It was a do or die situation for Tata when they came up with Zest this year and that move seems to have finally paid off as Zest has managed to do well in our market. Now, once back on track, Tata wants to do the same thing in the premium hatchback segment with their hatchback called Tata Bolt which now has been launched.
Last year we have already seen the new Polo, Elite i20 and the recently launched, face-lifted version of Swift keeping car buyers busy throughout the year and now, it will be Tatas turn to join the leading armies and make their move. To know exactly, what kind of excitement can this car bring into our market, we have come up with this article where we will see how Bolt stands against its prime rivals and prove its worthiness.
The Bolt is powered by the same set of petrol and diesel engines doing duty in its elder sibling. The petrol unit is the 1.2L turbocharged Revotron engine with 89 bhp and has a torque output of 140Nm which starts coming from as low as 1750 rpm. With this highest in class torque output (keeping price bracket in mind), Bolt will have an advantage over all its competitors.
Similar to Zest, this engine is features the 3-mode driving feature in Bolt as well adding more value to the car. With the expected figures, Bolt will be the most powerful car on paper here as it produces more peak power than its rivals at low rpm. The new Polo will be the least powerful car here with its 3-cylinder, 75bhp engine while the Elite i20 and the new Swift are closely placed with utmost power output of 82bhp and 83bhp which can be achieved at 6000rpm respectively.
All four cars are powered by different 1.2L engines which are served with respective 5-speed manual gearboxes. Even if we talk about the diesel units then Bolt seems to be a very competitive car. It will have the popular 1.3L Multijet engine which is also powering its rival, Swift. In the Bolt it is in the 75 bhp avatar similar to Tata Zest. The 75bhp version shares its specifications with Swift.With the newly added, 1.5L TDI unit, the new Polo will be the most powerful car here with a power and torque output of 89bhp and 230Nm of torque respectively.
The new Hyundai Elite i20 with its 1.4L CRDI unit produces identical power to Polo and slightly less torque output of 220Nm which is achieved at 1500rpm. Elite i20 is the only car in this comparison to feature a six-speed gearbox in the diesel version as rest of the diesel cars come equipped with their respective five-speed manual gearboxes.
One last and the most anticipating thing about Bolt will be its 5-speed AMT gearbox. It is not yet confirmed though but looking at the high demand and positive response towards the AMT version of Zest, there are high possibilities that Tata may end up making Bolt the most affordable automatic diesel hatch in India.
Here, Bolt will be taking on the best ever feature equipped versions of the Polo, Elite i20 and the new Swift and we can expect a tough competition as Tata has surprisingly improved itself very well in this department as seen in the case of Zest so it has done the same in the Bolt as well.
The Bolt comes with many features like projector headlights, ORVMs integrated with turn indicators and 15-inch alloy wheels. Moreover, to put up a tough fight, Bolt will share premium and safety features such as Automatic climate control, electrically adjustable ORVMs, rear parking sensors, ABS with EBD, Dual front airbags, Bluetooth connectivity, touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and voice commands plus steering mounted controls with the top variants of its competitors.
Polo manages to be the safest car in this comparison as it comes standard with Dual front air-bags while the new Swift is a more sensible car to buy now thanks to addition of features such as push button start, auto folding mirrors and keyless entry but it still loses out to Elite i20 which is currently the most feature rich car here.
The Elite i20 has even more features like rear a.c vents, rear parking camera, audio system with 1GB storage, 16 inch alloy wheels and front armrest giving it an advantage over its competitors.
Tata has launched the Bolt at INR 4.44 lakhs for petrol and INR 5.49 lakhs starting price for the diesel version which surely makes it look like a good buy in its segment as it under-cuts its rivals by quite a margin but the base variants sorely lacks features which will force you to upgrade. And when you do so, then the price difference between Bolt and its rivals get significantly reduced which means the Bolt will have to face stiff competition.
For instance, the top variant of diesel Bolt is priced at INR 6.99 lakhs which is almost equal to the mid variants of Polo (6.8 lakh- Comfortline) or only slightly cheaper than the Elite i20 (Sportz- Rs 7.4 lakh) while it is just INR 20K cheaper than the segment leader, Swift (ZDi- 7.20 lakh). This move suggests that Tata Motors is confident for its product and that it can take its rivals head-on in all departments. We have earlier said that the Bolt is the best car yet from Tata Motors so now it is upto the car-buyer to decide what he wants.
Words- Nitesh Sharma