As I write this, Tata Motors is readying the highly anticipated Kite 5 compact sedan for the Indian market. The Kite 5 can be called the spiritual successor to the Indigo CS, the original compact sedan and India’s first. Displayed in near production-ready form at the 2016 Auto Expo, the Kite 5 will be launched in the coming months. Once launched, I believe that it might turn out to be an even bigger blockbuster than the Tiago, and here are the reasons:
For Indian manufacturers, investing in the burgeoning compact sedan segment is analogous to people like you and me (only if I were rich) investing in the real estate market. That means that unless a global apocalypse breaks out, we’re guaranteed a healthy return over our investments in the foreseeable future. So, it’s almost a no-brainer that the Kite 5, heavily based on the proven Tiago, will succeed. Even the Zest, a heavily revised Indica Vista (if I’m allowed to say that) has sold 50,000 units so far, a healthy number by Tata Motors’ standards. Also, as all of you know, a sedan, compact or not, comes with added prestige to the average Indian car buyer.
Banking on the Tiago
For Tata Motors, the Tiago was like the ultimate do-gooder, trumping over evil nomenclature issues, a delayed launch and a slightly tarnished image. With 40,000 units already sold and counting, the Tiago has been the success that Tata Motors desperately needed. With the good-boy image of the Tiago (and its sales) riding high on its shoulders, the Kite 5 will come on the stage with confidence. Potential buyers won’t be hesitant to put their money down on one, since they already know for a fact that the Tiago is a well-developed package.
If you can identify a better looking, sub-4 meter long compact sedan out there, I’ll send you a basket full of choco-chip cookies, marshmallows and macaroons. I know looks are subjective, but the Kite 5 will look pretty darn good once it hits the roads later this year. With its coupe-like profile, and a glossy black roof culminating into a beautifully integrated rear spoiler that features a Bentley-like, full-length LED stop lamp, the Kite 5’s a diva. It’s proportions are well-balanced too, and the stubby boot’s addition to the Tiago’s derriere doesn’t come off as an after-thought. The Figo Aspire does come close though.
If you’ve ever sat inside a Tiago or even the Bolt/Zest for that matter, and then cranked up the volume of the Harman fettled audio system, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Sound quality is deliciously crisp and deep for the segment these cars lie in. The Tiago doesn’t get a touch screen, but the Kite 5 will get one from the Bolt/Zest, along with the Tiago’s first-in-class Juke-Car app, which allows up to 10 smart phones to connect to the car’s system via a master phone’s mobile hot-spot feature and then stream music from those devices.
The Tiago was launched with introductory prices starting from as low as INR 3,39,359. For that kind of money, you get a car which looks and feels more premium than the rest of the herd. Expect the sub-4 meter long Kite 5 to be priced aggressively as well, which will make it quite the winner, especially with its good looks, beautifully detailed and practical interiors, along with the frugal and tractable, all-new diesel engine from the Tiago. What’s more, we hear that the latter will also be available with an AMT strapped to it soon. As for the petrol engine, there’s still room for a bit of improvement.