Road Test

Tata Tiago India Review

By   |   06 April,2016

Introductions please?

What you are looking at is probably the most important car ever made by Tata Motors as its significance is huge. It is called Tiago (forget Zica). It is a car that Tata Motors have carefully crafted for our market with the sole intention of grabbing big chunks of market share in this fiercely competitive small car space. The Tiago has just been launched with petrol and diesel engines being offered. Read on for our Tata Tiago review.

How does it look?

We like the styling of the Bolt but in some aspects it does hark back to the Indica but here there are no such complaints as the Zica/ Tiago is a fresh and appealing design. It would not be a stretch to call it the best looking car yet from Tata Motors and you can clearly see the evolution of the Tata Motors design language. Designers at Tata Motors have worked hard to give their new hatch a different identity and they have succeeded.

There are the signature Tata Motors design elements but they are infused together in a new shape. The front (which Tata calls as the Humanity line) is the best part of the design with the hexagonal grille and large, well designed smoked headlamps along with the new T logo. Then there is the Diamond DLO line which run along the sides and the Slingshot line at the rear.

The rear styling with those new shape tail-lamps and the rear spoiler are in my opinion, much better to look at than the ones in the Bolt. Dimension wise it is on par with its rivals (length- 3746mm, width 1647mm, ground clearance 170mm) The Tiago gets 14 inch wheels and also has a better stance than the Bolt or even any other car in its class. Thus in the Sunburst orange colour, the Tiago has that want factor and you have to say, design wise Tata Motors have done a great job in creating a car that will appeal to many but is not bland.

What about the interiors?

Step inside and again it seems very impressive at first glance with a new look dash which is more modern looking than the Bolt or even anything made by Tata Motors earlier. The steering wheel is carried over from the Zest/Bolt but that is no bad thing but what grabs your attention is the all new hexagonal centre console which is simple in design but well executed. Quality has also taken a big leap forward. The top-end trim level has body coloured air con vents (available on two colours) which is a nice touch.

Space has always been a Tata Motors strength and it continues to be so in the Tiago also. Be it at the front or at the back there is more than enough space and it is very comfortable. The rear seats especially score well in this department. There are 22 utility spaces in the car and it has a 240ltr boot.

Features are a big draw and the Tiago has an infotainment system by Harman with 8 speakers (very good sound quality) along with the usual Aux-in and USB, Bluetooth, steering controls, electrically adjustable outside mirrors, tilt steering plus smartphone based navigation, follow me headlamps, cooled glovebox, dual airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors etc. There is also the Juke- car app in which a mobile hotspot creates a virtual network to host a service for sharing list of available songs on device.

Want to know how it drives..

The Zica/ Tiago has two all new engine options- a 1.2l Revotron petrol and a 1.05l Revotorq diesel with a 5-speed manual gearbox. Let us start with the diesel. Part of the new family of diesel engines, the Revotorq 1.05l motor develops 69 bhp and 140Nm of torque. Refinement is decent for a three-cylinder unit and for being a city car, I would say performance is acceptable. Yes, it lacks a bit of grunt and it seems a wee bit sluggish at low revs but you have to remember the focus is on efficiency. Speaking of which the Tiago diesel is extremely efficient with an official efficiency number at 27.28 kmpl.

Other observations include a light clutch and a reasonably precise gearbox. So the diesel overall is fairly competent at being an efficient city car but it is not as fun as the petrol. Yes, the 1.2L Revotron surprised us with its performance. The numbers are 83 bhp and 115Nm of torque. Power delivery is smooth and so much so that despite two on board along with a ton of photography equipment and luggage, we liked the peppy nature of the motor. There is good amount of bottom-end punch which is perfect for city use and overall we think this petrol motor is the best yet from Tata Motors though push it and it does get a bit noisy.

A major highlight is the Multi-Drive mode in which both the engines come with two modes- City and Eco. Yes, unlike the Bolt there is no Sport mode. Eco mode (especially in the diesel) bogs down the engine and we think it is best to stick with City mode. In the ride and handling department, its dynamic finesse is something that is a massive leap forward from the earlier gen Tata cars and which has been seen with the likes of the Bolt also. It is very easy to drive in the city and it rides very well. Bad roads are swallowed up well though the ride is a tad firmer than in the Bolt. The petrol which is considerably lighter than the diesel, feels more agile. High speed stability is very good.

So what do you think finally?

There is no doubt that the Tiago is the best car yet from Tata Motors and it is exactly the car that they need. For me it is the design, features and the improvement in fit and finish which are the standout components of the Tiago. While the diesel fits the brief of an efficient city car, it is the petrol that is more fun and a better drive, which is our choice. The Tiago then pretty much ticks all the right boxes but as always it boils down to the price and at Rs 3.2 lakh starting, the Tiago has what it takes to give others in its class a real tough time.

Also read Zica Specs and Features

Photography- Rajeev Bhendwal