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Chevrolet Lumina S

Broadcast dates : 3rd April 2005
9th April 2005

The recent makeover to the Chevrolet Lumina range extends to almost every facet of this earthy, family sedan, which hails from Australia.

Our test model was the Lumina S, which uses a new all-alloy V6 engine displacing 3,6 litres, and producing copious amounts of power and torque.

The Lumina has also been restyled in the add-on department, emphasizing what General Motors calls the "sculpted" look.

Thereís a new radiator grille, a bigger air-intake with mesh inserts, restyled headlamps, and rather boy-racer-ish sill extensions, spoiler and 17-inch alloy wheels on the S model.

The interior features sports-orientated instrumentation with silver surrounds and crisp graphics.

Thereís also paddle-shifting to go with the new automatic transmission, and the power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering takes some getting-used-to.

Thereís a reassuring sense of solidity to the car thatís somewhat unexpected given its rather retro styling.

Suspension is a basic McPherson strut layout up front with an independent multi-link rear-end. A very firm ride, but well sorted in the comfort department.

Itís a hulk of a motorcar, a family sedan in the mom -íní- pop tradition, albeit with serious street-cred in the "go" department.
The Alloytec V6 engine is mated to a new five-speed automatic gearbox offering various shift modes, including the paddle-shift option.

The interior has a typical lack of pretension. But build-quality is solid with a touch of racing-orientation that reflects Chevyís strong presence in the Australian Touring Car series.

Priced at R275 000, it offers more car for the buck than anything else in its class, and more performance than most at this price level.

In this era of MPVs and Double-Cab 4X4s being family-flavours-of-the moment, the Lumina S seems a bit of a throw-back. A sort of Cressida for the year 2005, so to speak.

But maybe itís time we took a closer look at cars like this, which are more maneuverable, easier to handle, and in the case of the Lumina S, offer sports car performance.

A 0-100 time in under eight seconds, and a 220 kilometres-per-hour top speed translates to lots of fun.

Chevrolet Lumina S
  • Engine: V6 petrol, 3 564 cc
  • Power: 190 kW @ 6 500 rpm
  • Torque: 340 Nm @ 3 200 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed automatic, rear-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 7,9 seconds
  • Top speed: 220 km/h
  • Fuel consumption: 13,5 litres/100 km (claimed figures)
  • Price: R275 000

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