Chevrolet Sail U-VA Interior Review

11/10/2012 - 19:46 | ,  ,  ,  ,   | Shrawan Raja

Step into the Chevrolet Sail U-VA and you immediately feel..well..not very interested. The Sail's interiors are jaded, the color combination of dark brown and beige leaves it with a very outdated look and feel.

Chevrolet Sail U-VA dashboard
If you want to be blown-away by the material quality, design, finish or kit level, this is not the car you want to step into.

The Sail's cabin is vast (we'll come to that in a bit), and it certainly does not need the illusion of using a lighter color to make it feel airy, but unless the cabin is appointed with leather, the dark beige-brown combination does not feel delightful or fresh.

Chevrolet Sail U-VA power window switches
All power window switches have been grouped in front of the gear lever, and unlike you'd imagine, are easy to operate.

One thing that you notice once you settle down the large amount of glass area. The Sail U-VA has very useful quarter glass panels that are designed to help the driver and not the looks of the car! The driver seat offers supreme lumbar and shoulder padding, but cannot be adjusted for elevation.

Chevrolet Sail U-VA gear lever
Good to operate? - A big YES!

The steering wheel will look better if GM can place an 3D emblem of the bow-tie and garnish it with chrome. It can be adjusted for rake, but its reach is fixed. There is no steering mounted audio controls, but the stereo can play tracks off a CD or USB port. The display on the stereo shows the time when the stereo unit is not in use.

Chevrolet Sail U-VA mirrorChevrolet Sail U-VA key

[Outside mirror assembly and the electronic key are low-cost]

The air-conditioner is a manual unit with ergonomic controls. Power window switches for all doors are placed in front of the gear lever, and we had no trouble getting used to the relocation.

Chevrolet Sail U-VA door lock and release
Pull-up type door lock does not belong in the B+ segment or in the year 2012.

GM has interchanged the indicator stalk to the right, so that the Indian driver can feel at home. The gear lever has a chunky top, that feels great to grip.

Chevrolet Sail U-VA interior coin holderChevrolet Sail U-VA cubby holes and storage solutions between the front seats

[Storage solutions are very clever - there are plenty of spaces around the cabin for everyday items]

There are lots of cubby holes to store toll tickets and spare change. There is a dedicated slip holder on the dash near the driver door. There are pockets between the front seats and the dash is large enough to hold a couple of notebooks.

Chevrolet Sail U-VA squared-off roofline
Roofline continues to remain flat along the C-Pillar, leading to fantastic rear headroom.

The rear seat is the Sail's forte. Thanks to squared-off roofline, the rear seat experience is excellent. There is plenty of head and shoulder room for three passengers. The long wheelbase (2,465mm) provides unmatched rear legroom. Believe me, a 6-footer can sit fairly comfortably when the seats are pushed back completely.

Chevrolet Sail U-VA steering wheel
A 3D Chevy bowtie and black border around the horn buttons could add life to the otherwise boring steering wheel.

The rest of the cabin is a mix of dark beige and brown, with dull gray accents on the center stalk and doors, and a sprinkling of chrome on the door and hand brake release handles.

Chevrolet Sail U-VA pedals
The extra rubber on the brake pedal endows it with a better feel; Lack of dead pedal is a drawback.

GM has to rethink color combinations, add a bit more chrome and develop new parts such as auto climate control, steering-mounted controls with Bluetooth pairing and streaming, and a more upmarket sound system.

Chevrolet Sail U-VA rear seat comfort when seat pushed back completelyChevrolet Sail U-VA rear seat comfort when seat pushed forward fully

[There's fabulous rear leg- and head-room. 6-footer Shenoy had no complaints sitting at the back]

The Sail's interior score is bang in between the function-only Toyota Liva and the neatly-stacked Maruti Swift.

What I loved about the interior of the Chevrolet Sail U-VA

1) Space - There's so much of it! The rear seat is the best place to be on this car.

2) Visibility - First time car buyers should have no trouble driving this through traffic or around bends

Chevrolet Sail U-VA instrument binnacle
Digital Tachometer is funky but does not indicate when its best to shift

3) Simple, no-nonsense nature - not everyone wants the interior to pack gadgets of all kinds. For these customers, the Sail's interior does the job.

What I didn't like about the interior -

1) The curvature of the center console on the driver side obstructs the knee movement when operating the clutch. This problem is observed on the Spark, and future generation Sail vehicles need to have their dashboards pushed in further. Shorter drivers however will not find this a problem.

Chevrolet Sail U-VA center stalk
Air conditioning quality is excellent; No climate control even on the top-end model.

2) The pull-up type door lock does not belong in 2012.

3) The pitch of the horn could have been lower

4) The horn is excited momentarily when the unlock button on the key is operated. This is an easy way to identify the car in a parking lot, but not giving it an independent voice isn't a nice touch.

Stay tuned for the driving review.

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