Tata Motors has not left any stone unturned in its efforts to make the Tiago a successful model. The company has signed up football legend Lionel Messi as the global brand ambassador of the firm. It launched the car at a highly competitive price and also did thorough homework on design and engineering of the Tiago. The company is banking heavily on the Tiago as its Zest compact sedan and Bolt hatchback had managed to get only lukewarm response.
The response so far has been overwhelming. The hatchback, launched in April, has registered over 20,000 bookings so far and the number is increasing. Tata is already struggling to deliver cars as per the demand.
What makes this Tata car such a sought-after model in the hatchback segment? We took the car for a spin to find out the reasons.
Design and Styling
When Tata Motors released the pictures of Tiago in December last year, the first thought that came to mind was that it is the best-looking Tata car yet. Tata Motors should thank the Bolt hatchback for this. The resemblance of the Bolt with the Indica was one of the major reasons behind its low sales. Learning a lesson from the setback, Pratap Bose, the Head of Tata Motor Design and his team, in association with design studios in UK and Italy, came up with the Impact design language.
The Tiago looks strikingly different from other Tata Motors cars. It features a fresh design, which looks neat with cohesive body panels and precise proportions. The face of the hatchback gets black mirror finished front grille and large swept back headlamps with chrome touches. The way the headlamps and grille protrude outwards give the car a distinct character. The side profile looks contemporary. The shoulder line stretching into the tail lamps gives it a sense of length while also breaking the monotony. At the rear, the car looks a bit like Hyundai Grand i10 overall. The wrapped-around tail lamps also protrude slightly. The tiny aero spoilers and dual coloured bumper add a sporty touch at the rear.
The attention to details is also evident in the interiors. The dashboard has been richly laid out with good quality buttons and switches. The cabin looks and feels more special than that in some premium hatchbacks. The plastic quality is also up-market and the dashboard gets two-tone finish in black and grey. The hexagonal centre console and silver embellishments around the instrument cluster lend a fine feel to the interiors of the car. One of the best bits worth mentioning here is the Harman-developed infotainment system available in the top variants. The system doesn't offer touch screen but it can be synced to a phone for turn-by-turn navigation instructions. It also has a juke app that allows one to pair one main phone and multiple others to the main phone to stream shared music from all of them.
Engine and Transmission
Powering the Tiago are 1.2-litre three-cylinder Revotron petrol and 1.05-litre three-cylinder Revotorq diesel mills. The petrol mill churns out 83.8bhp of power at 6,000rpm and 114Nm of torque at 3,500rpm, while the 1.05-litre diesel engine produces 69bhp of power 4,000rpm and 140Nm of torque at 1,800-3,000rpm. Both the engines come mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
We got our hand to the top-spec XZ diesel version. The three-cylinder diesel engine is punchy and 140Nm of torque from 1,800rpm means there not much turbo lag. This is particularly handy when over-taking another vehicle. Having said that, do not expect a surge of power when you floor the accelerator. Being a three-cylinder engine, the Tiago diesel has engine noise as well as vibrations. However, very less engine noise creeps into the cabin and vibrations are not all that bad. The clutch is light and the gear ratios are well-laid works in harmony with the engine.
Drive and Performance
The Tiago offers a well-sorted ride. The steering is light, which is slightly difficult to point at higher speeds. But in city traffic it is a boon. Our test car came with 175/65 R14 Goodyear tyres and it gives ample grip even when taking corners in higher speed. The car features independent McPherson strut and twist beam suspension, which is tuned more towards comfort ride. In addition, the seats are large and it gives superior back support. This means the Tiago is a comfortable place to be in.
The straight line stability of the car is brilliant. Even after 100kmph speed, the Tiago keeps itself planted on the road and channels a lot of confidence to the driver. The braking is taken good care of by disc brakes up front and drum brakes at rear, in addition to the ABS in top spec model. The Tiago is offered with two driving modes — City and Eco. The Eco mode is ideal for highway cruising as it reduces throttle response and enhances fuel efficiency. However, it is better to stick to City mode in town.
The top-end Tiago variant that we drove have been given airbags for both the driver and the co-driver. This can be added to the lower trims as an additional option. The top-spec variant also features rear parking sensors, seat belt with pretensioners and front fog lamps.
The Tiago has been launched with a claimed fuel efficiency of 23.8kmpl for petrol and 27.28kmpl for diesel. This is, of course, in a controlled environment. The real world situation is much different, yet the Tiago diesel recorded an average of 22kmpl during the stint with us.
Tata Motors launched the Tiago with a highly competitive pricing in a segment, which is the domain of Maruti Suzuki Celerio and the Hyundai i10. The price list goes as follows:
|XB||Rs.3.2 lakh||XB||Rs.3.94 lakh|
|XE||Rs.3.59 lakh||XE||Rs.4.29 lakh|
|XM||Rs.3.89 lakh||XM||Rs.4.69 lakh|
|XT||Rs.4.19 lakh||XT||Rs.4.99 lakh|
|XZ||Rs.4.75 lakh||XZ||Rs.5.54 lakh|
Overall, we feel that the Tiago is the car that Tata Motors should have brought earlier in place of Bolt. It is clear that engineers and designers have put their heart and soul to shape the Tiago. The car comes with a fresh design, well put together cabin and spacious interiors. It also comes with better build quality and fit and finish. These make the car the perfect choice for people looking for an affordable hatchback. In this segment, price and fuel efficiency is also important in decision making. The Tiago ticks those boxes as well. It's a genuinely all-round product of Tata Motors. Those looking for an entry level hatchback should certainly consider this product.
|Engine||3-cyl, 1.05litre, Revotorq|
|Power||69bhp @ 4000rpm|
|Torque||140Nm @ 1800-3000rpm|
|LxWxH||3746mm x 1647mm x 1535mm|
|Fuel tank capacity||35-litres|
|Tyre size||175/65 R14|