After sleeping pretty late last night, I woke-up at 5.45 in the morning!! No I didn’t on my own but because the reception guys gave me a wake-up call!! I am still looking for the person who requested that wake-up call. I really want to kill him once I find him!! I never slept after that and after freshening-up, checked-out and headed for the lavish breakfast at about 8 AM. As we were in team D-9, one of the last teams, we still had some time to have our breakfast. A lot of photos and selfies later, we were finally in our car and at the entrance of the resort, ready to be flagged-off. Needless to say, I was excited.
Now before I share my experience of the car (and the drive), let me tell you that even though I love riding and driving and this love has been there since a while now, I will score a prefect zero if someone asks me about any technical aspect of a vehicle. So this review (if I may call it one) will be purely from an end-user’s point of view.
When I first saw the
Zica Tiago, the first thing I liked about it was the fact that TATA had finally managed to come-up with a hatch-back that did not look like the Indica. The Zica Tiago was totally a new design altogether. It’s a fresh and brilliant change in my point of view. I absolutely loved the way it looked. With its below the bumper lights and all. Another thing that was something new to a TATA hatchback was the brilliant dashboard. TATA has also managed to create a lot of utility spaces (22 in total) for storing bottles and stuff like that by optimizing the space available inside.
It also sports a bigger and almost square boot which is enough to comfortably fit-in those big suitcases comfortably. I also liked the fact that a hatch of this class also was equipped with GPS with maps being provided by MapMyIndia. Another great to have feature was the jukebox app which can easily pair-up with the on-board entertainment system and then everyone can add their favorite songs to the playlist from their own mobile phones.
The car has a much better ground-clearance in comparison to the cars it will be pitched against. A higher ground-clearance generally means it being obvious in the looks as well but the design team seems to have done a great job here. The curved design of the rear-end and the tail-lights work perfectly and make sure the higher GC does not look out of sync at the wheels. If you leave the slightly flimsy-looking plastic that seems to have been used for the knobs and switches aside, I absolutely loved all other visual aspects of the car.
I was given a diesel version of the car. In my team neither Maintreni nor the other member of my team knew driving, a fact I was really happy about 😉 . Only I get to drive the entire stretch 🙂 . I found the leg-room to be pretty good even after I had pulled the seat towards the front to the maximum. The tilt-steering was another nice to have feature which I liked. The first couple of kilometres through the winding and beautiful roads of South Goa, I drove slow. I wanted to first get a feel of the car first before trying anything fancy with it.
The music through the much improved stereo with its 8 speakers ideally placed all over the car for great listening pleasure made the drive very enjoyable right from the first song. As I negotiated the narrow roads of this part of Goa, I realized how accurate the steering was. Both at slow speed and while being quick. I am not a fan of a light steering but I was half expecting it to have one. To my surprise, it was not the case with the
Zica Tiago. It did not have a steering like the ford hatch-backs which give you a solid feel but was not very light either.
Couple of times during the drive we had to make U-turns where this big-looking car actually felt much smaller. Tight corners and short-radius U-turns were easy. The one thing I did not like about the car was the air-flow. One hour or so into the drive with the AC running, I felt a bit sweaty. Directing the airflow towards me did not work as expected.
During quick curves, I found that the car had almost no body-roll. Talking about the power delivery, the 70bhp diesel engine does pack a punch but flattens-out at the mid-range. The top-end again has some power but I did not get any place to push it uphill the point I would have liked to. But overall, I hardly felt I was driving a diesel vehicle and not a petrol one. There was hardly any lag which is synonymous to diesel motors.
Another aspect of the car I liked was its suspension. I drove almost on all kinds of terrains during my close to 4-hour long drive but not once did any jerk from outside the car managed to reach me. On the wide open stretches of the Verna Industrial area, I pushed on the gas for a while only to find that car actually felt a tad heavier. But on the other hand, because of this heaviness, the car felt very much planted. The double assurance of safety came from the twin air-bags for the driver and the front passenger and the ABS.
Last but not the least, the driver seat’s height-adjustment feature was something which I was really happy to find. I am not sure if any hatchback in the market has that, let alone in its class. For someone like me who is 5.4” the height adjustment feature allowed me a better view ahead.
All that now remains to be seen is how TATA sets the pricing. My thinking says that if they get the pricing right, somewhere in the +/- 5L range for the variant with all the features, they will give the market a product which will leave others in its class way behind.
UPDATE: Now that the price of TATA Tiago has been declared and I must say the prices are even better than what I had expected (5 variants – XB, XE, XM, XT and XZ – with prices ranging from Rs. 3.20 lakh – Rs. 5.54 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), I am sure this car is going to take the image of TATA Motors to newer heights.
What do you think of the
ZIppy CAr (ZICA) Tiago? Do you want to ask me anything in particular about the car? Leave me a comment below.