Tata Indica eV2 Road Test Review


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Akash

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SN854024.JPG

Tata Indica was the first hatchback to roll out of the Tata Motors assembly line in India. Born in the year 1998, the hatch back was the partially designed by the company and was offered in both Petrol as well as Diesel variants. These engines were stripped down derivations of the SUVs and pickups sold by the company during that period. The car was face lifted after a gap of few years in 2004. Along with minor facelifts, the car also underwent major changes under the hood which included turbo charged diesel engine, MPFi Petrol heart coupled with some refinement. Time went by, and the hatchback segment was filled with modern cars which offered better value at great prices. So to cope up with the competition, Tata motors launched Indica Vista in August 2008 which was an all new car and much ahead of the regular Indica(then V2).

Lately, Tata Motors decided to give a new lease of life to their Old horse Indica which now comes with eV2 badging. The Automotive India tested the car to see whether this old is still gold.
 
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Akash

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Tata Indica eV2 Looks and Design

Front.JPG

The new Indica eV2 brings back the nostalgia of the early 2000s. The car has no bells and whistles in its design. Just call to mind the exteriors of the Indica when it was launched in the Indian markets in late 1998, this new version seems like a face lifted version of that oldie.

On the exterior, the eV2 has nothing to boast about. The lines, the muscles, everything is just the same which we all have been looking at since past so many years.

To start with the front, the smiley grill is complemented with twin horizontal chrome garnish strips which although has been there for quite long, but still manages to give a decent image to the front. The bumpers sport small circular fog lamps. They have been redesigned to give an aerodynamic advantage to the ride. The bonnet too has the same old genre with no changes at all. It still sports the thick chrome strip near the end. The multi reflector head lamps still look great, though some revision to them would have approved at least some fresh look to the otherwise boring looking front.

Come to the sides, and the discontent waits. The wide body arches and the side skirts are no longer a body part of the Indica. Though, they never looked great on the car, however still managed to give a refreshed look to this elderly mount. The side profile is the most boring aspect of this car. The wide opening doors make the ingress and egress easier. The handles are still the pull type but do their job pretty well. The ORVMs are body colored on the top end variant. Further more, it gets chrome garnish which appears much better than complete chrome effect. They are large enough to endow with good view of the traffic behind.

The top end variant does have something which does manage to bring the missing liveliness of the side profile. This variant gets 13” alloy wheels as standard equipment. The 8 spoke alloys have silver black finish which looks conspicuously eye-catching and manages to bring some attention to the exteriors.

The rear too remains more or less the same. The traditional vertical tail lamp assembly has been there on tata vehicles since day 1 and has started to look old-fashioned. They are clear lens type. The top end variant gets the rear fog lamps at the lowermost slot of the tail lamp assembly. Nevertheless the roof integrated stop lamp has now been replaced by internally located lamp. For regular eyes, the only distinguishable feature on the rear is the eV2 badge on the boot gate; however on close inspection one can notice the redesigned bumper which looks plain and neat.

Overall, the Indica eV2 looks more or less the same as that of its previous generations with no exciting exterior tweaks except for the appealing alloy wheels. In the nutshell, the eV2 can be termed as a “Back to Basic” product.

Rear.JPG
 
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Akash

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Tata Indica eV2 Interiors and Comfort

Dash 1.JPG

Tata cars are well known for their spacious interiors and the eV2 is no different. We were welcome by the wide opening doors which offer ease of ingress and egress. The bucket seats at the front are comfortable and offer good under thigh support as well. However the high placed steering does make the driving position a bit out of the ordinary.
The interiors linger the same except for the new Shadow beige color treatment which makes the cabin look more airy and spacious. The dash board wears a grey treatment. The design still remains the same. The central console has been given a wooden finish which looks better thank the bright wooden inserts available as an after market fitment. It sports the AC vents, Manual Ac controls and the Music system.
The top end variant gets the Music system with 2 speakers. Interestingly, this music system can be coupled with the mobile phone, thanks to the Bluetooth connectivity. Additionally, it boasts all modern features like USB port, Aux in, CD-MP3 playback, AM-FM etc.

The Steering wheel is large and has the same old 4 spoke design. Behind the wheel is the white backlit instrument cluster. The cluster gets two circular sections. One of the sections is dedicated to the speedometer. The gauges on the adjacent section includes include temp meter, fuel meter. The digital odometer/trip meter sits in between the two sections. You might think we forgot to mention the Tacho meter; we didn’t. The tachometer is standard across the complete range of diesel eV2; however none of the petrol variant gets it, not even the top end GLX, shocking!

The doors have been inserted with shallow beige fabric which looks better than the monotonous design in the base model. The top end variant is equipped with power windows at the front and manual at the rear. However, you may find yourself in surprise if you are used to the window controls on the driver doors. The power window switches still sit ahead of the gear stick and operating them while driving isn’t an easy task.

The rear seats are still one of the best. They offer great leg room, head room compared to many most of the modern hatch backs. However the rear seats lack generous cushioning. The offer 60:40 spilt feature, which comes handy when you need extra luggage space. The mirrors are internally adjustable for the premium variant. They are wide enough to provide proper view of the traffic behind.
Overall, the interiors still have the same old plasticky feel with a bit of retouching.

Door panel.JPG
 
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Akash

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Tata Indica eV2 Engine and Gearbox

Engine.JPG

The Indica eV2 now sports two engine choices. The 1.2L MPFi Petrol engine; and the 1.4L Common Rail CR4 diesel engine. Additionally the Petrol variant Xeta is also available in bi fuel LPG version. These entire engines are Bharat Stage 4 compliant and fit to sell all over the country including the metros. In addition to the mentioned, Indica also accommodates a BS3 1.4L IDI diesel engine.

1.2L MPFi Petrol Engine
The new 1.2L petrol heart boats a maximum power output 65PS @ 5000 RPM and maximum torque of 99Nm @ 2700 RPM. The power generated by this motor is although similar to the cars of the same segment, it doesn’t show up in the drive. The higher kerb weight also takes away the fun. Crank the engine and you will hear a slight noise. The low end torque is just enough to keep you going. At higher rpms, the engine does the job fairly well, but still feels strained.

1.4L CR4 Diesel
The new 1.4L Common rail Diesel engine is the new engine which complies with the BS4 norms. Then new engine has the main USP of delivering ultra high fuel efficiency. The engine is pretty refined and the turbo lag is minimal, though the engine lacks the punch which its elder sibling Vista Multijet has. As soon as the engine is cranked, the driver is welcomed by a slight vibration which subsides as the rpm settles down. It manages to generate peak power of 70PS @ 4000rpm and a maximum torque of 140Nm @ 1800-3000rpm which is decent enough to move you out through the heavy traffic. Though, this engine has been tuned to deliver maximum fuel efficiency, but still it doesn’t feel slow. We found the new CR4 engine much more refined than the DICOR engine which previously did the duty under the hood

The gear stick is similar to the one seen on the old gen Indica and Indigos. The rubbery feel of the stick still persists. The gearbox too is a direct lift from its predecessor. Though the gears do slot in without fail, but to do that, it requires some effort. It lacks the smoothness of the modern boxes which make the gear shifts a pleasure.

Gear stick.JPG
 
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Akash

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Tata Indica eV2 Performance and Safety

Instrument cluster.JPG

The new Indica can no way be termed as a performer. At the price it is being offered, we can’t expect much from this old car.

The Petrol heart is refined but lacks the smoothness of the modern Gamma or K series engines. It responds lazily at low torques which makes the ride a bit coarse in start stop traffic conditions. The initial gears are short which translates to frequent gear shifts. On a clean stretch, the car manages to achieve the 0-60kmph speed pretty quickly. The brakes do their job well, however optional ABS would be sorely missed.

However the Diesel heart is the surprise package. The new CR4 engine is a huge improvement over the old DICOR engine. It is more silent and refined compared to the old gen. The new engine loves to be revved and responds very well to the feet instructions. The turbo lag is minimal and the car is responsive at even lower revs which is surprising for a diesel hatchback.

Additionally, the new Indica sports some first in class features like Auto drive assist and Clutch to start. The ADA enables the vehicle to climb the slopes with ease thereby reducing the chances of the clutch plate going kaput. Clutch to start feature makes sure that the driver doesn’t re-crank the engine while it is still on. The handling of Indica remains unchanged. The body roll is less, but can be felt while negotiating extreme corners. The suspension is same as that of the old gen indica which absorbs the small uneven patches efficiently; however at higher speeds the ride feels a bit unstable. The large steering wheel too lacks feedback and not as precise as of modern hatchbacks.

In the name of safety, Indica eV2 comes with front disc brakes, 3 point ELR seatbelts and collapsible steering. Shockingly, there is no option of ABS even on the top end variant, forget the airbags.
 
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Akash

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Tata Indica eV2 Fuel Efficiency and Verdict

Head lamp.JPG

The fuel efficiency is the parameter for which the eV2 can pat its back. The new CR4 engine gave a fuel efficiency figure of 25kmpl during the ARAI test. This makes the Indica eV2, the most fuel efficient car in India. Previously this throne was occupied by its elder sibling Indigo eCS with a fuel efficiency figure of 23.XXkmpl.
In the nutshell, Indica eV2 is sensible hatchback which can reduce your daily running costs which Tata claims to be Rs.1.50 per km. However this holds true for only those who are in search of a diesel hatch back with a limited budget. For a few more grands, modern day hatch backs are available with better features.
 
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Akash

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Tata Indica eV2 Likes, Dislikes and Ratings

SN854025.JPG

We like in Tata Indica eV2:[thumbsup]


  • Cheap maintenance
  • Competitive Pricing
  • Alloys as standard on top end variant
  • Enormous cabin space
  • Comfortable ride
  • Fuel Efficiency


We dislike in Tata Indica eV2:[thumbsdown]

  • Dull exteriors
  • Not so pleasing interiors
  • No ABS/Airbag on option list
  • Cheap plastics


The Automotive India Star Ratings

  • Design and Quality:
    (7/10)
  • Comfort Levels:
    (8/10)
  • Performance:
    (7.5/10)
  • Ride Quality:
    (8/10)
  • Handling:
    (8/10)
  • Fuel Efficiency:
    (9.5/10)
  • Safety:
    (7/10)
  • After Sales & Service:
    (7.5/10)
  • Value for Money:
    (8/10)
 
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Akash

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Tata Indica eV2 Price and Specifications

Side profile.JPG

Price:

eV2 CR4 Diesel:

L: 395,453.00
LE: 434,118.00
LS: 477,936.00
LX: 449,663.00

eV2 Xeta Petrol:

GL: 295,568.00
GLE: 319,754.00
GLS: 334,821.00
GLX: 358,814.00

(Ex.Showroom, New Delhi)

Engine:

1.4L CR4 Diesel

  • Type: Common Rail CR4 Diesel
  • Displacement: 1396cc
  • Max.Power: 70 BHP @ 4000 RPM
  • Max.Torque: 140 NM @ 3000 RPM

1.2L MPFi Petrol

  • Type: MPFi Petrol
  • Displacement: 1196cc
  • Max.Power: 65 PS @ 5000 RPM
  • Max.Torque: 99.7 NM @ 2700 RPM

Transmission:

  • 5 Speed Manual

Suspension:

  • Front: Wishbone with McPherson Struts, Anti Roll bar
  • Rear: Independent Semi Trailing arm with coil Spring mounted on Hyd shock absorbers

Brakes:

  • Front: Ventilated Discs
  • Rear: Drums

Dimensions:

  • Wheelbase: 2400mm
  • Length: 3690mm
  • Width: 1665mm
  • Height: 1485mm
  • Ground Clearance: 165mm
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 37 Liters
  • Kerb Weight: 1080 kgs

Colors:

  • Neo Orange
  • Mint White
  • Apple Green
  • Arctic Silver
  • Burgundy Royal
 
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Thread Starter #9

Akash

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Tata Indica eV2 Pictures

View.JPG

Brushed Aluminium Alloys add some visual appeal
Alloys.JPG

No provision of power window switches on the door
Driver door.JPG

Fog lamps still have the same old circular design
Front fogs.JPG

Glove box with cup holders
Glove box.JPG

Model Badge
Model Badge.JPG

Engine variant Badge below the side turn indicator
MPFi Badge.JPG

Music System(CD,MP3,Aux-In,USB) with Bluetooth Connectivity
Music system.JPG

ORVM with Chrome Insert looks Classy
ORVM.JPG

Panel gaps still persist
Panel gap.JPG

Rear Fog lamps only on top end variants
Rear fogs.JPG

Bulging wheel arches are gone
Side skirts gone.JPG

Only Speedo dial for Petrol variants, RPM meter standard across all diesel variants
Speedo dial.JPG

Tail lamp assembly remains unchanged
Tail lamp assembly.JPG

Dark wood finish looks decent, though not attractive, power window switches sit in here
wood finish.JPG

Xeta.JPG

Boot.JPG

eV2.JPG

Road Test Credits

  • Road Test & Photography: Akash
(C) The Automotive India. All rights reserved. The content such as reviews, images etc. cannot be reproduced in any form without written permission of our authority.
 
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Nice write up Akash! Was informative and enjoyed reading it! Kudos![thumbsup]

A good initiative fro Tata Motors on the Indica front. Not letting the base Indica die is a good move.

But on the pricing front, I do not find it that much VFM as a car of its class is expected to be. I could easily opt for Indica Vista base model at the rate of middle variant in eV2 without stretching my budget much!
 
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Good review Akash! This car can be a sure hit among the cabbies as the diesel engine has got more fuel efficient and also more refined at the same time. That is why i feel TATA has not given much importance to the Petrol variant! The placing of power window switch is really weird , they could have atleast placed it above the handbrake lever like how it used to be in TATA Sierra.
 
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Nice review Akash! This car is old-school from the word go. I am sure they are targeting the section currently ruled by the Alto. But seriously they must change the interiors atleast. It looks just like Old Wine in New Bottle.
And yes as HolySatan said one can go for Vista instead of this.
 
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A very good review Akash. Good to see that even new Indica was reviewed on TAI. [thumbsup]

IMO, the earlier exterior looks with creases on the bumpers & wheel arches were better. Now the bumpers are too plain.
Also the beige interiors & gear stick of earlier Xeta looked better than the current black one.

Any confirmation on the fuel efficiency that is claimed? There are few ads in newspapers where owners are claiming FE of 41 kmpl !!![surprise]
 
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