I am the small-car, small-engine champion in the office. But this streak of getting access to only sub-1,000cc long-termers as daily drivers (remember Celerio diesel, Nano AMT, Kwid 800 and the Kwid 1.0) came to an end when I received the keys to the Tiago. Its 1.2-litre petrol engine is small by any standard, but it’s still a 200cc (20 percent sounds better, doesn’t it?) upgrade for me. And I like Tata.
The car is now my daily ride to and fro work and it has been munching kilometres without any hassle. Yes, a lot has been said about the Tiago’s good looks and design, but one of the most important aspects for me is the fantastic all-round visibility it offers. This makes it quite easy to park the car in tight spots that are aplenty in Mumbai. I also like the front seats as they offer good support. My family members, however, found them to be a bit too soft. The meaty steering wheel feels great to hold and the chunky control stalks are nice to use. I am a bit disappointed with the air conditioning as it’s not powerful enough to battle Mumbai’s summer. However, Tata has made up for that in another area – the music system. The Harman system here is arguably one of the best units in any car priced under Rs 10 lakh.
The cabin feels like it belongs to a more expensive car.
The 1.2-litre, three-cylinder unit is good for 85hp on paper. But at 1,012kg, it is no lightweight and, hence, doesn’t feel peppy at all. Also, the engine note is a bit thrashy and only gets worse if you rev harder. The car, however, delivered a decent fuel economy of around 12kpl in the city. I am also quite impressed with the Tiago’s ride. It absorbed most bumps with ease and also felt quite planted at high speeds, something that was lacking in the previous long-termers I used.
The car comes with two drive modes – City and Eco. In pursuit of better fuel efficiency, I used the Eco mode for a few days, only to realise it didn’t make much of a difference in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Where it did make a difference, however, was in the drivability; the throttle response became lethargic and I switched to ‘City’ in no time.
My experience with the Tiago so far has been quite pleasant and, as our editor said in the previous report, the car is surely a happy commuter.