Tata Motors is not a small name in the Indian automotive arena, in fact their relationship with manufacturing motor vehicles goes back a long way. First the commercial segment and then followed up with passenger cars, this home grown auto maker has it all. My first fond memories from the time one really understood products in a major way, dates back to the Tata Indica and Tata Indigo. These were two shinning stars of their time when the market was still evolving as more and more manufacturers where flooding the scene with newer models. But then, the demand was very simple – a set of four wheels that could do the job while being okay to look at and at the same time being comfortable. But now with the turn of the 21st century, all this has changed. It's a fiercely fought segment wherein Tata's have been trying to put their best foot forward. It all began with Tata Zest and Tata Bolt with the manufacturer going gaga about its latest design terminology called Horizon Next. This was only the stepping stone as one thing led to the other. Thus came HorizonNext which has been drawing a lot of attention due to the launch Tiago based on this particular philosophy. Though the selection of name Tata Tiago had its own problems which we will not like to get into otherwise Tata might just feel bad.
So coming back Tiago, this is by far the best looking hatchback which Tata Motors could have come up with in recent times. It's got a new look unlike the Zest and the Bolt that were spin offs from previous generation cars. So what makes this set of four wheels special is what we are about to find out.
Tata Tiago – Exteriors
Transition of what one saw back then in the form of Tata Indica and now with the Tata Tiago there is a whole lot of difference. The new entrant is a lot more appealing to the naked eye. This is because it's designed to impress that's where the words “HorizonNext” comes into the picture. Thus speaking of the design, the front fascia of the Tiago is characterized by a unique identity which is that off a smiling face. Not joking literally that is the case as the front fascia comprises of a wide mesh grille with the Tata logo sitting right in the center of it. Blending in well are sweptback headlamps which when merged to the rather plan hood and a sculpted bumper provide it contemporary look. The premium feel is further accentuated by the presence of a pair of fogs that chrome surrounds.
The drama somewhat continues to the sides as the profile caters to a rising shoulder line with the odd sharp line thus providing it character. The availability of 14 inch alloy wheels provides it the perfect look while the rear features a top mounted spoiler that comprises of a brake light. This seems sporty yet elegant as the tailgate gives way to swept back tail lights sharing a lot of similarity with the headlamps in particular. That aside what gives this hatchback a distinctive appeal is the dual treatment given to the bumper comprising of body colour on top and the rear half is a black plastic treatment. Looks different but good. On the whole, the Tiago is a far better looking hatchback than what we have seen from the manufacturer in the past.
Tata Tiago – Interiors
Impressed with the exterior design, wait till what we have to say about the interiors. But before that let us take time out to mention a couple of things. The quality of plastics along with fit and finish has never been the strong point of any Tata product in the past. However with the Tiago these aspects have been given a complete turn-around. Call it sheer hard work or the well taken into account feedback of customers, this hatch is truly transformed. As mentioned earlier “HorizonNext” philosophy can be seen here in all the right content. Therefore the cabin is completely new in comparison to the Tata Bolt and Tata Zest. It features a black and gray theme that merges well with the dash. Speaking of the dashboard in particular, this one provides an instrument cluster that comprises of a RPM and an analogue speedo meter with a silver surround. In its center lies an information display that provides essential details like the outside temperature, the gear that the vehicle is in among many other things. Now turn your attention to the centre console and the first thing that one notices is the Paino Black finish which adds to the premium appeal. This feature is available even around AC vents and door handles for that matter. The chrome finished door levers are an added benefit. Now coming back in-between the unit sits a Harmon and Kardon music system, which according to Tata's is an integral part of their ConnectNext philosophy. Thus the system in question comes compatible with 8 speakers that provide very good sound quality while being on the move or stationery for that matter. It also has in-built navigation with facilities like a USB port, AUX-in and Bluetooth connectivity. Its Juke Car App allows upto ten devices to be connected onto the system, isn't that cool?
Below the music system is a line of soft button with chrome distinctions looks good as one of them mentions Eco. This is basically meant for Economical driving conditions there by leading to overall better fuel economy. The controls for air conditioning are circular in appearance with a chrome surround, looks really elegant. As for storage the Tiago offers a decent size glove box along with cup holders and open spaces to keep things. That aside, the level of comfort has been adequate on part of the automaker; however in this the regular requirement is taken care off as there is enough head, shoulder and legroom, be it up front or towards the rear. Aspects that will catch your attention is the amount of cushioning provided by the seats, this ensures that there ample of under thigh and lumber support especially for those long distance drives. In fact we really liked the driving position for that matter. While for the boot, the Tata Tiago has 242 liters on offer which can further be increase by folding the rear seat down. For safety it has ABS with EBD, dual air bags, central locking, speed sensing auto door lock, engine immobilizer to mention a few.
Tata Tiago – Engine and performance
No ill to the brand, but the aura for Tata cars is such that many customers just look at them as sheer modes of transportation. However with Tata Tiago this notion gets an entirely new dimension. But before we start, the Tiago comes in two engine variations – petrol and diesel. Petrol which is better known as Revotron features a 1,199 cc, 3-cylinder, 12V DOHC e
ngine that churns out a maximum power output of 84 bhp @ 6,000 rpm with 114 Nm torque (@ 3,500 rpm while the diesel which is referred as Revotorq caters to a 1,047 cc, 3-cylinder, 12V DOHC common rail unit that is capable of producing 69 bhp @ 4,000 rpm with 140 Nm torque coming in between 1,800-3,000 rpm. Out of the two, since diesel remains the preferred choice we have got the oil burner reviewed for you. Unlike a diesel especially seen on the current breed of Tata cars, the Tiago diesel instantly makes an impression in the mind. This is due to many factors, firstly the engine is comparatively silent and as a result the NVH levels are restricted to the minimal. The engine feels refined and eager to take on anything that is thrown in its way. Mated to 5-speed gearbox, the diesel model does well to make commuting a breeze affair.
Talking about the ride, you would be surprised to know that this hatchback is well packed. It in fact sails over potholes and broken roads with utter ease. In comparison the handling is also improved with the steering providing a good feedback, on the contrary it feels planted at all times. It provides the impression that you're always in control. Coming to the all important question of mileage? Tata Motors claim that the Tiago Diesel returns 27 kmpl but for the duration that this vehicle was with us it provided a figure of 22 kmpl.
Tata Tiago – Verdict
Seeing what all Tata Motors have put into the Tiago, one can say that this is by far the best product from the homegrown manufacturer. It has style, comfort, functionality and performance and will in fact give a run for their money to brands like Maruti and Hyundai who have been ruling the segment in the past. Moreover consumers are bound to get attracted towards it, which is showing in the current sale numbers being recorded by the company. It has a uniqueness that is bound to put a smile on the face which incidentally is also a part of the exterior design. Indeed this is the Horizon for better things to come from Tata Motors in future, well that is what we as end consumers would expect after the Tiago.