Having driven the Tata Tiago petrol and the Tigor diesel for a large part of their time with us, I consider myself to be well qualified to tell you about life with the new Tata in our garage. It’s another Tigor alright, albeit with a crucial difference – this one’s a petrol-automatic. More precisely, a petrol-AMT. What I’m keen to know is how well the Tigor AMT performs in the hustle and bustle of Mumbai traffic.
First things first, this car makes a better first impression than the Tigor diesel. It’s some part down to the colour (the Tigor looks its best in red) but it’s predominantly the wheels that catch your eye. Petrol Tigors come with larger 15-inch wheels (diesel variants get 14-inch alloys) with a stylish five-spoke design and diamond-cut finish that do their bit to enhance the distinctive design. I like that the Tigor doesn’t look like a hatchback moulded into a sedan. Personally, I love the way the boot has been incorporated; the ‘Styleback’ tag is not a misnomer, I can tell you that. Another cool styling element is the full-width LED auxiliary stop lamp above the rear glass.
BUSINESS CLASS: Comfy rear seat gets armrest with cupholders.
My stint with the Tigor AMT started at the peak of the monsoons. Frankly, it’s the worst time of the year to be out driving what with the roads disintegrating and traffic snarls all through the day. Thankfully, with 170mm of ground clearance, the Tigor has managed the bad roads commendably well. In traffic, I’m glad it’s the electronics doing the gearshifts for me. The AMT comes with a creep function, which works quite well. While the sedan does a decent job of navigating at slow speeds, the gearbox also makes it clear it isn’t the most sophisticated of systems around. The car feels lethargic and jerky once you pick up speed, but gradually smoothens out once you are in third gear at speeds over 50kph.
The Tigor offers two drive modes, City and Sport. In City mode, the car jumps into a higher gear sooner in pursuit of better fuel economy. Upshifts aren’t that jerky and the car moves to the fifth gear at speeds of around 75kph. When you want to overtake quickly, a weighty press on the throttle drops down a gear or sometimes even two, which is good. There is, however, a noticeable pause before the engine responds after downshifting. The Tigor feels more responsive in Sport mode as it holds the gear a bit longer.
ALL YOUR THINGS: Cabin is spacious and has good storage space.
The 85hp, 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine is not really smooth, but it does the job well as long as you don’t push it too hard. As far as fuel economy figures go, I’ve driven the car just for city commutes so far and after completing close to 1,700km, a fuel economy of 10.3kpl (in City mode) is not at all bad, especially for a car this new. I am expecting this figure to climb gradually as it starts munching more kilometres.
What we have with us is the top-spec XZA trim, which means, apart from those stylish alloy wheels, it gets four power windows, fog lamps and coloured bits on the driver- and passenger-side AC vents, and rear parking sensors. It, however, misses out on a touchscreen infotainment system and climate control, both of which are available on the top-spec Tigor manual variant. Just like Maruti, Tata must consider launching its AMT cars with same level of equipment as their manual versions.
DIM LIGHT: Single reverse lamp doesn’t do the job well.
While the raked rear windscreen looks stylish, it makes reversing a bit tricky. You sometimes end up relying on the rear-view mirror and the parking sensors, apart from your judgement, while reversing the car. The Tigor does share a lot of interior and exterior bits with the Tiago, but it is longer; this means there is a bit more space at the back. The extra legroom and headroom was well-appreciated by my family. Additionally, the rear seats also gets a decent-sized centre armrest with twin cupholders, and this gives it a ‘big car’ feel.
The Tigor’s spacious interior and its large 419-litre boot proved to be useful too, as it’s that time of the year when my sister comes down to India with her twins, and, yes, like most of us Indians, she carries a lot of luggage. The car’s boot lid hinge has been designed cleverly and it doesn’t intrude into the luggage bay, allowing you to use all the space that’s visible.
UNLIKE THE MANUAL Doesn’t get a touchscreen infotainment system.
The Tigor AMT is still new. I am planning to take the car on an outstation trip soon with the family, which will be a good test of its ability to do long-distance drives with a full load. More on that in the next report.
2018 Tata Tigor AMT review, test drive