Tell Us - Is the 2012 Cobalt a worthy contender to replace the aging Chevy Optra?

08/11/2011 - 08:41 | ,   | Kaustubh Shinde

There are 3 major sales duds in Chevrolet India’s portfolio. The Aveo U-VA, Aveo sedan and the Chevrolet Optra Magnum. All three are aging work horses that have been neglected by the market simply because they are too old and there are many worthy contenders for the customer’s money. The first two are not even offered with a diesel engine, the oxygen tank for cars in the B segment.

Chevrolet Cobalt side view

Sure, the Tavera is also slacking but GM is already working on a BS4 compliant engine for the with ICML which should revive its sales.

Chevrolet Cobalt front

The Aveo U-VA should be replaced soon with the Sonic hatchback. The Aveo sedan will be replaced by the Chevy Sail which was caught in a parking lot.  What about our dear old Optra? Globally, the Optra was replaced by the Cruze. However in India, the Optra sells as a C segment car and the Cruze battles in the D segment. However, if you look at past months sales, the Optra sells in 300 odd units, whereas the market leaders like Honda City and Hyundai Verna always manage to cross 3,000 units. That’s a huge difference!

The Optra needs a replacement and fast. Chevrolet recently revealed the details of the 2012 Cobalt which on paper looks like a worthy successor. Sure, the styling is a bit controversial but overall, it is definitely a car that should be considered.

The 2012 Chevrolet Cobalt will go on sale in 40 countries across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America. The Cobalt  is 4,479mm (176-in.) long, 1,735mm (68.3-in.) wide and 1,514mm (59.6-in.) tall, while riding on a 2,620mm (103.1-in.) long wheelbase. That’s perfectly between the Aveo sedan and Cruze.

2012 Chevrolet Cobalt frontChevrolet Cobalt rear

The front-end of the Cobalt is heavily borrowed from the Chevrolet Equinox. As a result, this sedan looks like an SUV from the front, raising questions about its aesthetic appeal. The side profile is very bland with only one line flowing through it. The rear of the car elevates rather than sloping downwards. The tail lamps are pretty simple so don’t expect any LED malarkey.

Chevrolet Cobalt interiorChevrolet Cobalt interiors

The interiors of the Cobalt are a nice blend of simplistic design and good quality materials. You get a bigger version of the steering wheel present on the Chevrolet Beat. The motorcycle themed digital console with an analog tachometer fits in very well with the overall design. 18 storage compartments are at your service when inside the car.

Chevrolet cobalt engine

The Cobalt will come in many engine options starting from 1.3L and 1.8L. All can be availed in a manual transmission or a 7 speed automatic.

Sure, right now Chevrolet hasn’t made it clear whether the Cobalt will be sold in Asian markets. But do you think the Cobalt is a worthy successor to the Chevrolet Optra?

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