Please Tell Us Your City

location icon
    location iconClose
      Sorry!! No Matching Results found. Try Again.

      Tata Altroz DCA First Drive Review

      Sagar Bhanushali

      Sagar Bhanushali

      Why I would buy it

      Refined, smooth gearbox 

      Rear seat comfort 

      Good value

      Why I would avoid it

      Engine lacks performance 

      Few feel good features missing 

      Engine and Performance

      Tata Altroz Engine Shot

      Now this is where things get interesting. So you have this quick shifting dual clutch gearbox that has been paired to a naturally aspirated three-cylinder petrol engine which, let’s be honest, doesn’t make a whole lot of horsepower and torque. It would have made more sense to pair it with the turbo petrol Altroz, right? Well the enthusiast in me would have agreed to that but we had the new Tata Altroz for a day and the more I drove it, the more I got to terms with this drivetrain and what’s it’s supposed to do. 

      The Altroz DCA works absolutely fine as a daily driver. The 6-speed dual clutch automatic is refined, it goes through the gears with a level of smoothness that we haven’t seen in any Tata vehicle yet and it brings out the best of that naturally aspirated 1.2-litre engine but and there is a big but. Things get a bit demotivating as soon as you start pushing this drivetrain. For instance, the gearshifts at high RPMS are nowhere as seamless as they are when you are just cruising along. And because this three-cylinder engine is not a free-revving engine, you can feel it holding back the dual clutch automatic as it takes its own sweet time to spin up to high RPMs and vice versa. 

      Tata Altroz Left Front Three Quarter

      The lack of grunt from the engine is clear when you put it up against the clock. In our tests it did 0-60 in 8 seconds and 0-100 in 18.56 seconds. Now I know it wouldn't be fair to compare these times against the I20 DCT or the Polo with the torque converter but you have to admit that these are mediocre figures. The Altroz manual has been the slowest mid-size hatch in its segment and things are the same with this DCT version. Overtaking requires a lot of planning because even though the gearshifts itself are very quick, the throttle response is dull and the build-up in speed is relaxed at best.

      Ride and Handling

      Tata Altroz Right Side View

      The ride quality is slightly on the stiffer side but by no means its uncomfortable. The Altroz, in fact, can take the biggest of bumps and imperfections with ease and there is a lot of plushness to be felt as you go over smooth roads. The steering is light enough and it also has a good amount of feel. All in all, nothing has changed on the Altroz when it comes to ride and handling. 


      Tata Altroz Right Front Three Quarter

      Except for a new shade of dark blue and an extremely tiny DCA badge at the rear, nothing has changed on the Altroz. It’s a well-proportioned family hatch with lots of design quirks all around. The unusually low belt line for instance not only adds to the idiosyncrasies but also somewhat helps in visibility from inside. Then you have the wide 90-degree opening doors that you also get in the Punch. And let’s not forget the other standout elements like the sharply raked tailgate and the black surrounds for the taillights.

      Comfort, Convenience and Features

      Tata Altroz Rear Seats

      Getting inside the Altroz is a very easy task and it’s mostly because of the wide opening doors and how high up the seating is. And once you are in here you will find that the rear seat is large and very supportive. You also get an armrest and AC vents at the back and in terms of space, there is more than enough leg room. What we really like is how flat the floor is and how it adds to the comfort of the middle seat passenger. All in all, very little to nit-pick in here. 

      Tata Altroz Dashboard

      As for the features, the Altroz DCA doesn’t get anything over and above the manual versions and in the overall scheme of things, this top-spec version is decently equipped. You get useful features like sliding front armrest, a large 15-litre cooled glove box, height adjustment for driver’s seat, rear ac vents, phone mirroring, an 8 speaker audio system, automatic headlamps and wipers and lastly, cruise control. Now if we are to nit-pick, split folding rear seats and perhaps better visuals for the rear camera would have made the Altroz a lot easier to live with. Also, quality and fit and finish is good for the most part but we couldn’t help but notice unevenness in the panel gaps especially lower down in the cabin. As for safety, the Altroz scores very high, well literally. It’s got a five star rating from Global NCAP for adult occupant protection. There’s dual front air bags, height adjustable front seat belts, Isofix anchor points and ABS with EBD.   

      Tata Altroz Infotainment System


      Tata Altroz Right Rear Three Quarter

      The Altroz DCA is available in the top four variants – XM+, XT, XZ, and XZ+. In terms of prices it's around Rs 1 lakh more than the manual for every variant. For that extra one lakh rupees you're getting a DCT that is claimed to have been specifically developed for our extreme driving conditions. Sure, it's not the most responsive unit and it's definitely not paired to an exciting engine but if you can manage to keep aside your enthusiasm and look at it as a regular automatic hatchback, the Altroz DCT will make a lot of sense. It's adequately refined and in terms of driving smoothness, it actually does better than a lot of mass market DCTs that we have experienced. Hopefully there will be a far more exciting proposition with this DCT in the near future, perhaps with a turbo petrol engine.  

      Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi

      Tata Altroz
      TataAltroz ₹ 6.65 Lakh OnwardsCheck On Road Price
      Tata | Altroz | Tata Altroz | Altroz XZA Plus Petrol