Chevrolet Beat Review
Best Looking Hatchback in its SegmentTuesday, June 11, 2013
Indians love buying hatchbacks and manufacturers also keep on serving these buyers with their new offerings. Mostly the hatch buyers in India determine the destiny of any car maker here by testing its small cars. It’s like a guarantee; if your hatch succeeds here, consider yourself established prominently in this Indian car market. It’s been a long time that auto giant Chevrolet has been trying to do so with their small cars but till now they are not accepted by the Indians. Now they are once again ready with their new hatch. It’s known as Beat in India whereas in most of the international car markets it’s marketed as the third generation of Chevrolet Spark. Their previous hatches namely Spark and Aveo UVA have been disastrous in Indian market. With Beat, Chevrolet aims to change their fortune here and expect it to be a flagship car for them. They are relying very much on this car as its sales will affect their future plans for India.
Chevrolet Beat Exterior
Undoubtedly, Chevrolet Beat is the most stylish car from Chevrolet in India till now. Its appearance is one of its kinds. The face of this car will force you to gaze it. Three things will strike you at its first glance; large headlights, bulky lines on bonnet with deep chin. Chevrolet has smartly designed this car. The front styling makes it look much bigger than its actual size. It has a large front glass sloping onto the muscular bonnet which along with those edgy and elongated headlights gives a macho character to this car which will surely appeal to youngsters. It’s a unique characteristic of Beat as mostly the hatches are beautiful and elegant but not macho. Its big front grille is fitted with a Chevy logo in its center which mixes up well with a large air dam placed extremely deep. Its chin looks vertically long and deep which adds to its charm when seen from the side. Front bumper has big round shaped fog lights with chrome surrounds which is very striking and overall the car looks aerodynamic and aggressive from the front.
Side profile of Beat is also appealing as those big headlights eat most of the space in the side fenders which are highly placed just above the wheel arches. It has notable bulgy wheel arches which along with those 14 inch alloy wheels contribute to its sporty side stance. That silver finished roof rails and those body colored heavy side mirrors are admirable. There is one first in class feature in its side profile. Rear door handles are missing form their regular position, they are fixed at the place of rear quarter glass. It’s an innovative touch and we are sure youngsters will love it. The rear of this car is also futuristic. Similar to Ritz, Beat also has wider hips with nice touch of wheel arches and sharp lines. The low end of the bumper is black in color making it look less bulky. Tail lights consist of two circular clusters which looks alive with a short boot gate. Most of the space on the boot gate is occupied by the rear glass and the number plate with a Chevy logo just above it. Chevrolet Beat has a sporty rear wiper and a stretched spoiler till the tail lights. The back of this car is adorable.
Chevrolet Beat Interior
Chevrolet Beat has piano color black interiors which feel up-market. It’s better than what Chevrolet has served before. It’s even better than most of its competitors. Fabric upholstery along with the plastic material used inside feels very rich and you can sense the premium quality inside. Nothing disappoints you when it’s about the appearance inside. Its black color despite having the dull effect manages to impress you. It has a big three spoke steering wheel which has silver accent on it. It also has an attached instrument cluster featuring nice round shaped speedometer with a LCD for digital tachometer, odometer and trip meter. Blue back lit is used for illumination. It is very sporty as it’s specially targets the youth and separates it from its rivals. Its awkwardly designed gear knob is a let-down as it doesn’t look cool and it’s not that convenient to hold either.
Comfort and Convenience
Chevrolet Beat is much more spacious and roomy from inside than what you expect. Front headroom and legroom is marvellous. Its seating is quite low which can be a problem for short drivers as seats are not height adjustable. Though steering can be tilted but that won’t help you much. There is ample shoulder room for front passengers but under thigh support could have been better for front and rear seats. Rear passengers are not that lucky as there is cramped knee room and shoulder room due to less wheel base. Seating of five people is a bit uncomfortable as it’s less wide than its competitors like Maruti Suzuki Ritz and Ford Figo. To compensate, Chevrolet has enabled this car with many features to make it a comfortable car. Beat comes with powerful automatic climate control (AC), central locking, power windows and internally adjustable outside mirrors. Other features include adjustable front and rear headrests with rear defogger for better visibility.
Dashboard and Storage
The black colored dashboard is very long and enhances the beauty of this car. It has nice texture and lines on it which are very unique and soothing. It’s very soft to touch and looks very aggressive due to its V shaped styling. There is a centre console fitted in it which is very simple and it’s differentiated by grey finishing on it. The control buttons used on it are very nice to use and look cool with blue back lit. Chevrolet has managed to provide optimum space wherever possible. It has a glove box in the dashboard with space for loose things behind the steering wheel. There are door pockets with bottle holders which are big in size with back pocket on front seats. It also has front and rear cup holders with rear parcel tray at the back. It has a boot capacity of 170ltr which is very less when compared to rivals like Figo.
Music System of Chevrolet Beat
The grey colored centre console of Chevrolet Beat comes with an integrated music system. It’s a radio, CD, MP3 player fitted with four quality speakers and supported by a sporty roof antenna. There is an inbuilt USB port in this music system. It also has a 12 V accessory socket. No audio controls on steering wheel.
Engine and Gearbox
There are two engines available in Beat. One is a 1.2L engine which is available with petrol and LPG while the 1.0L three cylinder engine runs on diesel. The four cylinder 1.2L engine produces a power of 82 bhp at 6200 rpm. Its maximum torque output is of 108 Nm which is available at 4400 rpm. This engine is completely different than what we have seen in Aveo UVA. On papers this engine is less powerful than most of its competitors like Ritz, Swift and Brio. This engine with LPG produces the same power which comes a bit late at 6400rpm while the torque output reduces by 4 Nm. The other option is a three cylinder 1.0LXSD diesel engine. It manages to pull out a maximum power of 57 bhp coming at 4000 rpm while its maximum torque output is of 150 Nm available at 1750rpm. This engine is the reduced version of Fiat’s Multijet engine which is used by most of its competitors. Both engines are mated with five-speed manual gearbox.
Acceleration and Performance
This 1.2L petrol engine doesn’t set any new benchmark. Yes it’s better than few but it can’t match the engines from Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. It’s also a refined engine which has much to offer but you will have to work on it to get the best out of it. We are talking about its taller gear ratios which delay the arrival of power and torque and it’s quite evident. This car is heavier than i10 and Honda Brio and feels underpowered. There is an initial turbo lag in almost every gear and once you pass 2500 rpm mark, then only it starts to respond. With cars like Swift and i10, you just have to press the throttle a bit and you can sense the responsiveness of those engines. With Beat even on highways you might have to short down its gears while overtaking.
If you are running on CNG and LPG, things get worse as it’s not as perky as you expect it to be. Though it does 0- 100km/hour in less than 15 seconds and it can reach the top speed of 150km/hr. Chevrolet Beat’s diesel engine is impressive. It uses Advanced Insta Torque-Boost due to which it manages to pull out torque early at 1700rpm.This is specially designed to make it a perfect commuter car. It is very responsive, thanks its shorter gears. To get you going through the city traffic with ease, a smart turbo charger is used. It is perfect for city conditions but on highways with full seating this engine turns noisy when pushed hard. After 3000rpm there is nothing much left in this engine except noise. It loses out to Fiat’s and Ford’s four cylinder engines in terms of power and refinement.
Chevrolet Beat Mileage
Petrol version of Chevrolet Beat gives you a mileage of around 13km/ltr in city conditions while on highways it can return around 16km/ltr. Its Diesel variant is more fuel efficient as in city conditions it gives around 15km/ltr and on highways expect anything around 18km/ltr.
Ride and Handling
Steering used in Chevrolet Beat is very light in nature and works well with the size of this car. It has a strong gas charged suspension which is specially appointed in this car for Indian conditions. It eats up most of the potholes but due to its low ground clearance it finds it hard to cross many obstructions on our Indian roads. Its heavy weight with fatty tyres allows it to stay grounded even at high speeds. It is Chevrolet’s best hatch around the corners. Though there is minor body roll as you frequently shift lanes at high speeds. It’s more suitable for city conditions as with its small size and light handling it’s easy to steer it through the traffic.
Braking and Safety Features
Chevrolet Beat is offered with disc brakes at its front with drum brakes at the back. The top model is equipped with vital features like Front Dual SRS airbags and ABS to make your journey safe in this car.
Variants and Shades
Chevrolet Beat is available in four variants: PS, LS, LT and LT Option. The base variant comes with AC and power steering. The top of the line LT Option pack consists of ABS, Alloy wheels, Dual Airbags and Seat-belts with Load limiters. The Beat comes with host of features including Automatic Climate Control, Integrated Center Stack Audio with USB and Aux-in Port, Tilt steering, Steering Column mounted LED back-lit speedometer and LCD digital tachometer, 60:40 Split folding seats, Tubeless Tyres, Satin Silver Roof rails.
Chevrolet Beat is available in seven shades: Olympic White, Linen Beige, Caviar Black, Misty Lake, Moroccan Blue, Green Cocktail and Super Red
Variants and Shades (Diesel Version)
Chevrolet Beat Diesel is available in four variants: PS, LS, LT and LT Option. The base variant of Chevrolet Beat Diesel features AC and power steering. The top of the line LT Option pack consists of ABS, Alloy wheels, Dual Airbags and Seat-belts with Load limiters. The Beat Diesel comes with host of features including Automatic Climate Control, Integrated Center Stack Audio with USB and Aux-in Port, Tilt steering, Steering Column mounted LED back-lit speedometer and LCD digital tachometer, 60:40 Split folding seats, Tubeless Tyres, Satin Silver Roof rails.
Chevrolet Beat Diesel is available in nine attractive shades: Olympic White, Linen Beige, Caviar Black, Misty Lake, Moroccan Blue, Green Cocktail, Super Red, Sandrift Grey and Swift Blade Silver
Chevrolet Beat comes with a warranty of 3years/100000kms from Chevrolet.
The biggest USP of this car is its price. At this price you get a funky looking hatch with sufficient amount power and comfort. Its compact size and light handling makes it compatible for city conditions, specially its diesel version as it responses really well. Moreover it has all the essential features which you expect from a car of this segment. With its warranty period you should not be worried about its maintenance either. There are some drawbacks also which can’t be neglected. It includes the absence of low speed grunt in its petrol engine like other cars and it has a small boot with less refined diesel engine.
But not to forget; Beat is much cheaper than its competitors like Swift, i10 and Brio and things are not as bad as they sound. It will be first choice for many youngsters as it will get them the much needed attention. With rising demand for diesel cars, We expect good times for Chevrolet with Beat. This car is a good deal as there is no other hatch available with this kind of style and power at this price and for me it’s a complete value for money car.