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Old 22nd August 2010, 15:28   #1
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Default My Optra - A Reason to smile

Hi All,
Wanted to share the review for long, its around 3 weeks i got my preowned Chevy Optra.

Reason for change: i was having Hyundai Accent, had to spend about 30 to 50 k on it, so decided to sell it, i also needed a change. My other car is Hyundai Getz.

i was having budget of 3 to 4 lakhs. i had no idea of buying a new small car for 4 to 5 lakhs, i already have one, except for 1 small car named The Polo, its built was better than many big car, it was good. So started focusing on preowned segment.

Cars Driven:
1. Swift 2009 model 10k kms: The rattle snake was good to drive, but i was missing something.

2. Ford Fiesta1.4 petrol/TDCI: Fiesta looks ok, but i really find the suspension to be very stiff, my accent used to eliminate most of the pot holes with its soft suspension, TDCI had good pulling power but upto a cetrain point, and wife said it was noisy, bcos of diesel.

3. Hyundai verna crdi: Though out of budget test drove it, power was amazing, but tooo much that braking was useless after we jumped 2k rpm, also the low end response in city traffic was getting difficult as i am used to petrol cars, 3rd gear was unusable.

4. Chevy optra 1.8 LT (2003): Top of the line with all features, sunroof, abs, etc.. test drove couple of times, i also started a thread but unfortunatly GTO deleted it. The suspension seemed bit stiff and price was nt negotiable than 3.6 L, so moved away.

I wanted to get the best of my 3 lakhs, and i needed a car which would be certainly better than the acccent, this was very difficult as Honda's/ toyota's were too costly, lancer was old, fiesta did not feel like upgrade to accent, and civic though i liked, couldnt really spend
on that now.

Well another Sunday arrived and i began my hunt, i went to a car dealer and saw my baby standing there, i was not to keen to drive that optra as i had driven the 1.8 before. My dad insisted me to do so, when i was wondering around the Honda Accord's. Well the first impressions were
very good,even before driving. Sat inside, immediately i felt the weight of the doors, the moment i closed the door i was cut off from the outside world, the ambience was great, it felt premium all the way till the rear bumper, pressed the clutch it was soft, gear was smooth, switched on the engine and then the AC, no noise at all. Come on baby, i was almost sold to the car than the car getting sold to me.

Then the Drive:
Well to my amazement, thinking the drive would be similar to the previous optra, i was wrong, this car suspension was soft and it was eating up pot holes very well, front seat comfort was amazing, i am yet to sit at rear. The set up seemed soft but handling was lot more precise
than accent. 80 kms in city was not noticable at all, Brakes were damm good too, also took a longer drive for 30 kms, car really felt good. Pack this baby , finished the deal.

The Deal: 2005 model Optra 1.6 LS ( CB Mica)
32k driven single owner
Full insurance renewed till 1 year
4 new Bridgestone B250 Tubeless tyres
Other features are stock as with the car.
Rs 3.25 Lakhs, with all name transfers. I am not complaing as the car felt sturdy, well maintained than many cars i drove and did i say - It has no RATTLES so far.

Now i drive this car 80 kms daily to and fro, for now taking the office bus twice a week and car thrice a week.
A small review after driving 3 weeks. I cannot be happier with the purchase.

Engine and Gear box: Engine is too smooth, not very rev happy but pretty tourgey, i hardly change gears in city than i used to do in accent, pulls cleanly even on 5th gear from 35 kmph. it has so much torgue that i just dab my right foot in 5th gear to overtake and it reaches 100 in no time. i feel i need one more gear. In fact the 5th gear sometimes misleads me that i am in 2nd or 3rd.Gear is smooth, but shifting is not damm quick, i shift less in this car.

Car looks and Appearance: Car has a class, the outer/ inner view from all angles looks good to me and certainly is a classy upgrade to my accent. The Bonnet of car is so heavy that it takes 2 hands to lift with ease.

Interiors: Class again, rear legroom is great. mine does not have leather seat, but art leather. visibility at front is superb, Rear visibility is good even after having headrest, but reversing is difficult, as i have no idea where the boot ends. The power windows / switches are best to operate and great to feel. Doors are quite thick that masks out the outside noise. Even the inside carpets and insulation are thick.

The Dashboard looks great, no reflection, and also doesnt hampers vision, first thing you will notice after sitting in the front that, the car is extremely wide, also feels airy through glass area.

AC: This is the best part, it feels like a 2 ton AC blower on your face, it becomes too cold even in position 1, i really want some position < 1. My right hand freezes after 5 mins into drive, thankfully i can turn off the vents. The AC seems too powerful and sometimes get uncomfortable in front. When i drive to office, i switch it off for 3 - 5kms and then again on it. Blower noise is very less at 1,2 and 3, but air throw in pos 2 is like pos 4 on other cars.

Mileage: Well with so much features i would have been very happy if it would have given me around 7kmpl, my accent used to give me 8 - 8.5 regular city traffic with AC. To my amazement the first fill got me 9.3 kmpl full tank to tank with ac 80% city and 20% highway. i am Happy again.
Well enough off beating the bush about my car, i know there are better cars to buy. For for this sum, i feel it to be a steal.

Not so nice Things:
1. The Bonnet and the chrome grill gets soo hot, that we need a cloth to lift the bonnet, otherwise your hands may burn. This happens only when AC runs, not otherwise.

2. I still miss the lovely soft Suspension of my accent. This is bit stiffer than that.

3. Ingress/ Outgress little better than Accent, but still little hard for older people.

Some Snaps:
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Can we put the tweeters here in the above place?

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Last edited by krish82 : 22nd August 2010 at 15:35.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 16:12   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krish82 View Post
Hi All,
Wanted to share the review for long, its around 3 weeks i got my preowned Chevy Optra.

The Deal: 2005 model Optra 1.6 LS ( CB Mica)
32k driven single owner
Full insurance renewed till 1 year
4 new Bridgestone B250 Tubeless tyres
Other features are stock as with the car.
Rs 3.25 Lakhs, with all name transfers. I am not complaing as the car felt sturdy, well maintained than many cars i drove and did i say - It has no RATTLES so far.
Looks great . Congratulations !. As a still reasonably happy owner of a 2006 Royale, I share your excitement. The exterior and interior look great . You could clean the engine bay with a degreaser and make it shine. Optra is a sturdy car. Wish you many more miles of safe and enjoyable driving.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 22:18   #3
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Thanks. i know the fact that Optra is a very underrated car, i think there are less optra owners and lovers in team-bhp.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 22:28   #4
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Nice write and congrats on the excellent deal!

We're looking for a car in a similar price bracket in Chennai and the Optra makes a strong case for itself.

Please update the thread regularly so I know what to expect from a used Optra!
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Old 22nd August 2010, 23:25   #5
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Welcome to the Chevy family. Optra indeed is an awesome car. Just that it had too plain jane looks and it got lost in the crowd.

You got an amazing deal and the car looks to be in pristine condition. Congrats !

Btw, paint the door handles in body color and your good to go.

Enjoy and drive safe !
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Old 23rd August 2010, 13:24   #6
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Great, congratulations!
You know I can see myself on the same path within a year or so.
Which makes this thread pretty uselful.

My options for upgrade (till 4 lacs): Optra (1.6/1.8/Diesel), Octavia (1.8/1.9).
What was your take on 1.8 petrol vs 1.6 petrol?
Found any driving difference?
Any horror stories about 1.8? (We always keep hearing about certain "issues", but frankly no one actually seems to know the actual issues behind the 1.8 engine!

LS vs LT features?

Edit: One more thing: which model has that "alfa romeo" look bonnet?
I prefer that look more ...
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Old 23rd August 2010, 23:28   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
Great, congratulations!
You know I can see myself on the same path within a year or so.
Which makes this thread pretty uselful.

My options for upgrade (till 4 lacs): Optra (1.6/1.8/Diesel), Octavia (1.8/1.9).
What was your take on 1.8 petrol vs 1.6 petrol?
Found any driving difference?
Any horror stories about 1.8? (We always keep hearing about certain "issues", but frankly no one actually seems to know the actual issues behind the 1.8 engine!

LS vs LT features?

Edit: One more thing: which model has that "alfa romeo" look bonnet?
I prefer that look more ...
Thanks Alpha,
Octavia, was more lower than Optra, i think the maintainence of Octavia will be relatively higher than Optra.

Frankly speaking, i drove the 1.8 in city roads, i dont think i can differentiate that much on 1.6 vs 1.8, may be on highway it zooms more.

The Optra's from 2003 to 2004 comes with the Alfa romeo grill, but i also read that suspension was harder in initial models, i also felt it harder in 1.8, then there were changes made, also VGIS introduced, i still dont know if mine is the VGIS tuned model or not.

1.8 LT model is amazing value for its price
1. Electronic sunroof
2. Electronic Rear view mirrors
3. 5 CD blaupunkt unit with Steering mounted controls.
4. Airbag
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Old 23rd August 2010, 23:42   #8
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That is one nicely maintained low mileage car you have got!
Congrats - the optra really looks 'pre worshipped'!
Please keep updating this thread, and take good care of that new acquisition of yours.
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Old 24th August 2010, 00:32   #9
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Nice deal. I love the Optra. Wonderful write up as well.Congrats. Wishing you many happy miles with it.
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Old 24th August 2010, 02:02   #10
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Nice car, congrats! This car reminds me of the rented Cobalt I drove in US when I went there on B1.

Are those cassettes you have in the glove compartment? Wow! And I was beginning to think CDs are almost retro now
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Old 24th August 2010, 10:17   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
Nice car, congrats! This car reminds me of the rented Cobalt I drove in US when I went there on B1.

Are those cassettes you have in the glove compartment? Wow! And I was beginning to think CDs are almost retro now
Yeah, the stock HU is casette player , planning to upgrade the ICE by month end.
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Old 24th August 2010, 10:49   #12
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Congrats krish82. Price looks good and car looks good too. Just look after her and she'll give you back what you're looking for.

True, there are not too many here like Optra. I'm however, having one for last six years and extremely happy with her. To read more go here.
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Old 24th August 2010, 14:38   #13
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congrats on the purchase. Thats a very clean piece you've got. And 33k kms is nothing.
Like mr.Rudra Sen i have one too for the past 6 years and mine is 1.6 too, done 92k kms with 13k done in the past 4 months. We have the base variant with grey interiors which has been recently converted it to CNG and now we use it as our primary vehicle in the city.
Its a lovely vehicle and I plan to keep it till it lasts
Cheers mate

Last edited by harjeev : 24th August 2010 at 14:41.
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Old 24th August 2010, 15:43   #14
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Congrats for the Chevy. It seems you got a pretty sweet deal at that price. It looks pristine in this white avatar. Hppy driving
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Old 24th August 2010, 15:48   #15
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Hey ,

I own an Optra since early 2004 and have done around 80000 kms . It is an excellent car despite being beaten up in the BAD ( well it is too soft a word ) road of Pune in 2005 -06 monsoons where they were literally pot holes .

It is still good car. ... love it
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