The Tiago has been a game changer for Tata. It helped the company get volumes and that will keep the production line busy for a while. Now, almost after a year of its launch, Tata has introduced the AMT version of this compact hatchback. The ever growing vehicles in the metros and the space crunch is making a lot of buyers shift their preference to two pedals instead of three. The adoption rate of AMT cars is growing considerably and Tata wants a piece of it through its styling compact hatchback.
The Tiago is a great looking car, especially at the price it retails at. The overall design language is quite appealing and the proportions are spot on for a car this size. The fascia has the typical hexagonal Tata grille which is flanked by large sweptback headlamps.
There’s a mesh grille on the bumper and the design is in line with the front grille. There’s a bit of chrome treatment around the fog lamps and it does highlight the overall sharp styling. On the side, there’s a sharp line running across the mid-section of the car. The rear of the Tiago is quite simple but it doesn’t look like one, the credit goes to the wrapped-around tail lamps and the big bumper. The spoiler adds a bit of sporty character to this little hatchback.
The inside of the Tiago has been packed really well. Whether it’s the overall quality of the upholstery or the plastics used on the dashboard, Tata has done a lovely job. The black and grey combination makes the Tiago look like a car from a segment above. The body coloured AC vents gives a very vibrant experience.The USP of the interior however, is the Harman infotainment system. The features and the sound quality are really good. Then there are other standard features like steering-mounted controls, electrically adjustable ORVMs and USB connectivity.
In terms of comfort, the driver gets seat height adjustment. The seats are well cushioned and offer good support.
It is the same story at the rear. The only complaint here was the lack of under thigh support.The knee room is quite acceptable, thanks to the scooped out front seats. Other than the AMT gear unit and a revised instrument cluster, there’s no difference between the automatic and the manual versions
The Tiago AMT is powered by the same 1.2-litre three-cylinder 84bhp motor that powers the standard models. So the overall response from the engine remains unchanged. What has changed is the experience, thanks to the five-speed AMT box. Driving this car in city speed is a bliss. The gearbox offers smooth shifts, but in crawling speeds, there’s a bit of jerkiness. This gearbox has been programmed to shift up as quickly as possible to maximise the fuel efficiency. This might be bothersome for a few but getting used to it is the only solution. For overtaking, all you have to do is press the throttle and the gearbox will quickly drop a gear to reach the power band.
By default, the car runs in the ‘City’ mode. For the Tiago AMT, Tata has given a ‘Sports’ mode which can be activated by the press of a button on the gearbox unit. Here, the car feels livelier and the box holds on to the gear longer, giving better acceleration and more eagerness to go around. For spirited driving, there’s also a manual mode, where the driver gets to change the gears manually. The creep function on this car is a boon for mad Mumbai traffic. As soon as you engage the gear and lift off your feet from the brake pedal, the Tiago moves ahead. However, this feature doesn’t work as required when you’re in a slope. The car goes marginally behind before going front as there’s a delay in engagement. The ride quality of the Tiago is on the stiffer side, but not back breaking. It’s a well sorted car for city as well as for the highway runs. At triple digit speeds, the Tiago is stable and offers plenty of confidence.
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||84@6000|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||114@3500|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||35|
|Tyre size||175/65 R14|
|Harman infotainment system||Yes|
|Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||Revotron XZA||ZXi AMT||VXI+ AMT (O)|
|Max. Power (bhp)||84@6000||67@6000||67@6000|
|Max. torque (Nm)||114@3500||90 @ 3500||90@3500|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||35||35||35|
|Tyre size||175/65 R14||165 / 70 R14||155 / 65 R14|
Tata is asking for Rs 35,000 more for this AMT variant over the standard model and that is not bad at all. The Tiago checks all the right boxes. It offers the right styling, good space and appreciable performance. Combine all this with an AMT gearbox and life in a metro will be practical and stress free. The gearbox still has some niggles, like the jerkiness at low speeds and uphill crawling, but rest of the aspects are appreciable. Buy this car if you really want a small smart-looking automatic hatchback. The other option that can be considered here is the Maruti Suzuki Celerio AMT, which is Rs 35,000 cheaper than the Tiago AMT.
Photos : Kapil Angane