November 21, 2018

Tata Tigor Performance & First Drive

Tata Tigor Overview

Automatic transmission cars are becoming a popular choice among buyers in the entry-level segment. Once it was the forte of a much higher price bracket. But today, with growing traffic woes and a road system unable to cope with the demand, having someone else doing the shifting for you seems like a boon.That’s where the Tata Tigor in this AMT (automated manual transmission) guise comes in. It’s a two pedal version of the Indian automaker’s entry-level compact sedan and was launched here in November 2017. You can have it either in the mid-level XTA trim or the top spec XZA which is what we have driven in the review. View offers on Tata Cars from Tata dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Tata Tigor Style

Study photos of the Tigor and Tiago’s front ends and you’ll find only a few subtle differences. The Tigor’s headlights get a smoked-effect and also use projector lenses. New chrome lining for the lower portion of the glasshouse adds a bit of richness to the Tigor’s look. However, it’s from the B-pillar onwards that the Tigor takes on a whole different identity. The sedan sits on a 50mm longer wheelbase, uses different rear doors and even has a unique window line with a Skoda-like upward kink at the rear quarter glass. Visually though what really makes the Tigor stand out is the coupé-like manner the roof flows into the tail; inspiration for the ‘Styleback’ name. The swooping roof and distinctive tail section make the Tigor look far removed from all other compact sedans that are, more often than not, hatchbacks with a boot tacked on. Certain angles aren’t quite as flattering to the Tigor’s derriére (especially on the diesel version that gets only 14-inch rims) but, on the whole, the car’s shape is attractive and sure to be a big draw.

Styling at the rear is neat, helped by the smart tail-lamps, chunky bar of chrome above the number plate and a black plastic strip low down on the bumper to balance visual mass. There are also some nifty details elsewhere on the body. See the blacked-out lip (home to a strip of LEDs) above the rear windscreen? Aside from being a design element in its own right, it’s also the end point for a neatly hidden hump in the roof that’s been incorporated to free up headroom in the rear section of the cabin. Care has been taken to ensure maximum boot space too. How? Tata has ditched the traditional gooseneck hinges for the boot opening and opted for a significantly more expensive multi-hinge and damper arrangement. The setup is less intrusive and helps make the most of the luggage area, which, by the way, is a sizeable 419 litres. Another point to note is that only petrol Tigors will be available with the attractive ‘diamond cut’ 15-inch alloy rims. As mentioned, diesel Tigors make use of smaller 14-inchers. Tata engineers we spoke to told us the heavier diesel required the added cushioning of thicker sidewall tyres to keep ride comfort at the desired level. In all, the Tigor weighs 50kg more than a comparable Tiago.

Tata Tigor Space

The Tigor shares its smart dashboard with the Tiago hatchback and the ambience in the cabin is rather nice. There’s a nice textured finish to the dash top, the chunky steering is great to hold, the knitted roof lining looks premium and Tata has even put fabric inserts on the doors to add a bit of richness. But fit and finish is still not quite at Hyundai’s benchmark levels yet. The plastics low down on the dash feel hard and scratchy and panel fit is inconsistent at places such as the glovebox.True to Tata’s DNA, the Tigor’s cabin is spacious. And comfort is good too. The front seats are large, and though cushioning is a touch soft, they do offer good support. Importantly, frontal visibility is also really nice, thanks in part to the dash being low set. Rear seat passengers will also like the view out from the large rear windows. Tata has lowered the position of the Tigor’s rear seat vis-à-vis the Tiago in the interest of freeing up headroom, and even six-foot tall occupants will be able to sit upright. Clever scoops on the front seatbacks have also helped carve out a good deal of knee room for passengers here. We did find the rear backrest a tad too reclined but on the whole you sit quite comfortably in the back. Interestingly, the backrest extends from door to door, allowing the entire width of the cabin to be used. Three adults can sit three abreast in more comfort than most other compact sedans, and what’s also nice is that there are sizeable fixed headrests for each of the rear passengers. You also have the option to fold down the well-positioned rear centre armrest when the middle seat is not in use.

Armrest aside, the Tigor also gets auto climate control, a reverse camera and a new touchscreen infotainment system over and above what’s on offer in the Tiago. The touchscreen is a development of the Harman-developed unit that you’ll also find on other Tatas. The screen isn’t the most responsive to touch inputs (you’ll find yourself relying on the control dial) and catches a lot of reflections, but the infotainment system does score for functionality. Tata has a suite of mobile apps that you can use with the system. For instance, the screen can display navigation maps and instructions from your phone app, and there’s another app that allows each passenger in the car to add songs from their device (via mobile hotspot) to a playlist on the phone paired with the audio player. Worth a mention is the really impressive sound quality from the four-speaker, four-tweeter setup. We also found the infotainment system quite responsive to voice commands especially for radio, audio and climate control settings.

Tata Tigor Gearbox

Powering the Tata Tigor AMT is the Indian automaker’s 1.2-litre three-cylinder unit. It produces 84bhp/140Nm with power going to the front wheels via a five-speed AMT setup. This is the same box used in the Tiago AMT and its arrival in the Tigor seems like the next logical step and is pretty much at the heart of what is going on here.After driving the Tiago AMT, this definitely feels like an improvement as harshness and vibrations have reduced. The rocking movement associated with budget AMTs has reduced quite a bit but you do still feel some jerkiness when you get off the line.

There are two driving modes on offer with the Tigor AMT- City and Sport which alter the response of the throttle and gearbox accordingly. In City mode, the shifts take place at a lower RPM and it’s designed in such a way that you are always in the meat of the torque band. Go in a for a quick overtake and since it’s a mode that favours efficiency over performance, the shifts feel slow and there is significant delay between you mashing the throttle, gears dropping and the engine spinning up to give you some punch.Things improve in the sport mode as the gearbox allows you to hold the revs for a longer period and build up more steam as required. However, once you hit redline the system automatically upshifts to the next gear. Revving the engine hard produces a nice little note and can be a nice little thing to egg you on when you want to up the pace.There’s a creep function which allows the car to inch along at slow speeds and is a useful tool for bumper-to-bumper traffic as well as a manual mode for when you want to control the shifts yourself and induce engine braking for stopping better.

Tata Tigor Driving

The handling of Tata Tigor is pretty smooth, owing to the fairly responsive electric power assisted rack-and-pinion steering wheel. It is quite easy and comfortable to manoeuver the sedan in thick traffic and on narrow roads. The suspension system is also tuned to suit the Indian roads and it absorbs the tiny potholes without any jerks.However, the company could have worked more on the NVH levels as it isn’t too pleasant and up to the mark. In terms of ride and handling, nothing has changed from the manual variants of the compact sedan. The Tigor’s slightly stiff setup performs admirably over bad roads and will take most potholes and imperfections without unsettling the car. It’s got lovely straight line stability and out on the highway, it can eat away the kilometres without struggling too much. In the spirit of bring a mildly powered front wheel drive car, it will understeer when you hit the limits of grip and it is best if you glide the car from turn to turn rather than forcing it to go through the corners.

Tata Tigor Safety

Tata Tigor specifications include disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear as standard. As for the safety of occupants, the company has incorporated a plethora of premium safety features, like dual front airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Corner Stability Control (CSC), speed-dependent auto door locks, follow-me-home lamps, park assist with sensors and camera, and seat belt with pretensioners and load limiters. Sadly, the base grade XE doesn’t get any of the aforementioned features.

Tata Tigor Cost in Hyderabad

Tata Tigor Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 4,78,491/- (Tigor XE Petrol) to 7,11,658/- (Tigor XZ O Diesel). Get best offers for Tata Tigor from Tata Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Tigor price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Tata Tigor Conclusion

What’s clear is that the Tigor is not just a Tiago with a boot. It’s got a different vibe and that’s all thanks to the way it looks. It is an attractive car and has a certain visual appeal that the typical compact sedan doesn’t have. In a sense, the Tigor will attract buyers to whom design and style get priority over practicality. That’s not to say the Tigor isn’t practical. Much to the contrary, it’s got a well thought-out cabin, ample interior space and a large and useable boot. At the same time, top-spec Tigor’s also address modern day requirements for connectivity and features.

Where the Tigor could have been better is under the bonnet. Both the petrol and the diesel engine could have done with more power. In fact, given the good ride and handling package, the powertrain is the sole area where the Tigor feels a notch down to the existing compact sedans. But here’s the thing. The Tigor will come in under the Tata Zest, which by extension means it will be priced significantly lower than compact sedans like the Maruti Swift Dzire, Honda Amaze, Hyundai Xcent, Ford Figo Aspire and Volkswagen Ameo.

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