Tata Tiago Performance & Test Drive

Tata Tiago Overview

Hatchbacks have always been a popular car architecture, especially in the Indian market. Being affordable to buy, cheap to maintain, and easy to drive around, hatchbacks are the most preferred medium of transport for small families. The Indian market has already been flooded with plenty of cars in this particular segment, coming from different auto manufacturers around the world. But our homegrown car maker Tata Motors has gone under the dust in the past few years. The hatchback segment was once stirred by Tata when it launched the original Indica, back in 1998. But with increasing competition, the company just couldn’t keep up to satisfy the customer’s changing needs and priorities.


Come year 2014, and we saw an aggressive marketing strategy from Tata when they launched the Bolt hatch, which was a significantly improved product in almost all fields. The Bolt was developed with cumulative inputs from Tata’s Research and Design centres located in UK, Italy and Pune. But owing to its egg-like structure, the Bolt was perceived to be a redressed Indica. This, along with the fact that Tata bluntly priced it too close to the Maruti Swift, was the primary reason behind the Tata Bolt’s limited sales run. Test drive for Tiago.

But when Tata took the veils off their all-new hatch in late 2015, we Indians were in for a surprise. Yes, there was already news of Tata developing an all-new product, but none of us knew that the Indian manufacturer would finally say goodbye to its favorite Indica-like design philosophy. And farewell is what Tata actually did! The Tiago surprised everyone with its fresh new looks, and people started waiting for this new Tata hatchback with baited breath.

Tata Tiago Design & Style

When you look at the Tiago as a layman you won’t be able to make out that it’s a Tata car. That typical silhouette of the Indica hatch which is evident on the Bolt is totally gone, one will also appreciate the uneven gap (a trait on older Tatas) between the body and wheels is gone. The Tiago looks fresh and up to date with Tata’s new design direction, getting inputs from its design studios in Pune, Italy and the UK. The front end gets a neat smiling face (Humanity line in Tata speak) having a wide grille connecting the sleek headlamps up front. The bonnet is flat that lends it some length and the bumper has a clean design integrating circular fog lamps. The Tata logo on the grille gets a 3D touch while there are 6 body colours on offer.

The side profile of the Tata Tiago looks aerodynamic having consistent lines unlike other Tata hatchbacks with rounded and circular design elements. There is a strong crease that rises across the length of the car and blackened B-pillar to give a sporty appeal. The rear section looks complete with the jewel shaped tail lamps and muscular lines on the tail gate. The rear bumper is dual tone and gets a black panel to cut the visual bulk (there is a dummy space for a rear fog which isn’t there but will be equipped on export models). The Tiago gets a roof mounted spoiler (with gloss black air winglets which Tata likes to call spats), circular shaped rear defogger (influenced from a maze and similar to what we have seen on a recent Land Rover) with wiper. All in all a very well proportioned design from all angles makes the Tata Tiago look smart.

Tata Tiago Cabin & Comfort

Tiago, we’ve to highlight practicality, storage and space for passengers, a trio that has not been addressed with the car so far. We start with practicality and storage in a single breath as they are quite linked. There are eight open storage spaces and one glove box in the cabin. Of these, four are in the door pockets and four in the centre console.

The open spaces are capable of holding only 500ml bottles or soda cans, but they are all easily accessible with everything falling to hand thanks to the angle in which the bottles can be slotted in. However, there is an issue with the storage space just behind the gear lever which is that if you have a tall bottle, you will hit it when you switch the gears to second, fourth or reverse. The glove box is nice and deep with a hidden button for opening and closing, as well as a vent to give you the option of cooling whatever you keep in the glove box.

At 242-litres, the boot is just marginally larger than that of the Maruti Suzuki Celerio, but it has a low and wide loading lip, thus making the process of hauling stuff in and out quite easy. As you can see from the snapshot, there is space for two big backpacks, a screen and for some reason, a safari hat too. In addition to that, there is also a parcel tray for added storage which could be used for common items like tissues boxes, teddy bears and sun shades. However, we do have a grouse with the parcel tray, which is that the hooks and rope are of low quality and are unlikely to survive for very long.

If you have been following my reports then you should, by now have an idea of what it is like to drive and get comfortable behind the wheel. So this time around, we are addressing passenger space. Despite my ‘extended’ length, it is actually quite comfortable in the front passenger seat though I still feel that the seat base could have been a bit longer to provide additional under-thigh support. It’s a better story with the rear seats as you get some decent leg room, even with the seat adjusted to my driving position. For more details on Tata Tiago visit  spectralreview.com 

Tata Tiago Engine & Gearbox

The Tata Tiago entered our long term fleet recently and is a completely new vehicle from grounds-up, it even has all new powertrains so we were quite keen to munch in the miles to see how the oil burner performs over varying conditions. We are pleased with the performance of the 1.2-litre motor which has ample grunt in the city. Tata engineers have got the vibrations (or rather the lack of it) spot on and the vehicle doesn’t feel like a diesel at all, unless you see the inside rearview mirror which does vibrate a bit under heavy acceleration. The motor does get vocal though as you pull into the mid-range.

The diesel powered Tata Tiago isn’t powerful on paper, after all it just produces 70 PS and 140 Nm, taking 16.58 seconds to do the ton from standstill (it requires an extra shift to fourth to reach 100 km/hr). But the Tiago was named as Zica for a reason as the former name stood for Zippy Car and this is just a wonderful car to drive in the city. There is no low-end lag and power does drop off sharply post 3500 RPM. We found the Tiago to have adequate performance in the city although when the Eco mode is activated, it feels a bit slow to react when taking off from standstill.

When driven on the highway, the Tata Tiago doesn’t feel underpowered as long as you aren’t driving spiritedly but when you get into the mood to get somewhere quickly, you have to work the gearbox a lot which once used to, feels slick to use. The clutch too is light. We have been getting a mileage of 20 km/l which is very impressive and a good 3 km/l more than the Bolt diesel. So Tata’s switch to a cylinder less diesel has borne fruit although we do still miss the Fiat powertrain for its punchy mid-range performance.

Tata Tiago Driving Dynamics

Tata Motors has always found a good balance of ride and handling for its cars and the Tiago is no different. The suspension set-up is on the stiffer side (more so on the diesel with the extra weight) but the dual-path suspension and the tuning of the shock-ups is just right, ensuring even the worst of roads are dealt without ruffling a feather. Potholes or even jumping speed-breakers doesn’t affect the Tiago much and the ride quality is better on the petrol model but not by a mile. Straight line stability is good too and the vehicle remains composed at triple digit speeds, the Goodyear Assurance tyres offering surefooted grip levels.

The Tata Tiago has good handling with body roll being well contained but just like other Tata cars (UVs not included), understeer kicks in sharply once you up the speed through a corner. The understeer mostly comes up when you are driving fast around sharp bends with 75-degree plus turns, otherwise the car can be quite fun as the steering offers good feedback although it lacks some feel at the centre. The EPAS does centre quickly, thereby reducing effort when taking u-turns or parking. The brakes perform well to stop the car in its stride, no locking up thanks to Bosch’s 9th generation ABS with EBD, there is Corner Stability Control too.

Tata Tiago Braking & Safety

Tata Motors has stressed that they plan to produce exceptionally safe cars in the future. In-line with these plans, the Tata Tiago gets dual front airbags and ABS on the top-end trim for the safety of the passengers. Tata has also taken special care of the safety of the occupants and thus the company has provided a special safety pack on the XE, XM and XT trim as well, available at an extra cost of just INR. 18,000. We strongly recommend this safety pack for anyone who is looking to buy the lower variants of the Tata Tiago

Tata Tiago Cost in Bangalore

Tata Tiago On-Road Price in Bangalore ranges from 3,91,617 to 6,97,809 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 Bangalore. Check for Tiago price in Bangalore at Carzprice.

Tata Tiago Final Word

The Tata Tiago is positioned in between their entry level hatchback Nano and the Bolt and this is quite aggressively priced as well. The Tiago is also backed by city friendly as well as fuel efficient drivetrains but what sets it apart from the rest is the fact that it gets a newly designed exterior, newer platform for better handling, and spacious interior and offcourse a diesel engine option under its hood along with the petrol engine option as well.The Tata Tiago may not be an exceptional looking hatchback but it surely has enough juice to keep those customers happy who are searching for an alternative other than the Celerio or the i10.

In our opinion, the Tiago makes perfect sense for anyone and everyone entering this segment. The only factor that might stop people from deciding on the Tiago is the word that precedes its moniker – Tata. We just hope Tata Motors provides satisfactory after sales support from now, in order to break away with the perception of it being a poor-quality brand.

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