Step inside the Manza and you can see how far ahead Tata has taken its game. The interior ambience is quite upmarket and we loved the high-quality seat fabrics. The large seats, though similar to the Vista, have extra bolstering but the cushions, especially for the driver, are a touch too firm. What stunned us was the surplus of space, especially in the rear. This is, without doubt, the most spacious mid-sizer and the Manza even rivals the Accord for width! Three abreast at the rear is no problem and there is plenty of legroom even with the front seats pushed all the way back. Tata engineers are proud of the 28-degree backrest recline angle in the rear but we found it a touch too reclined and would have preferred a more upright stance.
The front seats are generous too and the driver is pampered with adjustable lumbar support and height-adjust for the seat and steering which makes it easy to find a comfy position.
The boot too is huge, swallowing 460 litres of luggage, but the metal bracing (for better rigidity) closer to the seats compromises the boot’s flexibility. The back seats can be dropped however to increase luggage space.
Though the Manza’s dashboard is based on the Vista’s, it looks completely different and is all the better for it. The main change is the instrument cluster which has been moved from its central position back to the traditional location, making way for a multi-information display which is packed with information like fuel consumption, distance-to-empty and ambient temperature readings.
The new instrument cluster, though a bit small, is easy to read while the central console looks very busy with all those buttons. The large four-spoke steering wheel and dashboard give the insides a grown-up look, especially when illuminated at night and we were pleasantly surprised by some feel-good items. The gear lever is finished with a genuine quality feel and the air-con knobs, which work with servo motors, feel far better than the mechanical system that opens and closes flaps. Tata has packed the Manza with steering-mounted controls, electric mirrors plus the usual stuff. The best piece of kit though is the Blue5 system which allows you to pair five phones separately via Bluetooth.
While the interiors are impressive on one level, look closer and you can spot some quality issues. Fit and finish, though improved, is still not as good as competition. Plastic panel gaps
are still large and inconsistent,
the door pockets are lined with hard, sharp-edged plastic. Also, the door levers and window switches feel flimsy. The insides of the Manza maybe the best seen in a Tata yet, but there’s still some way to go before the quality matches global standards. However, the extra space and features more than compensate.
The Manza also comes with driver and passenger airbags, putting this car on par with the competition with regard to safety features.