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Tata Tiago AMT Test Drive, Review

Of Tata’s launch spree recently, the Tiago hatch was the first one. It is well received by the masses, the sales chart being the evidence. To give those numbers a boost, the Tiago now comes with an AMT as well. A few days and a lot of driving, of all kinds, and this is what we feel of Tata’s latest hatch.

Design and Exterior

The Tiago is a refreshing design to look at. For some reason, the front end looks like a shark to me. The pointed nose and the smiling grille is probably what invokes that imagination. The bumper is sporty, with line pulled backward amd merging into the headlamps. Strong character lines by the side and a slightly sloping roofline give a sporty touch to the side profile as well. The leaf-shaped tail lamps look beautiful and give a nice flare to the cheery rear end.

The 14 inch alloy wheels on the top trims of the Tiago have a fresh design and add to the appeal of the car. Hatches of this category have barely looked this good, and this design isn’t based on any prior Tata cars. Its a fresh new design, and it works! The car is refreshing to look at, and probably would be the best looking in the competition.

Interiors

What greets you on the inside as you get in the car is a well laid interior. Once you perch yourself on the seats, they’re a sweet mix of firm and comfortable, well cushioned. Like the Tigor, the body colored sorrounds around the A/c vents add a further life to the dash. The rear seats are comfortable as well, and there is a good amount of legroom for a hatch of this size. Of course, its strictly for 2 persons back there.

What you may like Tata to improve in the Tiago is the infotainment system. Yes its a Harmann and sound quality is top notch. But the system isn’t the most responsive here. There’s a lag which follows any input and it takes a while to get used to it.

Apart from that, there’s little to complain about, and the Tiago’s interior is a good place to be in!

Engine and Performance

The engine here is Tata’s 1.2 Revotron Petrol engine. Its a 3 cylinder block packing 84 horsepower and 114nm. The same motor that sits in the Tigor we tested. Only here, it is mated to a 5 speed AMT.  Gone is the eco mode, and while the car drives in City mode by default, there’s also a Sport mode available.

The comments on the engine remain same as that of Tigor. There’s not a strong outburst of torque as the turbo kicks in, but its adequate amount of torque at low rpms. What is different here is the transmission, so lets talk about that. If you happen to be a passenger sitting in the rear, who has his mind thinking towards how the drive is going on and not knowing the fact that the car is an automatic, you wouldn’t know its an automatic. What I’m trying to say here is, the feel is similar to a manual. The shifts aren’t very quick and the transmission tends to upshift early. It takes some getting used to for you to predict the behaviour of this transmission. Its far easier to make the transmission do whatever you want it to do while on a highway. Dig the accelerator deeper and the transmission downshifts a gear or two, depending upon the extent of the throttle given. Things get jerky though, while in creep in stop-and-go traffic. The car tends to accelerate instead of a steady creep at times. Also, the transmission takes time to respond when you shift from R (reverse) to A (forward drive). You can take control of the transmission by putting it in Manual mode, just in case you want to be the sport mode instead of the car being in sport. The Sport mode activates by a button marked ‘S’ near the gear lever.  While in Sport mode, the transmission holds each gear longer and the throttle gets more responsive. The gear lever, though nice to hold, needs to have more weight to the shifts. Its light and can shift unintentionally due to an accidental brush of hand or so.

Overall, its a peppy engine, makes strong power right upto redline, but we prefer to stay in the mid-range for the best experience from the engine.

Ride and Handling 

The Tiago gets MacPherson struts with coils up front and a Semi-Independent suspension with twist beam and dual path strut. This combined with the well balanced chassis, makes for a fun to drive hatch. Also, 170 mm of ground clearance means you’re safe from scraping the car from below over regular undulations. The suspension setup also soaks the bumps and undulations without much thuds and sounds passing on into the cabin. The steering is electrically assisted and is responsive, though lacks feedback, a typical trait of assisted steerings these days. The compactness, the chassis and the steering make it a fun to drive car and you’d enjoy throwing it around corners, which are handled well. Overall the car has a feel of a strong build, something again, cars of this category tend to lack.

Verdict

The car that started a new phase in Tata motors, delivers. The Tiago looks good, drives well, has a well laid interior and most importantly, has a strong build.

If you do rounds of Internet, you’d find a few stories wherein the Tiago is involved in accidents. Reports based on those incidences talk about the strong built of the car, and having driven it, we agree with those reports.

A good looking hatchback, ease of AMT and most importantly, a solidly built hatchback is what you get when you buy a Tata Tiago AMT.

 

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Kedar Vaidya

An utter car guy, he’s the guy on the keyboard. Driver’s seat is his place for solace. Apart from talking cars and driving, Kedar also spends a fortune on die-cast miniatures of them, especially old American Muscle. He loves to understand his ride fully and once he does, he loves to explore its limits. American Hotrodder David Freighburger is his icon, while he dreams to daily drive a 68′ Dodge Charger some day.

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