Affordable performance cars galore! They are coming and how! Well we already have the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and well now Tata has jumped onto that bandwagon with the Tigor JTP. As the name suggests, it’s a souped-up version of the compact sedan and here is how it stacks up against its two main rivals.
In this section of the fight, the Tigor wins hand down as it the brightest looking of the lot. It’s essentially a stock (and recently facelifted) version of the Tigor with some go faster (visual mostly) bits. Everything that was in chrome on the standard car has been blacked out while the front and rear bumpers get a new design, in line with the sporty nature of the car. This JTP spec Tigor also gets 185/65 R15 wheels which really enhance the stance of the car.
The Baleno RS is less sporty in the looks department. There is an RS badge at the rear, a slightly modified rear bumper and the stock alloy wheels have been painted in black. Even more subtle is the Polo GT TSI. Like the Baleno, there are hardly any changes to the exterior apart from a GT badge at front and rear as well as some GT TSI stickers on the C-pillars.
It’s a similar story with the interiors. The Baleno RS’ interiors are standard stock versions with almost no hint of anything sporty about the vehicle. But since this is basically a top-of-the-line Baleno, you get climate control, touchscreen infotainment system, dual front airbags, colour TFT display for the instrument panel, height adjustment for the driver’s seat as well as the steering. In the GT TSI, it’s a similar story where top spec Polo interiors are used. In addition to everything found on the Baleno, the Polo GT TSI also gets cruise control.
As for the Tigor JTP, well, that’s a much nicer story. It’s the stock interior of the top-of-the-line Tigor but with coloured accents on the AC vents and infotainment screen as well as special pedals. The major highlight here are two-tone seats with red stitching and red coloured cushion inserts. There’s also JTP stitching on the front seats.
Engine and gearbox
The Baleno RS is powered by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol that’s good for 101bhp/150Nm and it is mated to a five-speed manual. The Polo gets a 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol that produces 103bhp/175Nm and is only offered with a seven-speed DCT. In the Tigor JTP, as well as the Tiago JTP, you get the Nexon’s 1.2-litre turbo three pot that produces 112bhp/150Nm and is offered with a five-speed manual only.
Now here is the thing. The Baleno RS and Polo GT TSI are significantly more expensive than the Tigor JTP. However, this JTP spec Tigor is a niche model. One must also consider the fact that Tata has opened the doors for affordable performance cars once again.