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THE FORGOTTEN SOUL : CHEVROLET SRV

The first generation Chevrolet SRV was introduced as Daewoo Lacetti by the South Korean manufacturer Daewoo in 2002. It was available as a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback. The hatchback, known as Lacetti5 in South Korea, was introduced in summer 2004. Lacetti was made based on its predecessor Nubira under Daewoo before GM took over. The second generation of this car was introduced in India as Chevrolet Optra. It was available as both Chevrolet Optra magnum and Chevrolet Optra SRV in India. SRV or sports recreation vehicle was based on the Optra platform. It comes in two variants 1.6L base and 1.6L option pack.

srvfrontsrvbackcruze-SRi-hatchHOLDEN CRUZE HATCH

SOURCE : CHEVROLET SRV – PERSONAL PHOTOS

STYLING:

From the front SRV looks like Optra magnum with minimal changes, but from the rear the car looks like a sports coupe. The car has a mind boggling sporty touch due to the nicely designed tail lamps and the stunning spoiler. The front side of the car turned out to be really attractive due to the presence of the cat eye headlamps and between the headlamps are the single strip grille adding more glamour to the already sexy car. Even though the SRV is a hatchback it has the full dimension of a sedan. The front bumper is impact proof for 5mph and comes with fog lights adding that oomph factor to the exteriors of the car. Chevrolet SRV was an absolute head turner with its dual tone Fiery Red and velocity blue colors. Apart from this it also comes in Intense Black and Platinum Metallic.

INTERIORS:

The interior is roomy and spacious with standard features. Well it doesn’t come with high end features such as sat-nav or Bluetooth connectivity. But SRV has everything that a hatchback should have at those times. The car was made targeting the young professionals and is often termed as the “sexy road vehicle”. Though it doesn’t have all the features available in today’s car, Chevy SRV was absolutely a stunner at that time. I can say the cabin is not that attractive with black patterns overtaken by tinges of grey. Compared to the modern hatches, SRV’s cabin looked way too obsolete. Chevrolet haven’t done anything much for the safety of its passengers. SRV is not equipped with passenger Airbags or ABS with EBD making it a little unsafe. However the option pack came with driver’s airbag. Well coming to the boot space, There is a decent amount of boot space in the car with 275-litre which can be increased to 1045 litres by folding the rear seats. The seats are pretty comfortable for making long highway journeys in the car eventful. However city driving can leave you tedious.

ENGINE:

Though it was aimed at the youngster’s, the car turned out to be pretty expensive in terms of fuel economy giving an average mileage of 10- 12kmpl. The Chevy SRV comes with 4- cylinder 1.6 litre VGIS (variable geometry intake system) in line engine that produces 101ps at 5800rpm and a torque of 140Nm at 4500rpm.The torque is well spread across the range with 100kmph reached in 12.9seconds. The gear box comes with a 5 speed manual transmission and was quite a let-down as it did not go smoothly with the ride. The driver may need some time to adapt to the new sticky, rubbery gearbox. The car stays stable in high speeds but steering is slightly heavy and is not up to the mark.

BOTTOM LINE:

SRV is quite pricey and that is why it didn’t hit high on market. Also it is not fuel efficient. In 2010 Chevrolet SRV was discontinued in Indian market. The sole reason for this was its high price and low fuel economy. People would prefer 3 box cars when it is priced above 7 lakhs and with SRV being priced at 7-8 lakhs it was surely a thumbs down. The non-availability of diesel power train is also a reason. The rubbery gearbox is another reason which led its customers down.

CURRENT SCENARIO:

However the Chevrolet SRV is discontinued only in India. It is still prevalent in different parts of the globe with different names. There are lot of moto-enthusiasts around the globe still happily revving with this fantastic machine. (For example In Russia for every 5 minutes, one can spot 2-3 SRV’S) In India too there are a lot of SRV lovers happily using this car. Different parts of the world such as china, Europe, Asia, south America, Canada, Indonesia, Europe, south Korea, Uzbekistan, Australia and U.S, SRV is known and used as Buick Excelle, Chevrolet Lacetti, Chevrolet Optra, Chevrolet Estate, Chevrolet Nubira, Daewoo Lacetti, Daewoo Gentra, Holden Viva, Suzuki Reno and Suzuki Forenza respectively.

FUTURE?

In Australia, Holden, a subsidiary company of general motors already replaced SRV with Holden Cruze hatch. Other countries like south Africa also introduced it. In India too SRV lovers like me (I owned a Chevrolet SRV previously) are restlessly waiting for the replacement of this wonderfully stylish car, which is still a dream for the youth.

VISIT CHEVROLET INDIA WEBSITE : http://www.chevrolet.co.in

GM GLOBAL WEBSITE: http://www.gm.com

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