Chevrolet Beat Diesel : Road Test
It was waiting to happen but no one did it, a small diesel in the small hatchback category. What makes it even more interesting is that none other than a company with its back to the wall plucked deep within itself, thought logically and smartly for a change and came up with an engine and matching aggregates to not just put new life into the funkiest of its global minicars but that this exercise was done in India, predominantly for our needs and from there on to the rest of world, which as they say is its universal dancing ground. Adil Jal Darukhanawala taps into the smallest diesel-engined car in the country, saying that Chevrolet has changed the rules of engagement forever
The brilliance of a well defined and built product is more often than frittered away by many car makers by pricing it at a premium and this was what GM also practiced to the hilt in this country. Thankfully, this time round, the overall price-performance-value proposition has been spot on. GM will be offering the Beat in four trim and equipment levels beginning with the Beat PS at Rs 4.3 lakh, the Beat LS at Rs 4.59 lakh and the Beat LT at Rs 4.99 lakh. There is also a top end LT with option pack at Rs 5.45 lakh, but in our opinion, the LS and LT versions represent stunning value whichever way you may tend to view it. Given that the bulk of the country’s car buyers are in the Rs 4.5-Rs 5.5 lakh bracket, the Beat Diesel represents massive bang for minimal buck, something that GM hadn’t been known for, as yet!
A winner it is on so many counts but if nothing else, it is a true gamechanger. And I’ll give you an indication why I say so. The Tata Indica has been the standard bearer of the private taxi brigade in this country for the better part of a decade plus and given that the taxi drivers realise their investment within 60,000-65,000km of operation, I see the Beat Diesel being a winner in this segment as well. And even more tellingly at that because the ergonomics and the refinement are surely a level higher and the fuel efficiency is strong and consistent.
Again there should be no muddle in the mind trying to balance personal car usage and thinking it to get diluted thanks to acceptance by the taxi trade. Heck, one only has to see Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 5 and 7 Series, Toyota Grand Crowns etc excel as high mileage taxis the world over, to once and for all put an end to this line of thought. So if GM intends to stay in sync with its target of 7000 units per month from the Beat family, wooing buyers across the personal space and the taxi trade will only help accelerate the gains for the Chevy brand against every rival of consequence in the country.
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