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      Tata Tiago XZA CNG AMT First Drive Review

      Desirazu Venkat

      Desirazu Venkat

      Why I would buy it?

      • Fun to drive
      • First-ever AT and CNG combination
      • Feature loaded

      Why I would avoid it?

      • Boot space
      • Refinement levels

      Engine and Performance

      Tata Tiago Right Front Three Quarter

      Powering the Tiago CNG AMT is Tata’s 1.2-litre, Revotron petrol engine paired with a five-speed AMT unit. In petrol mode, the car develops 85bhp and 113Nm of torque, while in CNG mode, this output is reduced to 72bhp and 95Nm.

      Tata Tiago Left Front Three Quarter

      As a car to drive, the Tiago CNG AMT is surprisingly peppy with more than enough zip from the engine to make you feel like you are not driving a CNG-powered car. Normally, one would associate slow performance with a CNG-powered car but none of that here! It gets off the line easily and has more than enough pulling power in the CNG mode to not feel any lack of performance.

      Tata Tiago Gear Shifter/Gear Shifter Stalk

      What’s more, the gearing seems to have become a bit taller than the petrol-only car to facilitate more pulling power, allowing you to gain more momentum before each gear shift. In fact, you only get to shift into fifth gear past the 60kmph mark. The all-evident head nod that’s commonly associated with an AMT transmission has been reduced significantly.

      Tata Tiago Open Fuel Lid

      Nine years ago, when Tata first introduced this transmission with the Zest compact sedan, it has come a long way. This being an AMT, you get a manual mode that offers decent engine braking and of course, it won’t let you shift if you are in a gear too high for too low a speed and vice versa.

      Ride and Handling

      Tata Tiago Left Front Three Quarter

      The steering is surprisingly weighted and responsive with nice turn-ins. It only needs 2.5 turns to go lock-to-lock, making it quite manoeuvrable for a vehicle of this size and segment. The ride is on the firmer side which we suspect Tata has done to compensate for the added weight of the CNG tanks. It’s not jarring or sends too much into the cabin and does add a bit of dynamic character to the car’s overall driving experience. Lastly, you can hear a lot more from the engine bay in the CNG mode than in the petrol mode, especially when the car is idling. But it’s one of those things you get used to in the long run and we expect it will improve with future models.

      Real-world Fuel Efficiency Test

      Tata Tiago Right Side View

      In our FE test, we tanked up the car with CNG, reset the trip meter and travelled a fixed loop in both city and highway conditions. Tata officially claims a combined mileage of 28.06km/kg. In our tests, we got 21.1km/kg in city conditions and 22km/kg in highway conditions. It’s a little far off from what Tata officially claims but still an impressive figure as you get this kind of high mileage with the convenience of an automatic gearbox. Also, there’s the fact that at present, the Tiago and the Tigor CNG AMT are unrivalled, making them the first standard to go by for future entrants.

      Exterior Highlights 

      Tata Tiago Right Front Three Quarter

      On the outside, the Tiago CNG AMT gets a new paint scheme called Tornado Blue. This is a top-spec model so you get alloy wheels, projector headlamps with LED DRLs, and chrome inserts on the door handles. The only major sign that you have a CNG-powered car is the badge at the rear and, of course, the CNG nozzle in the fuel filler section.

      Interior and Features

      Tata Tiago Dashboard

      As a part of the fuel changes you get a CNG button on the dashboard, a slightly modified cluster, and the AMT gear lever that has become synonymous with Tata’s two-pedal cars. This top-spec model gets a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with phone mirroring, height adjustment for the driver’s seat, rain-sensing wipers, a USB Type-C charging port, connected car technology, and steering-mounted audio controls.

      Tata Tiago Second Row Seats

      The bigger changes appear inside. First is the boot where the Tiago CNG has now got Tata’s twin-cylinder technology. As the name suggests, Tata has split the cylinders and placed them lower in the boot giving you additional boot space that was lost in the older tank design when Tata gave CNG power for the first time to the Tiago.

      Competent product or needs work?

      Tata Tiago Front View

      Firstly, as a car to drive, it’s very engaging with zippy performance, nice steering, and a ride that’s on the firmer side but does add to the overall experience. The combination of AMT and CNG in a country like India is a strong value addition and will reach out to those who want mileage and the benefits of a two-pedal driving experience. The AMT box is quite refined and really adds to the overall driving experience.

      Tata Claimed CNG Mileage28.06km/kg
      Real-world City Mileage 21km/kg
      Real-world Highway Mileage22km/kg

      Tata claims an official mileage of 28.06km/kg and in our tests, we got 21km/kg in the city and 22km/kg in highway conditions which is pretty impressive for a setup that combines one of the best options in terms of mileage and the low cost option in terms of two-pedal driving experience. Essentially, if you are going to save on fuel, why not add the convenience of AMT to the overall package?

      Tata Tiago Infotainment System

      This is a top-spec model which at this price of Rs. 8.90 lakh is a pretty decent deal when you consider that you get features like a touchscreen infotainment system, height adjustment for the driver’s seat, AC, power windows, power mirrors, hyper wheels, and projector headlamps as a part of the package. Lastly, Tata has got a first-mover advantage and that’s not just in terms of hatchbacks but also compact sedans. This development also points to CNG AMT for the Punch and the Altroz in the future.

      Photography: Kaustubh Gandhi

      Tata Tiago
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