Living the daily with a Tata Bolt: Second Report
This red little Bolt has been with us for some good time now and we are done exchanging our pleasantries and greetings. Why did I ask for a Tata Bolt? Because I simply wished to drive this new offering which had almost the world to offer on paper yet faced criticism from many owing to the downers of its earlier gen iterations. Now we all know that the Bolt is a stepping stone towards the next generation of cars from the Indian car manufacturer.
After going through a serious stormy rain, here lies our Tata Bolt covered and drenched with unpleasant muck but then it does not look all that bad. Instead, it looks like a rally car which just completed multiple laps around a slippery and challenging mud track filled with narrow sections, a puddle and also a couple of sharp turns. However, in reality, we just travelled 700 kms on a highway and the purpose was simple, we had to meet someone who had injured his knee...very badly.
Perhaps the excuse wasn’t as convincing but the real intention was to drive the Tata Bolt for a great deal of distance to understand its behaviour whether this new petite little car gives up mid way making us go back to our original location or whether it puts its feet down in confidence and battles everything that came its way. Well, the Bolt surprised us in multiple ways.
Initially, for about 120 Kms, there was a fine stretch of good tarmac before us. The diesel Tata Bolt gets a 1248 cc Quadrajet motor which makes 75 PS of power and 190 Nm of torque paired with a 5-Speed manual transmission. The initial grunt especially below the 2000rpm mark isn’t as impressive but the real deal is when the tacho needle reaches mid range. It is a Fiat sourced engine but in the Bolt, it feels much sorted. This one is not a tarmac scorcher for sure but who needs one if all you need to do is gulp down more and more kms with great ease and confidence.
This hatch is more of a highway cruiser as it displays a strong mid-range band, helpful while overtaking and tackling traffic, if there be any. The suspension setup remains cushy all throughout with softer settings while the steering response isn’t as crisp and precise as its European rivals, it surely isn’t any vague to be a deal breaker. Being the top end trim, it comes with 175/65 R15 tyres which proved to be the right choice while driving on harsh roads and pothole struck surfaces.
Rains and corrupt government officials can play havoc at any time and when both of them combine their evil powers, we have extremely bad roads. On our journey, the rains nearly limited our visibility range to 100 mts, also making potholes almost invisible as they were filled with water. We did manage to dodge some but also ended up driving on many where the suspensions and the tyres took extreme beating but, to our surprise, we didn’t encounter any issue at all. In fact, there was no redundant noise seeping inside the cabin highlighting the strong built quality of the Bolt.
It was in our comfort that we reached our injured friend. He got surprised as there aren’t many who travel for that long to enquire about someone’s well being and we got surprised by the Bolt as there aren’t many who play hard when the going gets tough. Overall, we are happy with the well behaved Tata Bolt.