Over the last year or so, we’ve had many cars come and go in our long term garage but one face has stayed familiar- the Tata Tiago. First, my colleague Santosh has a grey coloured diesel version and when his time was done, I become the next-in-line to get a Tiago. However, this time around my car is a petrol model and painted in a shade which can be best summed up in the sentence, “honey, our car is so bright we don’t need any more orange juice at home.”
Since this our first report with the car, here are some of the stats to give you a perspective of what we are working with. Our car is a Tata Tiago Revotron XZ. The XZ badge indicates that this is a top-of-the-line model with all the bells, whistles and garnish Tata offers with this car. It is powered by a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that produces 84bhp and 110Nm of torque with power going to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.
It has been close to two months since the car entered our fleet and in that time this little hatch has covered 3000kms both in the city and out on the highway. Its work experience now includes the standard stuff like tracking car, goods transporter and some non-standard like noble steed for a night out with the gang, family car as well donning the role of La Santa Maria in our exploration of South Mumbai.
The wide variety of terrains has given us mixed results with the car and has shown us some good bits and bad bits. First the latter- The right ORVM is rattling and a combination of no carpets with black floor has resulted in a soiling that is quite hard to tackle on a regular basis.
The gear shifts tend to feel quite notchy especially with slotting into to reverse which at times requires a second glance to ensure that the cogs are in place. The bottle holders are only good for 500ml bottles which should not be an issue right now but will become a problem as summer rolls along. Also the parking sensor, despite being a boon, is overly sensitive and in tight spaces tends to affect your judgement.
On the flipside though, it has been a blast to drive the car in heavy traffic thanks to the easily judge able proportions, light steering and meaty abundance of torque right from the second gear. The vintage rap/hip-hop fan in me has fallen in love with the music system as it one of the few times that a sound system in a budget vehicle has been able to bring out the undertones and subtle words that defined the lyrical themes of the music genre in the 1990s.
We have planned a couple of road trips for next month and so should be able to give you an idea of what the car is like out on the highways. These trips will also ensure that Tiago heads home for its first service since coming into our care and we will detail the costs involved in our next report.