Tata Altroz Diesel Manual Road Test Review
The Tata Altroz is the continuation of the Indica saga, India’s first indigenously built vehicle. Of course, the Altroz is no old wine in a new bottle. There’s a whole new platform underpinning it, newer tech, and a lot of bling and style. So how many leaps ahead is the Altroz from its ancestors?
Aggression is the trend for styling a car, and the Altroz has bucket-loads of it. The Impact Design 2.0 philosophy shapes the way the Altroz looks. The front facia is slanted and flows inwards as you glance lower. The skinked headlamps are in continuation to the grille. The headlamps get blacked-out treatment with a good amount of 3D details. The fog lamps are integrated right below the headlights into the bumper, and also house the LED DRL on the higher variants. The bonnet gets a sculpted bulge in the center which adds muscle to the looks.
Towards the side, you notice a rising beltline and soft rising crease. Lower down, a flared metalwork connects the slightly bulging wheel arches. The wheels are pushed to the corners giving the Altroz a sporty stance. As a result, the Altroz looks a touch bigger a car than what the spec sheet tells you about it. The window gets underlined by a black highlight, further accentuating the rising beltline. The Altroz gets 16-inch dual-tone alloy wheels filling the wheel wells.
At the rear, the glass area is heavily raked. The bootlid gets a contrasting piano-black treatment, so do the tail lamps. The tail lamps look embedded in the metalwork and are shaped to mimic a dagger. Also, notice the extended spoiler flowing out of the roof line, which is a nice detail.
All the piano black highlights do need some effort to keep clean though. dry dusting is a big no-no, as those panels are prone to getting scratched.
The Altroz stands out in the crowd when it comes to styling. If you stare at it long enough, you might find a slight reminiscence to its predecessors, the Tata Bolt or the Indica Vista. In that reference though, the Altroz has transformed a great deal. It has gone from a chubby teenager to a sculpted, muscular youth which gets a lot of second glances and attention.
Ingress to the Altroz itself is a bit of an occasion, thanks to the wide 90-degree opening doors. The doors have a reassuring thud on closing. Also, they feel heavy, reminding you of the signature, tough build quality of modern-day Tata vehicles. The interiors are adorned in multiple shades of grey. What we also love is how the interior styling of the more expensive Tata Harrier has trickled down to the Altroz.
The dashboard gets a lot of contours and layers, with protruding air-vents. There is a gloss insert offsetting the grey dashboard surface, which does well to bring some bling. Set at the center is the floating type &-inch infotainment display. It is a touchscreen unit with good graphics and a quick interface. Thankfully, you get the good ol’ knob to adjust the volume. There is also an array of buttons for the infotainment.
The seats are well-cushioned and provide a good amount of support. You will also be amazed at the number of storage spaces available throughout the interior. The door pockets can fit a 1-liter bottle and some more. There is a cavernous 15L glovebox with a separator. There is a center bin as well as center armrest storage.
You also get USB charging ports around the cabin. Moving to the rear, there is ample legroom available. The backrest is angled and contoured, providing great support even over long journeys. You will appreciate the leg and foot room available, as well as the shoulder support.
All in all, the Tata Altroz has the kit and the space to garner good points for its interior. Would it be too much to ask for a sunroof though?
Drivetrain and Performance
The diesel-powered Altroz gets a 1.5L 4-cyl turbo diesel engine. It churns out 90PS of power and 200Nm of torque. The powerband is 1500-3000 rpm. There is a good surge after lifting off the clutch in 1st gear, followed by a noticeable lag. However, past the lag sits the strong turbo surge characteristic of diesel engines. The steering is flat bottomed and has a sufficient holding grip. what you miss is reach adjustment to the steering wheel which could have polished the ergonomics. The clutch is well-weighted but feels set slightly higher than you expect. The pedal itself feels placed slightly closer and needs some getting used to.
Our man Devjeet Saha put the performance to a great use and has gone into history books. He drove more than 1600 km, 1603 to be precise in less than 24 hours. Read about his feat here, which will also give you the insights on the Altroz’s performance.
The Tata Altroz could well be a benchmark of its segment. It is, in terms of safety, attested by the GNCAP. It is the styling that tempts you and the build-quality that impresses, and the overall package value that wins you over. The Altroz has also done well to create the trend of awareness for safer cars in its segments, something that gives the Altroz brownie points over the Maruti Suzuki Baleno.
Its safe to say, irrespective of the sales figures, the Altroz is the Benchmark for the premium hatchback segment of India.