Tata Tiago XZA Review (Petrol Automatic)
The “Tiago” represents an extremely positive shift in small car design philosophy for Tata Motors. The “XZA” on review here is the top 1.2 litre 3-cylinder petrol powered model with a 5-speed automatic transmission and “Berry Red” paint. Do check all Tata Tiago Color variants.
Design, Build and Interiors
The Tiago is unquestionably the best looking car in its class, with European flair, athletic stance, clean lines and good proportions. The robustness of the build can also be gauged from the weight and thump of the door action as well as poise over bad road surfaces along with road manners. The glass area provides good all-round visibility, though a tad less as far as rear visibility through the rear-view mirror is concerned. This top model here comes with rear-parking sensors to aid rear parking movements (click “brochure” and “accessories” for various options across the Tiago model range). The claimed 242-litre boot space is not large but seems a reasonable compromise for the space provided inside the cabin.
Tiago cabin space is quite good for a small car and a family of 5 including small children or young adults should find enough space for a comfortable journey. The seats are comfortable, adjust for height for the driver and rear seats are inclined at the right angle for support. A driver’s central arm-rest is however not provided. The air-conditioner works effectively if a bit noisy in operation. Overall switchgear quality is par for the course. The dark colours used for the seating, upholstery and plastics in general are offset by body coloured vents on either side of the dashboard. The infotainment system looks and feels a few generations old but sounds and works well. Also provided are input units for USB, Bluetooth and I-pod connectivity.
The plastic quality and appearance, especially around the gear-shift lever is unfortunately quite poor, as is the manual hand-brake and its release button. These weaknesses must be addressed pronto as it cheapens the otherwise positive experience of the cabin.
Engine and Gearbox
The Tiago model range offers 1.2 litre petrol/1.05 litre diesel engine options, both 3-cylinder motors with 85PS/70PS and 114Nm/140Nm of peak torque respectively. The automatic 5-speed gearbox on the XZA model however is only available with the petrol engine variant. As the power figures suggest, the Tiago offers a frugal and unassuming driving experience, enough to keep pace in both city and highway travels. The petrol engine is however a touch noisy and not particularly great sounding either.
The automatic gearbox however deserves special praise, as it is quite possibly the best one available in its class and possibly one above as well, even if not without complete fault. For good fuel economy, it avoids holding on to gears for too long by shifting down in time and shifts up well enough for quick change of speed. The manual or “tiptronic” mode is even better to use as it significantly derestricts the gearbox and allows the driver the work the power band as per need. The small “S” button on the gearbox also achieves the same in auto mode by delaying the shift-timing by allowing a higher red-line for down-shifts.
Ride, Handling and Safety
The driver and co-passenger do sit a bit higher in the Tiago than counterparts and this helps visibility and confidence. The suspension setup and damping is also very good as most poor road surfaces are heard as soft thumps inside the cabin and do not ruffle the Tiago’s ride much on its 175/65R14 alloy-wheeled (XZA and XZ model only) tyred setup. Handling and balance of the car at speed and direction change is also par for the course and satisfactory.
The Tiago also comes with the front disc and rear drum braking set up which is very effective though the brake pedals do lack some feel and are a bit mushy in operation. ABS and EBD also come standard with this top model only, as does driver and front co-passenger airbags.
Tata Tiago Automatic Fuel Economy and Range
In this short review, the Tiago XZA (Automatic) comfortably averaged 15 km/l with the air-con on and with a mix of city-highway driving with some enthusiastic use of the throttle at times. This returns are quite good for an automatic gearbox and is helped largely by its impressive calibration as discussed above. The Tiago has a small 35 litre fuel tank capacity and this may require planned fuel stops for long highway runs in the petrol variant.
Also check: Tata Tiago XZ Diesel Review
The Tiago is unquestionably Tata Motor’s most significant and successful small car effort. It is well built and vital performance signs are good. The automatic gearbox in XZA model is impressive in comparison to its peers and translates to a comfortable drive and good fuel returns. The Tiago petrol engine model range starts approximately from Rs.3.2 lacs (ex-showroom Delhi) and tops out at approximately Rs.5.36 lacs (ex-showroom Delhi) for the XZA model reviewed here. Any buyer in the model for an inexpensive small hatchback car must consider the Tiago and in this automatic gearbox variant, as the slight price premium over manual gearbox alternatives does seem justified for the good fuel returns and hassle free driving experience on offer.
Also read: Tata Tiago Wizz edition introduced
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