A pair of brand new three-cylinder engines – a 1.2 petrol and a 1.0 litre turbo-diesel power the Tiago.
The diesel Tiago is powered by a small 1047cc diesel motor which is good for 69bhp and has a modest torque output of 140Nm. As soon as you crank the diesel motor it feels impressive as it settles down to a smooth idle, although you do feel vibrations through the gear lever and pedals.
With displacement of just 1047cc, Tata has chosen shorter gear ratios so that driveability at city speeds is satisfying. With turbolag well contained the Tiago diesel motor feels great for city commutes with a linear clutch action. There is enough grunt from the word go and you don’t have to constantly use the gearbox to make brisk progress. Out on the highway the motor feels at home while cruising. The engine gets into its sweet spot around the1900rpm mark and the power delivery remains linear up to the 3000rpm mark, giving it a useful mid-range. It’s just that there’s only a mild punch in the proceedings. Eco mode feels usable in the city but out on the highway we recommend to stick with City mode as it give you the much needed grunt for that occasional quick overtake. Although the NVH levels are impressive till about 3000rpm, going beyond that makes the engine sound thrummy and revving the engine to its red-line is pointless as it just makes a lot of noise without adding much pace. On our Vbox equipment the Tiago diesel posted decent times. The 0-100kmph sprint takes 17.3 seconds (much faster than the Celerio and the Grand i10 diesel) and ingear times are quite decent too.
The three-cylinder 1199cc petrol engine produces a healthy 83.8bhp and 114Nm of torque. It is a modern motor with all-aluminium construction and variable valve timing, albeit just for intake port for better breathing. The petrol Tiago surprised us with its smoothness and refinement. You feel some vibrations at idle but as soon as you start moving, the engine smoothens out and as long as you don’t rev it hard, this motor is pretty silent. The Tiago doesn’t hesitate off the line and the engine pulls cleanly from low speeds. The motor doesn’t have a strong bottom end but once past 3000rpm it feels responsive and the motor gets a second wind around 5200rpm. The performance on the highway though, feels modest, especially with a full load of passengers. The gearbox is smooth enough but it has long throws and it doesn’t feel as crisp or precise as the diesel unit. We also tried out both the Eco and City modes and at low speeds there is not much of a difference. Understandably the Tiago petrol’s times weren’t spectacular. 0-100kmph takes a slow 16.23seconds which makes it much slower than the Celerio and in-gear times aren’t that impressive either.