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Chevrolet Tavera SS-D1 Neo(8-seater)

9th Sep 2009 7:00 am

The Tavera is the taxi operator’s darling, thanks to its superior fuel efficiency and easy maintenance

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  • Make : Chevrolet
  • Model : Tavera

The Tavera is one of the oldest MPVs around and it looks it. The recent refresh job notwithstanding, the Tavera’s design looks somewhat stark. The long rectangular headlights straddle a small grille on which the Chevy bow-tie sits. The windscreen is more steeply rakes as compared to the Scorpio and the roof gives it a sleeker look. The rear tailgate opens sideways and the spare tyre is located under the floor.

What you also notice are its relatively smaller dimensions, which compromise the vehicle’s interior space but thanks to the big windows the cabin feels airy. Unlike the C-section of the Qualis, the Tavera's body on ladder-frame chasis is made with a more robust tubular construction.The compact dimensions and good visibility make this car easy to place in traffic. The Tavera is sprung by basic torsion bars in the front and leaf springs at the rear.

Here again, the Tavera shows its age. The dashboard design and quality are not great. The air-con vents are hard to operate. The wiper/ headlight stalks feel like they will snap off if given a good tug. The Tavera loses out on the space and practicality fronts as well. It’s narrow and therefore interior space isn’t great. Storage space is minimal too. The door pockets are small and only in the front. The twin glovebox though is useful.

Middle row passengers get decent legroom but it’s not as generous as in the others, even with the optional captain’s chairs. The seat themselves are quite flat and unsupportive and the high floor compromises your posture. Tall drivers will face quite a task just getting into the driver seat. The side-facing rear seats are for punished kids, otherwise best left folded up. A good thing is the low sill, which makes loading easy.

The Tavera is a decent-handling vehicle. It doesn’t feel too top-heavy and is the most nimble of this lot, thanks to its relatively low weight and size. The quick and fairly accurate steering helps as well. The rear leaf springs compromise ride quality and make a lightly loaded Tavera a bit bouncy, but load up the vehicle and things get considerably better. The suspension is on the stiffer side; you can feel the lack of compliance at low speeds and sharp ridges can be jarring. Build up speed and it soaks up the smaller bumps, but it gets caught out by larger ones. The brakes have pretty good stopping power but need more servo assistance.

Chevrolet Tavera SS-D1 Neo(8-seater)
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