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Old 3rd November 2010, 20:01   #1
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Default QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)

QT ∏ (Cutie Pie) is what we've named our new Spark LT.

Just got it delivered less than 2 hours ago.


Make - Chevrolet
Model - Spark
Variant - LT
Color - Linen Beige

Price - 420,000 On Road (Bangalore)
Dealer - Kropex Hosur Road

Dealer freebies - 7000 Rs worth of accessories (took Art leather covers and Autocop) + 3M sunfilm

Kilometres on the ODO on delivery - 4KMS

Delivery review - Went to Kropex at 5PM (got late from work) and waited for car to arrive. Once car was parked in front of showroom, whipped out the TBHP checklist and started on the exteriors while the sales and service guys were getting the documentation ready. Finished the interior check when they came for the signatures. Took a few minutes and started the car. No troubles there. Installed Autocop didn't work at first and they found the relay not connected to the battery terminal. Once fixed, it was perfect. Couldn't take it out for test drive as it was getting late and I had to come home. And I really didn't want to test drive the car in heavy Hosur road traffic at 6:30PM.

Showroom review - Naveen, the sales guy, is a newcomer and has all the newcomer enthusiasm. Did a very good job of keeping me updated. Since this is my first car on my return, I was travelling in autos and whenever I'd show up, he'd make the test-drive car drop me off (2 times out of 3). The manager (think his name was Ayub?) was equally courteous and didn't show the attitude that I've just come to buy their cheapest car. Came over, made things are sure, walked around, did some inspection of his own and then handed me the car with a guy taking a picture of the same.

Drive review - the car is brand new and so its kinda getting there. Think the accelarator pedal needs some more work before it gets smooth, I feel that it slowly gets released but its still a minor glitch. Took some getting used to with the reverse side indicators / wipers .Sprayed a few times trying to flash oncoming traffic.

Gotta go.. will post pics tomorrow. Thanks TBHP for your support, advice and the PDI checklist.

Next up - to call Satya!

Update: 15000km service done and still going strong

So, QT-∏ has run 14107 kms as of Saturday April 21st morning. I originally bought this car with great apprehension not knowing about quality, ride and even with a tarnished US-Chevy brand name in the back of my mind. With a lot of research from TBHP, asking annoying questions to almost every other Spark owner and test-driving it, I bought it.

I must really say this - I am completely overwhelmed by the car. Period.

A summary of the pros and cons


- Drives like an auto in city traffic. Amazing steering response and no problems squeezing it into tight parking spots.
- Good fuel economy - returns about 15 kpl in the city and a couple of highway drives, it has hit about 18 kpl
- Pretty comfortable for a family of four - no "acres of space" but not bad either
- Suspension can take a bit of punishment with no complaints


- Engine is not powerful (especially with A/C) - needs a bit more gear-shifting drama to keep her up in the right power band
- Interior space is not good if we load four grown adults plus luggage (We are a family of three + nanny and so we are fine)

So, here is the longer version for those who care to read:

This is QT-∏'s 3rd Service at 15k. I did this a bit earlier as next week I am on the road. Kropex called up on Monday 16th April to remind me of the upcoming service. They offered me a pick-up and drop which I refused. I booked the service appointment on Friday 20th April. It was nice to get the call from Kropex as a reminder.

Service - stuff done to the vehicle

Oil change, brake cleaning and engine bay cleaning. That was all. Zero rupees paid. I had to buy a rear windshield wiper as the car cleaner guy at the apartment broke it. Cost me 309Rs. (A bit too steep in my opinion - but I was not going to drive around town looking for a wiper blade). Refused the air-con duct cleaning (800Rs). Next service at 20k miles.

Service - dealership experience

Kropex has been good to me. They have been a no-fuss service center and even though the service advisors will ask you if you want any of the extras, they don't push it. This time they asked me about air-con duct cleaning (800Rs) and I refused. They are prompt in getting the cars into the service center. I just leave the car for the day as I don't want to push them to give it back in a hurry. I usually go and pick it up in the evening. This is one area they can really improve. They were just going around in circles for the final checks and I saw the service advisor running around like a chicken with its head cut off. But the typical wait is around 30 minutes for hand-over / delivery. They always clean the car inside and out before handing it over which is a nice touch.

Driving experience so far:

The car has been a pure value-for-money buy. Excellent driveability (with a bit of gear-jugglery), nice mileage, decent handling, adequate space for four adults (and no more), reliable gadgetry and no-fuss ownership.

City driving

We live off Sarjapur road which is speed-breaker capital of the world. There are speed-bumps of every imaginable shape and size, some even every 30 metres in places. And add my astigmatism to the situation and you got a flying QT-∏ once in a while! With the Spark in 2nd gear, we can easily navigate most of these "mini-Nandi-hills". We do quite a bit of weekend running around in Koramangala, ORR or BTM area. We love the fact we can pull the car into a nook without obstructing traffic. Its so small but quite comfortable. Not to mention pottering around in 3rd and 4th is quite easy. The wide range of the 3rd gear is a boon for the wife who loves to drive at below-normal speeds (drives me mad but hey, its her in the driving seat!) The wife has started driving again and she's extremely pleased with the vehicle. She likes it for its gearing, the quick steering response and size. Her confidence is so high that she's now driving around in heavy traffic in Koramangala and other places (watch out folks! haha!)

Highway driving

Since we bought the car, we've driven to Coorg, my hometown Nagercoil (near Kanyakumari), Yercaud and Chennai.

Chennai - this was one of our first trips. We enjoyed the never ending horizon that this highway offers. The Spark did its job really well and was a pleasure to drive. The car remains stable at 100-120kmph but the engine does sound a bit strained at such speeds. We covered Chennai in about 5 hours including breakfast and one baby-feeding-pitstop.

Coorg - through Virajpet, I almost thought the Spark would die there. The roads were very bad and there were other cars stopping to find out a cleaner path. I do have a bit of rough road driving experience so took her carefully around the the potholes as best as I can. She handled like a champ! Seriously, everytime I'd drop a wheel into a rut and think "here she'll bottom out", she'd just spring right back up. Though it was a bit bouncy, it was quite good.

Nagercoil - The roads are awesome now and instead of the 12+ hour ordeal we used to experience, we got there in 7 hours (including breakfast, two "baby-feeding-stops" and a lunch stop). Was able to keep her at about 110-120 for most of the way and when God dropped idiots on the highway to test our patience and had to brake, there was no drama whatsover. Yes, the "bite" was not as quick as you'd want, but it doesn't fish-tail or create any unruly drama. Even on the curves, it keeps to its lane, no lilting towards the median or the wall.

Yercaud - Hill climbing was a bit nervous because of its power. But since yours truly is a good hill-climber, no problems there. Had a few hairpin bends where I had to move into 1st but as long as I kept it smooth, it kept going. We had 4 people and a good bit of luggage. Considering Yercaud's bends aren't that dramatic as others, it did well.

Here are some pictures and my sound-bites:

The odo at 14107. Good going, luv! Center console a bit unnerving at first. I'd stare and panic "where is the speedometer!OMG!" but the wife loves it since there is no obstruction to looking over the steering wheel. (and also for her "pro-tips" on speeding etc while I drive!)

QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)-cimg6955-custom.jpg

Front view - eye-lashes sorely missed! haha

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Rear view - Rotund?

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Rear quarter - Left view - looking good.

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Rear quarter - Right view - looking better! (driver's perspective!)

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Passenger side - doors open wide - easy ingress

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The Pilot's seat - pretty comfortable - like the positioning - do not like the absence of height adjustment and the narrow wheel well - And the left knee has to rest on the center console on long drives. Knee pads, anyone?

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The boot - you see a stroller, a bunch of crap from god-knows-where and the rear parcel tray converted to hold two speakers. Pack wisely and you'll be good to go.

QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)-cimg6966-custom.jpg

Engine bay cleaned - free of cost!

QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)-cimg6980-custom.jpg

Sunglass holder - love this. And for those inquisitive minds, those are Polaroid glasses. Pretty good in direct sunlight and reduces glare. Get one! The dash does reflect on to the windshield and can get annoying over long drives especially into the sun.

QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)-cimg6992-custom.jpg

Space below the steering wheel - good place to keep driver-assist items (maps, cigs, gum etc). Notice the lack of the dead-pedal.

QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)-cimg6993-custom.jpg

Space for a 1-liter bottle in the front doors. Pretty neat.

QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)-cimg6994-custom.jpg

Map light is not very bright. Need a solution to this. And if switched on while driving, rear view mirror visibility reduces.

QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)-cimg6996-custom.jpg

Passenger side gets vanity mirror - heavily used! hehe

QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)-cimg6998-custom.jpg

Passenger side view mirror - good visibility - not much of a blind spot

QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)-cimg6999-custom.jpg

Driver side view mirror - adequate with good visibility - both are manual and no electric option (for the price, I am glad they didn't just give the driver mirror like the Indica!)

QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)-cimg7000-custom.jpg

Cupholder lid broke a month after buying the car - not a biggie.

QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)-cimg7003-custom.jpg

Center console - installed a Pioneer head unit and four Pioneer speakers (2 6x9 and 2 5 1/4") from Top Choice in Sarjapur Road (near to Wipro office). Package cost me about 7k (I think). The sound quality is decent and there are no rattles from the MDF tray. I like the little angle the rear speakers are installed as they fill the music towards the cabin.

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Passenger side - below glove box there is a small space to keep a bit of stuff. Tissues, sunglasses and small bottles can go in here. The glove box itself barely holds the user manuals etc. Not air-cooled.

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Rear doors have these small cubby-holes but it seems like its missing something.

QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)-cimg7010-custom.jpg

Open-door view - looks like a duck about to take off!

QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)-cimg6973-custom.jpg

In-depth thanks to the TBHP community, (especially GTO for his perseverance to make me do a proper thread instead of the usual messy ones I make! ) for being there and making sure to answer questions through PMs and in the threads. I'd recommend this car for anyone looking for a cheap city-commuter with no hassle service and maintenance.

Last edited by Mad Max : 1st May 2012 at 00:09.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 20:26   #2
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Mad Max, congrats on the car. Appreciate if you are a bit more elaborate!!

And yes, please do post some pics soon.

Drive safe and hearty congratulations!!
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Old 3rd November 2010, 20:34   #3
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Please let me know what you'd like to know. Its now sitting in the parking garage and I am sitting in a boring con-call. Ugh. I'd SO be on TBHP than in this call.
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Old 4th November 2010, 08:32   #4
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Mad Max, hearty congratulations on your Chevrolet Spark.

Please keep us updated with the driving impression. I'm looking forward to see some pictures of your car.

Meanwhile will you be going for any accessories? Say, alloys, ICE, sunfilms etc?

Btw, I like the name you've given to your car

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Old 4th November 2010, 08:41   #5
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@Mad_Max - Personally I'm not a fan of Spark, but I like the name you've christined for it. Yes, looks like it should be called cutie pie

Regarding your points on showroom review, I think its quite justified by the fact that GM obviously has to do all these to make a sale considering the pressure GM is undergoing now especially in India.

But you bought a car really that's good one & glad that the dealer could offer you 7K worth accessories for one of their best selling product. Hope you didn't have to negotiate too much.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 15:14   #6
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Default Re: QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th May 2012, 09:08   #7
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Default Re: QT-∏ hits the streets (Chevrolet Spark LT)

Thanks GTO.

Hopefully some of you should be seeing this at the meet! Please let me know if any of you need additional pictures of the car.
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