This hatchback keeps impressing us
IIT’S BEEN ABOUT ABOUT six months since the Tata Tiago entered our longterm fleet, while the others preferred not to use it much since it runs on petrol, I have got the chance to do a few Mumbai-Pune runs over the past few weeks. The biggest new addition to the Tiago is Tata’s all-new, allaluminium, 1.2-litre, three-cylinder Revotron engine, which made its debut when it was launched in April last year. Fire up the motor and it’s quite smooth. It doesn’t rock on its mounts like a typical three-cylinder unit and it’s quiet too, pointing out to the generous amounts of sounddeadening material used. My only issue is the slight hesitant power delivery. The engine has flat spots and a tendency to be a bit hesitant at low speeds. It’s most pronounced when the engine is cold. Once it’s up to operating temperature, the Revotron improves, but the jerkiness at lows speeds doesn’t completely go away. On the highway, the Tiago doesn’t feel underpowered as long as you aren’t in a hurry to get somewhere. But on demand, you can work the slick gearbox to get a move on.
The expressway connecting Mumbai and Pune highlighted the Tiago’s biggest strength – that planted, big-car feel which other small cars simply can’t match, with the suspension offering a comfortable low speed ride, while stiffening up nicely, without being uncomfortable once the speed goes up. The balance between ride and handling is just right, with the car proving to be pretty fun to drive around the twisties. The Tiago is also effortless to drive with its light clutch and steering.
The interior quality is where Tata has worked hardest on this car and where it sees the most marked improvement over previous Tata cars. The Tiago has a top-quality cabin. It may be a budget car, but it feels anything but built on a budget. Forget similarly priced rivals like the Maruti Celerio and Hyundai Grand i10, the Tiago feels more premium than even pricier cars like the Honda Brio and Toyota Liva. The smart seat fabrics, well-textured dashboard and top notch infotainment system are some of the quality bits that belong to far more expensive cars. The wellfinished wheel is great to grip and all the buttons / switches have a quality feel to them.