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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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