When the Indian government decided that it can make do with 12 per cent for cars under four metres, the market grew in big leaps. To put it in actual terms, the market saw 13 new models added under the sub-four metre till January last year, taking the tally to a whopping 47 models in the segment.
Obviously, no major automaker will let the chance pass and so, Maruti, Hyundai, Ford and even SUV maker Mahindra introduced models in the segment wanting a slice of the pie.
Tata had failed once with its Zest even when it was a good product as it failed to capture the imagination of the people. So, Tata tried again and here they are, with Tigor, the sedan sibling of the successful Tiago.
Tata calls it the ‘styleback’ which is known world over as the fastback, where the car will have a high boot lid for added downforce and… em… looks.
When the car came to our workplace, I invited my colleagues to take a look at it and immediately there was a problem. The looks of the car were subjective as some liked it and some did not. But there was no argument when it came to the rear legroom, which was not enough, especially when a six-foot person is in the driver’s seat.
With five people on board, I took it out for a drive. The view from the driver’s seat was good enough and the clutch was light and easy to use. The gear box was not completely slick, but it was rather good. The voice activation really works, fit and finish was better than previous Tata models and the car was well-insulated. The ride was good as well, it drove over bumps with aplomb and there was little body roll while driving fast through bends.
The bad stuff are quite big I’m afraid. The engine had no power at all. So, you put your foot down and keep it there! The problem is that the three cylinder engine is not turbocharged like the other ‘Revotron’ motor that Tata provides in the Zest (for cost saving). But the most irritating thing was the lack of feel from the steering wheel.
It meant that as a driver, I did not know what the front wheels were doing and thus I could not push the car more than I did. And the auto climate control AC was not cooling the cabin fast enough. The plastics on the lower half of our test car were not up to the mark either. They were hard and had a different colour (light grey) to the ones above and weren’t good to look at.
And the sloping roofline meant that taller people cannot sit at the back. You see, the passenger cell is the same as the Tiago. Tata just stuck a boot to the Tiago and named it Tigor.
The seats offered adequate support but I am not sure about how the rear centre head rest would fare – it is that tiny. And then we come to the boot. It is big, but because the opening is small, you have to push your luggage inside rather than just drop it in. If the boot had opened as a hatch, things would have been better.
The car is targeted at the young buyers. Which means it has reversing camera and bluetooth and other gizmos cars nowadays are loaded with. But I am not sure why it costs almost Rs 1 lakh more than the Tiago on which it is based.
Because, it is just as practical as the Tiago, has the same engines, almost similar goodies, but is costlier. I do not get these compact sedans at all. Because, manufacturers are hell-bent on making these cars as others are doing it and to make way for these cars, they are deliberately making their hatches smaller. This means that with the addition of just 0.3 metres, they can make about a lakh of rupees. That is the costliest 0.3 metres you can buy.
A car must make you feel special, it must give you the fizz. Tata has placed the Tigor as a city car and so, I would buy the Tiago instead and save a lot of money.
Engines- 1.2 P / 1.05 D
Power (bhp)- 84 / 70
Torque (Nm)- 114 / 140
Drive – Front wheel
Fuel tank capacity- 35 litres.
Price (ex-showroom Chennai) – Rs 4.82 lakh / 5.74 lakh (for the base XE variant)