Tata Motor's much awaited Bolt hatch will be launched in a few months time along with the Tata Zest compact sedan so its important to see how well it compares along with its rivals namely the Maruti Celerio, Swift and not to mention a whole host of rivals like the very capable Hyundai Grand i10.
The Bolt is a new hatch from Tata and also a crucial car and Tata Motors are going full force with this new car. As a styling point of view the Tata Bolt is a handsome car and the design is clean yet well detailed. While from a distance it shares some of the resemblance with the Vista, coming closer will reveal a much better design.
The front is aggressive with the sharp headlamps, big grille and elsewhere the floating roof and sporty tail-lamps make it look good. Its marginally longer than the Vista and in our eyes is the best looking Tata hatch yet and in red or white in 15 inch alloys it looks great.
The Maruti Celerio is a much more safe design and lacks the pizzazz of the Bolt but its pleasant styling appeals to everyone and offends no one but it does not stand out like the Bolt. The Maruti Swift even after all this time looks good and its bit of an icon with its muscular, sporty shape. Maruti will be launching a facelifted Swift with LED DRls which will make it even more attractive.
Inside and you will be pleasantly suprised by the interior of the Tata Bolt as the design and quality is easily the best yet from Tata Motors. The materials feel premium and design of the dash is all new. Its also spacious and will come with a lot of features like touchscreen system, satnav, Bluetooth, voice recognition sytem, steering controls etc. Tata has made sure that the Bolt is better equipped than its rivals.
The Celerio's cabin is much more simple but quality has improved over the earlier Maruti's plus the design is nice. The top-end Celerio gets features like cd player, USB, Aux-in, Bluetooth, keyless entry, steering controls for audio. The Swift has a sporty black cabin which we are all familiar with and while the design, quality is good it lacks space and features. The top-end model gets features like climate control, steering controls, keyless entry and audio system with USB.
The big news with the Bolt is that it will have a Turbocharged Intercooled Multi-point Fuel-Injected (MPFi) Petrol Engine, REVOTRON 1.2T with 85 bhp and 140 Nm of torque, this engine will be efficient and also offer good performance and we think this will be a hot-seller in the Bolt though the 1.3 Multijet will be as usual very important to the range. The Bolt also has new electronic power assisted steering.
The Swift continues with the 1.2 petrol with 86 bhp and 75 bhp 1.3 diesel. Both offer very good economy/performance combos but the diesel is our choice here. The Celerio only gets a 998 cc petrol but the advantage is the AMT gearbox which not only relieves you from gear shifting its also kind to the wallet with a 23.1 kmpl mileage.
We expect the Tata Bolt to start at Rs 4.2 lakh for the base petrol and go upto Rs 6.4 lakh for the top-end. The Swift starts from Rs 4.4 lakh and goes all the way to Rs 6.7 lakh. The smaller Celerio is priced at Rs 3.7 lakh and goes to Rs 4.8 lakh.
The Tata Bolt is an impressive car as it has more features, space and feels more premium than other small cars. Priced well the Bolt will be a success no doubt.