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Tata Tiago EV Review: Most Practical Budget EV

Published On Jan 04, 2023 By Nabeel for Tata Tiago EV

Yes it is more affordable, but is the Tiago EV practical?

Let's be honest, we have all thought about buying an EV. But with the high purchase cost, it's hard to trust a technology which might, or might not work for us. We need a safer first step which could be the Tata Tiago EV. With on-road prices starting below the Rs 10 lakh mark, the Tiago EV is the most affordable electric car you can buy in the country. However, it also comes with the smallest battery and the least power. Time then to understand whether it is practical and affordable, or just affordable. 

Looks

We have always appreciated the Tiago for its looks and often regard it as the best-looking hatchback in its segment. The electric version looks more premium with the closed-off grille and the aero-style wheel caps on steel wheels. It is still unmistakably a Tiago, but has enough flair to look like an EV. What buyers would appreciate is the new light blue colour, but Tata should have added more funky options like Yellow and Red to appeal to young buyers. The current lineup consists of just sober colours like Plum, silver and white. 

Interior

The Interior remains the same as well, but like the exterior, looks more premium. This is achieved with the use of leatherette upholstery in the top variant and subtle blue accents to signify its EV intentions. 

There are feature additions too, like automatic headlamps, cruise control, connected car technology, rain-sensing wipers and the Z-Connect tech gets remote geo-fencing, smartwatch connectivity, diagnostic reports, and on-phone/watch range and battery details. These connectivity options are an important addition to the EV as charge and charging status needs to be monitored quite frequently. 

Other than this, it remains comfortable for four passengers and can accommodate five for city stints as well. The floor has not been raised and hence the sitting posture remains the same as the ICE Tiago. 

Boot Space

While Tata has managed to not compromise on the Tiago’s boot space, the space for the spare wheel is now occupied by the battery pack. Hence, you still get space to pack in a couple of suitcases but if you run into a puncture, you will only have the puncture repair kit to keep you afloat. There is also some more space under the boot cover for cleaning supplies, but the onboard charger doesn't fit there with the cover. Better packaging could have made it an ideal spot to store the charger. 

With these elements. The Tiago still is a very practical hatchback. Now, let's dive into the EV aspects and see if they too are as practical as the rest of the package with the help of a few questions. 

Is the range enough?

Say you live in Noida and travel to Gurugram every day for work. Or, live in Panvel and travel to Thane every day. These situations will lead to a daily commute of about 100km to 120km. Add an impromptu movie plan and you will need about 150km range from the Tiago EV. 

Battery Capacity

24kWh

19.2kWh

Claimed Range

315 Kms

257 Kms

Real World Estimate

200km

160km

Tiago EV comes with two battery pack options. The bigger battery comes with a claimed range of 315km and the smaller battery gets 257km. In the real world, remove 100km from the claimed range and with that -- the bigger battery variants will easily do 150km, while the smaller battery will need you to drive very carefully to get back home. 

In our opinion, the smaller battery option should not be considered at all as it might end up spoiling your experience of EVs with less power and range. We strongly suggest buying only the bigger battery variants as you will need the extra 50km range, if not the power. 

Will it charge overnight?

At the end of the day, say you are left with about 20 or 30km of range. If you plan to charge the Tiago at home, it will take about nine hours to charge fully. So, if you plug it in at 11pm, the car will be fully charged by 8am, provided there is no power outage. 

Charging Time

24kWh

19.2kWh

DC fast-charging

57 minutes

57 minutes

7.2kW fast AC charger

3.6 hours

2.6 hours

3.3kW AC charger

6.4 hours

5.1 hours

Household socket 15A

8.7 hours

6.9 hours

If you opt for the optional Rs 50,000 7.2kW fast-charger, the charge time goes down to four hours. 

What is the charging cost?

Household electricity rates are dynamic but for this calculation - let's keep it as a slightly high Rs 8 per unit. This means the larger battery will take about Rs 200 to fully charge which gives up a Rs 1/km running cost. 

Running Cost Estimate

  • Tiago EV (15A Charging) ~ Rs 1 / km

  • Tiago EV (DC Fast-charging) ~ Rs 2.25 / km

  • CNG Hatchback ~ Rs 2.5 / km

  • Petrol Hatchback ~ Rs 4.5 / km

However, the DC fast-chargers are much more expensive. They charge at about Rs 18 per unit and with that the running cost comes to Rs 2.25 per km. This is similar to the running costs of CNG hatchbacks, whereas petrol hatchbacks cost close to about Rs 4.5 per km. Hence, charging the Tiago EV at home will prove to be the most beneficial to you. 

Will the full range reduce over time?

While there is no concrete answer to this question right now, we have an estimate. Tata is offering an eight-year, 1,60,000 km warranty with the Tiago. And like how your phone’s battery capacity reduces overtime, the car’s battery’s charge holding capacity will also reduce. For the battery to fall under warranty, the acceptable battery health is 80 per cent -- which translates to 160km of real-world range after eight years. 

Motor And Performance

The Tiago EV offers the best drive experience of any Tiago on sale. The silent and responsive drive makes it a fantastic commuter. The 75PS/114Nm motor feels perfectly apt for this size of car and does not feel like a compromise. The pickup is swift and the roll-ons for quick overtakes and getting into gaps feel effortless. This is in the Drive mode. 

In the Sport mode, the car starts to feel more lively. Acceleration is more powerful and the throttle becomes more sensitive. While it is still not exciting - it will definitely not feel like wanting more power. In fact, if you like to drive with a heavy right foot, you will by default keep it in the Sport mode as the Drive mode feels rather laid-back and safe. You won't shy away from doing it either because it seemingly does not have a significant impact on the overall range. 

On the topic of feeling safe and laid-back - the three regen modes on offer are also mild. Even at level 3 regen, which is the strongest mode, the Tiago EV gives you an engine braking experience of a three-cylinder, so it’s  more natural to drive. Level 1 and 2 are mild and there is even the option to switch regen off.

Personally, I think Tata should have offered a more aggressive Sport mode while giving more power to the Drive mode. This is because the car is mainly targeted towards young EV buyers and they will want the Tiago to be more playful than it is in the current Drive mode. The Drive mode is perfect for an Eco mode. The Sport could be the drive mode and the Sport should be a mode where you can really play with the power, with a clear warning that it will impact range. And for anyone looking to drive the Tiago for 50-80 km daily - this would be perfect. 

Ride And Handling

While the Tiago EV is about 150kg heavier than the regular Tiago AMT, the suspension won’t let you feel it. The suspension retune is fantastic and the Tiago remains ideal to deal with broken road conditions. Harshness is kept away from the passengers and it even remains stable and planted on highways. The handling has also remained unaffected by the extra weight and this leads to a fun package to drive daily. 

Verdict

It's clear that the Tiago EV is not just affordable, but also a very practical daily EV. The range with the bigger battery is more than enough for city duties and it will charge overnight too. Importantly the running cost is also low enough to justify you buying an EV. And other attributes like comfort, features and looks are still very much the segment best. 

The package would have been better with a larger, more practical boot, more poke in the drive and some vibrant colours -- but if you are looking for an EV and want a safer first step, the Tiago EV is a very sweet option.

Tata Tiago EV

Variants*Ex-Showroom Price New Delhi
XE Base (Electric)Rs.8.49 Lakh*
XT (Electric)Rs.9.09 Lakh*
XT Base (Electric)Rs.9.99 Lakh*
XZ Plus (Electric)Rs.10.79 Lakh*
XZ Plus Fast Charge (Electric)Rs.11.29 Lakh*
XZ Plus Tech LUX (Electric)Rs.11.29 Lakh*
XZ Plus Tech LUX Fast Charge (Electric)Rs.11.79 Lakh*

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