Tata Tiago Hatchback First Drive & Gearbox

Tata Tiago Overview

Before we start, let us just wind the clock back a little bit. The day is December 31, 1998, and Tata Motors has just launched the first real Indian-designed and built passenger car, the Indica. And although most people in the country might not really consider it to be an important car, with well over a million units sold in India and across the world, the Indica is definitely a very important car in India’s automotive history. And now, 17 years later, here is another car from the house of Tata Motors. A car that will, in principle, be an erstwhile replacement for the aging Indica. This then is the brand new Tata Tiago. View offers on Tata Cars from Tata dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop.


Tata Tiago Exteriors

The Tata Tiago JTP is basically a standard Tiago on steroids. The car gets a brand new front bumper, which I think looks on-point for a hot little car like this and screams performance. The bumper has a very distinct three part design that we are told will be a signature look for all JTP cars moving forward. The grille too has been accentuated and everything is finished in a shade of black. In fact, with the exception of the badges and the tail pipes, there is no chrome on this car at all. And that of course, is a good thing. The Tiago JTP also gets the updated headlamps from the recently launched Tigor facelift – again finished in an all-black shade, and a set of larger 15-inch dual-tone wheels.

Around the side, the Tata Tiago JTP gets a subtle side skirt, just bold enough to make someone who likes cars take notice without being obnoxious about it. And around the back the plastic bits of the rear bumper gets an addon that ape the front grille’s hexagonal pattern and a subtle diffuser. And as I mentioned earlier, a new set of dual, chrome tipped exhaust tips finish the look off. But the coolest parts on the new Tiago JTP aren’t the bumpers or the diffuser or the twin exhausts. It is the active vents that the car gets on the bonnet and on the fenders. These vents have been designed specifically to make the engine bay run cooler as adding extra bits like the turbo had effectively increased the ambient temperature in the engine bay.

Tata Tiago Interiors

The interior theme of the Tiago mimics that of its elder siblings, the Zest and the Bolt. Tata has spent a lot of time maximising cabin space and improving the quality — it does show.Amongst the first things you notice when you enter the cabin is the soothing black-grey theme that envelopes the dash. Tata tells us they have bid goodbye to beige for good, and we’re glad! The colour combo not only looks pleasing, but is easier to keep clean as well.The quality of plastics used in the interiors, especially on the top half of the dash is very, very good. There’s a dab of piano black on the centre console and on the surrounds of the side AC vents amongst other places. Tata says the side AC vents can be colour coordinated to the exteriors, which we think is a pretty cool touch.

A familiar Tata steering greets you as you get into the driver’s seat. The unit is chunky, feels good to hold, and gets controls for the audio and telephony. The wheel is fairly thick at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock position that lets one get a firm grip. The steering can be adjusted for tilt.The two-pod instrument cluster looks like a downsized version of the one on the Bolt. A multi-information display (MID) sits in the centre with the pods housing the tachometer and the speedometer respectively. The MID can be used to cycle through information like time, trip distance, instantaneous fuel consumption, average fuel consumption and distance-to-empty. The tachometer has a cool trick up its sleeve — the needle turns red as you reach the redline!

The hexagonal theme continues on the inside too with the centre console. It houses a pair of AC vents and the Harman developed music system. The music system is coupled to 8-speakers and the output is fantastic, to say the least. The music system is easily the best we’ve heard in a budget hatch. The system can also double up as navigation when paired with a smartphone. By downloading the ‘Turn by Turn Navigation’ app, the system shows driving directions on the LCD screen. Another cool addition is the Juke car app, that creates a WiFi hotspot to which 10 phones can connect simultaneously. This can be used to stream music. Both the apps are unheard of in this segment.

The controls for the air-conditioner sit below the centre console. There’s no automatic climate control, but, to be fair, none of its rivals has it either. Unlike the Grand i10, there are no rear AC vents. That said, performance from the AC is acceptable.The front seats are well contoured and offer a decent amount of support. Headrests aren’t the integrated kind thankfully, like in the Celerio or the Grand i10. People with larger builds might have a small issue with under thigh support, and find the footwell to be a tad cramped. This apart, the front bench is a nice place to be. The driver’s seat gets a healthy range for height adjustment too, which, coupled with the rake-adjustable steering makes it easy to get into a comfortable driving position/ Check for Tata Tiago in kazembassy.in

The rear bench is best suited for two people. Accommodating three people, although possible, isn’t recommended. Shoulder room is just about enough with two and non-existent with three. The leg space is generous by small car standards and the Tiago comes a close second to the Grand i10. The backs of the front seats are scooped out to liberate some more space for the knees.You’ll find a total of 22 cubbyholes around the cabin. There’s plenty of storage space around the gear lever and it gets pockets on all four doors to store water bottles. The glovebox is deep and gets a chilling function too, just like the Grand i10. There are also little thoughtful touches like a small hook on the lower half of the dashboard, that can hold up to 2 kilos of groceries.The Tiago features one of the best-appointed interiors in the segment. The fit, finish and build quality is now in the league of the segment leader, the Grand i10. Segment firsts such as the 8-speaker Harman sound system and the associated apps round the package off nicely. Overall, it has a well-packaged interior with just the right amount of features one expects at this price point.

Tata Tiago Performance

The Tata Tiago comes with both a petrol and diesel engines that are paired with a five speed manual gearbox. So let’s talk about the petrol first. Essentially, the 1.2-litre engine in the Tiago is a 3-cylinder unit and from the same Revotron family that you get on the Bolt but does not come with a turbocharger. Now, if refinement is what you are after, the petrol engine does disappoint quite a bit. There is a lot engine noise that creeps in especially when pushed hard and in general, it just feels very rough.

But, it makes up for it with being raspy and rev happy. Performance isn’t great on paper or on the road (unless revved all the way to the 6000rpm redline) with 85PS and 114Nm of torque, but compared to other 1.2-litre mills in the market (with the exception of the K12 engine in some Maruti products), this one is definitely better. All said and done, Tata should really be addressing the problem of how loud and clattery and almost diesel-like this engine feels.

So let’s get to the engine that most people will actually buy. The diesel on the Tiago is a brand new 1.0-litre 3-cylinder engine that makes a modest 70PS of power and 140Nm of torque. Now the trick with this engine, like with every other turbocharged motor is to keep it in the right gear at the right revs. Do so and it will reward you with acceptable performance and drivability. The engine does suffer from turbo lag though especially if you are in a higher gear and lower speeds and this does make overtaking a real task especially if like most Indian drivers, the only thing on your mind is fuel efficiency.

Tata Tiago Driving

The steering is just as light as one would like it at city speeds. Going lock to lock isn’t a task at all, making the Tiago a nippy little hatch inside the city. Parking in tight spots or making a quick u-turn is fairly easy thanks to the light steering. At highway speeds, it weighs up sufficiently. It isn’t vague when shoved into a corner and doesn’t feel as light or twitchy like the Grand i10.

The suspension strikes a fair balance between ride and handling. While it is on the firmer side, it doesn’t thud over broken roads or potholes. The suspension setup is better on the petrol Tiago compared to the diesel. Since the diesel engine weighs an extra 20 kilos, Tata has used stiffer front springs and dampers to account for it. Ride quality is acceptable for most parts, and at highway speeds, it does ride relatively flat. It does not bounce around like the Hyundai. The added weight comes in handy here, as the car feels planted at high speeds.

Tata Tiago Safety

Of course, as expected, you get all the gadgetry like a Bluetooth enabled infotainment system and a USB slot but what you also get (in the top of the line models) is an added feature where through a ‘MapMyIndia’ app on your phone you can display and stream navigation data straight to your central screen. Now although the Tiago does not have a navigation system inbuilt, this feature does essentially double up as a navigation package and works really well. Also, considering the fact that it will support both Android and Apple iOS platforms just gives it a lot more usability.

In addition, you also get features like ABS and airbags along with other user friendly features like electronically controlled rear view mirrors, steering mounted audio controls and a height adjustable seat. The Tiago also gets a height adjustable steering column to add to obtaining the perfect driving position. What is missing though, is a touchscreen system like the one in the Renault Kwid and a electronically foldable ORVM. Rear AC vents would also have been a welcome addition but sadly, those are missing too.

Tata Tiago Price in Mumbai

Tata Tiago On-Road Price in Mumbai ranges from 3,78,448 to 6,83,902 for variants Tiago Revotron XB and Tiago Revotorq XZ respectively. Tata Tiago is available in 21 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Tata Tiago variants price in Mumbai. Check for Tiago price in Mumbai at Carzprice.

Tata Tiago Summing Up

The Tata Tiago JTP is priced at Rs 6.39 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). At that price point, there is nothing even remotely enthusiast-driven in the Indian auto sector. Therefore not only is it carving out its own niche, it is making its own segment altogether. On the whole though, the Tiago JTP is a very important car for the Indian auto sector as it finally brings back some attention to the ever growing car buying audience who does want something quick and performance driven rather than the usual drivel about fuel economy, and the Tiago JTP is all of that done correctly. Honestly, there is just one way I can sum up this car. The Tata Tiago JTP is India’s Volkswagen Golf GTI moment.

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