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Tata Tiago Review: Pros and Cons

Introduction

When Tata was turning a new leaf with their product line-up back in 2015, Tiago was at the forefront. And it turned out to be a runaway success for the Indian carmaker with the three lakh sales milestone been achieved in a short time. A thorough update last year saw the Tiago transform furthermore with bold styling and newer features. We drove it a few weeks back and you can read our first-drive review by clicking here.

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What we are going to do now is tell you five things that we liked about the updated Tata Tiago and two things that we didn’t.

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Positives

1. Handsome looks

With the update, the new Tiago gives up its bulbous and frog-eyed headlamp design for more sleek-looking units that take inspiration from its elder sibling – the Altroz. Sitting flush with the headlamps is a mesh grille that tapers downwards like a shark-nose edge. 

Front View

Subtle touch like a ring running below the headlamps and grille add character while the sweeping lines and contours on the lower bumper highlights Tata’s new design direction.

Rear View

At the back, the reworked bumper with a simple design of extended fins on either side hugely improves the stance of the Tiago, making it look much more handsome than before. There are some tweaks to the taillamps signature and the blacked-out roof-mounted spoiler is another nice touch. Overall, the Tiago facelift is vastly striking to look at than before.

2. Improved BS6 engine

Engine Shot

Under the hood of the BS6 Tiago is the 1.2-litre Revotron petrol engine which puts out 85bhp at 6,000rpm. It can be had either with a five-speed manual or an AMT automatic. When cranked up, the three-cylinder surprises with a rather silent idle. Although there are vibrations felt on the inside, but they tend to vanish the moment you get going. On the move, the improved engine remains silent and has a good supply of power right from the word go.

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Since it is a relatively lighter car – tipping the scale at around 980 kilograms (kerb) – it never feels like it's running out of breath, be it your bumper-to-bumper traffic or some quick excursion in and around highways. When ambling around at city speeds, you can easily keep gear or two higher than expected and it won’t urge you to downshift. And for urgent pushes to get through tiny space in the traffic, all it needs is a slight dab on the throttle to access the 113Nm of max torque which peaks at 3,300rpm. Out on the highways, there’s enough grunt in the motor to keep up with triple-digit speeds.

3. City runabout

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With its compact dimensions, the Tiago fits the role of a perfect city car. There’s good visibility all around. And finding and fitting into small parking space is a boon, especially in congested cities like ours. At slow speeds, the steering is light and easy to maneuver. It is not exactly quick but ideal for city driving as it won’t strain your arms when trying to parallel-park. Moreover, there’s noticeable weight added to it as speed increases.

Left Side View

What’s more, it continues to ride pretty well like before. If you encounter indecorous bumps or irregularities on your commutes, they are taken care of with great composure – only the sharpest of the potholes make themselves felt. Moreover, there’s enough ground clearance to take on the really bad patches without scrapping the underbelly. And the ride improves at highway speeds, and the high-speed stability is much better than we expected.

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4. Tweaked interior and features

With the update, Tata has slightly revamped the cabin with newer features and better aesthetics as well. For starters, the old dual analogue dial is now replaced with a new all-digital instrument cluster which is similar to the one in the Nexon

Dashboard

Apart from that, the steering wheel is new and another welcome addition is the seven-inch touchscreen integrated with Tata’s ConnectNext interface. As for the digital cluster, this too is the same system available in more expensive Tatas and has a similar quality and usability. Apart from that, the centre console now has a gloss-finished insert with redesigned air-con controls and a new gear lever. Lastly, the upholstery has been given a change flaunting Tata’s tri-pointed design.

Second Row Seats

As a whole, the Tiago remains as practical and usable as the older car with good visibility and ample space. The seats are supportive and there’s a good amount of storage options too making it a practical cabin. Even at the back, taller passengers won’t feel cramped either. Lastly, the boot can hold a weekend getaway luggage of four with ease.

Instrument Cluster

In terms of features, the top-spec XZ Plus is decked-up with 15-inch dual-tone alloy wheels, auto AC, ConnectNext system with AppleCarPlay and Android Auto, eight-speakers Harman music system, a rearview camera with sensors, voice command, keyless entry, electric ORVMs with an auto-fold, cooled glovebox, and all-four power windows with one-touch-down for the driver. 

Infotainment System

For safety, there’re dual-front airbags, ABS with EBD, corner stability control, speed alert, seatbelt reminder, and speed-dependent door locks.

5. 4-star NCAP safety rating

Under the Global NCAP initiative of ‘Safer Cars for India’ crash test results, the Tiago has achieved four stars for adult occupant protection and three stars for child occupant protection. The GNCAP chose the entry-level version of the Tiago where Tata offers two frontal airbags as standard. 

Right Side View

The Tiago is the third car in the carmaker’s line-up after the Altroz and Nexon (both scoring five stars) with an impressive safety result. This also makes the Tiago stand out amongst its direct rivals and many other cars in a segment or two above it.

Negatives

1. Vibey idling, notchy gearbox, no CNG

As mentioned earlier, the three-cylinder motor in the Tiago retains the vibrations when idling. Upon starting, the noticeable judders are felt on the gear lever, foot pedals, and even on the steering wheel. Although these are rather mild throbbing pulses all over the place, some buyers might not like it very much.

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Then there’s the gearbox. Compared to the five-speeder on say the Swift or the Wagon R, the throws on the gear lever in the Tiago aren’t as smooth or well-defined. You sometimes need a careful effort to stick into the right gear which is a bit of a bummer when you intend to drive smoothly or have a bit of enthusiastic stint behind the wheel. It takes some time to get used to the notchy nature of this five-speed unit

Before long, Tata discontinued the low-selling diesel engine in the Tiago. But with the BS6 change, there has been no introduction of the CNG option with the hatchback which seems to be in huge demand of late. Both its rivals, the Wagon R and Santro do offer this, and buyers looking for an alternate fuel option might have to skip over the Tiago. 

2. Interior quality could’ve been improved

Gear Shifter/Gear Shifter Stalk

Although it’s a budget vehicle, we expected a slight improvement in the materials used inside the cabin with this update. There are no soft-touch materials used here except for the door armrest. And the cup holders on the centre console should have been larger to accommodate 500ml bottles at the least. 

Center Console/Centre Console Storage

Move to the back seats and there’s no centre armrest, or AC vents, or adjustable headrest, or even a back seat pocket to stow away some documents or small knick-knacks. And the backrest when folded to increase the rather small boot space, they don’t fall flat and have no split-fold either.

Conclusion

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The Tata Tiago competes with the likes of Maruti Suzuki Celerio/Wagon R, Hyundai Santro, Renault Kwid, and Datsun Go. That’s a tough competition when you consider that this has been a high-volume segment with competitive pricing and exigent buyers. Yet the Tiago has made a mark with its complete package, handsome styling, long feature list, and most importantly the high safety rating that no other car in the segment can boast of. It also drives well with the newfound refinement after the BS6 update, a revamped cabin, and a well-sorted ride and handling combination. So, buying the Tata Tiago is a sensible decision.

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Tata Tiago Price in India

CityOn-Road Prices
Mumbai₹ 5.85 Lakhs onwards
Bangalore₹ 5.94 Lakhs onwards
Delhi₹ 5.38 Lakhs onwards
Pune₹ 5.77 Lakhs onwards
Hyderabad₹ 5.76 Lakhs onwards
Ahmedabad₹ 5.57 Lakhs onwards
Chennai₹ 5.67 Lakhs onwards
Kolkata₹ 5.47 Lakhs onwards
Chandigarh₹ 5.41 Lakhs onwards
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