Tata Tiago - India's safest entry-level hatchback

Tata Tiago – India’s safest entry-level hatchback

After years of anticipation, Tata Cars had finally launched what would replace the old Indica. The Tiago gas been Tata’s answer to Maruti Suzuki’s Celerio, and if past sales figures are anything to go buy, the brand seems to have hit the right notes – something the Bolt never managed to accomplish for various reasons. The Tiago has been built all-new, from ground-up, but shares the base floorpan with its age-old predecessor, the Indica. Early last year, Tata had also given its small car a facelift with some added added features, whilst deleting the option of a diesel engine.

Sporty and cute

For 2020, the Tiago received some changes to the exterior, which included sleeker headlights and a grille, underlined by the ‘Humanity Line’ in chrome. The bumper up-front is restructured with a new air dam, fog light housings and some lines that give it an aggressive look. The bonnet is now placed a little further up to help meet the latest pedestrian safety norms. Along the sides, the profile is the same, but it gets a new pattern for the 15-inch alloy wheels. Move to the rear, and you will see a new bumper and tail lamp inserts.

Anything new inside?

Well, not really, actually – except for the new seat fabrics used for the upholstery and a few other bits here and there. The cabin is well designed, and surprisingly, quite roomy. And the finish of quality is what impresses you most. Tata cars have really ensured that it upped its game on this front, and you’ll notice there has been a lot of thinking that gone into the design and engineering of the cabin. The plastics feel good to touch and the finish on top of the dashboard can be found on some premium hatchbacks. The silver finish bordering the instruments uplifts the cabin a bit, and the chunky steering feels good to hold. And thanks to big windows, visibility all-round is good as well.

The dual-tone dashboard looks neat with all controls being easily accessible. We love the Harman-developed infotainment system that sounds great, thanks to the support of four speakers and four tweeters. It even features a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, apart from Bluetooth connectivity, aux-in and USB. You also get the Juke Car app that lets occupants add songs from their mobile to their playlist, synced to the audio player. The AC blower is bit loud, and the air-conditioning takes a long time to cool the cabin. There are storage spaces around and the cooled glovebox is a nice touch. There’s lots of room in the driver’s footwell, and there’s a dead pedal too, to relax your left foot.

There’s a good amount of room up-front and under-thigh support is decent. At the rear, occupants are better off, with huge windows, lots of space and seats that are comfortable. And the 240-litres of boot space is great.

Zippin’ around

The Tata Tiago is powered by a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder all-aluminium, BS6 petrol engine that develops 84bhp and 113Nm of torque, paired either to a 5-speed manual or an AMT gearbox. If outright performance is what you’re looking for, the Tiago might disappoint. The engine doesn’t like being revved, and power delivery isn’t linear within city limits. The clutch is light but the manual ‘box needs some effort to work it. At low revs, refinement is good, but the typical three-cylinder engine gets a bit vocal when pushed to its limit. Drive modes include City and Eco, the latter of which is used to get the most economy out your car – and this also means throttle responses are lethargic. The ride is on the firm side, but it still manages to gobble up pot holes and bumps with aplomb. And thanks to the grippy tyres, the Tiago handles well too.

In a straight line, the car stays planted, and the steering has a good amount of weight to it, which inspires some confidence, particularly at three-digit speeds.

Worth the buy?

The Tiago is a result of Tata’s passion to deliver the best to its customers. Not only does the Tiago look good, it comes with the equipment you’ll need, along with a well-made cabin that’ll have you think you’re sitting a car from a segment above. Tata haven’t forgotten to spare a thought about our road conditions, and so, the Tiago has been made to tackle them well. We just wish the JTP Tiago still existed, for it really delivered peppy performance. The Tiago then, is a value-for-money package that is also the safest car in its segment. Also, grab the latest info on the Kia Seltos, only at autoX.

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