We drive the facelifted version of one of the most affordable hatahbacks to find out what's new
While the idea of an affordable diesel came into existence with the Tata Indica, the Chevrolet Beat was the car that changed the rules of engagement. First launched in 2011, the Beat diesel came at a time when buyers were looking to make the shift from petrol for it was turning brutal on the pocket. And whilst things started off well, the Beat diesel failed to maintain momentum. In an attempt to find that constancy, General Motors has given its hatchback a facelift. Will it succeed in what it has set out to achieve?
Exterior Styling / Design
Thanks to it being showcased as a concept car in the first Transformers movie, the Chevrolet Beat turned a lot of heads even before the launch. Many moons have passed since its launch but even today the Beat continues to be one of the best looking hatchbacks in its class. While its design hasn’t really aged, General Motors has given the 2014 version minor cosmetic updates. The refreshed Beat gets a larger grille, redesigned bumpers with chrome housing for the fog lamps and blackened out headlamps up front. At the back the updated Beat gets reworked tail lights and a new spoiler that includes LED lights. The profile remains unchanged. Despite the fact that changes on the 2014 model aren’t many, not many would say that the Beat fails to impress in terms of styling.
Exterior Styling / Design – 4.0
Interior & Space
On the inside, the 2014 Chevrolet Beat gets silver accents on the dashboard, steering wheel and door panel. The quality of plastic on the inside isn’t great but is acceptable. The instrument cluster on the other hand with its digital tachometer and the analogue speedo is a funky design.
The Beat diesel is spacious on the inside too, especially for a car in its class. Smartly designed, the interiors make space to store a lot of knick-knacks. While there is ample of knee and leg room even at the back, the narrow width of the car means three on the rear bench is a squeeze. Seating position is comfortable but the under thigh support could have been better.
Although the interiors are majorly the same as on the pre-facelift Beat, it is clear that in the attempt of making it as slick as the exterior styling, Chevrolet hasn’t paid enough attention to the overall fit and finish.
Interior & Space – 3.5
Features & Equipment
Despite the fact that the car we drove was the top-of-the-line trim the list of features on the 2014 Beat continues to be short. While just the top two variants LT and the LT(O) get an integrated audio system, only the top-end version gets AUX and USB connectivity and steering mounted audio controls. Rear defogger, rear power windows, and wash wipe at the back too are made available in the top two variants. The base variant gets the just power steering and AC as standard equipment. In fact it doesn’t even get the dual tone dashboard and steering. Safety-wise simply the top-of-the-line diesel variant we drove gets equipped with driver and passenger airbags and Anti-lock braking system. The absence of a remote locking system and electronically adjustable mirrors even in the top most variant does not go unnoticed.