• Horn too loud, it even irritated the cops.
    Horn too loud, it even irritated the cops.
  • Gearshift feels a touch rubbery and imprecise.
    Gearshift feels a touch rubbery and imprecise.
  • Suspension and tall tyres soak up bumps
    Suspension and tall tyres soak up bumps
  • Headlamps have a broad spread and are very effective.
    Headlamps have a broad spread and are very effective.
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2016 Tata Tiago petrol long-term review, second report

6th Feb 2017 7:00 am

A small glitch aside, Tata’s hatchback is still soldiering on.

In our first report, I extolled the Tiago’s amazing quality and how Tata’s big reliability bogey had finally been conquered. But I spoke too soon.

Within days of penning (or should I say typing) the last report, the infotainment system went kaput. The display went blank and no amount of prodding the power button or tapping the screen could make it come alive. The infotainment system is possibly the third most difficult thing to live without in a car (I would rate the horn and air con as first and second), and so an appointment with the nearest Tata service centre was booked immediately. The Tiago’s first visit to the workshop at 3,700km was an unscheduled one.

Reinserting fuse reboots infotainment system.

The system was quickly fixed and the car was returned in a day, but, acutely aware of how hard Tata Motors has been working to make its cars bug free, I was curious to know what went wrong. Apparently, it’s a software malfunction which simply hangs the infotainment system, and, as with your phone, you need to reboot the system. But how? Simply take out the fuse and put it back in! Easier said than done because to access the fuse box means unfastening the dash panel under the steering. A friendly Tata technician showed us how to do it but it’s a job best done in the workshop. This seems to be a common problem with the Tiago’s Harman system and until a software update comes along, it’s good to have this DIY knowledge. I won’t hold this against Tata Motors, because, for a company historically plagued with quality issues, it has come a long, long way and niggles like this are becoming more the exception than the norm. And since that glitch, the infotainment system is working flawlessly. Fingers crossed.

Otherwise, it’s been business as usual for the Tiago, which has gone about daily life in Mumbai without a fuss. The suspension is still one of the best bits of the Tiago and it silently and efficiently smoothens out ridges and ruts. It’s a well-known fact that Mumbai’s roads seriously shorten the lifespan of any car, but I have to say that the Tiago doesn’t have a squeak or a rattle and still feels new. But it’s not ‘new’ anymore. There are quite a few Tiagos on the road and many of them in Sunburst Orange which seems to be a popular choice of colour with the Hyundai i10 and Ford Figo as well.

Fuel efficiency has been remarkably good, especially for a car weighing 1,012kg. And adopting a relaxed driving style, I squeezed out 12.7kpl which is impressive when you consider I never used ‘Eco’ mode. This dullest of driving modes makes the car painful to drive, especially since the ECU calibration of this engine is not fully sorted. There are lots of flat spots and a hesitant power delivery, which actually takes away from the driving experience as does the gearshift, which is a bit rubbery.

So, while the Tiago may not be a particularly exciting car to drive, it surely is a happy commuter.

Fact File
Distance covered 6,200km
Price when new Rs 6.31 lakh (on-road, Mumbai)
Test economy 12.7kpl (overall)
Maintenance costs None
Faults Infotainment system failure
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