Tata Zest XT Revotron: My Whitey, Pristine


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I was following the falcon cars for quite sometime since I was looking out to buy a hatchback or a Compact Sedan. As soon as I heard that the falcon cars would get their design cues from the Hybrid Manza I started to like the cars even before seeing one. Reason, I had liked the design of the Hybrid Manza showcased in an earlier auto expo. Remember City like headlights anyone ? Somehow I had a soft corner/liking for the Tata's. Make In India ??

I wanted a car but there was no time-frame hence I was relaxed in choosing one.

Cars Considered:
Since I was going to buy a Petrol car (No I don't tend to use it daily) available options were Swift, Brio, Grand i10, Figo, Etios Liva last but not the least Bolt(Falcon)

Swift: No doubt the best hatchback around with a fun to drive engine and quite decent handling, But Dated styling and not a VFM. You have to buy the top variant to get the necessary stuff. Every 2nd or 3rd car you see is a Swift.
Brio: Peppy engine but looks awkward from both ends and limited or impractical boot
Figo: Great ride and handling but underpowered petrol engine
Grand i10: An all-round car with good value proposition. I liked it
Liva: Ugliest of the lot though it has a decent/reliable engine
Polo/Punto: Underpowered lower variants and over priced top variants. ASS is not so good compared to the above.

I had almost zeroed in on Grand i10/Xcent till TML unveiled the Zest/Bolt on Feb 4.
From then its only daily visits to few auto portals for latest news on Zest/Bolt. Have tracked each and every bit of it till date. Right from the launch of 1.2 Revotron to Unveiling of cars to Media Drive in Goa to the actual launch.
Having seen the cars exterior and interior, I was fully impressed with it. HK infotainment with loads of features especially.
When the first photo of the HK infotainment (in Twitter) during media drive was shown, it was a 2.5 inch head unit without the touch screen unit. To add to the confusion the tweeter said it was from a top variant. It came in as a BIG surprise and I started cursing TML. Though inactive in twitter I was refreshing the page like hell on that day till I could see a touchscreen unit on a top variant. Yes the earlier photo was from a mid variant. Jagrover (If he is Sreekanth Jayadevan on Twitter else forgive me) might remember this well. He was busy retweeting every update available. Both of us were very exited on that day for sure. July 9 it was. There was another exciting day when the reviews were out in major auto portals.
So the car was decided on Feb 4 itself [:D]

Booking:
Booked the car on July 20 through the online portal. Booking was open on July 19 and when i tried to book on that evening my bank's portal was shutdown due to a maintenance activity.
Reason for booking earlier, a strong gut feeling that this car would rake in many bookings and the delivery might get delayed due to it.
Confirmed the colour and variant on 30 Aug since the dealer (Concorde Mysore Rd, Bangalore) took some time to get the real pics of all the colours. XT Dune Beige it was.
The wait starts again. These guys aren't proactive and you need to call them up and check on your booking status.

Allotment, Payment and the Mess:
One fine morning on Sep 27, got a call from the dealer saying the car is allotted and could finish the payment ASAP. Went ahead and completed the full payment on the same day. No news whatsoever even after 10 days. Had called the SA to find out several times in between and could not get any positive response. Thought of escalating and wrote a mail to customer care on 9 Oct. SA called up on 10 Oct and told A Pristine White is available for a quick delivery if you are fine with it. Asked wifey to go to the showroom and check the colour in real since I was okay with it. When she liked it I only had to say a YES to bill it to me. I had to shell out Rs 6740 extra [anger] But she was worth it.

Accessories opted:
Opted for spare alloy wheel, mud flaps, mats, perfume and puddle lamps as accessories. Thought of going for the fabric and art leather combo seat covers. But the fitting was not so great in an already fit Vista and Manza. Hence didn't go for it. Should thank the accessory guy who promptly showed and accepted the loose fitting.
Did a short PDI on Oct 14. None of them knew where the accessories were till then.

Delivery:
On the auspicious day of Oct 15 a Pristine White Zest was waiting to get out of the shackles at the Concorde's Garage. It was almost dark when we reached there. Mats and mud flaps were fitted. No stock of XT alloy wheel. Accessory guy did not know how to fit the Puddle lamp. The SA gave a good demo of all the features. HK infotainment was the star of the lot to impress. All the features like setting temperature, fan speed, tuning to a frequency on FM, playing a song from USB, calling a contact by pairing up my Gionee Elife E6 (Android) all worked flawlessly.
Received a 5 ltr coupon for petrol. Filled it and drove home [drive]

About the car:
There is nothing new that you would expect from me here. Zest is a brilliant package and VFM for its price. The XM and XMS variants are affordable to majority of the flock looking out for a hatchback/CS. This could be a game changing car for TML.

Exterior:
Looks are subjective to an individual. So it is perfectly fine if you don't agree to the below mentioned statements.
The new design of the Zest speaks volumes about the hard work put forth from the design/creative team at TML (Coventry, Turin & Pune) which is headed by Pratap Bose. They have done a fantabulous job to the exterior with the existing Vista platform. The projector headlamp surrounded with corona ring/angel eye looks brilliant for a car of this price bracket. Though I feel the head light unit is a bit big. Humanity line and trust line as TML likes to call, gives it a rather composed look mixed with a bit of aggression to the front. If you can imagine the front without these lines( especially Trust line) you would understand the previous statement.

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DRL's have become a standard across the recent cars and are a welcome design which adds some glamour to the front. Usage however is limited or NIL in most of the states in India.

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The shoulder lines in the side profile looks decent. But visible more on Silver and Beige colours.

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The ORVM with turn indicators are integrated well. Body coloured ORVM with lower part in black looks classy. Put a contrasting paint to the black part like Punto White/Red and you get a sportier look.

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The rear is nowhere related to Tata if you look at their earlier designs. The swept back LED tail lamps looks stunning. The thick chrome strip above the number plate could've been thin IMO. Black cladding on the front and rear bumpers looks classy in White, Beige and Silver colours because of the contrast it offers. Same applies for the blackened B pillars and the window frames. Fog lamp in the middle just adds to the beauty. Check out in the below photos.

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Boot integration can be debatable but lets not do it due to the 4m constraint in the design, Though it doesn't feel ugly like Dzire. Xcent has a better integration IMO.
The overall stance of Zest has a tallboy character and can be compared to that of SX4 on road.

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How the rear LED tail lamps look at night

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Corona rings, BMW types ??

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Closer look at the front light console

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ORVM has a decent coverage as seen

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Rear view mirror also has full coverage of the rear

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Interior:
If you step in to the cabin thinking of a Tata car then you will be surprised for sure. Biggest change for the brand Tata is inside the cabin and especially on the black and beige dual tone dashboard. There is a new 5 inch resistive touch screen based infotainment system developed by HK with 8 speakers in the top variant. Capacitive touch screen wouldn't have been costlier but the resistive touch screen is there for a purpose is what I believe. The audio quality is brilliant for an OEM unit. In fact the controls which can be configured/controlled via touch screen is definitely 2 segments above. The knobs, buttons and thin lining of chrome everywhere gives the cabin a premium feeling for sure.

MID has all the features you need like 2 Trip meters, Distance to empty, Instantaneous fuel indicator, digital fuel and temperature indicators. You can increase/decrease the brightness of the display.

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You have some space below the hand brake area to keep your mobile or purse.

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AC Vents centre

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Side AC vent. Same as Vista. Look at the chrome lining.

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Driver door controls. Drive window has one touch down feature. You know the rest of the controls.

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12v charger and the only cup holder in the entire car

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Steering wheel is shorter than most of the outgoing cars in the market. It feels sportier due to its size and feel. The steering mounted audio controls are integrated well and overall looks good. This is an EPS unit with active return function which was introduced first in the Nano Twist.

The Key fob is great but you need put a bit more pressure to press the buttons. Also you cannot quickly insert the key to the ignition hole. It takes some time and then unlocks i guess only after it goes inside, security feature huh ?? I would've liked a boot release button alongside the follow-me lamp button.

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Front seats have a good lateral support and the cushioning is good, though on the softer side. Expecting leather seats at this price can be called as greedy. However would've liked a two tone fabric seat cover. You anyway cover it with art leather,as I have right ?

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Surprisingly there are no bottle holders on the doors. At least the doors should've been capable of holding 1lt bottles. However there is some storage space under the passenger seat. You can keep those rectangular bottles here.

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Forget dead pedal, There is absolutely no space to the left of the clutch. You cannot rest your foot next to the clutch pedal. In the available foot well you could've easily etched some space to the left.

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The A Pillar is thick which translates to blind spots, be careful during Ghat sections.
Grab handles have a soft return action. Rear ones have coat hooks.
Rear seats can accommodate 3 moderate people comfortably. The floor hump is present but not too intruding.
Sunk in parcel tray will keep your tissue boxes without falling with an abrupt brake.

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No cabin light for the rear, only one at front.
Microphone for the calls. It works pretty well. I could pair up my Android (Elife E6) phone to call/receive calls. Voice quality is nice. All this without panicking for your phone and getting distracted while driving.

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No central armrest at the rear. Needed for long drives with only 2 at the rear.
Child safety locks are present at both the rear doors. Doors locked by pulling this down can only be opened from outside. Pretty nifty feature.

Puddle lamps fitted. It projects a blue Tata Logo. When you are a proud owner of Tata, show IT (Logo).

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Alloy wheel looks good but as many feel the lower variant looks better than this. I could not get them even after speaking to many folks at Tata.
The wheel wells are not completely filled by the 15 inch alloys.

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Thread Starter #2
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Engine:
The Revotron has 89BHP of power and a class leading torque of 140 NM at 1750-3500 RPM from its 1.2 Ltr TC engine. Due to high torque the drive at low speeds is good, Though you don't see any surge from the turbo.There is minimal turbo lag from this engine and power is linear and tuned for driveability. With 4 people on board with a kid(16 Kgs) we were able to get going without touching the accelerator.
Bottom line is if you can manage drive in the sweet spot(1600-3000 RPM) you can get a good ride. Else the car feels a bit sluggish till it reaches this RPM range. As long as its moving even if the RPM drops under 1000 and you are on 3rd or 4th gear it won't stall, though the MID prompts you to downshift with a downward arrow next to the gear indicator. It takes its sweet time to reach the turbo zone and picks up from there. Also when your RPM reaches/crosses 2000 RPM the MID prompts you to upshift to next/higher gear.
Finally if TML can make an engine or add a turbo charger which can spool from 1000 RPM then it would be the best petrol engine to have in a car is what I feel. Tata are you listening ?

Modes
ECO: Engine takes its own time to respond to the throttle inputs. Didn't like it. May be for suitable for lazy drives targeted at mileage only. Engine feels really sluggish in this.
City: As the word states, best suited for City driving. There is slight and acceptable improvement in the response. This mode is suitable for most of the rides.
Sport: Gets better compared to the two but still there is no turbo surge as the name indicates. Car gets interesting to drive in this mode but the RPM should still reach 1600 for that.

In all the modes when the RPM is near 1500 you can see a sudden pick up (except ECO), this is where the turbo starts kicking in. While starting from a halt in 1st gear you can observe this in City and Sport mode easily. Takes some time to adjust the way you floor the accelerator.

Ride & Handling:
I really haven't taken her above 80 Kmph, so I am not sure if I am eligible to comment on the actual handling ?
The smaller steering wheel gives a sporty feel while driving. It is super light for city traffic and weighs as your speed increases. This makes the Zest ideal for city traffic. The zest rides well with the improved suspension settings. It takes those rough patches pretty well and you don't get to hear them in the cabin. The ride is compliant and the NVH levels are brilliant. The 185/60 R15 rubber from Bridgestone adds to the overall drive quality with good grip levels.

Though the gearbox/shifter is good but not as good as the Swift's gearbox. Gear throws are short and feels good but you don't get the satisfaction which you get while shifting the Swift.
People who have an habit of keeping your hand on the gear knob will feel the vibration when you move it to the extreme front or back after shifting to a gear position. For example after shifting to 3rd you still keep it the front-most position you will feel the jitter. If you leave it, it actually comes 2-3 mm back. Now if you keep your hand at this position you don't feel the jitter. This feels a bit annoying. The click what you feel in the Japanese boxes aren't present here.

I haven't taken her on those big potholes with speed. Haven't attacked a curve at speed since ODO is still at 300 Kms. Will update once i get a chance to do so.

All the above was possible due to a Man called Karl Slym who is no more. Hope TML continues the same strategy/vision and provide great products in future. One such product to watch out for is the Nexon.
 
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Great write up don.lohith[clap]
Thanks for mentioning me[;)]

Pratap Bose and Ranjit Yadav are two names worth mentioning too. Especially for how they handled Twitter at that time[:D]
 
Thread Starter #4
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Thanks Jagrover, So my data mining was right [;)]

Yup I completely agree on that. They both were very active and were replying to every tweet.
 
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Congrats on your new zest Lohith, the car looks stunning [clap] the led tail lamp and corona rings are just wow features.
kindly keep us posted on the milage part and your experience with the revotron engine.

and can you please post some pics of puddle lamps taken at night and of it projecting tata logo [:D]
 
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Thanks all.

Yes Aditya, will try to post one.
Hi Don,

Congratulations .. !!!
this was neat review ...
Actually even I am waiting for my sky grey revotron XT ...
However I was wondering if the Harman connectnext has inbuilt Mapmyindia feature on it. Read it from quite a few sources on internet.

I have posted this query in a different thread as well . .. but nobody seems to have noticed it though.

http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/f...ata-zest-xm-revotron-ownership-review-10.html

I would also like to know if you have tried playing videos on the infotainment system. Does it support video playback??
 
Thread Starter #11
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Hi Don,

Congratulations .. !!!
this was neat review ...
Actually even I am waiting for my sky grey revotron XT ...
However I was wondering if the Harman connectnext has inbuilt Mapmyindia feature on it. Read it from quite a few sources on internet.

I have posted this query in a different thread as well . .. but nobody seems to have noticed it though.

http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/f...ata-zest-xm-revotron-ownership-review-10.html

I would also like to know if you have tried playing videos on the infotainment system. Does it support video playback??
Thanks Wincy. No the inbuilt head unit doesn't have any navigation utility. Either they will upgrade the same with some software patch or release a special edition with it.

No it doesn't play videos as well.

So when is your Grey expected ? I guess supply is less fro grey, beige and silver and hence the delay in deliveries.
 
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Wow that was response was lightening fast ...
thanks Lothith.
How much did you pay for the art leather seat covers ... ???
did you get it done from the dealer itself .. ??
 
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great review buddy.
eagerly waiting for my revotron xt dune beige.
Spoke to my SA at autovikas Delhi on current status he says "the car is in transit". while this a good news to me however Iam bit conscious about the quotation/ booking confirmation given to me mentioning the price and other charges. The RC cost coated to me is Rs 39780/- at Gurgaon !
I surfed the info & found that at Gurgaon its 3% and at Delhi its 4%. talking to my SA on this he said that this amount also includes 5% VAT on the car as well as temporary regn cost.
May I ask you automotivans? is that the case? If No then, what I must do to cut down the extra charges?
any suggestion or comment on that please...
 
Thread Starter #14
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Wow that was response was lightening fast ...
thanks Lothith.
How much did you pay for the art leather seat covers ... ???
did you get it done from the dealer itself .. ??
Hi Wincy,

I got it done from outside. It cost me Rs 4400 including fitting. As mentioned in the review the dealer had art leather/fabric combo seat covers for Rs 6500 but I didn't like the fitting. It was kind of loose near the seat ends. They don't remove the seat and fit it. Just apply on top of the seats is what the accessory guy told me.
 
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Hi Wincy,

I got it done from outside. It cost me Rs 4400 including fitting. As mentioned in the review the dealer had art leather/fabric combo seat covers for Rs 6500 but I didn't like the fitting. It was kind of loose near the seat ends. They don't remove the seat and fit it. Just apply on top of the seats is what the accessory guy told me.

Congrats Lohith for your Zest and Thanks for the nice writeup!
please let us know shop name if you wish as i am too looking for seat covers. :)
 
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