The sales of the Indica V2 picking up on the cab drivers front ,thanks to its excellent mileage compromised a little with the maintenance (which I am sure lease plan company would have taken care of). Amidst this gloomy scenario “Tata motors” tried to launch a new hatchback “family” car which would be pleasant to one and all with its stunning new looks and so much of horse power buckled in below the bonnet, and I am left flabbergasted. My only exclamation – WOW !!!
The new “Indica Vista Quadrajet 1.3” is the “passenger” car for the Indian Roads !!!
Read on to find more details.
The first glimpse of the Vista is just like an Indica , more speculation reveals the real picture .The car measures nearly 3.8 meters in length, 1.7 meters in width with a best-in-class 2470mm of wheelbase which means ever more interior room. There is a new central character line on the hood, a sharp new crease line that run across the length of the car just below the beltline, a fuss-free ‘clean’ front bumper with classy circular fog lamps.
Interiors and Comfort
Talking of the ergonomics of the car – seat height adjustment and the steering column adjustment are good features made available for the pricing of the car.
The quality especially has taken a huge leap but even though very decent, its still not the best in its class. The interior panels gaps are still there and the plastic quality lacks the premium feel.
Tata designers have used a multiple textures and soft grain plastics to drive home the desired feel good factor about the interiors . Some of the plastic bits in the car, especially around the door pads are positively down market and there are still parts which dont fit together as well, like for example the steering wheel shrouds and inside door opening levers which feel flimsy.
The biggest ergonomic change is the placement of the instrument console which is now in the middle of the dashboard just like the Chevvy Spark or the Nissin X-Trail with some calling it a disaster while some swearing by in-driving passenger involvement it provides. The ergonomics is quite user friendly and just needs some getting used to feeling. The instrument cluster incorporates a tachometer and fuel gauge at the either side of the large speedo and various other tell-tale lights. The instrument panel lights up in a gorgeous white light while the electronic odometer fonts light themselves in blue digits.
Engine, Performance and Gearshift
The Fiat’s little wonder 1.3 Mulitjet (Called Quadrajet for Vista) yet. The engine is tuned more for low and mid-range than top end rush and develops 75 ps and 190 nm of torque at barely 1750 rpm!
The drive is very smooth with great torque even with the a/c on and four people inside the car. What it lacks is that extra thrust when the car hits the 2000 rpm provided in the Swift VDI. But for the daily routine drive the car can pull off excellently with great fuel efficiency.
The gear shift quite pleasing not the best though ,fits the car best . The shift is quite easy. The clutch is not very stiff and is very responsive.
The performance not even a mere match of a Swift or a palio when comes to unleashing the horse power ,but a very well refined engine for routine driving keeping the economy factor into consideration.
Ride and Handling
The new sub-frame mounted stiffened suspension is quiet and works unobstrusively even when going over larger than average Indian potholes. The all new semi independent twist beam suspension at the rear has a big role to play in it and it also eliminates the alignment issues the Indica is plagued with.The handling is failsafe at city speeds although there is a bit of body roll.
Freeway drive : Bangalore to Mysore.
The car could easily move through the traffic at honorable speed with very less effort, thanks to the improved maneuverability, the hydraulic power steering. Picked up some thirty odd kilometers in forty minutes hit Kanakpura nice road first space to check the beast. She quickly picked up 80 kmph in third gear all windows up and now no signal of the diesel car roaring .A peaceful drift to 100kmph in 4th and 120kmph in 5th ,everything going smooth . But what happened to the “Tata’s” they still dint refine on the steering control the vehicle wobbles above hundred very unusual for a car that heavy. Next thing I prayed for was to avoid a truck on the right lane and still cruise in the same speed , quickly maneuvering to the left but a BMW 7 series just zipped by in the lane ,putting me in shivers . I trusted the “TATA” for at least the braking . TATA I wished it was driving my “Swift” that day . It took roughly about 20 secs more than the swift would be in control from 120kmph – stand still luckily the trucker moved at the same speed without slowing . First lesson learned about the car at high speeds.
I had the chance again this time to unleash the power of the car , drifted the car at speed of 140 kmph (keeping in mind the lesson ) ,the car depressed me with its unsturdiness . the car just looses its peace and quietness . The whole car wobbles and your confidence of driving is sent down the nerves. I realized from then on , the car is made for the Indian roads for better economy driving conditions .
The journey then went on good, car pretty stable at 120 with little wobbling . Hit mysore in an hour and fifty minutes .
The build of the car could have been a little better but nonetheless satisfactory for the pricing and safety standards. Excellent fuel efficiency , approximately 14 kmpl of diesel in city driving conditions and 17 kmpl on a long trip . Seating comfort is excellent with spacing in the rear seat managed meticulously. Boot space more than satisfactory for the hatchback segment. Suspension not very satisfactory for the long trip journey. The entire package for 5.7 on road is something the TATA’s are able to battle in the frugal diesel engine market.
Overall a good economy car for the passenger drive.!!!
This makes me skeptical of whats in store for NANO – the common man car….