2005 Chevrolet Optra 1.8LT 1.8 liter gas from Philippines


A great bang-for-buck car and a good alternative to the Corolla Altis or Civic


Expensive running costs. It consumes a lot of gas- 7km/L on full city driving, plus the parts on the dealer are quite expensive.

General Comments:

Just sold my old 1990 Corolla 1.6GLi, now I've bought this one just a year later after I bought my Corolla Altis 1.8G.

Lets compare these 2 cars I have, shall we? Lets see who wins.

Chevrolet Optra 1.8LT vs. Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8G.

#1: Engine

The performance of the Optra is quite good. Even though the engine is 24hp and 23Nm behind my Altis 1.8G, it pulls the car well, and the acceleration is quite fast. The engine's roar is pleasant to hear as well. The roar is fruity on the inside, just like a Ford Lynx, and when you poke your head out, it gives a good sound.

The Altis 1.8G on the other hand, has a more powerful engine, but it's boring with a capital B. There's almost or no noise at all inside the cabin, and when you poke your head out and rev a little (around 2000rpm), the engine sounds so petite and geeky.

The Optra reaches 0-100km/h (0-60mph) in roughly 11 seconds, while the Altis takes only around 8-9 seconds to reach 100km/h, but this happens when in power mode. In normal mode, it took 13 seconds to reach 100km/h.

I expected that the engine of the Optra was smooth, refined, and fuel-effieicnt and not as shaky as the my old 1990 Corolla Gli that I sold. I also expected it to have a slightly better fuel mileage than my Altis 1.8G.

But I was wrong. I opened the hood, and started her up. I found out that the engine was grumbling and cranky, not to mentioned shaky as well. The mileage is not what I expected- it's poorer than the Altis. If the Altis merited 8-9km/L on full city driving, the Optra gave in only 7km/L.

The gas tank bigger than the Altis- 60 liters versus 50.

Score: Optra-0, Altis-1.

#2: Suspensions

Bump absorption of the car isn't that good either.

In the Altis, I only felt minor to moderate shaking when it goes over humps and potholes, even the worst kinds imaginable.

But in the Optra, bump absorption on raised obstacles like humps are better than the Altis, but when it comes to depressed obstacles like potholes and highway joints, it subjects the cabin to crashing it, depending on the size of the pothole.

The body structure of the Optra is surprisingly solid and stable, though.

Score: Optra-0. Altis-2.

#3: Steering

Steering is a little better than the Altis. It responds and turns in corners a little faster, and the need to turn the steering wheel is a little less. Understeer is milder as well.

Score: Optra-1, Altis-2.

#4: Gearbox

The automatic gearbox is responsive as well. Up and downshifts are unobtrusive and performance almost matches my Altis' auto. It has no shift shock or other problems even when going uphill. But when the Altis is in power mode, it easily beats the Optra.

Score: Optra-1, Altis-3.

#5: Brakes

Both the Optra and Altis has good braking feel as well. It's never spongy nor vague.

Score: Optra-2, Altis-4.

Inside, the Optra is really comfortable.

#6: Driving position

The Optra has a good driving position. The seating is almost as high as the Altis, the steering wheel is easy to reach, and the pedals are on the right place. Both have very comfortable driving positions.

Score: Optra-3, Altis-5.

#7: Front seat

In the front passenger, space is ample, and comfortable, plus there's a drawer found under the seat. But the Altis has bigger space, better support and more comfortable.

Score: Optra-3, Altis-6.

#8: Rear seats

At the rear, the Optra is very comfortable, has good leg, foot and knee room, and has good support as well. The Altis' rear on the other hand has better comfort and support, but it's cramped.

Score: Optra-4, Altis-6.

#9: Control ergonomics

The controls are easy to use, reach and learnable. The radio controls on the steering wheel makes it easier to operate the radio and CD-changer.

The controls on the Altis are also easy to use and reach with the exception of the radio and air-con: these 2 are button overkill! You need to take your eyes off the road just to adjust the air-con or the radio.

Score: Optra-5, Altis-6.

#10: Last, but not least, value for money.

Both of these cars have good value for money. The Optra however is much cheaper than the Altis, and carries lots equipment for a low price. For only Php799,000, you get front and rear disc brakes with ABS (Anti Brake-lock System) and EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), leather seats, wood trims, leather seats, a 5-CD changer and radio with audio controls mounted on the steering wheel, and so much more as standard.

The Altis on the other hand, has all these equipment as well. The diffrence are the radio, only 1 CD, but with a cassette player, a better air-con, no steering wheel mounted audio controls and a rear sunshade as standard. But it's Php120,000 more expensive.

And so it's a tie! Both of these 2 are winners!

Score: Optra-6, Altis-6.

Optra Summary:

The good: Value for money

The bad: Engine is quite unrefined and gruff, fuel mileage, Korean car in disguise.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th June, 2005

3rd Aug 2005, 22:18

I am from Manila and have had a humble number of cars in my life. At present I have a Toyota Camry 2.2, Mitsubishi Montero GDI 3.0 V6 and a Honda City 1.3A/T and now a relatively new Optra 1.8LT. My Optra is just 3 months old and I am very happy with it. Value for money, its way ahead of its competitors in its class. It has a powerful engine and the suspension is superb for its class. Cabin is very quiet and very roomy with very good amenities aside from its great looks. The sound system is superb. Handling is great from low speed to very high speed. I have tested my Optra twice already at long drives hitting 190 Km/hr with no effort and engine stress. It was still very stable at that speed. I was able to get 16 kms/ltr consumption at an average speed of 160kms/hr, thrice! at first I was consuming 5-kms/ltr in City driving then after some reprograming of my computer box, I am now hitting 8-9kms/ltr with dramatic improvement in power! That's very respectable for a 1.8ltr engine.

As to service, I am very happy with GM Chevrolet North EDSA. Their service staff and service manager are very professional, customer-oriented, helpful, honest, time-concious and well versed with the Optra. As a matter of fact, when I did complain about the gas consumption, their National Service Manager himself, Mr. Bert Pascual, came to test my Optra. That's service in its highest! The service manager, Mr. Boyet, did some research and got a new set of program settings for the Optra. He then informed me of it and had my computer box reprogramed. Now its running perfect! I suggest that Optra owners and GM owners in general try the service of GM Chevrolet North EDSA. They are good!!!



2005 Chevrolet Optra L 1.6 from Philippines


The Optra is a heavy gas guzzler


None. It's too early to tell.

General Comments:

The car feels heavy. The engine is powerful, but it is offset by the weight of the chassis. Climbing a 35 degree incline feels the same as when I had a 1.3L Honda City.

This car drinks gasoline like a fish. The fuel meter just drops and drops. It must be from the heavy chassis.

The air conditioning is weak. You have to switch the dial to 2 to get decent cooling. Forget comfort when driving at noon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th May, 2005

21st May 2005, 19:32

You have complained about the fuel consumption of this car yet you have listed running costs as very cheap (10 out of a possible 10). This is confusing. Could you please explain?

3rd Jun 2005, 14:17

I must agree with the last comment that stated the Optra is a gas guzzler. I just bought mine about 3 weeks ago and am amazed by how fast my gas guage drops on a daily basis.

2005 Chevrolet Optra LX Wagon 2.0L from North America


Like a summer day, it could be more perfect... but it's not really worth trying


Replacing the radio was a pain in the bum.

General Comments:

This is a nice, nice car, with lots of amenities.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd February, 2005

5th May 2005, 00:09

Interested in the Optra 1.6 Auto or the Vivant. Any other feedback. Thanks.

12th Nov 2005, 01:04

I have a Canadian Optra 1.8 4 Dr Sedan. It is a 2004 model. We purchased nearly 2 years ago. I was skeptical to purchase at first as I was replacing a 2000 Honda Civic SI coupe, which had a 5 spd, and was pleasant to drive. We decided that the Optra had more bang for the buck so we would give it a go. We bought the LS model in Canada with a 5 speed. WOW this car has been great! I recommend one to everyone! It is incredibly affordable, and is great to drive. Even in 5th gear you have power to spare for passing on the highway. If you really need to give er you can jump down to fourth. The knobs are solid, the radio works great, and the MP3 player is a handy little feature. The car also looks great! If you are normally an import buyer, TRY THIS CAR! You will be impressed! I was!