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Old 2nd February 2011, 00:23   #1
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Default Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!

Background:
I owned a Chevy Aveo LS Limited Edition for almost 2 years and was very happy with it until I met with an accident a year ago. The solid build of the car ensured that it took all the impact and if not for that and the seat belt, the damage could have been worse. The car was so badly hit that there was no point repairing it. Insurance was a bad experience and after a long fight, I got most of the money I was entitled to.

For the past year or so, I have been using public transport and discovering that its a very viable option indeed. Economical too. But around October I realised that I still needed a car for those weekend and late night rides. I had a wide range in terms of budget (4-10L) and was more keen on getting a car that would have me falling in love and at the same time, practical to drive in the city.

Hunting Process:
I ruled out TATA (history of nagging post sales issues), FIAT (always worried about a.s.s though the cars are excellent), Maruti (I somehow dont like the styling of any of their cars), Skoda (horror a.s.s stories scared me) and Nissan (very thin network).

Important factors for me in no particular order were
- Good a.s.s
- Brand (dont want company to sink after I buy the car)
- Exterior and Interior styling should be at least good if not head turning
- Decent FE - 12 in the city and 14+ on the highway good enough for me
- Decent ride quality - Im not the T-Jet types. Hassle free city driving and comfortable cruising on the highway
- Petrol - because I dont expect to drive the car so much that the premium paid for a diesel will payback
- Good preferably factory fitted music system with Aux/USB. Bluetooth a plus.
- VFM perception - feature rich cars are a plus
- Quick delivery - cant wait for 4-6 months to get my car

Test drove the following:
- Honda Jazz - family did not like it. Failed the VFM test at least for me.
- Honda City - The trim I preferred went out of budget
- Vento - Absolutely fell in love with it. What a car! If not for the delivery timeline (5 months) I would be driving highline petrol now.
- Polo - After falling in love with Vento, Polo was ruled out. Anyway delivery issues were the same
- i20 - Fell in love with the new navigation system and was ready to pay a premium. Almost decided until I read about the steering rattling issues and got scared.
- Ford Figo - Very tempting, especially with the bluetooth system. But the styling was bland. Top on VFM, but lost out because family/friends did not like its looks.

Did not consider Verna (dont like looks), Logan (has become the Meru/easycab taxi), i10 (brother owns one already) and U-VA (model has become old).

After all these cars, finally test drove the BEAT. I must say that the car for some reason did not appeal to me for a long time because I thought it was too modern and radical in design. But when I test drove it, I felt a certain level of comfort that only the Vento bettered. What clinched it for me was it is absolute VFM. For the price, it offers a certainly level of quality, fit/finish, features and functionality other cars do not match.

The rear seat can get dark (and I have dark sunfilm) but most of the times atleast in my case those seats are going to be empty. From previous experience, I can say the boot is rarely fully filled and when that odd occasion comes up, I would probably fold the rear seats. So the smaller boot size of the BEAT was not an issue.

All in all, after the test drive, I was finally convinced this was the car for me. Family/friends agreed instantaneously when they test drove it. Plus the really positive experience I had with GM service provided added points in favor of the BEAT.

Initial impressions:
GM announced the STECH 2 engine two days after I booked my car. Was really angry at my bad luck until I saw the car on the day of delivery. Even though the car was manufactured in Jan 2011, it already had the new engine. Thanks GM.

Buying experience
The sales guy at Sundaram Motors was new and was selling probably his first car. So he did make a few mistakes but was very responsive to my calls, which made me feel comfortable. I was offered 15K discount (was an ongoing offer) + 4K corporate discount + 2K discount on the keyless entry accessory (I haggled for this) + free sunfilm (Garware) + boot mat + mud flaps + floor mats.

Sundaram Motors quoted insurance for 16K and offered 2K discount on it. I checked online and figured that if I bought the policy myself, I could get the same insurance for 8K. Got it from Royal Sundaram. I avoided ICICI Lombard as they gave me a real real real hard time when my Aveo was seriously damaged in the accident. On road the price came to 4.62L all inclusive. I did not take a loan.

The car was registered and delivered as promised, on time, within a week. Sandrift Grey worked very well for me as it was a new color, looked good and was not to be seen a lot on the roads. Took delivery in the morning (as advised by the TBHP PDI checklist) and was a smooth experience. Car was ready when I reached 15 minutes late and within 30 minutes, I was driving the car out on the road with all documentation in place.

Driving experience
The test drive vehicle had decent pick up in the second gear so it was probably ECU remapped. My first day driving around (around 30 KMs around chennai) has been very similar. Comfortable in the first, second and third gears. 3 or 4 times, I did hit the 4th and 5th gears and the car pulled away sufficiently enough to make me feel good about my decision. I am carefully running in the engine and hence did not even go past 2K RPM. So I cannot yet comment on the performance at higher RPMs until I hit 1000-1500 Kms. I am not expert on this topic and dont even understand some of the techie terms like turbo lag and body roll, but in my perception, there isn't much of a difference between STECH 1 and STECH 2 engines on this front. For me, both are equally good.

What I like
- Styling - interiors especially look cool and as many have mentioned, the blue glow in the night of the dash is awesome. Seen to be believed.
- Ride comfort - the bad roads and speed bumps were handled very nicely
- Music system - yes, the sound quality is not awesome but somehow whats available is adequate and is good enough for me. Happy with it, especially with the full USB port (not the mini USB one) and Aux.
- Driver seat - very back friendly and hugging. Very comfortable. I am six feet and yes, the under thigh support lacks a bit but the back support more than makes up for it
- Driving comfort - I drove in both bumper to bumper traffic and occasionally on free roads. The short clutch travel distance, the acceleration and the braking are all good. The only thing I did not like was the rubbery gear shifting.
- Climate control - worked very nicely though have to wait and see how it handles the chennai summer. For now, in the chennai winter (sounds such an oxymoron), the climate control worked quickly, chilled the cabin before you sweat too much and doesnt make too much noise in the process.
- The headlights are very good and provide good visibility in the night.

What bothered me a bit
- Gear shift is not completely notchy (as was in my Aveo which I liked) nor it is smooth (like in i10). Its sort of rubbery and makes you take notice of it when you do not want to.
- Rear view mirrors - the mirrors are tall but I would have liked them to be a little wider
- The feedback on the accelerator is noticeable after 1K RPM. its not too much at all, but just a little bit more than the cars I have driven. So I was fooled into looking at the Tacho more than usual to see if I was hitting 2K RPM. Maybe its just something I have to get used to.
- The owners manual shows the tray under the front seat but I did not find it in my car. I read somewhere it has been stopped. I dont know why and I intend to ask tomorrow when my number plate is fitted.

Other little things
- Love the sunglass holder above the driver seat. My Aveo had it and it is so convenient, especially in a city like Chennai.
- All the storage options you discover as you go along make this car very useful to tuck stuff away
- The coin holder isnt very useful. I put some 5 rupee coins in there and they started rattling on slightly bumpy roads
- Nice little place next to the coin holder to put your mobile phone away
- The antenna is way too long. Have to be careful when I drive into a parking lot where the ceiling is low. Easy to forget your car is as tall as your antenna is. How I wish GM provided printed antenna on the rear windshield. (Again the Aveo has it).
- I did not opt for the 3 year cashless warranty because I figured I would rather invest that money (not much though, only 14K) somewhere and pay for the service. I have generally found after sales costs for GM have been very reasonable. I had taken the cashless offer for the Aveo earlier and I know its very very good if you dont bang your car anywhere.

I still have to calculate FE and can do so only after a full tank emptying ride. Waiting to see how the STECH 2 is doing on that front. Will keep posting on this thread as I drive more and calculate FE. I intend to use only XtraPremium as I have had good results with that Fuel in the past.

Some pictures of the car below of my heart"beat"
Attached Thumbnails
Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!-img00236201102011054.jpg  

Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!-img00238201102011055.jpg  

Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!-img00239201102011055.jpg  

Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!-img00241201102011057.jpg  

Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!-img00242201102011137.jpg  

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Old 2nd February 2011, 01:04   #2
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Default Re: Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!

Hi rsramkee, Congratulations for the car!! Thanks for sharing a nice and detailed review. AFAIK this is the first Gray Beat on the forum. Keep updating the thread over the time.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 01:28   #3
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Default Re: Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!

^ There have been a few more sandrift greys actually

@ rsramkee. congrats on the car and even i went through the same recently and as a second car, initially i considered several options, but finally narrowed down on the Beat. It always brings a smile to my face, when i see it and i feel good when i drive it as well. My wife now uses the Sedan

And am happy that I settled for a small car now, cause the third car can then be an SUV ;-) - (Read Safari)

The car is a lot of fun to drive, cool features, enjoy the auto ac - which not to many cars, even in higher segments can boast of, good audio options and so on.

Enjoy the ride and just Beat it
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Old 2nd February 2011, 02:30   #4
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Default Re: Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!

Congratulations on the buy Ramki!! You had been through a serious accident and had to write off your car. Did this not lead you to consider the LT (O) Variant with all the safety features?
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Old 2nd February 2011, 05:23   #5
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Default Re: Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!

Congrats on the car - I really like the styling of Beat.
I also have the same question as vignesh - why no LT(O) considered?
Drive Safe!
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Old 2nd February 2011, 09:45   #6
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Default Re: Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!

Congrats!! Love the colour.
I wonder why you didnt go for the LT Option since you had a very bad accident and in the "Important factors" part you didnt mention anything about safety..

A few more questions--
1) Did you get the car with a proper USB and not the mini USB port.???

2) can you please put up the pic of the keyless remote that you got from GM.
Cheers and enjoy the car!!
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Old 2nd February 2011, 10:15   #7
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Default Re: Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!

Thats a very well written ownership review. Thanks a lot for the time and effort. The Beat LT is indeed a car lovers delight. I barely missed buying one since Chevy missed the delivery dates promised to me.

Good to know they are giving a full size USB port. So i guess they are taking customer feedback seriously.

All the Best. And Drive Safe.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 10:29   #8
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Default Re: Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!

Congrats on your new purchase. I love beat for the front side look. 'Real Macho'
Drive safe.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 10:40   #9
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Default Re: Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!

Congrats rsramkee. The car looks gorgeous. I love the interiors with those blue LED's. Wish you many miles of happiness.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 10:58   #10
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Default Re: Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!

Congratulations rsramkee,
Good Buy, nice colour and excellent review. Do post the FE figure as it will give an idea about the efficieny of New STECH-II Engine.
All the Best & drive safe.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 11:33   #11
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Default Re: Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!

Rsramkee, Congratulations !!!

Love this colour!! The first time I saw a beat in this colour I regretted not having waited for a few months for the car to settle down befpre I picked it up!

Welcome to the 'up' Beat family! It is awesome fun to drive in the city!
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Old 2nd February 2011, 11:40   #12
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Default Re: Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!

Welcome to the gang Rsramkee!!! That's a nice, detailed review.
Your car looks awesome!
Happy miles ahead
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Old 2nd February 2011, 11:41   #13
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Default Re: Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!

Congratulations sir!

Great choice of color, and good to see the full sized USB Port in the HU. Seems like GM does pay some attention to customer feedback.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 12:13   #14
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Default Re: Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!

The new colour looks classy. Congrats on the new car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsramkee View Post
After all these cars, finally test drove the BEAT. I must say that the car for some reason did not appeal to me for a long time because I thought it was too modern and radical in design.
Even i was running behind all the other sub 5lac hatches. Finally out of confusion test drove the BEAT, and was really surprised.
The biggest surprise was the steering, the HPS of the BEAT is miles ahead of the marutis and Hyundais. Even the seating position is really good.
If Punto and Figo are great to drive on highways, this car is great inside city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsramkee View Post
Buying experience
The sales guy at Sundaram Motors was new and was selling probably his first car. So he did make a few mistakes but was very responsive to my calls, which made me feel comfortable.
Might book mine this weekend. Is Sundaram better than KLN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsramkee View Post
Sundaram Motors quoted insurance for 16K and offered 2K discount on it. I checked online and figured that if I bought the policy myself, I could get the same insurance for 8K. Got it from Royal Sundaram.
Can you share the info about how you managed to get the insurance yourself, as the sales guys usually are adamant about they doing it themselves ,as they get a cut.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsramkee View Post
- Climate control - worked very nicely though have to wait and see how it handles the chennai summer.
Someone had posted the BEAT ACC will suck in outside air even if kept in recirculation mode. Is it so?

Last edited by Daewood : 2nd February 2011 at 12:14.
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Old 2nd February 2011, 13:08   #15
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Smile Re: Chevy Beat LT - Sandrift Grey - Elegant and Modern!

@ rsramkee. Congrats!

Welcome to Beat Club. You will enjoy every bit of it.

@ Daewood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daewood View Post

Someone had posted the BEAT ACC will suck in outside air even if kept in recirculation mode. Is it so?
No, never.

Cheers!

Vinu
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