The all-new Tata Tiago takes a break in front of a Goan villa in Margao, south Goa while the rays of the sun gently kisses it
Indian carmaker Tata Motors has launched the much anticipated Tiago hatchback in earlier this month with prices starting at Rs 3.20 Lakhs, ex-showroom, New Delhi, for the Revotron 1.2L (petrol) variant and Rs 3.94 Lakhs, ex-showroom, New Delhi, for the Revotorq 1.05L (diesel) variant. The Tiago is a brand new product which shares very little with any other Tata car. The Tiago is contemporary and youthful and hints at the company’s future design direction. Tata Motors have put in a lot of thought and effort behind the Tiago and has also roped in football legend Lionel Messi as its brand ambassador. Clearly, Tata Motors is determined to rise above mediocrity and the Tiago is going to lead the charge. Last December, autojunction.in was invited to Goa for an exclusive media drive where we got the opportunity to check out the Tiago is flesh and took her for a spin around the beautiful coastal town of Goa. Read on to find out what we discovered.
Design & Engineering
It is no hidden secret, that appearance is often considered to be crucial while making the purchase decision. Recognizing this sentiment, Tata Motors has introduced a new design language with the Tiago. This is a result of inputs from Tata Motors’ Pune, UK and Italy design studios and it reinforces the company’s future design direction.
On the outside, the all-new Tata Tiago looks contemporary, compact and sharp – a significant improvement over many of Tata’s previous products. The Tiago sports new three-dimensional ‘T’ logo on the signature hexagon grill. It comes with features like three dimensional headlamps with smoked lens and sporty black bezel, sharp tail lamps and prominent character lines. The specially designed spoiler spats look very trendy. On the whole, the Tata Tiago looks youthful, energetic and will surely appeal to the present generation.
However, the NVH levels need improvement as a fair amount of exterior noise filters inside the passenger cabin. Also, the suspension set up seemed slightly hard with jerks being felt inside the cabin and leaves room for improvement.
Interiors & Comfort
We were pleasantly surprised with Tiago’s tastefully done up dual tone interior – an astounding improvement compared to past Tata vehicles. The dashboard has been designed elegantly with all controls within easy reach. The top end variant that we tested comes with colour-accentuated air conditioning vents in line with the body colour, height adjustable headrest and driver’s seat and a multi-information display that shares vital vehicle information on the move.
The Tiago also comes with 22 multiple storage spaces - driver side pocket, cup-holders on front console, tab holder in glove box, recessed storage on dashboard, which make the drive experience more convenient.
The Tiago boasts of 240-litres of luggage space with the added convenience of shopping bag hooks along with markings mentioned on each hook for the weight. A separate partition for the tool kit and smart use of moulded carpets make the boot space very user-friendly.
Recognising the dynamic consumer world where connectivity is an increasing need for all, the all-new Tata Tiago comes equipped with an infotainment and audio acoustics system designed by Harman. The infotainment system comes with features such as play music via FM/ AM, USB, iPod, Aux and Bluetooth audio. Tiago has an 8 speaker audio system with speed dependent volume control. We can vouch for the fact that the sound system in the Tiago is definitely best-in-segment.
Tata Tiago also introduces new segment-first applications like the Turn-by-Turn Navi app and the Juke-Car app. This app displays Turn-by-Turn navigation when connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth. The audio prompts and hard key operations are used to control navigation providing sheer convenience. This app also provides guidance on Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) and Next Maneuver, which helps in simplifying navigation while driving. Along with Bluetooth pairing, it also supports speed volume control, steering wheel mounted information controls and phonebook on-the-fly.
The Juke-Car app utilizes mobile hotspot to create a virtual network and host a service for sharing list of available songs in the device. All connected devices can view the song list on the hotspot device. Users can place their requested song queuing. The Juke-Car app then plays the songs one after the other. Tiago also has user selectable vehicle setup like ‘follow me home’ timer and steering mounted controls.
The Tiago also comes with scooped out front seat backs for more leg room for rear passengers. Tiago’s air conditioning was mighty impressive. Even on a hot and humid day in Goa, the AC cooled the passenger cabin in a snap of a finger. Chilled glove-box allows you to store perishable items. Keeping the segment in mind, you have got to give thumps up to the designers at Tata for putting together a neat and impressive interior.
Performance & Handling
The Tata Tiago will be available with a choice of two powertrains – Revotron 1.2L petrol engine and Revotorq 1.05L diesel engine.
The Revotron 1.2L is the second new petrol engine from the Revotron series and delivers a maximum power of 85 PS at 6000 rpm and peak torque of 115 Nm at 3500 rpm.
It is an all-aluminum engine, which makes it light and results in better fuel efficiency. It is a modern day 3-cylinder naturally aspirated engine that comes equipped with the Variable Cam Timing (VCTi) which provides ideal cam events at various engine speeds resulting in delivering better performance.
To set the ball rolling, we got behind the wheel of the new Tata Tiago XZ Revotron. The petrol powerplant was slightly noisy at start, which is a little unusual, however, gradually the noise diminished as we got on with the drive.
The Revotron 1.2L felt adequately powerful for a hatchback of Tiago’s dimensions and quick throttle responses ensured that overtaking both on open stretches and city roads are as effortless as a walk on the beach. The steering feels light resulting in both easy maneuverability and a tireless drive, but it gradually weighs up with increasing speed instilling confidence in the driver. The Tiago handles well and is quite pleasant to drive.
The other powertrain on offer is the Revotorq 1.05L diesel engine which delivers optimum power of 70 PS at 4000 rpm and peak torque of 140 Nm at 1800-3000 rpm. The Revotorq 1.05L comes with a balanced turbocharger, electronic throttle control and optimized compression ratio ensuring flat torque delivery across rev range for better drivability. It is equipped with a balancer shaft to reduce engine vibrations and allows refined engine operation, resulting in a smoother drive.
Even at low speeds and in high gear the engine doesn't knock or stalls and pulls decently from low revs, making it ideal car to drive in city traffic. Traction is good and there isn’t much body roll even while cutting through quick corners. However, on open stretches of road, the Revotorq 1.05L runs out of breadth and left us craving for more power.
The ride quality could have been better with a re-tuned suspension. We felt that the suspension set up was slightly hard as jerks were felt inside the passenger cabin while the Tiago was being driven over uneven and broken stretches of road. The 5-speed manual transmission too felt slightly notchy and doesn’t slot in as smoothly as we would have liked.
Revotron 1.2L Petrol
Tata Tiago boasts of ARAI-ratified fuel efficiency figures of 23.84 kmpl for the Revotron 1.2-litre petrol. We didn’t get an opportunity to conduct a proper fuel efficiency test, however, it is worth mentioning that the Revotron 1.2L petrol comes equipped with a Variable Cam Timing (VCTi) which provides ideal cam events at various engine speeds resulting in allowing internal exhaust gas re-circulation to improve the fuel efficiency.
Revotorq 1.05L Diesel
Whereas, the Revotorq 1.05L diesel engine claims ARAI-certified figures of 27.28 kmpl. The Revotorq comes with dual overhead camshafts, central injectors, optimized valve lift and low friction crank train that helps to deliver better fuel efficiency. So, both these engines have been developed to deliver better fuel efficiency.
The top-of-the-line Tiago XZ variant that we tested came equipped with safety features such as the dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and corner stability control, central locking with remote, engine immobilizer, and rear parking sensors with display on infotainment screen.
The all-new Tata Tiago is a contemporary, compact and sharp looking hatchback that is surely to catch the fancy of the young and the young-at-heart. The interiors has been done up tastefully and exude a premium touch for its segment. The indigenously developed Revotron and Revotorq engines are both adequately powerful for a hatchback of Tiago’s dimension and responsive in nature resulting in good drivability. Safety features are at par with competition.
There is a general perception among a lot of people that Tata Motors don’t make good passenger cars and has always been looked at a brand which excelled in manufacturing commercial vehicles. Especially, while making a purchase decision for a hatchback, a buyer finds it more reliable to bet their money on brands like Maruti Suzuki or Hyundai as oppose to Tata. But after checking out the Tata Tiago in flesh and getting an opportunity to spend a fair amount of time with the car, we can tell you that the myth is about to get shattered.
In a price sensitive market like India and especially in the hatchback segment which attracts a large number of first-time-buyers, pricing was always going to be the key attribute for achieving success. A good product with bad pricing always ends in a tragedy and there are many such examples from within the industry where premium pricing has killed the product. And this is where Tata Motors have hit the nail on the head. They have come up with a very competitive price and this gives an edge to the Tiago to rope in the numbers for the carmaker. Tata Tiago has been launched with prices starting from Rs 3.20 lakh for the base Revotron 1.2-litre petrol and Rs 3.94 lakh for the base Revotorq 1.05-litre diesel. I think that Tata Motors have a lot of reason to be proud of the Tiago. It is a very well packaged car and could prove to be a real game changer for them.