Chevrolet Enjoy: Detailed road test review
Chevrolet India seems to be heading the right way in India. With premium hatch and entry level sedan products rolled out, the company is now eyeing the MPV segment to take on the Maruti Ertiga and the likes. This shows one thing and that is GM India is going full throttle regarding its India plans and wants a large slice of every major segment in the Indian automobile market. With the Enjoy, GM wants to capture the blossoming compact MPV segment. The Enjoy represents the changing tastes of the India car buyer.
We have all heard about how in the early days 6 or 7 people would get stuffed into an Ambassador thus asking the question do we really need a MPV. Now though things are different and thanks to safety concerns and er, the fast food revolution, we Indians want a compact MPV that would be car like to drive plus have all the features you would want and looks that are not cringe-worthy.
This is a relatively new segment and the Enjoy only has the Maruti Ertiga as its true main rival though inevitably it will also be pitted against the other MPV’s. The Enjoy is the third product of the SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile or the joint venture between General Motors and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) of China and Liuzhou Wuling Motors Co. For India the Chevrolet Enjoy has been extensively modified and by that we mean equipping it with a diesel engine and making some crucial changes to suit the Indian palette. We have tested both the diesel and the petrol versions so read on to know what we think of Chevy’s new baby.
Functionality matters but not at the expense of style and no matter how good a car might be, if its ugly no one will buy it. Thankfully there are no such worries with the Enjoy as it looks quite pleasant. The Enjoy also is quite compact with a length of 4305mm and overall is a nicely balanced design that is simple. It does remind you of the Mercedes Viano and that says a lot! Our favourite part of the Enjoy’s styling has to be the front with its chrome surround three-dimensional grille and leaf style fog lamps. The headlamps are nicely shaped and all that chrome detailing upfront gives it a more premium look. Look at it from the side and the typical MPV proportions reveal its true colours.
The short nose and the huge body is typical MPV but one nice touch is the line that starts from the front wheel arch and goes up to the rear thus breaking the monotony in the way. The Enjoy has 14 inch wheels and in our opinion they look a tad small considering the size. Move to the rear and the design is simple but still quite pleasant. When it comes to the issue of the build quality we had found the fit and finish to be decent. Overall the Chevrolet Enjoy comes across a pleasant looking MPV and GM India has worked to make it more appealing and look more premium. The Enjoy looks a lot less boxy than the Nissan Evalia and we would love to see examples shod with low profile tyres on 15-inch alloys!
MPV’s are all about space and practicality and the Enjoy is more than equipped in this regard. Thanks to its monocoque construction, the Chevrolet Enjoy ‘enjoys’ a more spacious interior due to its low floor and despite its relatively compact dimensions, the interiors feels airy and extremely spacious. We had the top of the line version on test which had two captain seats in the middle row and hence is a 7-seater. Other versions of the Enjoy have a bench in the second row thus making it an 8-seater.
The seats themselves are quite comfortable and legroom, headroom is quite good in the first two rows. Move to the third row and things are not bad though it will not be comfortable for three there so in our opinion it is best for two adults. Still it is refreshing to note that you can actually fit anyone from the human species there. Sitting in the third row does not feel claustrophobic though getting in is a bit of an issue as since the second row seats do not fold you have to get in between the two captain seats.
Speaking of getting in thanks to the low floor that we have earlier talked about, it is quite easy- something which many family members will no doubt appreciate. There are no sliding doors instead you get conventional ones but as said earlier it feels roomy inside and is no doubt the Enjoy’s biggest asset. The second row captain seats can be adjusted for leg / knee room and this is a boon for tall passengers.
Now that we talked about space let us move to the interior design and here the Enjoy follows the same design philosophy as on the outside. The design is simple but well thought out and everything is easy to use. It may lack the sportiness of the Ertiga but it gets the job done. Where we feel the Enjoy lacks is in the quality department as the fit and finish could have been better. It also lacks features like steering controls, Bluetooth, climate control and a dead pedal for the driver though you do get USB, Aux, single din audio system, height adjustable driver’s seat and roof mounted aircon at the rear. Boot space is quite generous especially since the third row can be folded.
If you are selling a car in India having a diesel variant in your range matters and GM India has managed to fit one into the Enjoy and we are glad because the diesel Enjoy is by far our pick of the range. More on that later. The Chevrolet Enjoy has a 1.3l SMARTECH Turbo-charged diesel with 76 bhp and a 1.4l SMARTECH petrol engine with 103 bhp. Let’s deal with the petrol first. While the spec sheet reads 103 bhp, it does not quite feel like that when you drive it. Just like the Sail sedan we had tested earlier this petrol engine has to be revved if you have to get the best out of it. It lacks torque and you have to work the gears to have the desired performance plus it’s really noisy when you are piling on the revs.
Put your foot down and while initially the performance is spirited, it feels breathless after triple digit speeds. The petrol Enjoy is best left to its devices in the city where if you use the gears well it responds with adequate enthusiasm. The short ratios however help when pondering in slow moving traffic.
When we switched to the diesel it was a much better show as it suits the character of the car better. With 76 bhp and 188Nm of torque on offer it offers a more relaxed driving experience compared to the petrol the reason being that you do not have to work through the gears that much and it is far less noisy than the petrol when in full chat. While on paper 76 bhp feels adequate at best, on the road you are bowled over by its lack of turbo lag and responsiveness, thanks to short gearing. In fact we feel the diesel Enjoy feels better than the Ertiga diesel which has more turbo lag and can be a handful in traffic. Driving in the city is effortless and you do not have to shift down to overtake.
The Chevrolet Enjoy has a 5-speed manual gearbox and while the shift action is not precise with a long throw it is quite light and easy to use.
Ride and handling
The Chevrolet Enjoy has a MacPherson strut with coil springs and a stabiliser bar at front while at the rear there is a 5-link coil spring suspension. The soft suspension gobbles up all the bad roads and potholes that you can throw at it. The ride does not get overly choppy and it is quite comfortable. While we liked the ride quality of the Enjoy there was a fair bit of noise seeping into the cabin. We had both the petrol and diesel Enjoy’s for a full day and we managed to test its handling also. When it comes to handling the Enjoy is rear wheel drive and when shown some corners it actually does pretty good though there is some body roll but it is not hugely apparent. The small wheels and soft suspension limit the fun but it is quite competent.
The steering on the other hand feels light and effortless to use which is a boon in the city traffic. In fact driving the Enjoy is traffic is very easy with the tight turning circle helping in this matter and with the top of the line variant having parking sensors, parking too was easy. The Enjoy diesel has a ground clearance of 161 mm and the petrol has 165 mm. When it comes to the important issue of fuel economy the diesel Enjoy does 18.2 kmpl and the petrol offers 13.7 kmpl (ARAI).
In the end you can see how GM India has worked hard to make the Enjoy a success in the Indian market and it has pretty much ensured that the Enjoy has all the right ingredients. We like its spacious interiors and the excellent ride. In fact the interior feels more airy than the Ertiga with proper space at the third row thus increasing its appeal. The design is pleasant and the diesel engine is by far our pick of the range. The diesel really impressed us with its lag free nature and good efficiency so if you are thinking of buying an Enjoy the diesel is the one to go for. Of course it has its own share of shortcomings like lacking some features and the shortage of refinement of the petrol but overall it ticks all the important boxes required to be a competent MPV. It feels more modern than Chevy’s own Tavera and will appeal a lot to people with larger families looking for an easy to drive MPV.
So the Enjoy comes across as a good product but that is not job done as there is the small matter of price. Maruti plays the price game better than anyone else and it shocked us when it announced the price of the Ertiga. GM India knows that and just like the Sail Sedan the Enjoy has been priced very competitively.
The petrol range of the Chevrolet Enjoy starts at just Rs 5.49 lac while the diesel range starts at Rs 6.69 lac. Mind you that even the base versions come equipped with features like all four power windows, tachometer, rear air-con vents etc. Chevrolet surely has understood the market and with its pricing being Rs 70,000 less than the Ertiga, their new MPV seems all set to woo large Indian families!
Do check-out our detailed page on the Chevrolet Enjoy