Tata Zest Facelift Review & Test Drive

Tata Zest Overview

The fast-paced growth of the sub-four meter sedan segment led Tata Motors envisage a credible product that could sustain stiff competition amid rivals including Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Honda Amaze and Hyundai Xcent. Inspired by Tata’s ‘DesigNext, DriveNext, ConnectNext’ philosophy, Zest was the first product to be built on the new design language. The first product from Tata’s new breed of cars, Zest sports a fresh design. Interior styling is in tandem with the new design philosophy, giving prominence to the looks and features. Under the hood, it plonks a 1.2 litre Revotron petrol engine and a 1.3 litre Quadrajet diesel unit putting out power in two states of tune. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual gearbox and an F-tronic AMT unit. Book a test drive for Zest in Tryaldrive

Check for Tata Zest On Road Price in Mumbai

Tata Zest Look

Tata Zest was designed with inputs from the company’s three different design studios – Pune (India), Conventry (UK) and Turin (Italy). Several designing processes were also carried out by the help of Jaguar Land Rover – company’s luxury vehicle divison, as more than 6000 engineers and technicians worked relentlessly and rigorously across five countries and eleven centres. All the aforementioned hard work resulted in the birth of a distinct and never-seen-before sedan in the form of Zest. Being based on a thoroughly modified X1 platform, The all-new styling of the Zest is based on its new design direction of ‘Confident Dynamism’. As far as the front fascia is concerned, it flaunts the all new company signature grille with the newly introduced ‘Humanity Line’. This front grille is complimented immensely well by the dual projector headlamps with chrome accents, which are standard for every variant, except the base XE. Moreover, the top-end trim XT also enjoys LED daytime running lamps. The front bumper boasts triangle shaped twin fog lamps and double slat air dam.

Coming to the side profile of the sedan, it has an enlarged C-pillar which makes the roofline a bit sloppy. The Zest has body colored ORVMs with blinkers and turn indicators, body colored door handles, and body colored bumpers as standard across the entire range of variants. The flared wheel arches have been bestowed with 15″ alloy wheels which, again, are standard feature and offered with each and every variant. At the rear-end of the car, the Zest is the first car in its segment to flaunt LED tail lamps. The whole tail lamp cluster is quite stylish and feature a wrap around design. The boot-lid gets a lot of chrome treatment, particularly around the horizontally positioned strip, company logo and model badging. Tata Zest is being offered with 6 vibrant colors – Buzz Blue, Venetian Red, Sky Grey, Dune Beige, Platinum Silver and Pristine White. In all, Tata has finally succeeded in carving out a niche sedan that is good looking, stylish and sporty. It won’t be an exaggeration to term it ‘The Best Tata Car’ till date in the exterior designing aspect.

Tata Zest Comfort

The most crucial change for us on the Zest compared to the Vista on which it is based, is the revised interior. The quality of materials, both in look and feel, have improved significantly. And the design is way more inviting and pleasing that before. It actually looks upmarket now; something we haven’t said about Tata products too often. The play of colours – black and beige, the shapely aircon vents, the gloss black finish around the centre console and the instrument binnacle, and subtly used chrome highlights, all help in achieving this.There’s also a high-end Harman audio system on this top of the line XT trim of the Zest. The system has been developed specifically for Tata Motors and besides having touchscreen interface and a lovely sound, it also get voice activated command. It supports Bluetooth telephony, reads out your text messages and has a reverse guidance system as well. We particularly like the fader adjustment and the fact that the climate control can be adjusted via the touchscreen. Two big omissions here though, are satnav and a reversing camera.

Operability, however, doesn’t require too much complaining. It is, in fact, good in a few places. The steering is small and nice to hold and twirl; the instrumentation is easy to read; and things like light and wiper stalks and gear shifter fall easily to hand. We still aren’t completely happy with the pedal positioning for the throttle, brake and clutch, but at least it’s not going to leave you with aching ankles. The Zest could also do with more bottle holders; actually it has none at the moment and the stowage areas are nothing to write home about.What we would have also liked better, are the seats. These are large and well bolstered with good back and under thigh support, no doubt. But, for some reason, these are just too soft, especially the ones at the rear. It’s not so much of a problem over short distances, but over long hauls as it folds under your weight, it will prove to be uncomfortable. Space though, as is true for any Tata product, is enough and more. There’s enough knee and legroom at the back, good headroom and interior width to seat three abreast without a problem.

Tata Zest Gearbox

The Tata Zest comes with two engines – a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol and a 1.3-litre VGT and AMT equipped diesel. Both cars make 90PS but the diesel of course has a higher torque output. The one here is the petrol and it is more refined, nicer sounding and lighter of the two. Now, this engine might be turbocharged and all, but the focus here isn’t on outright fast 0-100kmph times or sensationally high top speed. Tata clearly wants to deliver on fuel efficiency and driveability, which we think is a smart way to doing things, particularly for car in this class. And, this focus is instantly clear the moment you step on the throttle. The turbo lag is hardly perceptible thanks to light water-cooled turbocharger that spins up with minimum delay and the car gathers momentum in higher gears and lower speeds without feeling too lethargic. The power delivery as a result is linear too. But, it isn’t urgent, at least in the City mode, it isn’t.

Yes, the Zest 1.2T comes with three driving models – City, Eco and Sport. In Eco, the ECU map is softer as is the response to throttle inputs. As the name suggests, it works best for achieving good fuel economy. In Sport mode, there’s a perceivable alertness in proceedings. The throttle response is sharper and revs seem to rise quicker than in other two modes. Our only issue with the Sport mode is the inconsistent delivery of power; instead of one seamless pull, the Zest seems to hesitate at some points along the rev range. It’s probably a calibration issue, which we expect to be sorted before the Zest goes on sale.

Tata Zest Rideing

Tata Zest comprises of a Electric Power Assist Steering (ePAS) with speed sensitivity and ‘Active Return’ function – a first in the segment. The steering wheel has a diameter of 366mm which makes it the smallest for a Tata Car, except for the Nano. The new generation tilt Tata signature steering wheel, designed with 3 spokes, is quite lighter in weight and it is easy to maneuver the sedan through narrow roads without putting in special efforts. Furthermore, The dual-path suspension, coupled with a zero-pivot sub-frame and Anti-roll bar, ensures a smooth and comfortable ride. The rear suspension is Twist beam with coil spring which compliments the working on first one extremely well. Tata has introduced first-in-segment ‘Multi-Drive Mode’ technology which displays three driving modes – Sport, Eco and City with the petrol variants. An individual can select any one mode out of the mentioned three, depending upon the road condition and driving skills. Sport is for lightening fast acceleration, while Eco is intended towards obtaining maximum fuel economy, followed by the City which is a perfect amalgamation of performance and economy. On the other hand, Zest diesel AMT variant comes up with twin driving modes – City and Sport. The Zest petrol variants clock a top speed of 154kmph while the diesel variants register a marginally high top speed of 158kmph.

Tata Zest Safety

Safety provisions on the Zest comprise dual front airbags for driver and co-passenger, immobilizer, speed dependent auto door lock system, front fog lamps, ABS with EBD & CSC, front seat belts with pretensioner & load limiter and perimetric alarm system. Tata has added a lot of elements to enhance the exterior appearance such as projector headlamps with LED light guide rings, LED indicators on ORVMs, LED DRLs, chrome garnish around windows and LED tail lamps. Java black and latte dual tone colour scheme inside the cabin goes well with the full fabric seat covers. It also gets rugby shoulder seats and styling bits like aluminium finish on gear shift lever, key ring illumination, door co-ordinated cabin lights, door trim fabric inserts and boot lamps

Tata Zest Price in New Delhi

Tata Zest Ex-Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 5,22,044/- (Zest Revotron 1.2T XE) to 8,57,992/- (Zest Quadrajet 1.3 XTA). Get best offers for Tata Zest from Tata Dealers in New Delhi. Check for Zest price in New Delhi at Carzprice

Tata Zest Verdict

So is the Tata Zest a better car than the rest of the cars in this segment. I don’t think so, but for the first time I am willing to consider the Zest in the same segment and to evaluate it on the same stage as the Xcent, the Amaze or the Dzire, all superstar compact sedans. What Tata Motors has done is simply brilliant, they haven’t made a great car but the Zest is a highly competent car that can finally match up to anything else in the segment. I can appreciate the fact that for the first time in years there is a sense of direction and a remarkable focus to achieve the goals set at the end of that road map. I also appreciate the fact that for once Tata Motors isn’t trying to reinvent the box as much as they are trying to clean up the box of all its past junk.

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