The Compact Sedan (CS) segment is a real hot one these days. With an onslaught of new cars, there has been an ever-increasing demand and sales of the CS cars. The Maruti Suzuki Dzire is pretty much the undisputed champion with sales that could better another manufacturer’s sales from the whole year. Slowly but steadily, almost every major carmaker has tried to take a cue and eat the cake. Many came and went but many have stayed on and now they have to battle the latest kid on the block, the TATA Tigor.
The TATA Tigor is based on the successful hatchback, the Tiago. From the underpinnings, to the engine, to even several styling cues, the resemblance to the Tiago is rather evident. That is not a bad starting point because the Tiago is a very handsome looking vehicle. And the handsomeness is passed on to the Tigor too. The front quarter looks aggressive and with the smoked headlights (which the Tiago does not have), it adds to the serious and sophisticated looks. The rear is also very smart looking and the boot has been seamlessly integrated into the looks. It does not look like a cut-paste job that was thought as an afterthought as some of the cars in the segment. The alloys look great (these 15” rims come only on the top end petrol.) The diesel gets the same ones on the Tiago, which are 14”.
Step inside, and you are greeted to a lovely interior. The steering wheel is finished in great texture and the center console is also finished in lots of glossy black material, which helps in uplifting the overall ambience of the cabin. Even though the whole interior is black, there is never that feeling that the interior is too claustrophobic or too dark. The large windows allow lots of sunlight in. The center console houses the air conditioning controls, and an entertainment center.
What I mean by the entertainment center is the class leading Harman Kardon in car entertainment. The system has a full touch screen interface but also has buttons for the people who were born in the early 1900s. This system has a host of features like USB, Aux, Bluetooth, radio and even the AC can be controlled from the touch screen unit. Pretty nifty feature. This system also sounds just as good as it looks. The speakers and the tweeters provide a surreal experience of music in the car and is unheard of in the segment.
You twist the key in the ignition and the 3 cylinder 1199 cc Revotron engine comes alive. And you’d notice it coming alive because of the prominent 3-cylinder thrum, which can get annoying at times. You’d notice the clutch vibration when you go to slot 1st gear in the mornings. You’d start to think if this engine is even worth the money or not. But it is just a matter of the engine getting warm because then those vibes are mostly suppressed now. The engine runs much more smoothly and emits lesser vibes into the cabin.
Slot the smart looking gearlever into first and you’d notice this car starts off in a very fuss free manner. No drama and the car keeps chugging along. The issue starts when you really want to overtake that 3 wheeler auto that is hogging the lane and you decide to put the pedal to the metal. The car pulls well till say 3000 rpm. Then it goes into depression. Not even kidding, the car has a very visible flat spot from 3,500 RPM to 4,500 RPM. The sudden surge just disappears as if it’s gone for a drinks break. And then it finishes its drink and comes back to deliver the rest of the power post 4,500 rpm to the redline of 6,500 RPM. But how many times do you get the space to actually rev the car to the redline? So the common scenario is that you are trying to overtake, and you hit the flat spot so you have to downshift to bring RPM back into the power band then you have to upshift when the overtake is done.
And to me, that is some serious tedious work to do while driving. You really have to work the gears to make any serious progress in the car and that is a downer because the chassis is so finely tuned that you really wish the engine was better off. The ride and handling combination is absolutely sublime. Normally cars with a comfortable ride tend to end up on the willowy side or a fun to drive car often turns out to be horrendous on public roads. But TATA has done some witchcraft…
The suspension on the Tigor is so finely tuned that you can actually throw the car around corners and yet not be intimidated by the huge pothole that is after the corner. It takes all impurities on the road in its stride gracefully and does not let the occupants even guess at what came at them. Hardly do you ever find such the perfect suspension setup in any car, let alone a car from this segment.
The boot space is just adequate at 400 odd liters, it will swallow most of the airport and weekend runs to the nearest hill station with aplomb. The fuel economy is decent because in ECO mode, the MID was hovering around 15.5 kpl in the city and that includes a lot of traffic idling. In CITY mode, the fuel economy drops a little but you get better overtaking and thrust. And I’d always choose power over economy.
So the Tigor drives well, it looks amazing, it is super spacious and comfortable, has all the bells and whistles and the safety. It could do with a better-tuned engine and there could be improvement in fit and finish. It is the complete package that one needs in today’s time.
And best yet… it costs just a shade over 6.8 lacs on road (Delhi).
Try and find something more value for money and complete as this. The CS segment just got a new king in its segment.
And here is the video review:
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