Pros : Stylish, Modern looks, Robust engine, Feature rich, Stable
Cons : Weak headlights, Boot open with Remote missing, Heavy, Feels underpowered at times
I bought the Zest XMS RT (Revotron) in Feb 2016.
First few days were full of excitement and I was spending lot of time exploring the features, going through user manuals etc. The car has very stylish looks for sure. Very modern styling and front fascia look extremely good.
On the interiors, Tata has done a fantastic job. The interiors are really a notch above the usual Tata cars. Steering mounted audio/call controls, Driver seat height adjust etc., these are very usable features in day to day drives and are not just a feature packed for name sake.
The engine is strong and has three modes.
CITY - Which is the default mode when the car is cranked.
ECO - Where the engine mapping is changed in order to achieve maximum miles/litre of petrol.
And lastly SPORTS - In this mode, the engine really comes to life. This 1.2 liter engine is also bolstered with a turbo-charger and the turbo kicks in at about 1600-177 rpm, and a sudden boost of power can be felt irrespective of the mode that you are driving in (CITY / ECO / SPORTS).
In the CITY & ECO modes, the engine is relaxed, and you should not expect too much from the 1.2 litre mill. It's in SPORTS mode that the engine mappings are changed to achieve maximum power. The engine likes to be revved hard, however, the max that I have tried to rev it, at a standstill, is at about 4000rpm. The engine performs best in mid-range typically from 2000-3000rpm.
Minimum gear shifts are needed and you can also pick speed easily in 3rd Gear from 20kmph without engine knocking or feeling underpowered. Having said that, the car is pure iron and is very heavy. The front hood is so heavy, and at times is difficult to lift with one hand. And hence, at times, the car feels slightly underpowered.
On the highway, the performance of the car is very good. Has good stability on corners and body roll is minimal. Suspension setup is good, however, it can be improved. One can hear thuds filtering in cabin at times which reminds of the NVH levels. There is a lot of scope of improvement in Noise levels. The tyre noise is also audible on highways. Vibration & Harshness levels have been managed beautifully.
The seats are soft and are cushioned right. The rear bench also has additional cushioning near the door openings, giving very ergonomic sitting position and comfort. Three adults can easily sit at the rear, as the floor board is nearly flat. The front seats are ergonomically scooped and are very comfortable. Especially the height adjust feature for driver seat let you forget the missing telescopic steering feature. As when you adjust seating at higher level, you get close to the steering wheel.
The safety features in the XMS variant are Driver + Passenger Airbags, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) & CSC (Cornering Stability Control). The ABS, however, has a tendency to make some noise when brakes are applied at high speed. At city speeds, the ABS is very silent. The brake feel is good and effective. The AC is very effective on hot days and in re-circulation mode, cools the entire cabin in less than 5-6 minutes.
The manual talks about Lane Change Indicator, in which a gentle stroke on the indicator stalk, starts the turn signal three times. However, was not able to find it on my XMS. The windscreen is huge and when sitting high, the view of the road is very good.
One of the reasons for me to choose Zest was because it has double barrel headlamps, however, the lights (both low beam & high beam) are weak. The light throw is not appropriate in either mode. No-one gives a dipper, when High Beams are on, rendering the high beams useless. Only in cases where there is complete darkness, you will find that lights are good. But on an open highway, the lights just scatters away.
On the exterior, the Zest is a good looking car, with a very robust feel. The doors close with a thud, making you feel safe and secure. The tyres are also good, however, are a little bit noisy at high speeds. Not sure if it is a setup issue or tyre selection issue by Tata Motors. The boot is spacious. The loading lip is high. Overall a satisfied owner :)
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