Home-grown Tata Motors has just begun the sales of its all-new cool hatchback Tiago, with an entry-level prices of INR 3.20 Lakhs (petrol) and INR 3.94 lakhs (Diesel), ex-showroom Delhi.
Heralded by the company and industry observers as ‘transformative’, both in terms of its product excellence and sales potential, the Tiago is potent enough to turnaround the brand’s dwindling fortunes. Unlike previous attempts, the Tiago is essentially all-new and shares little with any Tata to date. It is attractive, spacious, well equipped, and fuel-efficient, seemingly well-qualified to compete in the premium hatch segment. Therefore, an outright game changer for the brand.
Initially code-named as ‘Kite’ and later officially christened as ‘Zica’, this car caught our imaginations well before its real name did. That’s because this car hardly resembles to any other Tata product, not even minutely, thanks to the fresh, in-house ‘IMPACT’ design language as a part of the company’s larger journey of reinventing itself under ‘Made Of Great’ campaign. With input’s from Pune, UK and Italy design studios, the Tiago has embodied as clean-sheet design that is highly appealing. That was evident in the first online revelation itself several months back, and became more obvious when I first saw the car at the 2016 Auto expo last February.
Up front, the Tiago features a stunning signature hexagonal grille that uniquely arcs outwards and flows back into the large swept-back headlamps. While the lower part of the front bumper that housing fog lamps is neatly done, it is the raised bonnet that defines the frontal design. The chunky 14-inch alloys fill out the arches nicely , something that every previous Tata cars missed out. Over the sides, the bold waist line complements the upward sweeping windows lines and chubby C-pillars. The rear design is equally suave, with spread-out tail lamps, sculpted hatch door, the blackened lower bumper portion, and the roof-integrated spoiler effect. The hatch is 3,746 mm long, 1,647 mm wide, and 1,535 mm high, which seems a perfectly proportional combination – the hatch is neither too tall nor wide. Although based on the updated Indica platform, the new car is significantly lighter and agile.
On the inside, the car is surprisingly well-designed and spacious, and feels more premium that many of its competitors. Utilitarian design and space has always been the stronghold of Tata cars, especially Indica, but they largely missed out in quality and feel-good factor. This car appears to fill that void – right from the choice of seat fabric to lush roof lining; from the quality of plastics to their textured finish, things are top-class and are comparable to some of the premium hatches. The steering wheel is nice to hold and the driving position is really great, thanks to low dashboard and large window panes that improve visibility. The dual-tone dash is decent, while the seats are well-cushioned and comfortable. Another delight inside is the Harman-developed infotainment system that supports segment-first apps like the Turn-by-Turn Navi app and the Juke-Car app.
The Tiago debuts the Revotorq 1.05-litre 3-cylinder turbo-diesel engine delivering 70 PS and 140 Nm at peak demand, while the 1.2-litre 3-cylinder Revotron petrol producing 85 PS and 114 Nm (while Bolt and Zest feature the same engine with an additional cylinder) is also available. Both these engines are indigenously developed light-weight, aluminium DOHC pots and feature multi-drive modes – City and Eco – along with an Engine Management System (EMS). As of now, a 5-speed manual gearbox is standard across all trims, but an AMT option is quite a possibility in the near future. Fuel efficiency seems to have improved significantly, with ARAI figures of 23.84 km/l for petrol and 27.28 km/l for the diesel motor. This mileage-focused tuning has resulted in lacklustre road performance in both the variants, although buyers in the segment wouldn’t complain much on that.
Tata has packed the new Tiago with tons of equipments depending on the trims, starting with dual airbags, ABS with EBD, engine immobilizer, steering mounted controls, 8 speaker audio system, turn-by-turn navigation (smart phone-based), tilt steering, info display with distance to empty feature. There are five trim levels and six metallic paint options for the buyers to choose.
On the whole, the Tiago is all-new and that’s undeniably its USP. It looks attractive, comfy and spacious, nicely equipped, fuel-efficient, and drives well. With aggressive price proposition, the Tiago would apparently give unbearable heat to popular cars of the segment like Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Hyundai Grand i10, and Chevy Beat.
Unlike their last attempt with Bolt and Zest to spice-up the contest, Tata has this time played really hard and safe by bringing an all-new car developed right from scratch, and also through front-loaded customer feedback on its cars. Tiago’s far-improved status in every aspect also points to the brand’s global standards aspiration, partly from JLR’s shared assistance and development. It is also interesting to see how far Tata cars has evolved into a competent and reliable products on par with the toppers in their respective segments. Tiago, in all respect, is bound to make a pivotal turn in the brand’s revival. A turn game changer indeed.
2017 Tata Tiago – Image Gallery
Photos Credit: Tata Motors, ZigWheels, Carwaar