With an emphasis on style, the new Tata Tigor is a refreshingly different take on the compact sedan.
What is it?
The Tigor (pronounced Tee-gor) is the compact sedan version of the well-received Tata Tiago hatchback. It’s also the model that will become the mainstay of the carmaker’s compact sedan range; the capable but slow-selling Zest is set to be repositioned for the taxi market while the Indigo eCS, that started the sub-four-metre sedan segment, is headed for discontinuation. However, the Tigor enters the market at a time when the compact sedan segment as a whole isn’t growing as fast as it once did. Tata Motors, though, is confident buyers won’t see the Tigor as just any other compact sedan. In fact, Tata doesn’t even call it one. A ‘Styleback’ is what the marketers at Tata would like you to see the Tigor as.
What’s it like on the outside?
Study photos of the Tigor and Tiago’s front ends and you’ll find only a few subtle differences. The Tigor’s headlights get a smoked-effect and also use projector lenses. New chrome lining for the lower portion of the glasshouse adds a bit of richness to the Tigor’s look. However, it’s from the B-pillar onwards that the Tigor takes on a whole different identity. The sedan sits on a 50mm longer wheelbase, uses different rear doors and even has a unique window line with a Skoda-like upward kink at the rear quarter glass. Visually though what really makes the Tigor stand out is the coupé-like manner the roof flows into the tail; inspiration for the ‘Styleback’ name. The swooping roof and distinctive tail section make the Tigor look far removed from all other compact sedans that are, more often than not, hatchbacks with a boot tacked on. Certain angles aren’t quite as flattering to the Tigor’s derriére (especially on the diesel version that gets only 14-inch rims) but, on the whole, the car’s shape is attractive and sure to be a big draw.
Only minor details distinguish the Tigor and Tiago until the B-pillar. The Tigor gets a chrome lip above the grille and a smoked finish for its headlights.
Styling at the rear is neat, helped by the smart tail-lamps, chunky bar of chrome above the number plate and a black plastic strip low down on the bumper to balance visual mass. There are also some nifty details elsewhere on the body. See the blacked-out lip (home to a strip of LEDs) above the rear windscreen? Aside from being a design element in its own right, it’s also the end point for a neatly hidden hump in the roof that’s been incorporated to free up headroom in the rear section of the cabin. Care has been taken to ensure maximum boot space too. How? Tata has ditched the traditional gooseneck hinges for the boot opening and opted for a significantly more expensive multi-hinge and damper arrangement. The setup is less intrusive and helps make the most of the luggage area, which, by the way, is a sizeable 419 litres. Another point to note is that only petrol Tigors will be available with the attractive ‘diamond cut’ 15-inch alloy rims. As mentioned, diesel Tigors make use of smaller 14-inchers. Tata engineers we spoke to told us the heavier diesel required the added cushioning of thicker sidewall tyres to keep ride comfort at the desired level. In all, the Tigor weighs 50kg more than a comparable Tiago.