After a tiring and incident ridden ride to GM’s Talegaon plant which included a little brush with a bullying trucker, the million dollar question that arose in our minds was whether new Chevrolet Enjoy would be pleasant enough to make up for the not so pleasant journey. Did it? Here’s our review of the 1.3 Diesel variant of the new MPV.
The Chevrolet Enjoy, which first greeted the Indian car aficionados at the 2012 Auto Expo held in New Delhi, is an upcoming Maruti Ertiga and Mahindra Xylo adversary. The Chevrolet Enjoy is the handiwork of GM’s Joint Venture with its Chinese partner- SAIC Motor Corporation Limited. Is it any better than its rivals? Lets start evaluating the machine from the aesthetic standpoint.
We were on the verge of dismissing the Enjoy as ‘yet another bread-box’ when we first saw the vehicle at the New Delhi Auto Expo last year. However, it is amazing how surroundings can make a massive difference to the aesthetic appeal of a car. What looked like a smaller version of a Tata Winger amidst the Corvette and the likes at the New Delhi Auto Expo, looked much more pleasant and respectable when we saw it on public roads. While it may not be the prettiest looking thing in its segment, it sure is one if the biggest. Encapsulating a huge space within itself, the Enjoy may not be a scorcher, but to its credit it manages to look well proportioned.
The front end of the vehicle has a sleek grille that proudly flaunts the golden bow-tie sitting in the centre. The front fascia sports distinctively styled headlamps that help Enjoy score a few more points in the looks department. The front bumper is home to a pair of edgy fog lamps and a gaping air dam that helps impart further sportiness to the front styling. In typical MPV fashion, the Enjoy has a short front over-hang. The small bonnet has two creases, which together form a V-like shape, tapering towards the grille.
The Enjoy’s profile is where the exterior looks overly bland. Thanks to acres of sheet-metal and a ‘not so swooping’ roof-line, the Enjoy looks rather plain and a bit too utilitarian when viewed in profile. The only saving grace here is the belt line that runs just below the door handles and between the headlamps and the tail-lamps.
The car has got a simplistic rear with large taillamps and a pronounced horizontal crease across the width of the the massive tail-gate. Thanks to the clean surfaces, combined with a curved base of the rear windscreen and a roof spoiler, the posterior of the Enjoy comes across as uncluttered, and neat if not eye-catching.
On the inside, the Enjoy comes with quite some real estate but more on that later. What catches your attention first is the dashboard styling that much in the exterior’s fashion focuses on keeping things simple and functional. The dashboard does come with an integrated In-Car Entertainment system and five air-con vent arrangement but the styling leaves something to be desired, especially when car manufacturers are increasingly coming up with space age layouts and displays.
Overall, it feels like the makers of Enjoy have followed a function over form approach and the styling of this MPV won’t win any beauty contests. Also, it won’t make you the favourite of your neighbour’s kid. However, when was the last time someone bought an MPV to grab some eyeballs and impress the fairer sex?
Motoroids Rating– 6/10
Space, Equipment and Convenience
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the Enjoy is aimed primarily at the people mover segment. This means that the Enjoy needs to deliver in terms of interior space. Guess what, it does! The top end LTZ variant of the Enjoy comes with three rows of seating, with the middle row getting two captain seats and the third row getting a bench. Thanks to the mile long wheelbase, the passengers of Enjoy benefit from good legroom in front two rows of seating. Unlike the third row of seats of most MPVs, which are useful only for punishing the passengers you hate, the last row of seats in the Enjoy offer relatively better space and legroom. Fold the last row of seats and you will have enough space to host a small soccer match inside your car. Even with the last row in place, the car offers enough luggage space to dump in two medium sized suitcases and some bags – enough for a family weekend.
Ingress and egress is a breeze and the two captain seats in the middle row offer enough gap between them to let you easily reach out for the last row of seats. Of course, the middle row seats can be adjusted to free up more space for the passengers of last row.
Talking about the equipment on offer, the top end variant of the Enjoy comes with an audio system that offers USB/AUX input but doesn’t offer steering mounted controls. The second row passengers get a separate blower that is roof mounted. As for the rear most passengers, they get a 12V socket to charge their iPods and other gizmos.
Chevrolet India feels that the front passenger/driver of Enjoy shouldn’t enjoy the luxury of having an arm rest and the same is reserved only for mid row passengers. The car offers two bottle holders at front but trying to slot in anything bigger than a 500ml bottle would be a bit too optimistic.
The Enjoy also comes with a coin holder that has been built into the driver’s side of the dashboard. The door pockets can be found on all four doors but only the smallest of the magazines on sale in India might fit into these. The Enjoy does offer seat pockets on the backside of front seat.
While the Enjoy misses out on stuff like an Auto air-con, dead pedal, steering mounted music controls and front arm rest, it does get electric adjust for ORVMs, rear wash wipe, central locking with remote, fog lamps and hold your breath, a digital clock.
The quality of plastics used leaves a mixed impression. While most parts of the interior panels boast of good-to-average quality plastics, certain areas come with average-to-low grade plastics. Not really expected from a C segment MPV.
The car comes with safety features such as driver’s side and front passenger airbag, ABS and EBD.
Motoroids Rating – 7.5/10
Engine Performance and NVH
The Chevrolet Enjoy will go on sale in India with two engine options- a naturally aspirated petrol engine and a turbocharged diesel engine. While the petrol engine variant might appeal to those looking for a large MPV with a big family and limited mileage, it is the diesel engine variant that would be bringing the major chunk of sales to Chevrolet India.
Powering the diesel variant of the Chevrolet Enjoy is the 1.3 Multijet turbo diesel engine that powers many cars in Indian car market. This is the same engine that also powers the high selling Maruti Ertiga. While the same engine comes with a VGT (Variable Geometry Turbo) on the Ertiga, the Enjoy’s Multijet gets a more basic FGT (Fixed Geometry Turbo) setup. The tried and tested diesel engine develops a max power of 77.5 PS (VS 90 PS on Ertiga) for the Enjoy. The motor has a peak torque rating of 188 Nm. The engine comes mated to a 5 speed manual transmission. For the Enjoy, the Multijet has been longitudinally mounted and sends power to the rear wheels.
Turn on the ignition and the engine starts with a distinctive diesel clatter that soon settles down into a less audible hum. However, mild vibrations do creep into the steering. Slot the smooth shifting gear lever into first and Enjoy feels adequately quick off the block. That said, don’t expect any record-breaking quarter mile numbers. While we didn’t do a comprehensive acceleration test, we reckon the car would take anything between 16-18 secs to hit the 100kmph mark.
We have nothing but good things to say about the way the engine has been tuned. The turbo lag is minimal and the turbo kicks in around 1600RPM. We were impressed with the way the boffins at Chevrolet India have tuned the diesel engine of the Sail sedan and once again, we admire the way the Enjoy’s diesel engine has been tuned. Power delivery is linear and the torque spread is praiseworthy. For such a big and heavy vehicle, cruising at 40kmph in fifth gear is no mean feat.
The diesel engine variant of the Enjoy has good low and mid end torque and cruising at 100-120kmph on the highways isn’t a big ask. The gear shifts are smooth and the ratios are well matched. Overall, Chevrolet India has done a good job with tuning the Multijet for use in Enjoy. While the car won’t win any traffic light drag races, it would surely be a good companion on long drives and highway travels.
Motoroids Rating – 8/10
Ride and Handling
We are really impressed with the ride quality of the Enjoy. The MPV almost glides over speed-humps and any kind of undulation on the road. The soft suspension hardly ever lets you know of the work it is putting up to. The steering is light but direct and the Enjoy can be thrown into corners without much of a worry. The car does have a bit of body roll but nothing that you won’t expect from a car that is as high as the Enjoy. The Enjoy won’t ever put a worried look on the face of a driver of the Ford Fiesta 1.6 S but will definitely surprise the driver of an average B segment hatchback in the twisties, after taking into account its girth that is. The Enjoy will also help the passengers remain comfortable during some fast driving around the corners. To be frank, we are quite stunned with the good job that the folks at Chevrolet India have done with striking a balance between ride and handling.
Call it the result of monocoque + rear wheel drive arrangement or call it the hard work of the engineers at Chevrolet India, whatever it might be, we applaud the way Enjoy, which is a large MPV, rides and handles.
Don’t be too surprised to see Enjoy winning a lot of rave reviews from fleet operators for its great ride quality. Chevrolet India has definitely done a great job here.
Motoroids Rating – 9/10
The Chevrolet Enjoy breaks no new ground in terms of technology, engine performance or equipment levels. However, what impresses us is the combination of acres of space and loads of passenger comfort it has on offer. The car might leave us auto hacks wanting for more in terms of driving pleasure and equipment but we are sure that Enjoy would impress the fleet operators and tourist-cab passengers alike. The Chevrolet Enjoy, as we said earlier, would be launched in India on May 9. GM India seems to have done a good job with tuning the Enjoy to suit our market and all it now needs to do is to price the car very competitively and promise an after sales experience akin to that from Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.
Motoroids Rating – 7/10
As for the answer of the question that bugged us before we were about to review the Enjoy- Yes, the car did offer a drive that was relaxing enough for us to forget about the discomfort we were in.
Stay tuned for a full review of the Chevrolet Enjoy 1.4 Petrol.