Tiago has surely proved to be the car from Tata which has brought them back in the competition in our market. The car is currently the best-selling car from Tata which has lived upto the expectation of its buyers. Following the popularity of the vehicle, Tata launched the AMT variant of this car which is equipped with its petrol engine. So does the AMT makes living in traffic any easier and how does it behave in comparison to its rivals? Well, we kept the car for a few days to answer all such questions.
Visually, the AMT variant is exact the same as the manual variant and is available in the top two variants with prices starting from INR 4.79 lakhs while we had the top variant during our tests. The car really looks smart from outside and the red color further makes it look attractive. The top variant comes with fog lamps and alloy wheels which make it look premium.
The interiors are also the same with nicely finished dashboard and body colour matched A.C vents surrounding. The AMT lever replaces the manual gearbox and gives you slightly more space around it to keep small things. You have to press the brake every time to start the engine and to engage the gearbox. The gearbox has Eco and sport mode to match your driving style. The sport mode can be engaged by pressing a small button around the gear lever with S written around it while there is reverse, Parking and manual gear changing options as well.
The 5-speed AMT gearbox is paired with the 1.2L, Revotron engine which has 83bhp on offer along with a torque output of 114Nm which mostly feels sufficient for a car of this size. The engine starts with City mode by default which though saves a bit of fuel in comparison to the Sport mode but takes some time to react. For instance you want to rev the engine quickly in city traffic to pick up the pace but not only the gearbox would upshift early but will take significant time to make that upshift. However, post upshift, the part throttle responses are good and the engine can easily cruise between 80-120 km/hr.
Things do get better up when you switch to Sport mode which we recommend to use often if most of your commuting or usage includes open roads because it responses well as it revs higher to squeeze more power from the engine before making an upshift which makes it feel progressive. But, unfortunately, the Sport mode also has its drawback which is mostly felt while you are driving in bumper to bumper traffic.
The creep function is surely helpful in such case which slowly keeps the car moving without throttle inputs but when you have to accelerate suddenly, the car will take some time initially and soon after it will speed up abnormally because of its pre-set ECU mapping which is quite risky in tight traffic. This takes a bit of learning after which you can predict how much exactly you have to press the throttle and for how long. Apart from this, the gear changes are a bit jerky but that is the nature of AMT gearboxes so nothing much to complain about.
The ride quality is surely one thing which we feel is best in Tiago compared to any car in its segment. The high speed stability is very impressive and so is its handling which gives you confidence while going at high speeds. The bumps and potholes are easily absorbed and only really big potholes can be felt inside the cabin. The steering weighs appropriately and feels quite accurate while parking and in city traffic. Feature wise at INR 5.25 lakhs (Ex-showroom, Delhi) you get brilliant Harmon audio system with Bluetooth connectivity and steering mounted controls, rear de-fogger, wiper, electrically adjustable ORVMs, central locking with foldable key, dual front airbags, ABS and rear parking sensors.
Yes, the Tiago AMT is a bit expensive than other entry level AMT cars in India but it offers that extra bit as well including mileage as we got around 13-14km/ltr when mostly used in city traffic. It looks stylish, has all the features, feels spacious from inside and has a peppy petrol engine which makes it perfect city car with some real good high speed manners and of course the convenience of AMT gearbox which is also easy to live with.
Words and photos- Sunil Kumar