Bullish on transforming its image, Tata Motors rolled-out its game changing model, Tiago based on the IMPACT design language last year. In India, getting the right product is predominant and fortunately for Tata Motors, Tiago is the case in point. With the evolution of subcompact segment(s), carmakers develop platforms that can further be moulded to spin-off other body styles, primarily sub-four sedans and SUVs.
Tata Motors’ thoroughly modified XO platform formed base for the entry level Tiago hatchback and it has also been used for Tata’s third product in the subcompact sedan segment and the third product under IMPACT design tenet – The Tigor ‘Styleback’.
Essentially a Tiago with cosmetic touch-ups and the additional boot, the Tigor is a different product with the same heart. Here are our first impressions of the recently launched sub-four meter sedan. Read – How affordable is Tata Tigor against its rivals?
Tata Tigor Review – Video
As a vital part of its strategy, Tata Motors has adopted a divergent approach for positioning its products to give them cusp over rivals in the segment. Instead of a subcompact sedan, Tata refers Tigor as a ‘Styleback’, a new terminology for its third member in Tata’s niche segment. When we say niche segment, we don’t contextualize it as a strong player in the segment, but it is more in reference with the creator of the segment.
Years ago, Tata pioneered the segment with ageing Indigo, followed by the launch of Zest in 2014 and now finally Tiago based Tigor with refreshed looks. Visually, it is a winner, a ‘head-turner’ that overpowers almost all rivals in its space. The rear profile of the sedan is the most appealing facet that gives it a whole new dimension. Read – Tata Tigor – The Beginning Of The End Of Indigo Era
Based on Tata’s IMPACT design philosophy, Tigor shares most of its design elements with its donor hatchback, Tiago. The front profile is largely similar to its hatchback sibling with similar headlights that get smoked effect and black treatment. Fog lamps have also been borrowed from Tiago, but the bumper receives more aggressive treatment.
View from the side is largely identical to Tiago, with similar styling till the C pillar. Although, the last quarter gets unconventional treatment, that lends a unique identity, making it one of the best looking sedans in the segment. The slope at the rear is smooth and flows seamlessly onto the boot, which brings it more on par with notchbacks than subcompact sedans. Additionally, it gets newly designed 15-inch alloy wheels for the petrol version and the 14-inch alloys with a distinct design for the diesel variant. Read – Tata Tigor Vs Maruti Swift Dzire – Which one makes for a better deal?
Round the back, it gets all-new design and bears no resemblance to Tiago. Styling elements such as the raked in windscreen, integrated roof spoiler with high mounted LED stop lamps and wrap-around LED tail-lamps bestow a new look to the rear end.
Step inside the cabin to be greeted by a refreshing interior. As much as it is important to be appealing from the outside, it is equally vital to be enchanting from the inside. More so because we spend most of our time inside the cabin, therefore interior comfort holds prime significance. Interior layout, is akin to its donor hatchback save for redesigned automatic climate control unit with slightly different dials.
Another aspect where it impresses is the fit, finish and quality of material. But what really stands out is the Harman sourced infotainment system with 5-inch screen, 8 speakers and best-in-class sound quality. The perfectly sized steering wheel is sporty and good to hold. Additionally, it equips mounted telephony & audio controls and can be adjusted in terms of height.
Coming to the comfort, the driver and co-passenger seats in front are cushiony and snug. The scooped-out design holds passengers well. Tata has given special attention to the utility department with as many as 24 practical points including the bottle holder on front doors, cubby holes, glove box and segment first rear arm rest with integrated cup holder to name a few. The low set rear seat allows comfortable space for two adults. With the rear armrest folded, it can accommodate three passengers, but it is a tad uneasy for the middle passenger.
Tata has designed the cabin ergonomically to offer enough headroom and legroom on the inside; this has been possible because of the 2450mm wheelbase, which is around 50mm more than Tiago. Keeping practicality at fore, Tata has carved generous space for storing luggage. It offers the segment best 419-litres of space, which is impressive considering that it measures less than 4-meters in length. Another feature that Tigor features is the multi-bar links that are usually absent in regular vehicles. The multi-bar links allow for maximum space and ease to store luggage.
Mechanically, the Tigor is available with two engine choices- the 1.2-litre Revotron petrol engine and 1.05-litre Revotroq oil burner. Both the engines have been borrowed from Tiago, although Tata has worked on refinement levels. We drove both the engines and here is our take on their performance.
The 1.2-litre, three cylinder Revotron petrol engine, tuned to produce 84bhp and 114Nm of torque, is suitable for city driving. Equipped with three cylinders, the petrol powered Tiago vibrates at high speeds. The vibrations become quite vocal post 80kmph and seep inside the cabin. Compared to the rivals, the petrol unit isn’t as peppy, but it offers good mid-range. The gear shifts are quite smooth, and the lever is good to hold.
When there is a need to overtake or speed-up abruptly, one has to necessarily downshift. The ride quality is the strongest point of the Tigor as it beats most of its rivals in this department. The suspension has been tuned to tackle all kinds of regular roads and undulations, keeping the vehicle poised at high speeds.
The 1.05-litre Revotorq oil burner is more engaging, as against the petrol unit. Unlike its donor hatchback, the diesel unit is quite vocal. Putting out 69bhp and 140Nm of peak torque, the engine picks up really well and there is no or hardly any turbo lag. Power delivery is linear, it offers decent power between 2000rpm to 4000rpm, but it starts dipping post this mark.
Out of the two versions, we found the petrol engine more impressive with more comfortable ride and high refinement level. Giving prominence to the safety, Tata is packed primary safety features such as dual airbags, ABS with EBD and corner stability control among several others.
After getting behind the wheel of both petrol and diesel versions, we feel that the petrol engine is more impressive. In visual terms as we have already mentioned, it is a head turner with compelling looks, especially rear profile. Performance could have been better, but the sedan excels in other departments with some segment-first features, best-in-class boot space and an upmarket cabin, making it a better choice than several premium hatchbacks and entry level sedans available at this price point.
Tata Tigor Specifications
1.2-litre Revotron Petrol
Power 83.8bhp at 6,000rpm
Torque 114Nm at 3,500rpm
1.05 Revotorq Diesel
Power 69.04bhp at 4,000rpm
Torque 140Nm at 1,800rpm – 3,000rpm
Transmission – 5-speed Manual
City Mileage – 16kmpl (Petrol), 18kmpl (Diesel)
Highway Mileage – 20kmpl (Petrol), 22kmpl (Diesel)