Chevrolet Enjoy review, test drive

Autocar India
First Published: 00:03 IST(18/4/2013)
Last Updated: 15:10 IST(9/5/2013)
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The Enjoy is Chevrolet’s first shot at the relatively uncrowded compact MPV segment with only the Maruti Ertiga as its direct rival. The Enjoy may not look as contemporary as the Ertiga but is pleasant enough. The profile is typically MPV, the short, steeply raked nose meets the large windscreen and massive body, and there are some interesting details. There’s an attractive swage line that runs off the bottom of the grille, the prominent ‘V’ in the bonnet looks smart, and the line that runs from the front wheel arch to the rear breaks up the mass of the body quite nicely. The back of the Enjoy is, however, large and very boxy and the 14-inch wheels are a bit too small.
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Like the Ertiga it is built on a car-like monocoque chassis but unlike the Maruti it has the engines placed longitudinally and, more importantly, sends power to the rear wheels.

One of the biggest benefits of having a monocoque structure in an MPV is that you don’t have a big, stout frame sitting below you. This automatically means you can have more space for the passengers. Slipping into the seats after opening the big doors is dead easy, they are almost at the perfect height, and once inside, legroom and headroom on both rows is plentiful. Both Enjoys we drove were top-of-the-line models and had captain seats for the second row, so levels of comfort are really high in both cases. The chairs have good thigh support and a wide base, and back support is also very good. We also found that the third row was surprisingly useable. The second row seats don’t flip forward, so you need to crouch and walk past the second row to access the rearmost seats. This requires some amount of contortion, but because you can also slide the second row captain seats up and down, you can actually fit adult legs in there.

The ambience inside the cabin isn’t too bad either. The cabin is light and airy and visibility from all seats is good. The design of the two-tone dash is a bit boring and old fashioned on the one hand, but on the flipside it is neat and uniform, meaning it won’t put off many people. The levels of fit and finish however are less than impressive. You are surrounded by a phalanx of hard plastics and the even the stitching of the seats look distinctly aftermarket.  

 

There aren’t too many really useful cubby holes either. The door pockets are shallow and the pair of cup holders can only hold small cans and not bottles of water. Equipment levels too are a bit disappointing. There’s no Bluetooth, no climate control, the music system is a mere single-DIN unit and the driver does not even get a dead pedal.

GM and Chevrolet went to great lengths to get a diesel version here to India - without it there frankly wouldn’t be a project worth considering. And all things considered, it has done a good job. The motor settles into a smooth idle as soon as you start up, with only a bit of vibration coming off the floor. The engine feels eager and willing to rev as soon as you take off, and the few nagging doubts you have about the engine being too small in capacity in comparison with the bulk of the car are soon dispelled. There is even less lag than on GM’s earlier version of the engine and it feels like you are on boost from 1600rpm onwards, which is fantastic. This means upping the pace at a moment’s notice is quite effortless and often does not even need a shift to a lower gear. The reconfigured motor pulls well till approximately 4000rpm, after which power tails off. However with only 73bhp and 1345kg to push, acceleration isn’t too strong; it takes a leisurely 21.36 seconds to get to 100kph.The Enjoy, however, feels much quicker in the real world where the demand for instant responses and early upshifts are all part of everyday driving.

The gearbox has a light action and gears slot in easily, but the long throws and loose feel sloppy. The only major irritant is the considerable amount of lash and vibration you get from the propeller shaft at around 1200rpm when off the throttle.

An area where the Enjoy did impress was ride and handling. The suspension setup is pretty soft, so bump absorption is quite good. Low-speed ride is particularly cushy and the suspension also works pretty noiselessly over rough patches. There is a bit of bobbing at high speeds, but this isn’t a big problem. It’s also pretty nice to drive, in urban traffic, on an open highway and surprisingly on a twisty road as well. The steering is nice and light and once you nudge the Enjoy into a corner it is pretty accomplished at handling the constant twists and turns of a ghat road as well.

 

GM’s China-sourced MPV underpromises and overdelivers. Yes the interiors do feel cheap in places but otherwise GM India seems to have done a stellar job of re-engineering the Enjoy for India. To begin with, the Enjoy is compact, but spacious and comfortable, it rides, steers and drives well and the diesel engine is sufficiently powerful and tractable. Prices will only be announced at the time of launch in mid-May but we expect the Enjoy to undercut the Ertiga by a generous margin. Overall, here’s a whole lot of car for what we expect won’t be a whole lot of money. Isn’t that what we all want? 

Fact File

Price Range (in lakhs)*
Ex-showroom price   Rs. 5.6 lakh- Rs. 8.4 lakh (expected)

Engine
Fuel                          Diesel / Petrol
Installation                Front, Longitudinal, rear wheel drive
Type                        4-cyls, in-line, 1248cc diesel / 4-cyls in-line 1399cc petrol
Bore/stroke              69.7/82mm, 73.8/81.8mm
Power                     76bhp at 4000rpm, 103bhp at 6000rpm
Torque                    19.17kgm at 1750pm, 13.35kgm at 4400rpm

Transmission
Type                      rear wheel drive
Gearbox                 5-speed manual

Dimensions
Length                   4305mm
Width                    1680mm
Height                   1750mm
Wheel base           2720mm
Ground clearance  161mm / 165mm

Chassis & Body
Weight                 1345kg / 1260kg
Wheels                 14 X 5 J
Tyres                   175/70R14LT 95/93S
Spare                   Full size

Suspension
Front                   McPherson Strut with Coil Spring and Stabilizer Bar
Rear                    5-link Coil spring half isolate rear suspension

Steering
Type                    Hydraulic / rack and pinion, power assisted

Brakes
Front                  104mm ventilated disc
Rear                   240mm drum
Anti-lock              Yes

Economy
Tank size  50L


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