This three pot engine comes with 83bhp and a 114Nm torque with 1200 odd kilos of weight. So this is no small car. For comparison Amaze has 87 bhp and 109Nm torque for roughly the same weight.
The power steering is a very smooth electronic unit. I had been driving a hydraulic power steering and compared to it this has a little bit of a disconnect from the road. The tactile feedback from the road is not there. But you get used to it over some time. The engine is peppy. It is fun to drive and as the throttle opens out the advantage of the double overhead cam kicks in. On the open stretches and the highways you realise that this beast was made for the wide outdoors till Tata tried to put it in the city. By default, it does drive in the city mode and gives about 16.5 kmpl with ac on. Eco mode takes up the efficiency to 18.9 kmpl in the city. On the highway, the comparable figures are 19.6 and 21.0 respectively with ac sometimes on and sometimes off. I bought the car in October and the ac unit becomes unbearably cold on the highways even in the daytime. The heater is fine but the need for it has not arisen as yet.
Nice little storage spaces and peppy performance are the main features for the hatch which is really roomy in the back seat. Kwid, Alto, i10 grand and their ilk cannot stand comparison here. Celerio and Wagon R have some space but the width is less. In this car there is an optimum package.
The flipside is the clunky gear shifter and shoddy dealership. I bought the car from Tuli Motors in North Delhi. It was not a pleasant affair. The dealer was not aware of the features and even the emergency triangle was missing in the car. Incidentally the check list does not mention it either. However, I was informed by one of my colleagues who had taken the car from a separate dealer that he had received the triangle and even some accessories from the dealer in Delhi itself. So I felt cheated. In fact, at the time of the delivery the dealership informed me that the car came without an immobiliser. Since I had already made the payment by RTGS after await of almost two months I decided to put up with the take it or leave it attitude of the dealer. A couple of days later I was the laughing stock of my office as the car had an immobiliser (I had a vague premonition of this because there was a light blinking with a car and the lock when i switched off my engine). I did not know whetherto feel elated or ashamed. Called up the dealership and made a long tirade after being promised a callback which never matured. The receptionist had not informed the manager/ whoever was in charge because (she informed me ) he was in a deal. And he kept sitting in the said deal for over four hours!!!!!!!!!!Big deal or poor customer handling. Finally everyone blamed everyone else and the manager told me to go ahead and report the matter to Tata or anyone else I wanted to. To cut hte long story short. It WAS THE SHODDIEST CUSTOMER SERVICE I HAD EVER ENCOUNTERED IN MY LIFE. No wonder people are wary of taking Tata cars.
The drive has been good.The efficiency is par for the course and surprisingly good for a 1200 cc car. There is a tilt adjustment which allows my wife to adjust the steering to her height. And YES the car has an immobiliser. Mine came on Bridgestones and I have been a great fan of that company too.
BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE THIS IS NOT A SMALL CAR. IT HAS THE DNA OF A BIG CAR.
However, it is early days yet and I will keep you posted about my experience
To sum up, this is a great car caught up in a poor seller ecosystem.
Incidentally, this car has beaten the Swift to the fastest 1 lac units sold after launch. Don't be surprised if the trend continues because the package is complete and reasonably priced.
Look out for this engine. My friend, who is now working for Nissan in Canada had spoken very highly of it when he saw it under development last year. So keep waiting guys, I will post you on the tweaks under the hood soon.
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