I must admit that it took some time for me to come up with this ownership review. So guys, go through this and I will try to make periodic updates to this thread. Purchase History:
Well, I must say that buying a car today is a very difficult task. It was the case at least for me. Every day you hear about new car launches and the customers have lots of options to choose from. So precisely, I started my hunt for a new car from May 2014 onwards. Reason for a new car was simple, mine being a joint family, it was becoming increasingly important for another car. Cars shortlisted:
Honda Jazz Petrol, Tata Zest Diesel, Tata Bolt Diesel. Monthly run between 1000-1200kms
Budget: 8Lakhs Buying criteria:
• Spacious car either hatchback or sub 4m sedan, back seat should accommodate 3 comfortably
• Safety – Dual Airbags and ABS
• Decent connectivity features – BT pairing, steering wheel controls etc
• Not so high cost of ownership
Right from the beginning I was glued into Jazz and have been following this car for the last 2 years. I always liked the previous gen Jazz and for that matter was eager to have the all new Jazz launched at the earliest but was very disappointed to know that Jazz will be launched in India only in 2015. In the meantime, I was also super impressed with Bolt & Zest when they were previewed in Auto Expo 2014. Absolutely stunned by the looks and features it offered but still Jazz occupied the #1 slot in the wish list.
In the meantime, Zest was launched and thought why not to do a TD because I have to wait for the Jazz. After a week, took the TD and I must say that I became a fan of TML. I drove Revotron & Diesel machines but the latter impressed me a lot. Having said that, the Revotron motor was smooth and ultra-silent. When the dealer asked if I am going for the purchase, I said will wait for some time and will come back. Decided to postpone the final decision to early 2015 because it was speculated that Jazz will be coming in Jan-Feb time frame. But again Honda decided it will be only during the second half of 2015.
Tata came out with Bolt in Jan 2015, took a TD again and came out super impressed once again. But when the prices were announced my initial euphoria died down. I would say one Himalayan blunder Tata’s did with this product by pricing it very close to Zest. Feb 2015 finished I am still left wondering what will be my next car. The next 4 months, I was so busy that I could not even think about family. Frequent business trips within and outside of India took away my precious time and since Jazz is getting launched in June, I thought will wait for that.
Jazz comes in June, and I don’t want to revisit the prices again. Absolutely shattered! The model I was looking at was Jazz Petrol V, on road price of 7.97L and was again in double mind whether to go for it. The TD of Jazz also failed to impress me. One is a spacious hatch and the other is a sub 4m sedan and I was here like totally confused. Took back to back TD of Jazz and Zest and slowly but steadily I realized that it should be the Zest. Booking Experience:
Now the next step was clear to me. Ditch my old love – Jazz and embrace Zest.
Gave the booking amount of Rs 21,000/- on 3rd Aug and opted for Pristine White XMS Diesel version. The Sales guy, Santhosh was a very nice person as he handled all my queries quite well. I was happy with his overall service and I must say that patient people like Santhosh is needed for any dealer to provide a unique buying experience.
Opted for Gold AMC and the dealer offered accessories at a discounted rate.
The final on road price was 8.29L after discounts of Rs 22,000/-
Now the twist in the tale came in the form of vehicle make. The dealer initially told that vehicle delivery is possible before 17th Aug. I asked for the VIN number and after decoding came to know that it’s Feb make. I kindly rejected the vehicle and asked for a nearest make. Initially he offered 15k extra discounts but I didn’t oblige and was very clear to take a new vehicle. Finally after lots of talks between SA, TML Territory Manager they allotted a new vehicle which was July make.But it was clear that the car delivery will not happen on 17th and they said expect a delay of 10 more days. Finally the vehicle arrived on 3rd Sep, did a PDI on the 4th evening and took delivery on Teacher’s Day – 5th Sep 2015. Driving Experience:
Well now completed more than a month of ownership and I wanted to cover this period to ink down the specifics.
Zest my likes:
• Best design from TML so far
• Harman music system
+ CSC as a standard
• Dual airbags
• Spacious (can be termed as a proper sedan) as 3 people can easily fit to the rear bench
• Very thick A-pillar especially on the driver side often hides everything
• Bad stock projector headlights – would term that visibility in highways is pathetic
• Lack of storage space
Well, regarding the driving side I must admit that the car has not disappointed me so far. The current ODO stands at 1932kms after 51 days. There is definitely a fun element to the drive. The car is very safe, practical and spacious. Would have loved if it had a front arm rest as it would have taken comfort to the next level. Did not go for very long highway drives but so far the average FE as per MID has been 17kmpl. The one long drive I did (250kms) gave a FE of 19kmpl. I assume that once the first service (5000kms/3 months) is over, the engine will come to its peak state. Engine & Transmission
Well it’s a planted drive so far and due to 90ps there is abundant power on tap. The run-in period was 1800kms and I have been careful not to rev beyond 2.5k rpm. There have been very few instances where the rev has touched the 2.5k mark for sudden overtakes. Also I have not gone beyond 80km/hr mark during this period. There is plenty of torque at the lower end but at the same time the turbo kicks in somewhere between 1600-1700rpm and the surge that we get from the turbo zone is awesome. Talking about NVH, yes you can definitely hear the clatter of diesel motor and beyond 2k rpm it becomes even more audible. If the music system is on then the engine sound comes down to a great extent. Overall NVH levels are satisfactory. ICE - Harman Music system:
There has been plenty of reviews about the ICE and I am not going to the details. The sound quality is impeccable and the speed adjustable sound feature is very good. Pairing of phone to the head unit is good but off late have encountered an issue – I was listening to FM and made a call from the head unit, the switch over was smooth and started the conversation but suddenly the BT was cut off and it went to the FM station again. The call was still ON. I disconnected the call on the phone and again tried to make the call and it got connected to the HU but after some 30 seconds again BT dropped. Not sure about this issue and will be soon checking with the service guys. Also the speed at which the HU fetches the call log is on the higher side (around 30secs). It could have been little faster. Air Conditioning:
It chills you to the bone. Most of the time with 4 on board, AC blower at 1 speed is more than enough. I had to shut down the AC or turn the heater ON during multiple occasions due to this. But when you are out on a hot afternoon then things change and you would need to take the blower to 2 if 4 people are there. Space:
My primary requirement for a car purchase was that I need more space. Yes Zest meets that criteria for the passengers. 3 people can be easily accommodated on the rear bench. The boot also offers decent space for keeping your luggage for the occasional weekend splash. The only let down is not enough space for holding water bottles inside the car. Thanks to the seat cover, it offers space to keep water bottles but nothing on the front side. A 500ml pet bottle can be squeezed into any of the front door pockets and there is a parcel tray below the front passenger seat but still this could have been better. Ride & Handling:
The suspension is well tuned so that you can forget about the potholes and none of the occupants has so far complained about the ride getting bumpy or shaky because of the bad roads. The small steering wheel is absolute fun to hold and the EPAS responds very well. At high speeds it weighs up beautifully and most important is that the vehicle response is very precise to the steering inputs. The weight of Zest definitely helps in the planted drive and you are at always at ease. Also to mention about 15” Bridgestone tyres B250, nothing great but offers you decent grip in dry and wet conditions. Visibility
The visibility from the driver seat is awesome. The front glass provides very good view of the road conditions. The drawback which I felt is the thick A pillars especially on the driver side which hampers visibility to a great extent. One has to be very careful while reaching a junction or on ghat roads especially during night time where the overall visibility is a challenge. Also as mentioned earlier, driving at night time on highway roads with projector headlamps is very bad. Need to upgrade to a better option. I don’t hit the highways very often during night time but still a proper upgrade is desirable. Build Quality
Yes this point is already covered in many reviews and I must reiterate the fact that the overall fit and finish of Zest is top notch. Still loose bits like the Boot door cladding is missing and the fuel lid is very tinny and I hope it will not give me issues in the long run. Also felt that the door opening lever could have been little better as my Ritz has better opening levers. But overall build quality is very good. Accessories section
Well I had opted for a value pack which consisted of Vinyl flooring, underbody coating, Zest seat covers, reverse parking camera + sensors, side beadings and scuff plates. All inclusive its 16,000. Additionally I also went for the Zest alloy wheels (18,000) and Zest floor mats (1600) and mud flaps (600). The art leather seat cover looks and feels good and also comes with an option to hold water bottles.
Now enough of literature, let the pics do some of the explanations. Thanks to all for visiting the thread, if any questions/suggestions please reply and we shall discuss more. Yes that is my new ride - ZEST XMS Diesel The front has a bold & high stance. Thanks to 165mm clearance. Neat side profile, with side beadings 350L boot can swallow decent luggage The fabric on all doors have this dark shade which is good. Top end XT comes in beige format which will accumulate dirt in the long run My Ritz makes way for the Zest in the garage 185/65 R15 BS 250 tyres with original 18 spoke alloys Art Leather seat covers to spruce up the ride Baby seat to pamper the ride of my one year old boy Up market interior layout. Fit and finish top notch Gear Lever is nice to hold Few loose bits, clear marks of welding points on all doors and boot Accessories, Autocop camera and sensors Illuminated Door sills on front sides. This appears in white color Lord Ganesha to protect my ride Mobile holder, very convenient Rain visor coming with chrome tip. Looks very nice Thick A pillar and ORVM Parting shots