Tata Zest Test Drive and Review


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Dear All,

Today I got an opportunity to Test drive all new Tata Zest. Tata Motors was doing a roadshow at our office premises yesterday and today.

Link - http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/f...zest-compact-sedan-coverage-page-10-a-40.html
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In display was a Blue Zest Revotron XT model which is the highest version. For test drive a Blue Zest Quadrajet XT model (MT) and a Red Zest Revotron XT model (MT) were available. According to Tata Motor's officials at the venue, the AMT version will be launched in phase two which should be in late August 2014. No AMT version was available for test drive. The phase one launch is stipulated on 7th Aug 2014 when prices and variants will be disclosed. Even the Fuel Efficiency (official) figures are still not disclosed which will be done simultaneously. Sources indicated the prices will be notch above Maruti Swift Dzire , which is the primary competitor.

Tata Motors is pitching Zest against three hot selling mini-sedans in India, Maruti Swift Dzire, Honda Amaze and Hyundai Xcent. Though they have a tough battle at hand but it seems they are well prepared this time. The segment is very much price sensitive where Dzire is the segment leader due to the price it commands and Maruti's after sales and service spread.

Exterior Design and Looks -
I'll cut straight to the chase - it's rather pleasant.
In the sub 4-metre sedan segment, Tata has actually pulled off the best job in the business of looking good. The design is of course based on erstwhile Vista/Manza and you can see the lines still. But its surely refreshing and eye catching. While we were on the drive people were indeed were giving a second look. The paint job is top class and curves are at correct places. The DRLs rather small but quite jazzy during daytime.

Interior Design -
The interior design is all new specially the dash board. The dials also look very classy. The front seats are bucket type and resembles that of Manza. I will just say two things - it definitely feels a lot more upmarket than any Tata product before this and the quality has gone up quite a few notches. The dual-tone colour scheme works well and though I'd have loved to see soft-touch materials. The interior feels like any C2 or D segment European Sedan. The three spoke sporty steering wheel is very nicely designed with complete audio and other controls. The rear leg space is almost same as Vista which is slightly lower than Manza. The version on display did not have any center armrest in the back seat, seems Tata Motors has removed due to customer feedback. Boot space is quite decent and can gulp two large suitcases and two or three medium to large bags , enough for a family trip.

Engine and Ride Quality -
Now lets come to the main point - performance and dynamics. The diesel engine - all 1.3-litres worth of it - is the same Fiat-sourced unit that serves its purpose in a
range of other cars across this segment. In the Zest, it produces 89bhp and 200Nm. Diesel(MT) driving dynamics is same as Manza as I am very familiar with it, it did not feel much difference. But remarkably the NVH levels have been reduced a lot. Turbo lag also have been reduced may be due to lesser Gross Weight than Manza. The diesel (MT) version was showing a FE figure of 14 kmpl on the DIS during our short drive.

The 1.2-litre 'Revotron' petrol engine,is a 89bhp, 140Nm work unit and, quite like in the diesel, the torque is said to be produced between 1,750-3,000rpm. I can
comment only one thing about this engine its "Swifter" than "Swift". The engine is absolutely soundless (remember the old Tata Xeta engines?). The Petrol version can be run on 3 Modes City, Eco and Sports. I did not get any chance to run in Sports mode but other two were quite impressive. The petrol motor returned an FE of 9 kmpl on the DIS on our combined City and Eco modes. You can switch modes by just clicking buttons in the dash.

Gearshift for both the motors were quite easy unlike older Tata cars. The suspension has been tuned further and it absorbs the potholes and uneven road surfaces nicely. The ground clearance also stands higher at 175 mm hence it did not bottom out in high humps where my Manza tends to touch.

Zest comes with Electric Power Steering (EPS) which is the same technology used in Tata Nano Twist.

Comfort and Convenience -
The cabin gets a new-age infotainment system that has been developed by - low and behold - Harman Kardon! The top-end trims get a 5-inch touch screen panel that controls the audio system and AC. The touch sensitivity of same I found better than Caska audio systems. The system runs also on voice command and it can match with almost all Indian accent. The AC can directly be controlled by the touch screen system.Also it works for display for parking sensors and has inbuilt navigation supported by MapMyIndia. Its a segment first to provide such a high quality audio system in a sub 4M car.It supports SD card as well as USB drives and Aux in. The sound quality is also simply superb as the system is supported by 4 Harmon Kardon speakers and another 4 Harmon Kardon tweeters. However the rear parcel tray does not have any provision to fit any speakers. So for lower models it can be a disadvantage. The AC works simply like a charm. Though there is no rear AC vent passengers at back seat never complained discomfort. Zest comes with Keyless entry but no Start/Stop button for ignition. Note like Vista and Manza only 1 key comes with FOB/Remote.

Safety and Security -
The top end trim comes with dual Airbags and ABS with EBD as standard. Park assist sensors are also standard. Also I liked the defogger design which is like SUVs (not the straight lines we get on most of the sedans)


Specifications -

Tata Zest (1.2-litre Revotron Petrol)
Engine: 1.2-litre, 89bhp, 140Nm
Gearbox: 5-speed manual
Length x Width x Height (in mm): 3,995 x 1,695 x 1,570
Kerb weight: 1,106 Kg
Brakes (Front/Rear): Disc / Drum
Fuel Tank Capacity : 44 Liters

Tata Zest (1.3-litre diesel)
Engine: 1.3-litre, 89bhp, 200Nm
Gearbox: 5-speed manual / AMT
Length x Width x Height (in mm): 3,995 x 1,695 x 1,570
Kerb weight: 1,106 Kg
Brakes (Front/Rear): Disc / Drum
Fuel Tank Capacity : 44 Liters

Overall Impression -
I think Tata Motors have got it right this time. And also launching the Zest ahead of Bolt is a good strategy and is generating lot of excitement in the market. The
key thing is price, which if done correctly it should snatch some sales figures from Dzire, Amaze and Xcent.
I took some pictures at the venue, please feel free to ask any questions.

Cheers,
Anshuman
 

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Fantastic effort, one of the most promising Tata effort in recent times, to be honest i am very keen to test drive this, i think its a better overall effort from tata amidst recent years releases.
They have been lazy with Storme and stubborn with the Aria but this vehicle marks a shift change - hoping for a sea change!
 
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Last night touched it and saw it on flesh in the same venue,

If am looking for a petrol car in market i will pick this one, ahead of dezire or amaze, what a package
Well done tata, they are not honda to seek extra price, am sure tata pricing will give competitor's to run for their money,

When am searching for my first car, no one at maruti showroom bothered to talk to me, but now maruthi guys put exchange / offer mela on both corners of my street; thats the market now....

Slowly people feel good with tata products after they found quality of nano is far better or par with any other brand sub 1000 cc small cars

Anshuman8 well written man, have you checked the quality of wiper blades, and how is the headlamps ?
 
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TSIVipul

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Looking at the pics and by going through each an every word in the review I am getting a gut feeling that the best ever Tata is on the way. It sounds great and if the petrol engine is really 'Swifter than Swift' and the MJD in 90 BHP tune is available then its nothing short of icing on the cake.

BTW, I liked that design of center console and those DRL's, although small but look very funky.

But torque figure of 140 Nm sounds quite less for a turbocharged petrol engine.
 
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Lots of features.
The first to provide projector headlights in this segment i think.
Optimum power, great looks and backed up by Tata's extensive servicing facilities.

Good Luck Tata.

Nice review Anshuman. Quite detailed.
Thanks.
 

350Z

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Thanks for writing this brilliant review, Anshuman. You've precisely covered all the aspects about the car which we are eagerly looking forward to. The overall exterior proportions of Zest although aren't too much to my liking but the interiors, to simply put, were stunning when I experienced this car last time. Tata Motors has indeed come a long way and Bolt / Zest could prove to be the new benchmark but I sincerely hope they don't screw up with the pricing as initially in case of Aria.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Nice review Anshuman! Indeed Tata has got a perfect product. I sincerely hope they don't spoil the party by pricing it too high. [roll]
 
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Its gona be a swift and amaze killer for sure
See what tata offers for zest, new benchmark in service and warranty

Report – Tata Zest to get 6 year warranty and 24×7 roadside assistance

Read more: Tata Zest to get 6year warranty and 24x7 roadside assistance
Follow us: @indianautos on Twitter | IndianAutosBlog on Facebook
Source : Tata Zest to get 6year warranty and 24x7 roadside assistance

You can prebook it with 21000 rupees
Per IAB price range will likely be in 5 to 7.5 lakhs ex showroom
 
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Thread Starter #11
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Thanks - 350Z, Iron Rock , MSN1 , TSIVipul, Ajay Sreedhar, swiftkolkata, Myth, Knightrider

Anshuman8 well written man, have you checked the quality of wiper blades, and how is the headlamps ?
Wipers are good I think they are from OEM Bosch. I did not get a chance to check the headlamps (projector) in day time. Maybe next time if I get a chance will do it.

BTW, I liked that design of center console and those DRL's, although small but look very funky.
But torque figure of 140 Nm sounds quite less for a turbocharged petrol engine.
The car was actually very spirited and no turbo lag in petrol, including drive in dense traffic.

Thanks for writing this brilliant review, Anshuman. You've precisely covered all the aspects about the car which we are eagerly looking forward to. The overall exterior proportions of Zest although aren't too much to my liking but the interiors, to simply put, were stunning when I experienced this car last time. Tata Motors has indeed come a long way and Bolt / Zest could prove to be the new benchmark but I sincerely hope they don't screw up with the pricing as initially in case of Aria.
Drive Safe,
350Z


Yes the exterior proportions looked the only negative point to me also. Else everything else is perfect. You cannot find any fault anywhere. The dashboard and controls and ICE is simply stunning.
 
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Excellent review Anshuman [clap]
Do you have any info about lower versions?
Top end is always impressive but the entry and mid versions gets many buyers, so some info regarding that will be helpful.

Zest will be on display in pune on 30 and 31 july.
 
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@anshuman8: Why you feel the exterior is disproportionate ? Can you make it clear ? Is the design looks odd or the sub 4m problem arises here as well.?
 

Akash

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Excellent review buddy.

Bolt and Zest are the two cars which could turn around the TATA's fate. And 6 years of warranty proves that TATA is confident of their quality this time. Lets hope the car lives up to the expectation.
 
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