Tata Indica Vista D90 Review: Power Hatch
The Indica when launched was a pioneer in the hatchback segment. With the Indica Vista, Tata Motors stepped in the premium A2 segment. Competing against Maruti Suzuki Swift was the primary reason behind launching the Indica Vista.
Indica Vista was launched in 2008 and since then there are close to 2.3 Lakh cars plying on Indian roads. The Indica Vista also ranks in one of the top selling cars in India. In a bid to revive the image and also to connect more with the performance enthusiasts of the country, the company has launched a new sporty D90 variant with a new engine, tweaks in the suspension setup, external body kits and interior features upgrade.
The D90 is equipped with the same 1.3L engine that is offered on the Fiat Punto 90 however the performance of the one on Vista is different. Inside, the Vista D90 gets touch screen with host of features to choose from. The new vehicle also promises to be a safe and strong hatch amongst its competition.
While everything about the Vista D90 sounds perfect on paper, how much of the joy is carried forward into the realistic world? We find out in our first impression report.
The new Indica Vista D90 retains its exterior looks except for some new additions. To add a sporty element to the otherwise same looking hatch, there is an option of body kit which can be availed under extra fitments from the showroom. The body kit includes sporty front and rear bumpers, aerodynamic spoiler, infinity contrast roof and 2-tone alloy wheels.
There is lavish chrome spread across all over the face. The smiling radiator grille , bumper line and the fog lamps are all engulfed in chrome. On the D90 too, the triple barrel headlamps do just fine. The lights sweep all the way to the side panel along the strong shoulderline. Chrome dipped fog lamps look nice and contrast well with the dark grilles on the bumper.
Dominating A-pillars are the main highlight on the side profile. The lines under the windows are also done in chrome along with the door handles and the door protectors. The roof line which extends after the strong A-Pillar doesn’t drop down as it progresses towards the rear but instead maintains its stance till the rear spoiler. Dual tone alloy wheels are the new changes in this version and it indeed looks eye catching if not outright sporty. The side profile ends with a smooth and bulging rear.
Coming to the rear section, there is the same roof to the bumper tail lamp design. Everything on the tail gate is same except for the new variant badging which shouts D90 on one end and ZX+ and ABS on the other.
So the overall impression of the new Indica Vista D90 in terms of looks is good. The car does not look like a performance machine but then it looks just sufficient to be convinced. It would have been nice to see some decent vinyls or stripes on the exterior as well on the ZX+ variant to justify its sport badge.
Interiors of the Tata Indica Vista D90 have really got exciting. The Vista now feels a lot more plush and premium than before. It has sahara beige and ebony black finished dual tone interior trims. Also, finally the instrumental console is now driver centric and not in middle which is not much of a convenient arrangement.
The main highlight of this new version has to be the 6.7' TFT Touchscreen entertainment system which has Blue5 technology that enables to pair as many as 5 phones through Bluetooth connectivity. The entertain system also provides GPS navigation with voice guidance. It offers DVD, Aux-IN, USB and SD card support as well. The Vista D90 is clearly a feature rich version.
In addition to the entertainment options, there is also an advanced driver information system which provides information such as distance to empty, fuel consumption of the vehicle as well as the ambient temperature. This one also has fully automatic climate control with three different modes namely manual, economy and automatic. An interesting bit about the air conditioning in the Vista D90 is there is a sensor on the dashboard which senses the time of the day (morning, evening or night) and then automatically adjusts the climate control unit for the corresponding temperature which is a segment first feature.
The ORVM settings in this version can be adjusted electrically. Along with other addons this one gets power windows on all four sides and can be adjusted from the driver’s door trim. The steering wheel also gets audio and phone controls. When such a hatch can get steering mounted controls, we wonder when will the flagship Safari Storme get one too as this is a very important and convenient feature that many of the manufacturers offer.
The cabin looks a lot roomier and premium. The full fabric seats with Lumbar support look reasonably decent. The front row is more generous in offering legroom compared to the rear row. Indica Vista has always had decent cabin space in the interiors which is seen on this new iteration as well.
Vista D90 looks a more sophisticated than what it was earlier. It indeed feels like a hatch with a sedan touch. On the Vista D90, Tata Motors have replicated the Manza Club Class arrangement which is indeed a superb merit for this hatch. With loads of class leading and segment first features, the Vista D90 promises to be a better deal compared to the Punto90.
The Vista D90 is equipped with a 4 Cylinder 1248 cc VGT (Variable Geometry Turbocharger) engine which churns out a maximum power of 90PS at 4000 RPM and a torque of 200Nm at a range of 1750 to 3000 rpm. On the other side, the Quadrajet 75 produces a power of 75 PS and a torque of 190 Nm, so this makes the Vista D90 look powerful with the additional 15PS and 10Nm of torque.
To confess, the very first sight of the 2013 Vista D90 on the ERC track in Pune was not much of an encouragement. The tit bit changes were visible but then not convincing enough. After being briefed about the product it was finally time to test it ourselves and find out the distinguishing factors in this new avtar.
It started with a welcome change once inside the cabin with the revisited interior styling and the repositioned instrumental console. The new cabin now leaves positives vibes with the entire new trims. Even the button and plastic quality have been improved.
As soon as the diesel unit was cranked, unlike the normal rattling and bustling of a diesel machine, this one felt very smooth. The steering size is just perfect and all the controls and buttons were very much in easy reach. A small push on the accelerator and the D90 unit got active. After going through all the options on the entertainment screen and playing with them for a while, we were finally ready to test the Vista D90 on the sun scorched test track of Tata Motors.
It has a VGT (Variable Geometry Turbocharger) configuration which is also seen in elder brother Safari Storme. This arrangement mainly helps reduce the turbo lag. Also, this helps get a strong power delivery even at lower rpms. The variable geometry construction is also effective at high speeds thus the spooling of the conventional turbo doesn’t occur at all.
Tata Motors have also insulated the cabin on the D90 with a special NVH pack which cancels the exterior noise completely. This insulation is indeed very effective. Even at higher rpms there is negligible noise penetrating the cabin.
Along with the other changes, the suspension setup has been tweaked too. The springs have now been stiffened. Even while cornering at high speeds, the vehicle did not lose traction at all. The ride remains uniform and not choppy. The only drawback faced was the understeer. Due to the understeer, it takes considerable efforts to retain the track of the vehicle. The steering lacks precise feedback and leaves with a certain room of improvement. Braking on the Vista D90 remains confident and consistent. Even on high speeds, the vehicle doesn’t sway around when the brakes are applied suddenly. Also, the steering wheel does not flutter considerably when the tyres are put to a screeching halt.
The New Vista D90 also comes across as a safe and strong hatch as it now has 105 kgs of high strength steel frame for extra strength and protection. It also offers other safety features such as dual front SRS airbags, crumple zones, side intrusion beams, engine immobilizer, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) technology.
|Model||Indica Vista D90|
|Displacement in cc / No. of Cyl.||1248/4|
|Power in PS/RPM||90/4000|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||200/1750-3000|
|Tyre Rating||175/65 R14|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||44L|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Boot space||232 L|
|Ex showroom price Mumbai||678525||770990|
|Tyres Rating||175/65 R14||175/65 R14|
|Driver seat height adjuster||Yes||Yes|
|2 DIN music system||Yes||Yes|
|6.7"TFT Touch screen With DVD||No||Yes|
|Audio controls on steering||Yes||Yes|
|Fuel consumption and distance to empty||No||Yes|
|Fully Automatic climate control||No||Yes|
|Manual air conditioning||Yes||No|
|Rear defogger and wiper||Yes||Yes|
|Height Adjustable driver seat||Yes||Yes|
|Tilt adjustment for steering||Yes||Yes|
|ABS with EBD||No||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||ZX+||ZDI||1.3 Emotion pk|
|Ex howroom price Mumbai||770990||723177||760211|
|Power in PS/RPM||90/4000||75/4000||93/4000|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||200/3000||190/2000||200/2000|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Tyre Size||185/65 R15||185/65 R15||195/60 R15|
|Front power windows||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Rear power windows||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Tata Motors offers the new sporty Vista D90 at a starting price tag of Rs. 5.99 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi). It also comes with a warranty of 2 Years/ 75000 kms. There are new colours such as Ultra Violet (new), Porcelain White, Spice Red, Cavern Grey and Jet Silver to choose from.
Indeed, the company has endeavored to launch a new Vista with this variant. This one feels peppy too but then sadly the only issue with this car is the Indica tag. “Indica” as a brand is associated with a range of variants starting from the basic Indica V2. Thus a consumer can be little skeptical before buying the performance variant of the existing Indica, even though it is offered under the Vista D90 tag.
On the positive note, this indeed feels like an improved version. The NVH levels are considerably low. Tweaked suspensions seemed just fine to take on the undulations on the road. It also promises to do a 0-100kph in 15.5 seconds which beats the timing of Swift (16.3 seconds) and Hyundai i20 (16 seconds)
The Fiat 1.3L 90Hp unit is the same except for the change in gear ratios in the Vista D90. It is very encouraging to see Tata Motors finally entering the performance segment. The Vista D90 may not be a track scorcher exactly but then it is the initial step and we hope the company continues to cater to the performance enthusiasts with more exciting products in future.