The second generation Indica, called the Indica Vista was launched in 2008. It is leagues ahead of the original Indica and comes with the Fiat sourced 1.3-litre multijet diesel engine and with the 1.4-litre
petrol which is developed by Fiat as well. It competes with the Maruti Suzuki Ritz and Swift, Hyundai i20, Fiat Grande Punto 1.4, Skoda Fabia, Toyota Etios Liva and Fiat Palio.
Top Speed:96 mph
0-100 time:16.4 sec.
2011 Tata Indica Vista
In 2008 when Tata Motors launched the second generation Indica, it marked a huge leap in the life of the hatch. The Vista was based on a completely new platform offering more space, refinement and a new engine. The Indica marked the first attempt by Tata at a passenger car way back in 1998 and the Indica Vista is the latest incarnation of the Indica. In 2011 Tata gave the Vista a facelift in an effort to make the Indica more upmarket and youthful. This is the Vista’s first face-lift in three years which in the already overcrowded hatchback segment gives the Vista a much needed short in the arm. With the Vista, Tata is aiming to compete with the European and Japanese and while the quality has improved, there is still some way for Tata to go to compete with its international competitors. Prices for the petrol variant start from Rs 4,02,480 to Rs 6,34,072 and for the diesel from Rs 4,49,509 to Rs 6,30,820 ex-showroom New Delhi.
For the facelift Tata has added to the Vista the nose of the Manza which basically means that the Vista now gets a chrome grille which replaces the old mesh grille and also new is the large triple-barrel headlamps. The Vista now sports all new bumpers which make it look different from the last generation car and the bumper has use of chrome. On the rear is a black strip that runs along the rear tailgate. The tail-lamps have a slightly smoked look to them and the top end variant gets alloy wheels as standard. The Vista is available in six new colours and overall the facelift does add life in to the hatch. The build quality however has not improved and other than the facelift there are no changes made to the Vista. The platform is the same and though it is not an exotic looking hatch, the Vista is stylish in its own right. The top-of-the line variant has turn indicators incorporated on the rear view mirrors and the styling is unmistakeably Indica with flared bumpers and the strong shoulder line.
There are a few changes made to the interiors as well and the Vista now comes with steering mounted audio controls (only for the top of the line model) and there is also the “Sahara Beige” colour scheme. The dashboard has a soft touch leather finish but other than that the dashboard is the same with the instrument console placed in the middle. The huge speedo however doesn’t make the driver take his eyes off the road while looking at it but though the interiors are a big step forward compared to the previous Indica, panel gaps still persist. Ergonomics are good overall and there is also an under seat tray on the passenger side.
Passenger comfort has always been the Indica’s forte and the Vista doesn’t disappoint either. Interior space will put sedans to shame and is amongst the best in the segment. If space and comfort is your priority then the Vista would suit your needs perfectly. Driving position is high and the seats are comfortable with good cushioning. Taller passengers will also find the Vista to their liking and the boot space is good as well.
Power steering is standard and the top of the line variant comes with front airbags, keyless entry, front and rear power windows, central locking, ABS, a dual DIN in-dash MP3 player which supports USB and a Blue5 Bluetooth system which enables pairing of up to five mobile phones though only one can be used at a time.
Engine and performance
The Vista retains its two petrol and two diesel engines. The 1.3-litre diesel engine which Tata calls the Quadrajet makes 75PS@4000rpm and 190Nm of torque between 1500 to 3000rpm. This engine is used in other Tata cars and is also used by Fiat and Maruti Suzuki. The engine feels eager on the road but is not tuned as well as on the Maruti Suzuki Swift. 100kmph takes over 16seconds but drivability is good. This variant has an ARAI claimed fuel economy of 22.29kmpl but Tata has made adjustments to the clutch which now has less travel. The top speed is around 155kmph.
The Vista also uses the Manza’s 1.4-litre petrol. The DOHC engine features variable valve timing and produces 90PS@6000rpm and 116Nm@ 4750rpm. It’s a rev happy engine and 100kmph is reached in under 16seconds. This variant has a top speed of over 160kmph and a fuel efficiency of over 16kmpl.
There is also a 1.2-litre petrol engine which produces 65PS@5500rpm and 96Nm@3000rpm. The Vista also comes with a bigger 1.4-litre diesel engine which produces 71PS@4500rpm and 135Nm@2500rpm. The 1.4-litre diesel engine however isn’t as refined and efficient as the Quadrajet. All four engine use a 5-speed manual gearbox which while isn’t as slick as Suzuki, is good enough.
The Vista rides on the same MacPherson strut front and non-independent rear suspension layout. The gas charged dampers and the long travel suspension gives the Vista class leading ride quality and the semi independent twist beam suspension reduces vibrations. Ride quality is one of the Indica Vista’s strengths and the suspension soaks up all the bumps and the Vista now gets 10-inch brake boosters which improve the braking. The steering too has a better feel to it that before but it lacks the precision and consistency as some of its competitors. The hatch shows composure while dealing with the potholed but the handling is only average and not as good as the Maruti Suzuki Swift and the there is a bit of a body roll.
The new Maruti Suzuki Swift is selling in big numbers because of the styling, dynamic ability and performance. The ride quality and interior space have both increased but they still aren’t the Swift’s strengths. Toyota’s Etios Liva now has both a diesel and a petrol engine and offers excellent ride quality along with the Toyota build quality and reliability. Maruti Suzuki Ritz delivers a good ride and handling package and the diesel and petrol engine are refined and torquey. The Hyundai i20 is a proven performer and the facelift version would be launched this year. The Nissan Micra is a competent car and the engines are fuel efficient and smooth. Interior space is adequate as well.
The Vista’s strengths are the space and ride quality. The facelift has definitely added more life to the styling and the triple barrel headlamps look good. Build quality is still an issue and the handling while is an improvement from the first generation Indica, is on the soft side to be really enjoyed by enthusiasts. The Indica however is best suited to those who are looking for a comfortable and reasonably priced hatch which offers space equal to a sedan. The 1.4-itre petrol engine and the Quadrajet diesel engine are refined and performance is reasonable as well.
Quote from other reviews:
Overdrive : ‘With the new Vista, Tata motors have tried to give the Indica a more youthful appeal with the long list of cosmetic changes. But since the Vista is a relatively new car (having been launched in early 2008) a full scale revamp was deemed unnecessary by the manufacturer. With the changes that have been incorporated in this mid-life facelift, the car still presents a very good case for itself. But whether it will be able to stand the pressure from its competition especially since the arrival of the new Swift, will have to be seen’.
Top speed96 mph