General Motors are masters at creating a single chassis, then rehashing it to suit different markets.
Time was, GM would send out-of-date Opels to a long retirement in South America. But now we’re well into the 21st Century, that doesn’t quite cut it anymore.
A couple of years ago, GM took its latest ‘Gamma’ small car platform (found under the Vauxhall Mokka crossover and Chevrolet Aveo supermini), garnished it with a five-door hatchback body and called it the Onix.
The Onix went on sale in Brazil, Argentina and a few other countries in 2012, before being joined a year later by a saloon version, badged Prisma.
It’s main small car rivals are the omnipresent Ford Fiesta and local market Volkswagen Gol (no, I haven’t mis-spelled ‘Golf’). It’s a bit crude by European standards, but does the job needed of it well enough.
The ride’s a bit tough back-country roads, and it only has a 1.4-litre engine, where the Fezza and VW have a 1.6. But on the local ethanol fuel, it produces a healthy 105bhp.
Performance doesn’t exactly set the world on fire, especially with the optional automatic gearbox. But road burning isn’t exactly what this kind of car is about.
Prices are a bit strong, starting at the equivalent of around £9,000 in Brazil, and the gadgetry isn’t especially generous. Even so, it sells well on badge loyalty and probably discounts. ‘Tis the Chevrolet way.