The Tigor is powered by the same pair of three-cylinder engines – a 1.2 petrol and a 1.0 litre turbo-diesel as in the Tiago.
The diesel motor on the Tigor displaces a modest 1047cc, which is good for 69bhp and has a torque output of 140Nm (same as the Tiago). To counter the extra weight, Tata engineers have opted for shorter gear ratios, to make it feel as peppy as its hatch sibling. During relaxed driving around Delhi, the Tigor diesel felt impressive, right from the time you start it. The engine settles down to a smooth idle, although you do feel vibrations from the 3-cylinder motor. As soon as you let go off the clutch the Tigor was happy to amble along at slow speeds. The engine has a sweet spot between 1900-3000rpm giving it a useful mid-range. On the downside there is no punch in the proceedings. There is no point in revving the engine to its red-line too as it just makes more noise without adding much in terms of pace.
When driven in Eco mode it feels adequate at city speeds, but anything faster then you just keep hunting through the gearbox to make swift progress. The engine refinement which is impressive at low revs, changes for the worse once you are on an open road. The three-cylinder diesel thrum becomes apparent and the shortfall in displacement also becomes obvious as quick overtaking manoeuvres requires planning.
We liked the three-cylinder petrol engine more in comparison. The 1199cc motor produces a healthy 83.8bhp and 114Nm of torque and Tata have added balancer weight to make it smoother as compared to the Tiago. It is a modern motor with all-aluminium construction and variable valve timing, albeit just for intake port for better breathing. You do 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 Tigor 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 2500rpm, 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, while past 3000rpm it feels noticeably flat and its best to shift to city mode out on an open stretch.
In terms of ride, the Tigor feels well sorted. While the ride feels on the firmer side at low speeds, it feels well controlled and the suspension functions silently. Up the speed and the Tigor gives you a big car feel thanks to its flat ride.. It only pitches a bit over long undulating surfaces but never to a point of feeling uncomfortable. And straight-line stability is good too, making this car ideal for long distances. Thanks to the longer wheelbase we felt the Tigor felt slightly more stable than the Tiago going through long corners and felt surefooted with no nasty surprises. The steering is engineered for an inexperienced driver with lot of slack around the centre ahead position and is not the sportiest as far as handling prowess goes. The brakes like on the Tiago are more than adequate with good progressive pedal feel and the ABS works seamlessly too.