2022 Chevrolet Groove
– Stylish and functional
– Economical to buy and run
– Fairly quiet and comfortable
– Not quick by any stretch
– Hard-plastic cabin trim
– No all-wheel-drive option
The Chevrolet Groove made its debut in the Middle East this year. It is the brand’s new entry-level crossover, replacing the Trax. The subcompact SUV segment is hot in most parts of the world right now, and the Groove is looking to capture a piece of that pie.
If you’re a commuter-car enthusiast, you would’ve caught a glimpse of this model as a Baojun 510 in the Chinese market. Baojun is a brand under SAIC-GM-Wuling, a three-way joint venture between Shanghai Automotive Industry Company (SAIC), General Motors and Wuling Motors. GM has a 44% stake in this joint venture, and the Groove is the second Chevy to come out of it, after the current Captiva.
The Chevrolet Groove has quite a good-looking design. The front follows the corporate styling template set by the Captiva. The Groove Premier trim we tested gets LED projection headlights. Decent 16-inch alloy wheels are standard on the Groove, with the Premier getting two-tone wheels. Other exterior features on the Premier include side-mirrors painted in black and equipped with turn signals, as well as a panoramic sunroof. LED daytime running lamps and taillamps and roof rails are equipped in all trims.
Inside, there is good visibility around the car and the panoramic sunroof helps give it an airy feel inside.
The seats are fabric, with the Premier adding bits of leather trim on the upper dash, steering wheel and centre armrest, along with red-stitching. Besides the leathery bits, pretty much everything else is hard plastic, as is standard in this segment.
A powered driver seat is only offered on the Premier trim. The seats were quite comfy on the Groove, but the steering wheel doesn’t move front and back. There is good headroom, while the legroom in the rear is surprisingly decent, comfortably seating people close to 6 feet tall.
There is a futuristic-looking gauge cluster, oddly left monochrome in this day and age. The steering wheel gets audio and cruise control buttons. The Premier trim adds keyless entry, push button engine start and automatic climate control. Thankfully, all the a/c controls are proper buttons and not on a touchscreen. The a/c worked fine, unstressed as temperatures outside hovered at just a maximum of 30 degrees during our February test in Dubai.
The 8-inch touchscreen is standard across the trims, and comes with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two USB ports and an AUX port. Chevrolet’s infotainment system is quite easy to use and it paired with our phones with no issues. The sound system does an okay job, with the Premier trim getting 6 speakers, which cuts down to 4 speakers in the lower LT model.
Under the hood, it gets a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine which is standard in both the LT and Premier trims. The motor produces 110 hp at 5800 rpm as well as 147 Nm of torque at 3600 rpm, with the powertrain mated to a CVT automatic. Weighing it at 1290 kg, that little motor can just manage a 0-100 kph time of 13.2 seconds.
The throttle response is instant, making it a very capable city car, especially during heavy traffic when we needed to dart in and out of roundabouts or junctions. On highways however, it has to be pedal to the metal to do overtakes. Noise levels are kept decent inside the car, with some road noise. Wind noise becomes apparent as speeds creep up closer to 120 kph. We achieved a respectable 7.6 litres/100 km (13.2 km/litre) which included a lot of driving in city traffic. While the Groove is no dune-bashing offroader, that bit of extra ground clearance compared to a regular sedan gives you that tad bit more confidence when going over some big speed breakers or on gravel roads.
The Chevrolet Groove comes at the right moment, with fuel prices slowly creeping up and consumers firmly shifting towards SUVs. The one to get is the Premier trim as it just looks better with those subtle additions to the interior and exterior. Prices start at a smidge over what Toyota is asking for a Yaris sedan, so it’s great overall value.
Current Model Introduced in:
Test Acceleration 0-100 kph:
Observed Test Fuel Economy: