Here is where the essence of the matter is when it comes to the Tiago AMT. It is offered with a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine producing 84bhp/114Nm of torque and of course, the five-speed AMT which sends power to the front wheels. Given that the engine remains unchanged in terms of what is on offer, the response feels quite similar to that of the manual powered variants.
The back and forth rocking transition commonly associated with earlier Tata AMTs has reduced significantly to the point where at higher speeds it is hardly noticeable. However, lower down you do feel the jerkiness especially when crawling in traffic.
Tata has programmed the gearbox to shift up as quickly as possible to reduce engine load and at the same time increase efficiency. This can be a bit unnerving sometimes as it feels like the engine has moved into coasting mode. However, if you aim for a quick overtake and mash the throttle, the gearbox will drop one or two cogs (depending on how deep your right foot goes) to get you into the meat of the torque band to perform the overtake.
The car runs in City mode on default but unlike the manual variants, this AMT spec car gets a sport mode to access more power on the tap. It allows you to hold the revs for a longer period and build up more steam if required. However, when you hit the redline in sport mode, the system automatically upshifts to the next gear. There is a manual mode which allows you to shift the gear by yourself and this is a useful tool when you want to have some fun on the road or need a bit of engine braking to slow down.
Finally, Tata has also included a creep function which will inch the car forward just a little when you take your foot off the brake. This is a very useful tool when you have to potter around in heavy traffic scenarios. While it would seem like a good idea to use this when you are attempting a hill start, we would advise you to use the parking brake as there is a delay between engage and disengage, which will result in the car free-rolling backwards.
Given its diminutive proportions, light steering and relatively slick gearbox, we have always found that the Manual Tiago was great fun to drive. However, to become an automatic Tata has had to trade some of this driving fun for the ease of use that is offered by a two pedal setup.
The ride quality is on the stiffer side and you can hear the suspension going about its business when the bumps or ruts get really sharp. However, this is hardly a deal breaker thanks to some good spring rates and a decently tall tyre profile. At three digit speeds, the Tiago is quite stable and composed, making it good for lengthy journeys. This, in combination with automatic gearbox, should make it quite easy to eat up the kilometres.