Tata Tiago : Living a litre at a Time With its Incredible Fuel Efficiency 

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Added in: Features
There were times when all that a car could tell you about its drinking habits was for you to read through the fuel gauge. Times have changed, and now there are onboard systems which tell you if your right foot is stuffed with feathers, or steel. The Tata Tiago comes fitted with one such system, and since we have been marvelling at its 1.0-liter diesel’s mind boggling fuel efficiency for some time now, we thought it was time to pen our experience down. It isn’t slow. No. That three potter loves being revved and builds its power right till the fag end. But with the Tiago, we decided to explore the calculated part of life.

Part I : A languid weekend with friends (24+ kmpl)

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With three tall and well built people inside the car, we decided to leave the city and head towards the sleepy little town of Dapoli at 4 am! No traffic to deal with, we decided to cruise our way towards the destination. However, after a straight stint on the expressway, all of us got bored and decided to make things a little more zippy. Since the Tiago calls in for the Turbo at around the 2000 rpm mark, I got busy with the smooth shifter on a narrow road that never stayed flat. In the last stages of the four hour long journey, patience got the better of me, and I gunned it to get to the destination before an hour of our estimated time. When we got there and looked at the MID readings, we figured the car had been drinking like a miser and had sipped only a litre of fuel for every 24 kms of not so great tarmac it dismissed with its mature ride quality.
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After running for a few beach-to-town errands for an evening barbecue, the Tiago was then ready to get us back to the city the next morning. This time taking the NH 66 from Khed, till the point where one cuts off to get to Khopoli and join the Expressway, we were again making brisk progress on roads devoid of any traffic. The car was loaded with 4 adults this time,  with a couple of them in the backseat who almost literally ‘Live to Eat’. Back in the city, this time around, owing to the added weight, traffic and our relatively spirited driving, the car still returned an impressive figure of 20.8 kpl.

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Part II : Demonetised! (26.8 kmpl!)

That very evening, the Tiago was heading north towards Daman, chugging along nicely on a butter smooth NH 8. With just two people in the car who were in no hurry to reach, the car covered a distance of 214 kms, sipping a liter of diesel for every 24.1 kms its rubber rolled for. I had to spend the night there and get back the next day, minus the other occupant in the car.

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But with almost all hotel owners thinking I was suicidal, and not much cash in hand to pay (Thank You Demonetization) this lone gentleman who agreed to give me a bed but had no card machine, I had to spend the night inside the car. With half my frame on the backseat and my feet towards the wheel, I somehow managed to find myself comfortable and woke up to foggy windows, minus any cramps.

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Not resetting the tripmeter this time, I set out from Daman towards Bombay, driving at a sedate speed of 80 – 90 km/hr. Somewhere on the outskirts of the city, the Tiago then surprised with a figure of 26.8 kpl on its onboard computer screen. The air-conditioner was switched on the entire time and none of the tricks in the book, like short shifting or coasting were employed throughout the drive.

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Post that, a little hilly section on the highway lured me into exploiting the Tiago’s handling capabilities, and although I did expect it to be a little more quick while changing directions, it didn’t disappoint. It stayed rock steady even at its upper limits and displayed similar behaviour when tackling long, flowing bends. For its price and segment, this one achieves a fine, rare balance of offering a mature ride and handling package, this car.

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At rest, both me and the car, I appreciated how the car looked attractive even when it was dressed in a shade as drab as Grey. How the low dashboard ensures excellent visibility, how well engineered the car felt to drive, to be seated and slept in, and how it does what it’s meant to in an unpretentious, dignified and mature manner. The Tiago is proof that Tata has arrived on the International small car stage, and has arrived in style.

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