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Old 27th May 2010, 01:16   #1
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Smile My Chevy U-VA @ 11,000 km...

What’s coming is straight from the heart!

I know at @ 400 numbers a month and hoard of hatches coming in, U-VA is not going anywhere. I love her though.

CAR; NEED OR NECESSITY?

I got married in the month of December 2008. Ours is a love marriage, so going around on the bike was not new to us (I have a CBZ*). But still, it didn’t seem right to continue doing the same thing. Taking your best half on a bike was not the ideal option.

On occasions, my mother would also accompany us (my dad is camped at my native place). Me on my CBZ* and wifey and mother on wifey’s Honda Activa.

I realized, I need a car.

WHERE’S THE MONEY?

March 2009, financial year end, global economy in midst of downturn, still, my company decides to dole out the year end cash incentive. Suddenly I am cash rich; I have enough money now to think of making down payment.

WHICH CAR?

I and my wifey discuss, we start short listing cars. My preferences;

Swift
Getz
U-VA
i-10, in that order.

No Puntos, No Figos, No Polos launched in the market. And I didn’t want to wait for 6 months.

Wife ruled out i-10 and Getz straight away, ‘I don’t like the looks’.

‘Baby, lets try Getz! It’s really a good car.’

‘No’

This was no more about ME, this had become about US.

I think its going to be the Swift vxi now. My wife had not heard of U-VA before.

TEST DRIVES

We reach Maruti Kothari on Nagar Road, Pune. (My wife was putting up in Pune and soon planning to shift her base to Mumbai). I, wifey and mother reach there on our respective 2+2=4 wheels (CBZ* & Activa).

We TD a white Swift on the Pune airport road. Every one’s happy with the car.

I discuss all the financials with the sales guy, vxi 4.82 on-road. I say OK.

I still remember the spark (not the chevy spark) in my mother’s eyes; ‘Ah!!! my son is going to buy a car’

I decide in my mind, its gonna be Swift.

On our way out, we decide to TD U-VA as well. We head towards Talera Motors behind Sohrab hall, near railway station. We reach there at around 4 or so. I vaguely remember the sales staff had called it a day. The receptionist made a call to some sales guy and we had to wait for him to come.

We TD a cherry red U-VA with some 20,000 on the odo, the sales guy on my left, my mum and wifey on the back seats.

I start the car and roll over the windows. Ah! Great sound cut off.

I engage the first gear, hmm, smooth, we start rolling. I find first gear very short. During our TD sales guy keeps telling several things.

One thing I still remember is the uniform toque transmission something something. He says test it, third gear, I slow down the car to a speed of 10 kmph and it doesn’t stall. My wife’s voice in the background ‘Good, I won’t have to change gears frequently’.

We drove past ruby hall clinic, then a left, then again some left and back to showroom. Sales guy; tilt steering, 60:40 rear seats etc etc.

LS model 4.7 on-road.

My mother and wife say ‘let’s buy this one’. I want to agree with them, but then they don’t read Economic Times.

THE DECISION

GM nearing bankruptcy… First thing comes to my mind, resale value, but then I am not going to sell this for another 5-6 years. I will keep her as my second car or maybe I will give her to my dad.

What if GM shuts down? What about spare parts?

I discuss with my boss (he owns an Optra). What if GM goes bankrupt? ‘Nothing, some other company will buy it’ and gives me a wicked smile. I am yet to figure it out.

Chalo, spare parts to mil hi jayenge.

A phone call to my dad, “Baba, gadi vikat gheu ka?” (Dad, shall I buy a car?). At 25, this was the biggest financial decision I was going to make in my life.

Go ahead son. 2nd April 2009, she arrives. Ivory Gold.

CAR SHRINGAR

Under body paint

3M Trizact treatment on exterior and interior. Two free touch ups after 6 months each. I won’t recommend this to members; I spent some 8.5k on this. The shine is there for 2-3 months at the most.

On my first free touch up, the service guy tells me that your vehicle doesn’t cover interior polish. I lean over him with my 6’1”, then 95 kg structure ‘Boss, maine saade aath hajar kharcha kiya hai, mereko ye sab mat sikha’. He starts polishing interiors.

Llumar diamond on the wind screen, steel on the sides and rear.

Pioneer HU and rear speakers; don’t remember the model number. Free front speakers from the dealer.

I don’t remember the seat cover brand name. It came for @6k, texture matching to the cloth thing on the door panels.

Wheelskins steering cover.


OWNERSHIP

I have not driven other cars extensively, so I’ll stick to my opinion on U-VA.

Today standing in the parking lot, she’s close to 11,000 kms on the odo.

City Driving

First gear is really short. I get a feeling that I should change it immediately. I have pushed her to 65 kmph in the second gear. This was while overtaking an annoying BEST bus. What??? No RPM meter???

The best gear is 3rd gear for city driving; you drive between 10 kmph to 70 kmph. How do I explain? You put her in 3rd gear and brake-accelerate-maneuver-brake-accelerate-maneuver.

The car is certainly weak till it reaches a speed of 30 kmph. Once it hits 30, the power output increases.

My daily average commute is around 25 kms. My approach road to WEH isn’t very smooth nor is the approach road to my office. Let me count, hmmm, I encounter at least 5 big speed breakers till the WEH, 2 school on the way. I often test it for discomfort level; I cross them at a fairly good speed, speed more than my fellow road occupiers. Trust me, its pretty smooth.

Easy to maneuver, well all small cars are.

Highway Driving

My key highway drives;

Pune-Nagpur-Pune @ 1500 km
Pune-Solapur-Pune @ 500 km
Numerous Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai drives.

I remember reading somewhere that U-VA doesn’t go beyond 140. Trust me, I have clocked 155 on her with four full grown adults and one extra grown adult (guess who?). She still had juice left in her, but I didn’t have guts to push her further. My cousin took a snap of speedo at 150.

She is super stable till 130, with her stock (read undersized, as I understand from the forums) tires.
140 is kind of OK.
145, I was alone in the car and she’s shaking a lot.

Comfort

AirCon is chilling. It chills instantly. Is it because of Llumar? I will never know.

Lower back support is poor. I use small pillow to support my lower back.

Enough storage space. A cigarette lighter (I don’t smoke though).

Comfortable space for 3 in the back. People with huge body structure were comfortable back there.

Looks

I just love them.

Now the critical part, FE.

I get around 11 in Mumbai. The team review pegs it at around 11.5

It’s kind of OK with me.

On my drive to Nagpur, I managed FE of 16.5

After Sales Service

OK Ok

Anything remaining? Pls let me know.

I am feeling sleepy now.
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Old 27th May 2010, 08:16   #2
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The U-Va is a GREAT car. Only someone who has driven it (sadly very few) would understand the worth of this car. No other hatch would feel so slow, silent, comfortable and stable at speeds of around 130km/hr!!! Just superior to anything out there. The only grouse i have is the gearbox.

What i think is unmatched till now
- Best The A/c - There is a class to the way it cools and makes you feel.
- Best Space inside the Cabin
- Best Sound insulation
- Best Comfort/Handling Combination.

Congrats Man. You have one of the best hatches in the country parked in your garage. But where are the pics?

Last edited by gemithomas : 27th May 2010 at 08:20.
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Old 27th May 2010, 08:24   #3
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Nice writeup Prateek. Even I've wondered many a time why a hatch so smart looking didn't make the cut at all. I was considering a used UVA before going for the BEAT.

And as gemi said, no review is complete without pics!
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Old 27th May 2010, 11:14   #4
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Thanks Guys!

This one's my favourite.
My Chevy U-VA @ 11,000 km...-dsc04135.jpg

Notice the body colour ORVMs.
Attached Thumbnails
My Chevy U-VA @ 11,000 km...-dsc04180.jpg  

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Old 27th May 2010, 17:44   #5
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Nice report prateek.
And I must say you have maintained your car very well !!
I have heard that Talera Motors (behind Sorabh Hall) has shut shop, Any idea on this ?
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Old 27th May 2010, 22:58   #6
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Thanks bosee!

I am not sure about Talera Motors shutting its shop as I have shifted my base to Mumbai. Its quite possible as Talera was having another showroom near E-Square.
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Old 28th May 2010, 09:12   #7
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Nice Report and well said Prateek. Neatly maintained car.
@gemithomas - Well said. Most of the people are giving negative rating just after a quick TD or some people even with out doing that.
Take any car in chevy portfolio. Except Tavera, most of the chevy owners are happy with their vehicle.
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Old 28th May 2010, 10:23   #8
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Wow, your car seriously looks so neat!
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Old 28th May 2010, 10:30   #9
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Nice writeup, lovely car, really like the colour, always like white cars.
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Old 28th May 2010, 10:39   #10
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Thanks kavu n quad! I have lot of travel experience in company owned Tavera. It has great power. Only the ride is not so smooth. On one of my trips, I puked 5 times in a 4 hours journey. I get motion sickness sometimes.

Thanks aman, its ivory dude. Ivory Gold as they say.
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Old 28th May 2010, 10:54   #11
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Prateek!! wonderful write up man, and a very neat review. As you said, it does feel like it has come from your heart.
Your car looks like it's just out of showroom, you have maintained it very well.
U-VA was also on my shortlist when I was scouting for a car, but then I preferred the IKon. I feel, most of the cars are good, depends on what a buyer needs.
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Old 28th May 2010, 14:37   #12
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Nice write up prateek!
Congratz!

The Uva is still un explored territory but its amazing VFM.
nice pics too
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Old 28th May 2010, 18:14   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordmanchau View Post
As you said, it does feel like it has come from your heart.
I would like to believe that everyone here puts his heart in his engine.
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Old 29th May 2010, 14:21   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prateek99 View Post
I would like to believe that everyone here puts his heart in his engine.


Now you talking!!

Congrats on the car(though she is already 11 clicks). Lovely write up
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Old 29th May 2010, 16:44   #15
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Great Job with the ownership update, this car suits your purpose perfectly. Did you get a free maintenance plan with the car?
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