Chevrolet Philippines let us spent a weekend over the new Sail, a compact car that bring vibrancy in the lineup of Chevrolet. So, we thought of bringing it to Tagaytay for a spin and we did exactly that.
This new car model is a balance of performance, size and functionality, in our experience this goes head to head with the likes of the Vios, City, Fiesta and more.
We see the sail as both adventurous and safe, it has angular bodies that gives it a striking body; along with a front grill that shouts out both formality and attitude for exploration.
Soft curves are more present into the sail throughout, t
Though the body of the Sail would be more debatable if its leaning to be safe in design or a bit extra ordinary, we love the striking orange color as it gives an overall factor of being a looker.
The curved and angular shapes continues onward inside the sail, it has ample storage besides the air con vents, an ample glove compartment and a small dash-cabinet for small documents.
At the center console is an android based 9″ touch screen system along with other controls for the air con and even the power windows….yes that’s correct the power windows.
It’s a bit weird on to control the windows reaching the center console, especially when bringing down the windows then reaching for a parking card. Also, the row based controls for the power windows isn’t accessible for the passenger, so its a bit weird for a vehicle especially for someone who uses multiple cars everyday.
Additionally, there isn’t a center power lock and unlock toggle even for the driver side. So you will have to flick the door switch manually in order to unlock the door.
Seating materials is made of generous sport fabric material, no leather here but it is still optional to just add one easily through third-party makers.
The steering has controls for the entertainment system, the controls are intuitive enough for simple navigation. But we like the slider type toggle for the source, so its not subjective to mistakes.
A slight mention to the left and right controls are a bit off in design, especially for an American brand that the controls are left dominated. It means activating the wipers are to toggle up instead of the usual down and there isn’t any time based control adjustment for the wipers.
Same goes to the lights switch as it also needs a toggle upwards, again this is a bit of a challenge for people driving multiple cars. To be honest, this is the 1st of its kind we encountered this among all brands we tested.
When it comes to performance the Sail has a 1.5L engine and 4-speed automatic transmission. When it comes to urban driving, we have no problem with the sail as moderate Metro Manila traffic runs it smoothly at average 30kph speed.
But when it comes to longer driving experiences such as going to Tagaytay, the Sail has some factors you need to know. You see, when it comes to long drives…you need to consider comfort and fast speeds to save time and still please everyone in the vehicle.
In our experience, the Sail when punching the engine to reach 100kph has its own downside cause of the 4-speed automatic transmission. In most cases on an open road, the third gear is responsible for reaching up to 80-90kph where the engine roars at 5,000rpm and close to 6,000rpm before switching to 4th gear.
Once at 4th gear, the transmission plays back and forth depending on your speed. In most cases, when we slow down back to 75kph the engine switches gear back to third and we repeatedly have to punch back to reach high speeds of 85kpm and above.
Unfortunately, one setback in this moment as the vehicle reaches high-rpm is the temporary deactivation of the air conditioning system. So you will feel a temporary moment of the air con producing no-chill until the compressor turns on again. But if you are in a long drive overtaking multiple vehicles from time to time, then you will have to encounter this…but of course, you can always just coast in 60-80kph to avoid this.
Driving handling is nice, it can handle most bumps without the nasty stiff suspension in other cars. We love the almost panoramic front windshield view, by far the widest views we have seen on a sedan.
The panoramic sunroof is also nice, but in the hot weather of summer, it isn’t really advisable to open. Mostly you will use it in the early hours of the day or night time to feel the cold weather of Tagaytay or similar places.
As for fuel mileage, we got an average 12km per liter on long drives and 9.5km per litter on urban drives. Though our experience isn’t really long enough to tell it conclusively.
For a compact car, we were delighted to see the large 9″ entertainment system of the Sail. The system is an Android system customized for the vehicle and it has numerous modes such as
- Music (Internal Storage)
- Video (Yes, video is possible)
- Bluetooth Audio
- Audio AUX
Audio quality is unfortunately underwhelming, the audio settings aren’t really helpful as we see this more of a speaker hardware limitation. Audio quality is similar to listening to 128kb mp3 files, the bass isn’t punchy even when we tried all the settings.
Navigation is also present using Waze, but you need Wi-Fi connection in order to do make it work properly and accurate in position. Unfortunately, even connecting via USB of your phone the internet does not tether so you will need to do a personal hotspot instead.
With the large 9″ display, this is a good method for navigation with the arises of the suspended anti-distracted driving law. Just be aware that it doesn’t really do well under very bright conditions or sunny days.
There is a method to connect your Android phone and sync it via USB connection. It enables you to do mirror your phone to the touchscreen should you need to do more functionality.
As for the air conditioning system of the sail, it is ample enough for regular days. But for the intense sunny days, we highly suggest getting a minimum of medium tint to lessen the heat.
Our test vehicle has minimum tint as standard, so we just suggest to get a medium based tint for a more comfortable and easier temperature management.
Plus the air conditioning system opens the vent outside when turned to auto, something weird and similar to the Suzuki Vitara we reviewed recently.
Cooling controls are also controlled by the entertainment system, incremental of 1 degree is only possible and not by 0.5. We wished it can be adjusted with more flexibility as the controls are already digital.
Overall the Chevrolet Sail is a great everyday car for 1st-time car owners, it’s spacious enough for 5 people and can bring you from point A to B with not much problem.
But if you are a nitpicker when it comes to the cooling system, just take our advice of a medium tint to avoid climate inconvenience.
Our test unit is the high-end 1.5L LTZ Automatic Transmission for Php858,888. For the price, it’s enough to give you a great experience as your first vehicle with the even added value such as a nice entertainment system and sunroof.
|1.3L DOHC VVT, LT Manual Transmission (for cash purchases)||Php 688,888.00|
|1.3L DOHC VVT, LT Manual Transmission||Php 713,888.00|
|1.5L DOHC DVVT, LT Automatic Transmission||Php 768,888.00|
|1.5L DOHC DVVT, LTZ Automatic Transmission||Php 858,888.00|