From the days of the ubiquitous INDICA, the Tata design team has come a long way. Tata Bolt, a precursor to Tata Tigor, Tiago, Hexa, Tata BOLT, was definitely an unmatched offering from an Indian Car Manufacturer. In its segment, it offers more value for many as against its competition in the Hatch Back segment. I own three cars from my daily business runs - A SKODA Rapid, a NISSAN Micra and a TATA Bolt. I travel over 250 KMs daily in any one of these car but mostly on the Highway and very little in the congested city Traffic. Though SKODA rapid is in a different segment altogether, and is pricy, it does laRtn. Professor E.I Ravindranathck a few features that the Bolt offers.
As I write this review, I have already done close 55000 KMS in the last 16 months of my ownership of the Bolt. It has met and exceeded all my expectations. As a serious user of the car, with over a lakh KMS of travel by road every year, and being a good driver myself with a eye for the performance factors of any car, I can say that this car is definitely an excellent car, but has not yet caught the imagination of the buyers in the Hatchback Segment, that it very rightly deserves.
Having said this, let me give my impressions about the car. The Engine is truly remarkable and has never let me down even once. It is a beauty. It gives enough and more pick-up for its 1248 CC Diesel engine, and reach a comfortable speeds of 120 KM on the highway. No doubt, it does feel wanting in power beyond this limit. The gear ratios are good and the pick-up torque is more than sufficient for most drivers. The mileage that I get with the AC on all the time and on the highway, at an average speed of above 90 KMS, is about 17.4 KMS/ Litre of diesel. If you can run consistently at about 1900 RPM the mileage that I could get was about 20.5 KMS to a litre. SKODA Rapid with its 1499 CC Engine gives me close 19.0 KMS to a litre.
The body shape reminds you still of the INDICA lines. If you disregard the close semblance, the lines and shape of this car is as good as you can appreciate. The paint work has improved in all TATA Cars. The fit-and-finish, has some room to improve on the body works. Some vibrations are discernible.
Drive and handling is one area, that I have not found any complaint at all. My drivers also find this car very good to drive long-distances in.The EPAS and the ergonomics and the view of the road from the driver's seat, the ORVM, and the gear shift is as good as it can be.
The ground clearance is really very good in any TATA Car and BOLT stands up to this expectation. With about 55000 KMS, I have had to change the 4 tyres very recently and the tyre-wear was well within my expectations.
The interior of the BOLT is good as any of the rest for this price-point in this segment. Nothing great, nevertheless, nothing substandard either. The quality of plastics used inside the cabin has undergone a sea-change. The piano key black touch all along the dashboard is really good. The controls are well placed. The Connect Next and the Audio system is very good with remote control. The bluetooth connectivity and the configurable settings for the electronic features are good for the discerning users.
The AC is simply superp. Compared to any other car in this segment, the AC and the climate control settings are definitely way ahead of what is normally found in the competitive cars.The BOLT is definitely spacious and the legroom for the rear passengers are quite reasonable and adequate, almost similar to the spacious INDICA VISTA.
The Safety features have not been fully tested in my experience so far, and thankfully so. The ABS and EBD are nowadays standard at this price point. But the Cornering/ Traction Control, is a highpoint of this car and it does precisely what it is meant to do - give you a better control over high-speed cornering and reducing the body roll - Not that the size of this car would have any great body roll, yet this Cornering control does kick-in when needed. That is an assurance in safety. The Dual AIrbags that come with this model, is ample for a hatchback. TATA has definitely an edge in terms of designed seriousness about passenger and vehicle safety.
Coming to the Service Quality, TATA needs to improve a lot. Much of the image makeover that TATA attempts to make both through great design changes, packages filled with excellent features, good pricing and improved advertising, will be eroded if the Service Quality at the Dealer level is not taken to a different level. If service quality had been the only criteria in my list, I would have preferred NISSAN or a SUZUKI car. More than anything else, the customers are pissed off by the way they are treated in any TATA dealership and that is one big handicap that affects the volumes for this great car manufacturer.
Rtn. Professor E.I RavindranathI have wonderful experience with the NISSAN service and it is definitely way ahead of Gurudev Motors for my SKODA and SAYAR motors (the local dealer) for this TATA.
Though the cost of maintenance is one half of what I pay per KM as compared to SKODA maintenance costs, the treatment meted out to customers in a TATA dealership ends at a good note by the time the sales pitch is over. NISSAN on the other hand, seems to check all the right boxes when it comes to service quality. Comparison is meant purely as a challenge for improvement.
The cost of spares of any TATA product is very reasonable, as is with Suzuki spares. Maintenance costs of usage (with my high usage), comes to less than 40 paise per KM and the tyre wear cost come to close 27 paise per KM of travel. With about 17.1 KM to a litre of diesel the overall running costs are extremely economical compared to the other two brands that I own.
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