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Chevrolet Optra SRV | A Desirable Chevy Hatchback

Many international brands tried to occupy their share in the Indian automobile market, yet failed. One such is the car manufacturer from America, ‘Chevrolet’ and the car is the then-premium sedan, ‘Optra’. The car offered a really good features list with good interior and more than decent performance. Still, the car didn’t do what it was intended to. Before we dive into why is the case let us look at a why it was considered a good car.

Chevrolet Optra | Insights

Chevrolet SRV
Chevrolet SRV | Credits- Team BHP

Those who have no idea about Optra, in simple words, it is a rebadged Daewoo Lacetti. Yes!, you heard it right, the same Daewoo which made the iconic Matiz and Cielo. The car first made its entry in the global market in the year 2002. But this is not anytime soon the car came to India. In the year 2004 Chevrolet made its debut in the Indian market with a couple of cars. One was indeed the sedan ‘Optra’.

Later through the years, the company decided to launch its hatch sibling the ‘SRV’ to pull the attention of the small car buyers, especially those who were willing to buy a premium hatch.

The Optra that came to the Indian market was packed with features and had a ton of power alongside good looks. The hatch has a couple of generations in the international market but here in our market, it only had a single facelift after which was discontinued in 2013.

Chevrolet Optra SRV

Chevrolet SRV
Chevrolet SRV

Though the car came in 2006, it was feature-packed considering the time. The car had decent interiors with some wood finish here and there, the quality of the materials was also really upmarket. Here, the problem was the price. The Indian customers were simply not ready to spend heavy amount, whatsoever was being offered with the car.

Powertrain and Transmission

The Optra Sedan was offered with a petrol engine options along with a powerful diesel engine.

  • For one, the car came with a 1.6-litre petrol motor which produced 104bhp and about 148Nm of peak torque.
  • On the other hand, the diesel engine was a 2.0-litre turbo diesel capable of producing 118 bhp and nearly 340Nm of peak torque.
  • Both of the engines were mated to a 5-speed transmission which drove only the front wheels.

On the other hand, the SRV was offered with only one engine option. It was the same 1.6-litre petrol engine but was a bit detuned for the hatch. The motor produced about 101 Bhp and nearly 140Nm of peak torque.


On the inside, the car came with a decent list which included a 2-Din stereo, power steering, all side power windows, seat height adjustment with lumbar support, rear de-fogger and so on.

Chevrolet SRV
Chevrolet SRV | Spoiler

The most noticeable change on the outside was that the SRV was way shorter than its sedan sibling. Talking about the hatch, the car was offered with a hatch specific spoiler which looked classy on the vehicle. With both, the headlights, as well as the taillights, were clear lens with halogen bulbs.

Chevrolet SRV | Interior
Chevrolet SRV | Interior

Also Read: Toyota Yaris Cross Unveiled! What’s New?

Why did it fail?

Considering the features on offer and the power figures with the built quality the cost of the hatch was justifiable. But through those years the customers were not willing to spend that much a vehicle. Instead, they went with the bigger and larger options such as the Maruti Suzuki Esteem, Hyundai Accent, Honda City and many more.

Fun Read: Mahindra Quanto (NuvoSport) | A mini-Xylo that no one wanted

Utkarsh Bhardwaj
Technical Content Strategist at GoMechanic | Big Time Petrolhead with the passion for building cars and driving those beauties.

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