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Tata Indica eV2 Detailed Expert Review - August 24, 2013

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Introduction

Aug 24, 2013 : Expert Review By

2013 Tata Indica eV2 Review

The Indica has a strong legacy to it. Back in 1998, when the country was accepting new changes and was getting ready with for future, Tata Motors launched India’s most modern car using its own facilities in Pune.

Tata Indica eV2 Expert Review, Indica eV2 Road Test - 201076 | CarTrade

Before the Indica, it was only Maruti churning cars in the country. Indica was a big step for Tata Motors as erstwhile they have always been Utility Vehicle manufacturers. It was a tough job for them to change the strong mindsets of all.

The Indica was designed by an Italian design firm and was an instant hit in its 2 years of launch. However, it did face criticism for its performance and mileage which the company improved in subsequent iterations.

Tata Indica eV2

Presently, Indica doesn’t enjoy encouraging sales and to bring a change in the same, the company has revamped it by offering a refined CR4 engine with a claimed fuel efficiency of 25 Kmpl. We find out more on it in this review.

 

Exterior

The Indica is not a car which will win hearts for its looks. The Italians who are normally well known for the things they design didn’t seem to have done justice with this hatch. It looks very dated and bland. The design has not seen any substantial change since the time it was launched in 1998.

One thing that we surely want Tata Motors to do is a complete makeover instead of just changing a few bits. So what differentiates this Indica from the earlier models? The Spanish Tan is a new addition which indeed looks better if not the best. The radiator grille has a bright coated finish which looks contrasting with the new shade.

The front face has been retained from the earlier generation models. The headlight assembly has turn indicators in them. The side profile is unmistakably same. Nothing has been changed in 15 years which doesn’t go in Indica’s favor. The ORVMs are equipped with turn indicators in them but then it is not a modern touch as many other models have it.

The rear profile gets re-touched tail lamps and a subtle chrome garnish on the tail gate. The exterior profile fails to create any enthusiasm and looks very dated.

 

Interior

It is a time machine inside as the Indica takes back to nostalgic memories of how cars were initially. The interior layout also has been retained from earlier iterations but then this time they have been re-touched with better quality materials.

The dashboard is done in ebony black and the vents on it have a bright aluminum finish. The seats too look smart with brighter fabric and decent cushioning. The front row seats and the rear row seats are comfortable. Space has always been a strong aspect in the Indica and the new cabin feels spacious too. Legroom is good for the front row while the rear might feel cramped. Headroom is generous.

The central console has a metallic silver finish and the same can be seen on the gear knob too. Mounted on the central console is the audio system which now comes with Bluetooth, AUX-in compatibility but it is not an efficient unit when operations are concerned. The music output is very poor especially if it’s compared to the one in Nano. In addition to features, the ORVMs too can be electrically controlled.

The instrumental cluster is very basic and has two trip reading options. It has a number of storage cabins inside. Be it the bottle holders on door trims or the grand luggage space in the boot. Overall, the functionality of the cabin is not strong but then spaciousness and roomy interiors clicks very well.

 

Performance

The 2013 Indica eV2 gets a refined CR4 engine. It has a displacement of 1396cc and produces a power of 70PS at 4000 rpm and a torque of 140Nm at a range of 1800 to 3000 rpm. This one comes with a 5 speed manual F-shift gearbox.

The CR4 engine is indeed very refined and feels very smooth even at higher engine speeds. The drive bit also feels revamped with the new CR4 unit as the gear shifts have reduced significantly. The only thing which scores negative points is the position of pedals. The accelerator pedal it inclined at an awkward position and is not comforting on long journeys.

The power delivery continues to be linear without any surge or drop. The gear shifts are smooth. If one is used to an Indica, the clutch shifts are manageable. I happened to false shift often and the ugly noise was a slap on my ears to make it worse.

 

The AC unit also works fantastic but then it’s as effective as any Tata car. Even in sunny conditions, the AC managed to cool the cabin with great ease. The plastics quality is better and so are the switchgears. The power window buttons are located on the central console.

The engine performs well at mid range but then at higher speeds it feels to lose on confidence. Also, at greater speeds (120 kmph +) it feels very unstable. It has ventilated disc brakes in front and conventional drum setup in rear, both do an effective job. Maneuvering is easy and even parking it is not a task at all as it has a turn radius of 4.9m.

The duo float suspensions are effective at taking rough roads. The suspension setting is on the softer side. The engine delivered a real time fuel consumption of 16 Kmpl.

Specifications
Technical Specifications
 Make Tata Motors
 Model Indica eV2
Variant LX
Engine Displacement 1396
Power PS/RPM 70/4000
Torque NM/RPM 140/1800-3000
Transmission 5/M
Turning radius in M 5.2
Tyres 165/65 R14
Dimensions in mm
Length 3690
Width 1665
Height 1485
Wheelbase 2400
Ground Clearance 165
Fuel Tank Capacity (L) 37
Fuel Efficiency in KMPL 25
Tata Indica eV2 Competitors
Competition Specifications
Specifications
Tata Motors
Indica eV2
Chevrolet
Beat
Variant LX LS
Engine Displacement 1396 936
Power PS/RPM 70/4000 58.5/4000
Torque NM/RPM 140/1800-3000 150/1750
Transmission 5/M 5/M
Turning radius in M 5.2 4.85
Tyres 165/65 R14 155/70 R14
Dimensions in mm
Length 3690 3640
Width 1665 1595
Height 1485 1520
Wheelbase 2400 2375
Ground Clearance 165 165
Fuel Tank Capacity (L) 37 35
Fuel Efficiency in KMPL 25 25
Conclusion

The Indica eV2 is available in BS3 and BS4 variants. It is priced at Rs. 431547 (Ex-Showroom Mumbai) for LS and Rs. 496441 (Ex-Showroom Mumbai) for LX variants respectively. At the same price, the other options available are Ford Figo, Chevrolet Beat and Maruti Suzuki A-Star. Unfortunately, all the competition models make the Indica look extremely dated. The cut edge styling of the Beat makes it look the most modern of the lot.

The Indica has been slogging for a long period now and it desperately needs a major makeover. Unlike Maruti, which even though is popular among fleet operators still remains an instant favorite among everyone. Superb build quality, great fuel efficiency and the never ending dealership network are the strong pillars of Maruti in India.

It is about time that next generation Indica makes way and finally makes this one hang its uniform. There are warm speculations about Tata Motors already working on one and is expected to be launched in 2014. There might be a slim chance of witnessing the concept at the 2014 Auto Expo.

 

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