Tata Motors is a car brand on a mission. The company is overhauling its strategy and processes to wipe the sloppiness associated with it off its face. The Bolt and the Tiago are two extremely capable products, comparable to the best in their respective segments and are nothing like the Tata products of yore. In fact, we have used the cars extensively over thousands of kilometres, and can vouch for their sturdiness and features.
Part of this new strategy is to come up with fresh new, ground-up products which boast world class design, segment leading features, frugal yet powerful engines and quality that lasts. The Tiago was the first ground-up product in years from the Indian carmaker, and its rising sales are testimony to the value it brings to the table. With the all new Tigor Sportback, however, Tata wants to reclaim the compact segment it heralded with the Indigo CS, which it lost to the competitors. The Tigor, however, is designed to remove the lack of proportions and a rather consistent ugliness that the cars from this class seem to have in common.
Based on the Tiago, the new car is meant to establish Tata Motors strongly in the sub-4 meter sedan category. Styled ambitiously, laden with features, built well and priced to water the mounts of the prospective buyers, the Tigor has everything from the Dzire to the Xcent within its crosshairs. Does it have the arsenal to shoot its adversaries down? Let’s take a spin in the car and find out.
Tata Tigor Design And Styling
The blokes at Tata Motors are calling the Tigor the first ‘Styleback’ and the overall design of the car is the big differentiator. The plan is to make the Tigor stand apart in the crowd. We are not too sure of the new segment but the car does have a unique design, especially the coupe like rear merging into a smallish boot section.
The front section is same as the Tata Tiago, which too is distinct, unique and refreshing in a crowd of mostly staid looking small sedans. Front grille features the Tata smiley face design with the lower lip lined with a chrome strip, and hexagonal design with double edges (which is different from the single edged Tiago grille) merging neatly into the large headlamps.
Large 3-D Tata Logo looks in place in the centre of the grill.
Large headlamps wrap all the way back and to the sides with pointy edges and a beefed up shape.
The lower part of the bumper gets a honeycomb grill while the fogs lamps get beautiful chrome bezels.
Tigor gets a clamshell bonnet with prominent creases on either side merging into the front fenders.
The bonnet does not shut into the grille. Rather, a body colored strip sits between the grille’s upper edge and the bonnet’s edge. Overall front looks beefy and masculine.
Move to the side of the car and you notice the beautiful coupe like silhouette. The car looks well planted with a strong shoulder line running all the way into the tail lamps. Rear overhang is really small and more hatchback like than sedan.
15 inch Diamond cut wheels give the car a premium look, which is honestly a cut above the segment. However, the diesel version will not get these wheels and that is a bummer. We honestly don’t know why.
Window sills get chrome treatment and the car has a large green house with large windows lending the car an airy feel.
Moving to the rear section of the car you notice the unique lines which prove the quantum leap the Tata design team has taken over the past few years. Beefy chrome strip runs across the boot lid from end to end and merge into the beautiful split tail lamps.
Tail lamps are split between the boot and rear fenders and add to the premium feel of the car. You cannot ignore the high mounted rear brake lights on the rear windscreen.
Overall, this is definitely the best looking compact sedan out there in the market. It stands out and will get a second look from the onlookers and provides a bit of aspirational value to the car.
Tata Tigor Interiors And Features
Get inside the car and you are greeted by a large, airy cabin. Spaciousness has always been a Tata USP and it reflects in the Tigor as well. Despite the compact design, the cabin is quite large with enough leg room both at the front and rear.
The car has a longer wheelbase, (50 mm more than the Tiago) with wheels mounted towards the corners of the car, to minimize the intrusion of the wheel arches in the cabin. Seats are super comfy too with good cushioning.
Front seats have good bolstering and support providing a comfortable and ergonomic driving position. The seat is height adjustable, and so is the steering wheel to let you choose the most suitable driving position for yourself.
Rear passenger seats are unique in the way that they run all the way from one end to other, right up to the door edges with no side skirting. This makes the seats wide and comfortable enough for three adult passengers.
There is enough leg room even with front seats pushed all the way back. Rear seats have good cushioning, under thigh support, and back rest. The head rests are pretty comfortable too.
Long journeys in this car should be pretty comfortable. The large doors and high seating, the ingress and egress is super comfortable and should make this car suitable for families with senior citizens. Rear passengers also get a central arm rest with cup holders. The C-Pillar has a coupe like design, though it’s well-proportioned and rear passengers do have good head room, something coupes generally compromise on.
The quality of the cabin is quite good for a car in this class. Plastics feel pretty good and so do the upholstery fabrics. Interiors are well appointed with controls falling easily into the hands as you drive. We do feel though that finishing of the panels could’ve been better. The panel gaps could’ve been somewhat less and the edges too could have been finished more precisely. But we do feel they are pretty good for a car in this segment.
We like the body colored side AC vents. They add a touch of elegance to the black and grey dashboard.
The most standout feature here is the Harmon developed Infotainment System called the ConnectNext and is controlled with a 5 inch touchscreen which has a 8 speaker system (4 speakers and 4 tweeters equally distributed front and back).
One also gets steering mounted controls.
The ConnectNext system not only is an audio player, it can connect to your Android phone for GPS, can play music from an SD card, connect with your phone via Bluetooth for handsfree calls, has video playback, voice command recognition, SMS readout and rear camera display. Overall, the infotaintment system is quite advanced and is a USP for the car. It does have a little bit of lag in operations though.
Also, the system does take a little while to get used to. For e.g, while recording the video, we muted the audio system but the GPS voice was still on. It took us a little fiddling to shut the GPS voice off. GPS isn’t perfect either. It has a bit of a lag. They use the Juke App in your phone to communicate with the system. We think it would’ve been easier to just use Google Maps or individual Apps for various functions.
The car gets lots of storage space. Storage begins with the boot. I mean what good a sedan (compact it might be) unless it has a nice boot. The Tata Tigor gets a 419 litre boot. Opening the boot lid is a little tricky though. It gets an electrical switch on the front console to open the boot lid so the car needs to have its ignition on to operate the switch.
Another option is to keep the ‘follow me’ button pressed for long in the remote key. We came to know about it only at the end of the drive. How could’ve we have guessed that boot will open from a switch meant for a light. Once unlocked, the boot is quite heavy to open. But once open, you notice the large loading area.
Tata has gone to great lengths to make sure the boot is very usable. So instead of using the traditional hinges which intrude into the boot space, the Tigor uses hydraulic struts which Tata refers to as four bar links. The space here is very usable and you’d never have to worry about the large suitcases fouling with the hinges, as they generally do in other cars.
Get inside the cabin and usable space is abundant. Each door pocket has space for 500 ml bottles, central console gets two cup holders and a larger cup holder at the rear of the centre console. There is a nice cubby hole in the front console where one can keep their mobile and wallet.
Overall, the car is spacious, has very good boot space, looks pretty neat and has loads of features. It gets full marks for practicality, save for the tedious boot lid.
Tata Tigor Engine And Performance
1.2 Litre Revotron Engine
The Tigor gets the same 1.2-litre 3 cylinder petrol Revotron engine as the Tiago which produces 85 PS of power @6,000 RPM. The power is pretty decent for city usage. However, do not expect to win any red light GP’s in this car. Once you mash the throttle, the power delivery isn’t instant and takes a bit to build up and the car pulls ahead once the revs cross the 3,000 RPM mark.
Being a 3 cylinder unit, the motor feels a bit stressed when pushed hard. However, at city cruising speeds, the engine is refined and NVH levels are low. Low end power is decent for puttering about in town. It comes with a TA65 Synchromesh 5 + 1 gearbox with overdrive.
Gear shifts are smooth and clutch is light to operate. The notchy feeling which we have experienced in some older Tata cars is thankfully not present in the Tigor. Fourth gear is pretty tall which comes in handy for overtaking or just cruising as traffic gets slower around towns. Fifth gear is only for highway cruising as engine lacks punch when you try to push it hard in that gear. For overtaking, one has to shift to fourth to be confident. Engine can be revved but it is not too eager to do so due to a little harshness which can be felt.
1.05-Litre Revotorq Diesel Engine
On the way back from the vantage point, we drove the diesel variant. Power in the diesel car comes from a 1.05-litre 3 pot engine which belts out 70PS of Power at 4000 revs. It gets a healthy torque of 140 Nm which comes between 1,800 – 3,000 RPM.
The engine is pretty refined for a 3 pot engine but lacks power at the low end. Going past 1800 rpm, the power surge pulls the car ahead and keeps on pulling until you shift at 3000 rpm. Gearbox is pretty smooth with a short throw and precise shifts. Gearing is well proportioned. Third and fourth gears are pretty tall and one can cruise about all day in those gears around town.
We found the Diesel engine better on the highways. NVH levels are very much in control and It’s only when you get outside of the car do you hear the diesel clatter. Cabin has pretty decent noise insulation and one does not hear too much of the engine noise. We found Diesel engine to be a better performer on the highway but would prefer the petrol for city driving.
Tata Tigor Ride and Handling
Now ride quality is something which Tata gets right almost always. So is the case in the Tigor. Ride is plush as in the front you get Independent, Lower Wishbone, McPherson struts with Coil Springs and at the rear one gets semi independent, twist beam suspension with path strut. The car is pretty composed on rough roads even at high speeds. It glided through bad roads as we headed to Damdama Lake in Sohna. 170 mm Ground clearance does come in handy and we did not hear the underbelly scraping even while negotiating some mountainous speed breakers through some of the country roads.
The Tigor feels very well planted and confident at high speeds, whether in a straight line or traversing curves. Steering feedback is pretty decent too. The steering wheel is well weighted and offers great reassurance even at high speeds. There is no twitchiness or nervousness to the car even when it’s driven at the upper limit of its performance range. You require minimal effort to turn the wheel at slow speeds for convenient manoeuvring.
The composure around corners is praiseworthy, with the tyres offering ample grip and the sorted chassis and suspension containing the body-roll really well. The diesel Tigor can indeed be driven reasonably enthusiastically around a set of bends. Sure, it’s no performance car, but for its class, the handling traits exhibited by this compact ‘Styleback’ are pretty appreciable.
Overall, the car provides a good balance between handling and ride quality. It will not entice the boy racer in you but will not kill that corner carving spirit while keeping you impressively comfortable in the meantime.
Tata Tigor Verdict
The Tata Tigor is a pretty well rounded package. It looks beautiful, stands out in the crowd, provides lots of space and practicality, has a good engine and will take your around town in pretty good comfort. We do feel it is definitely one of the best compact sedans out there and can give even the bigger sedans a run for their money when it comes to space and equipment. All that needs to be seen is how the quality of the car turns out in the long run. Tata has made a great product now they just need to work on their image to get the cash registers ringing.
Tata Tigor Prices
Tata Tigor Petrol:
- Tigor XE – INR 4.70 lakh
- Tigor XT – INR 5.41 lakh
- Tigor XZ – INR 5.90 lakh
- Tigor XZ(O) – INR 6.19 lakh
Tata Tigor Diesel:
- Tigor XE – INR 5.60 lakh
- Tigor XT – INR 6.31 lakh
- Tigor XZ – INR 6.80 lakh
- Tigor XZ(O) – INR 7.09 lakh
Tata Tigor Technical Specifications
REVOTRON 1.2L Engine (Petrol)
|Type||Revotron 1.2L 3-Cylinder|
|Installation||Transverse, Front Wheel Drive|
|Max Power||85 PS @ 6000 rpm|
|Max Torque||114 Nm @ 3500 rpm|
REVOTORQ 1.05L Engine (Diesel)
|Type||Revotorq 1.05L 3-Cylinder|
|Installation||Transverse, Front Wheel Drive|
|Max Power||70 PS @ 4000 rpm|
|Max Torque||140 Nm @ 1800-3000 rpm|
Chassis And Body
|Kerb weight||1062 kg (petrol) / 1130 kg (diesel)|
|Tyre size / Types||175/65 R14, Tubeless|
|Boot Space||419 litres|
|Overall Length||3992 mm|
|Max. Width||1677 mm|
|Overall Height||1537 mm|
|Wheel Base||2450 mm|
|Track Front||1400 mm|
|Track Rear||1420 mm|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||35L|
|Front||Independent, lower wishbone, McPherson strut with coil spring|
|Rear||Semi-independent, closed profile twist beam with dual path strut|
Tata Tigor Image Gallery