Report contributed by one regular Autoworld forum member.
Being ‘upgraded’ to ‘family’hood and having two little kids has prompted us with the idea that we should also be ‘upgrading’ our car! We know that we need more space, and that is our first priority. From a very young age, I had always wanted a big car; I think it would be cool to be able to take a nap in the car while on a long journey.. and I mean to do it lying down, not sitting up!
We got to test drive the Chevrolet Nabira 1.8 Auto, courtesy of Hicomobil Sdn Bhd, the local importers of the Chevrolet range, for a weekend, and here is our brief review.
The Shanghai Red Nabira we drove comes with sporty skirting. We thought the seat and steering position was odd when we first got into the car, but found that it could be quickly adjusted to suit the driver. The steering can be adjusted for height and reach, and the driver’s seat is just as versatile.
Overall, the performance is quite impressive. It may not accelerate like a fast car with its Ecotec1.8 litre engine, but for its size and carrying capacity, and considering our requirements, is good enough. A little switch that says ‘Sports Mode’ allows you to get a little more power should you require it.
The handling of the car is superb and lives up to its continental origin (the Nabira is actually a re-badged Opel Zafira). The suspension soaks up the bumps and ripples on the roads, yet holds the car together around bends. The standard Traction Control feature takes care of the road behaviour, while the ABS system, also a standard feature, gives the Nabira user better control when needed. Large 16 inch alloy wheels with corresponding radial tyres make up the rest of the package.
Another good point of the Nabira, insofar as the ‘family’ man is concerned, has to be its Flex-7 seats. In full deployment, it is a full seven seater, but the seats can be configured into more than 30 combinations to suit whatever your space versus seating requirements may be. You can have it as two seater with heaps of space behind if necessary. The best part about the seats is that the rearmost seats fold flat into the floor to maximize space utility.
The Nabira also has dual air-conditioning system, with a separate blower for the third row passengers, a feature not commonly found in mid-sized MPV’s like the Nabira. Other goodies include an immobilizer, adjustable ambience lighting level, and headlight level adjuster.
The downside is that there are no ‘door open’ warning lights if one of the doors is not properly
closed and the doors do not have an auto-lock feature when the car starts moving. The design is a little dated and it is about the time that a new model is due to appear soon. Other than that, it’s pretty hard to think of any other good value for money packages.