My vehicle 1st and 2nd gear shift is not that smooth. It sometime will not obey the orders to latch up to 1st. Need to check it out in next service.

The stock tyres are really bad and i am planning for Yoko by next month. ( But I never expected anything more than that from the stock tyre) The head light need an upgrade for long drives at night. Apart from this two, Its such a wonderful package. Enjoying every bit of it.

Note from mod: No need to paste an entire quote. Please use part/s if you need to high light something.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 29th July 2008 at 10:21.
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Old 19th June 2008, 23:16   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotChillyPepper View Post
My vehicle 1st and 2nd gear shift is not that smooth. It sometime will not obey the orders to latch up to 1st. Need to check it out in next service.

The stock tyres are really bad and i am planning for Yoko by next month. ( But I never expected anything more than that from the stock tyre) The head light need an upgrade for long drives at night. Apart from this two, Its such a wonderful package. Enjoying every bit of it.
You are right HotChillyPepper. Headlight definitely is inadequate, so are the tyres.
Also observed that tyre noise creeping in rough roads, maybe something to do with the road.

Fortunately haven't faced the gear shift problem yet.
What diesel do you recommend? Normal Diesel or Xtra mile?
I tried turbo jet and did not find it superior to normal diesel
any plans to better the bulbs?

Also HotChillyPepper, have u faced a front wheel alignment issue sofar? few boarders have reported it in earlier threads.

Adding to the above points the 3 yr/45000 km service guarantee was one of the inspiring factors.
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Old 20th June 2008, 11:17   #4
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Hey kris, congrats on your new ride. Great choice.

I picked-up the LS as well, I took the delivery on 1st May. Haven't got down to writing a review :(.

I had been looking for my Baleno replacement and had narrowed down to the Corolla, City, SX4. I have been a loyal Maruti Suzuki and honestly wasn't even considering GM.

The base version of the Corolla which suited my budget did not excite me as it was a stripped-down car.

City - Have been a fan of the OHC but the NHC never really appealed to me. I also found it too pricey as I was considering the Vtec

SX4 - Though fully loaded, wasn't impressed with the refinement, interior quality and the rattling issues. Have a Swift Zxi and so many parts are the same. I felt like sitting in a grown-up Swift. Wasn't too impressed with the power and bottom-end torque as well.

Then a good friend of mine recommended me the Optra Magnum. I was very apprehensive but decided to give it a test. The test drive completely bowled me over. To be sure I test drove the Magnum 4 times and it always blew me away with the power, refinement, interiors. It fulfilled all I wanted from the car. All I was worried about was resale but I have now bitten the bullet.

Pros:
- great power
- gobbles-up the potholes
- very spacious
- lumbar support is a big plus
- like the new front look
- cashless service package added a lot to my confidence and my decision
- refined power
- Diesel with a decent mileage
- Low running costs

Cons:
- Resale an iffy
- Wish they had redesigned the rear as well
- After sales though better than before is a grey area for me right now
- Handling could be better

Problems faced till now (Have clocked 2K Kms:
- Right wiper wasn't cleaning well
- Get a strange sound when I release the hand brake

Accessories added:
- Tyres changed to 205/60 Dunlop Sportz
- Head unit changes to double din JVC
- Speakers changed to JBL in the front and Blaupunkt in the rear
- Gear lock to be added
- 3M Paint protection on the 2nd service
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Old 20th June 2008, 12:41   #5
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Thanks kewlferrari, Nice to know that you own a magnum too.
The way you narrowed down to magnum is very logical in my opinion.
I heard corolla is selling at 1L+ cash discount and loads of accessories bundled. But like you said its the H1- stripped down model.

You have made the necessary upgrades too, Audio, tyres etc.
Do you have plans to upgrade the headlamps?

How is the ride after the tyre upsize? i hope not compromised.
And what color is your car?

FE for me has been in the 13 to 15 range.

Enjoy your ride!
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Old 20th June 2008, 15:27   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kris905 View Post
You are right HotChillyPepper. Headlight definitely is inadequate, so are the tyres.
Also observed that tyre noise creeping in rough roads, maybe something to do with the road..
Yeah tht is true the tyres are noisy. One more thing i observed was on day one when i checked the air pressure outside the shworoom it was 36psi in all the tyres then I reduced it to 31 ( company old advised pressure was 28psi, now they revised to 30psi, but not sure any corresponding change happend on suspension tuning). So generally I fill 31psi.


Fortunately haven't faced the gear shift problem yet. [/quote]
The gear issue I refer is there on my vehicle from day one. But i happend to check with another Magnum and the gear was behaving the same. In many reviews too i have noticed this point regarding Magnum. But the vehicle I test drove, the gear was really smooth and I just loved it. Will have to check it out in next service.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kris905 View Post
What diesel do you recommend? Normal Diesel or Xtra mile? I tried turbo jet and did not find it superior to normal diesel
any plans to better the bulbs?.
This may sound funny, but my experience goes like this: Whenever I fill normal diesel irrespective of brand I feel the pickup is really great. So I always use BP normal diesel and happy with it so far. In city I am getting a mileage of 13 kmpl with AC always ON and on highway getting 17.6 kmpl with AC ON and quick accelarations after stops.

I am going for a bulb change today as I will be travelling this weekend to Madurai. Will upgade you the results and BOM used.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kris905 View Post
Also HotChillyPepper, have u faced a front wheel alignment issue sofar? few boarders have reported it in earlier threads..
From my previous exp I feel 90% of your wheel alignment issues will pop up immediatly after service, on any brand or age. Means the service guys will screw up the settings during alignment correction. So if I am not sure about the center where I service my vehicle, I will insist them not to touch the alignment( and make a point that it is written on job card too). So far my car doesnt face any issue. But then for the weight on front tyres and the condition of our roads, its something which u can always expect on.

Last edited by HotChillyPepper : 20th June 2008 at 15:31.
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Old 20th June 2008, 15:37   #7
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Congrats on the buy @kris905 Hoping to see some pics of the ride.
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Old 20th June 2008, 16:01   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kris905 View Post
Thanks kewlferrari, Nice to know that you own a magnum too.
The way you narrowed down to magnum is very logical in my opinion.
I heard corolla is selling at 1L+ cash discount and loads of accessories bundled. But like you said its the H1- stripped down model.

You have made the necessary upgrades too, Audio, tyres etc.
Do you have plans to upgrade the headlamps?

How is the ride after the tyre upsize? i hope not compromised.
And what color is your car?

FE for me has been in the 13 to 15 range.

Enjoy your ride!
No plans of upgrading the headlamps yet. Largely travel on well lit roads so it's not an issue. Also weary of touching the wiring.

The ride's good even with the tyre upsize. FE I am getting is about 14.6 now. Hopefully it should improve.

Picked-up the blazing red, what color is yours?
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Old 20th June 2008, 16:53   #9
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Congrats on the new ride Kris. Nice review of 1K kms and zeroing down on Magnum. Do post some pics. The people here would be definately interested to see the car.
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Old 20th June 2008, 17:01   #10
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Conrats! Nice small comparison and review about the Optra Magnum.
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Old 20th June 2008, 20:11   #11
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Mine is white. Posting few pics - low quality cell phone. I will take some digicam pics this weekend after the service.

I read elsewhere too that normal diesel gives genuine pickup and smooth ride.

The dealer offered me chrome handles and a chrome garnish (above the numberplate at the back) for Rs 3200. Do you guys think i should go for it?
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Old 20th June 2008, 22:54   #12
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The car looks nice especially with those alloys.

If I were in your place, I would not prefer to go for those chrome bits. Thats IMHO.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 20th June 2008 at 22:55.
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Old 20th June 2008, 23:39   #13
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Nice write up! IMHO you skip on the chrome bits as it would look like overkill. Does the LS come with an internal antenna? cant make out any external ones from the pictures. Maybe a shark fin antenna at the back of the roof(a la BMW) would compliment the car.Do post some interior pictures also.
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Old 24th June 2008, 20:52   #14
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@Kris:
I had done the bulb upgrade and to my surprise the installer was telling me that no need of a relay for Magnum as it is coming with a relay pre-installed. I was really confused as I had to travel the whole night to Madurai. But he was very sure that Magnum doesnt require a relay and he was telling tht if i required he can fix, but it will make the wiring ugly without any benefit.

So I decided to take the risk and installed Philips H4 100/90 and the result was amazing. The light is really good now. I have used is for the entire night till madurai and return too. Till now no problem. Its working great. Bulb costed me 150/peace. and no extra wiring.
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Old 24th June 2008, 21:51   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotChillyPepper View Post
@Kris:
I had done the bulb upgrade and to my surprise the installer was telling me that no need of a relay for Magnum as it is coming with a relay pre-installed. I was really confused as I had to travel the whole night to Madurai. But he was very sure that Magnum doesnt require a relay and he was telling tht if i required he can fix, but it will make the wiring ugly without any benefit.

So I decided to take the risk and installed Philips H4 100/90 and the result was amazing. The light is really good now. I have used is for the entire night till madurai and return too. Till now no problem. Its working great. Bulb costed me 150/peace. and no extra wiring.
Thats great news. tampering the wiring was my major worry. im sure you would have felt the difference in the highway.

So you recommend it, dont you?
Im done with my first service (at 1300).
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