It has been a month of magical numbers for our Tata Tiago Revotron XZ. The number count includes breaching the six-month mark since the Tiago came into the CarTrade LongTerm garage and of course its odometer crossing over the magical 10,000km mark. These are important milestones for the hatchback, both for us and its usage in terms of it being a long term car.
It is only now, after regularly putting the car through its paces, that we have begun to experience some real signs of wear and tear. In the previous reports, we gave you the general highs and lows of owning the car. But this month, we have decided to focus on the cabin as well as the highway drive that we have been promising for so many months now.
The cabin of the Tiago is a nice place to be in. It’s completely black with some glossy bits (also in black) on the dashboard and the cabin. You can add some personal touches to liven up the look, which in our case is an orange applique for the side air-con vents. They really brighten up the appearance of the dashboard.
Our high points for the cabin are the instrument cluster and the seats. The former is quite nice to look at, both in the day and at night, thanks to the large dials and clearly stenciled fonts. Of particular interest is the trip computer which offers a variety of information like instantaneous fuel consumption, dual trip computers and distance to empty at the push of a stalk behind the steering wheel. These might be small additions, but to the cost conscious buyer, who in all likeliness will make this his/her first car, these vital bits of information will enhance the overall driving experience. That being said, we should mention that it takes some effort to reach the stalk and Tata could have made it longer or put a button for the same in a different place.
The seats are our second high point for this little Tiago. They offer the right amount of support both in terms of lateral and under thigh support, even for an ‘expanded’ person like me. There is height adjustment for the driver’s seat as well as height adjustment for the steering wheel and this means you can set yourself up in just the right driving position, be it for the city or out on the highway.
It has been just 11,500km and already there are signs of wear and tear in the cabin. The music system, while still providing excellent sound, keeps hanging from time to time and on quite a few occasions, I’ve had to pull over to side of the road and switch off and switch on the car again to reset the system. Another minor grouse is that there is no option to fast forward or rewind through a song, with either the controls on the dashboard or even the steering-mounted ones.
The corner AC vents, while looking flashy with their orange borders have no locking function. This means that there is no way to restrict air flow to the centre vents although it is possible to do the opposite as the centre vents do have a locking function.
Quality has become an issue in the cabin especially in the driver footwell where the pedals have taken a massive beating. The rubber covering on the clutch pedal is on its last legs while the brake pedal too looks like it will begin to wear out the same way within the next few months. The accelerator pedal has fared the best of the three, but given that they would be made on the same assembly line and to the same standard, we can expect that this too will take a beating.
The lack of floor mats has really started to affect the carpet and without regular cleaning and maintenance, it’s going to be a tough task to keep the floor looking tidy for sustained periods. Tata does offer floor mats for the Tiago and they can be specified with dealer at the time of purchase. Finally, most of the cabin is still intact but the plastic rim for the driver’s side internal door lock has come loose.
Some highway fun
After many months of promising to head out on a lengthy journey with the Tiago, we finally did it! The destination was the seaside town of Dahanu on the way to Gujrat. We wanted a fully loaded car with luggage and five people patting their stomachs after a heavy meal of parsi-style fish curry and rice, but it was not mean to be. However, a road trip is a road trip and off we went and boy was it fun. For a small car, the Tiago likes to be hustled around, especially if you need to work your way around slow moving traffic in the right most lanes.
The steering responds well to directional changes but is let down by the lack of top-end grunt from the 1.2-litre petrol motor. To counter this, (especially in the event of a quick overtake) you need to row between fourth and fifth to access the power. The brakes too work excellently and even after a whole day of switching between high speed and low speed situations they hardly felt tired and offered up good stopping power. At the start of the year, we had an issue with the air filter of the AC, which was rectified and now even out on the highway the AC kept us cool. It was a bit noisy from second speed onwards, but cool nonetheless.
We are looking at more road trips with the Tiago, of course. Besides, with Eid just around the corner, we are also looking forward to the Tiago become our chariot for some late night Haleem, biryani and kebab escapades to the legendary Mohammed Ali road in the south Mumbai
Photos : Kapil Angane