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.
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.
Initially called the Zica, this new hatchback was soon renamed to Tiago, after the infamous deadly Zika virus breakout. Just like its name, the Tiago hatchback definitely has a sporty and dynamic appearance. What is even more interesting is the fact that Tata used its new ‘IMPACT’ design language to design and fabricate the Tiago. In addition to a refreshing design theme, the Tiago also promises to deliver enhanced driving dynamics along with new innovative features.
The Tiago not only excels in styling and dynamics in this particular segment but also brings with it satisfying performance. The new hatchback is offered with a newly developed Revotron 1.2 Litre petrol and an all-new Revotorq 1.05 Litre diesel unit. Both these engines are paired to a 5 speed manual gearbox, while an AMT (automated manual transmission) option will likely be introduced in the near future. What is even more interesting is the fact that the Tiago comes with Multi Drive modes which are the first in its segment. This will help the driver to optimize the engine’s behavioral characteristics as per his/her driving requirements, in order to deliver optimum fuel economy along with a peppy and high spirited driving experience.
Update 06.04.2016:- Tata launched the Tiago hatchback in India today, the prices and variant-wise feature details have been updated
When we first saw the Tiago enter the test drive venue and come to a stop in front of us, the only thing that proclaimed it to be a Tata product was the T-insignia on the front grille. Changes are indeed so IMPACT-full that the Tiago just doesn’t look like any other Tata car currently on offer. It is the first car to be launched under the manufacturer’s #MadeOfGreat Campaign, and also Tata Motor’s first to be built on the all-new IMPACT design language. And if you ask us, the start just can’t get any better!
Upfront, the Tiago gets a smiling face, that houses a vertically stacked honey-comb grille, housing the new 3-D Tata emblem. Blacked-out halogen headlamps have been placed on both sides of the grille that impart an all-new character to the car. The front profile also gets circular fog lamps placed towards the lower bumper area, while the slim air-dam section has been seamlessly integrated with the bumper design. The front nose has a unique roundish touch to it while the front hood gets subtle crease lines which go well with the overall exterior design.
The side profile of the hatch gets a prominent crease line which starts from the rear taillamp area and finishes almost near the front wings. This characteristic line successfully lightens the overall visual bulk of the car’s side, thus making it look a lot more dynamic. The Tiago is actually based on the X1 platform, but the wheel arches now have lesser gaps. This makes the hatch appear even more planted and appealing. The rear profile of the car gets wrap around taillamps, a rear spoiler and rear windscreen wiper. A wide blacked-out area near the rear number plate housing again manages to decrease the car’s visual weight, while adding a pinch of ruggedness to its overall character.
Enter the Tata Tiago, and you are bound to be left amazed. Earlier Tata Cars have always been accused of featuring low quality interiors, but the Tiago definitely breaks this assumption. The quality of materials used and the way all parts have been laid out is an unprecedented design in any Tata car.
Designers have given the dashboard a dual-tone treatment, with the lower part adorning a beige shade, while the upper half gets a black tone. The three-spoke steering wheel is a straight lift from the Bolt/Zest siblings, and gets multi-function buttons on the top-end variant that help the driver to control the infotainment system and calling functions.
The instrument cluster gets a twin-pod design, while an MID screen is located in the middle to display all important parameters like fuel economy, trip meter, tank range and instantaneous FE. Another important design element of the dash is the centre console, that houses the advanced Harmon Kardon infotainment system. The entire console has been slightly tilted towards the driver in order to impart a driver-oriented feel to the cabin. AC Vents get a piano black surround, while the knobs and buttons on the Head Unit get subtle chrome treatment.
Move to the rear, and the sense of spaciousness leaves you in amazement. Though the Tiago gets a shorter wheelbase in comparison to the Grand i10 and Celerio, the interior space has been optimized to liberate just enough legroom. Seats too offer decent support and are well padded, but a fifth-occupant might feel uncomfortable due to the narrow bench width and lacking under-thigh support.
For convenience of occupants, Tata Motors has provided 22 utility spaces inside the cabin, which help in carrying small required things with ease. The Tiago also gets 240 Litres of boot space, and gets shopping bag hooks as well. So far, this car has plenty of little inputs inside the cabin and at the bootspace to attract you toward it. The Tiago just borrows the floor pan from EV2 while every other bits and panels of the car is all new.
The Tiago not only brings good looks and premium interiors to the table, but it also promises a zippy ride from its newly developed Revotron 1.2 Litre petrol unit which promises to deliver around 85 PS of peak power at 6000 rpm and 114 Nm of torque at 3500 rpm. While it looks sufficiently powered on papers, real-world performance can not be termed as enthusiastic. Off-the line acceleration is a bit lethargic, but the engine comes to its own once the rpm needle climbs.
The 5-speed gearbox too is a joy to use, and has been aptly tuned to enhance driveability as well as performance. It has been placed at an ergonomic location, and thus falls to hand perfectly. Short and crisp throws ensure that enthusiastic drivers will have a grin on their face every time they slot down a gear.
What is even more interesting is the fact that the Tiago gets the segment’s first Multi drive mode, which includes City and Eco modes to ensure an improved fuel economy as well as superior and fun filled driving experience. The petrol engine promises to return an ARAI rated fuel efficiency of 23.84 kpl.
The diesel variant on the other hand gets a Revotorq 1.05 Litre, 3 cylinder unit which is capable of delivering around 70 Ps of peak power at 4000 rpm and an impressive 139 Nm of torque at 1800-3000 rpm. This diesel mill is also equipped with a small turbocharger from Honeywell, that is tuned to enhance city driveability as well as fuel economy. In terms of real-world performance, the diesel mill too wont disappoint anyone, as it has a well-distributed spectrum of power across its rev range.
The new drivetrain comes loaded with technologies like duel overhead camshafts, central injectors and low friction crank train which helps in delivering an impressive fuel efficiency figure. Just like the petrol, the diesel unit too has been paired to a 5 speed manual gearbox. The Tiago diesel promises to return an ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 27.28kpl.
|Type||Revotron, 3 cylinder, MPFi with MULTI DRIVE||Revotorq, 3 cylinder, CRAIL with MULTI DRIVE|
|Cubic capacity||1199 cc||1047 cc|
|Made of||Aluminum||Aluminum, block: Cast Iron|
|Installation||Transverse, Front wheel drive||Transverse, Front wheel drive|
|Max power||85 PS @ 6000 RPM||70 PS @ 4000 RPM|
|Max torque||114 Nm @ 3500 RPM||140 Nm @ 1800-3000 RPM|
|Bore/stroke||77 mm x 85.8 mm||75 mm x 79 mm|
|Valve gear||DOHC 4 valves per cylinder||DOHC 4 valves per cylinder|
|Engine management||ECU controlled||ECU controlled|
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.
The Tata Tiago Prices in India are as follows:
|Tata Tiago Trims||1.2 Revotron petrol prices||1.05 Revotorq diesel prices|
|XB||INR 3,20,000||INR 3,94,500|
|XE||INR 3,59,500||INR 4,29,500|
|XM||INR 3,89,500||INR 4,69,500|
|XT||INR 4,19,500||INR 4,99,500|
|XZ||INR 4,75,000||INR 5,54,000|
All the above prices are ex showroom Delhi based prices
The Tiago is available with six exciting colour options which include Striker Blue, Berry Red, Sunburst Orange, Espresso Brown, Pearlescent White and Platinum Silver.
|Power Steering||AC with Heater||Power Windows||Harmon Infotainment System with four speakers||ABS, EBD, and Corner Stability Control|
|Dual-tone Dashboard||Chrome Lined Front Grille||Centre Remote Locking||Rear parking sensors||Dual front airbags|
|Driver footrest||12V Power Outlet||Rear Parcel Tray||Power Adjustable wing mirrors||Alloy wheels|
|Eco and City Drive Modes||Hub caps||Follow me home headlamps||Body colored door handles and ORVMs||Steering mounted controls|
|Body colored bumper||speed sensing automatic door locks||full wheel caps||front fog lamps|
|Engine immobilizer||driver seatbelt reminder||Height adjustable driver seat|
|Flip folding rear seat||fabric upholstery||Cooled glovebox|
Maruti launched the Celerio hatchback at the 2014 Delhi Auto expo and it quickly became popular because of its features and above all for its AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) which was being offered at a very low price. Powered by a K10B 999 cc petrol unit capable of producing an impressive 67 hp of peak power and 90 Nm of torque this car can not only zip past through city traffic but also is fuel friendly. Moreover the AMT gearbox provides the best combination of ease of usability and fuel economy.
When Hyundai launched the Grand i10 back in the year 2013, it took the market by a storm. Its contemporary design, high quality interiors, and feature laden package ensured that the Grand was able to entice a wide range of audience. This is further verified by the fact that even after more than 2 years of its official launch, the Grand i10 manages to rope in around 10,000 sales every month, despite facing tough competition from a varied set of rivals.
The Korean manufacturer has equipped the Grand i10 with two main engine options: a 1.1-litre CRDi diesel rated at 70 hp, and a 1.2-litre petrol rated at 82 hp. Moreover, Hyundai also offers the Grand with a CNG and an LPG option for budget-inclined customers. While the CNG gets the same 1.2-litre petrol, the LPG trim is powered by a smaller 1.0-litre Kappa engine.
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.
Update 05.01.16:- Tata Motors will be launching their new Zica hatchback on 20th January 2016
Update 28.01.2016:- Tata Motors confirmed they will officially unveil the 2016 Tata Zica compact hatchback on 3rd February at 2016 Indian Auto Expo.
Update 19.02.2016:- Tata Motors showcased the Zica at Auto Expo 2016. We have updated the review with new information and images from Auto Expo 2016.
Update 22.02.2016:- Tata Motors has changed the name of the Zica to Tata Tiago. We have updated the review with new name