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Friday, January 30, 2009

Tata Indica Vista Aura - First Impression

Sometimes things come very unexpected and it's all about grabbing the opportunity.

Yesterday, Tata Motors organised a Demo programme for Tata Indica Vista Aura and the 10th Anniversary Limited Edition Tata Indica Vista under my office building.

A Demo Car of the Aura version was available for test ride!! But before going any further, I would like to say that a First Impression Is Not Always the Last Impression and personally I felt that there's a lot more that it met the eyes during the Test Drive.

    First Look and Impression
    Only one feeling..... it's classy amongst all the Indicas till date!! Tata has really raised the bar this time, even for themselves. The entire styling, both exterior and interior is very contemporary and sporty.

    The inner compartment is very spacey and space is the point of focus for the A, B and C compartment design. To cut matters short..... this is a B+ segment car and it gives you the feel of a Sedan.... period!!

    The Interior
    The entire organisation of the Car's interior has been designed and implemented keeping in mind to squeeze out more and more space within the car and at the same time, keep the design as contemporary as possible to lure the Executive Generation of today.

    • The Dashboard is at the center instead of being behind the Wheel Steering. This is a cool move as at any given instance all the meters are clearly visible, without any interference from the wheel spokes.

    • The dark blue fore color and amber back color also add character to the dashboard and look pretty cool.

    • The gear knob orientation though not in continuation with the dashboard but is very upfront as against the conventional Indicas.

    • Room...room and more room..... that's the amount of space that's there in the car. The Aura model as integrated 2-Din Music System, Power Windows, Power Steering etc.

    • The Boot is space is very lavished and can easily fit various requirements ranging from monthly grocery shopping to installing HUGE BOX SPEAKERS!!

    The Exterior
    Nothing much has changed as far as the Exterior goes, expect for a couple, which make their presence felt in a big way.
    • Keeping with the current trends, the front Head Lamps extend through the side panels on each side of the car.
    • The Tail Lamp extend higher through the Dicky.
    • The lines and curves of the Vista are in sync with the existing Indica.

    The Engine

    The Indica Vista Aura which was available for Test Drive was sporting the Fiat Quadrajet 1248 cc Diesel engine producing 75ps @ 4000 rpm.

    • This was the first time I was driving a Diesel engine, I must say that I was not that impressed with the manner the engine sounded!! The sound was without any doubt, Grunty!! But again, that's a personal opinion and there can be difference of opinion from person to person.
    • As soon as you key the engine to life, after the initial boost it settles into an idling rpm of 1.5k.
    • I found the initial pull of the car specially in the 1st and 2nd gears a bit lacking. Again, one reason can be it's kerb weight of 1270kg, but again, we are talking about a 1248cc diesel engine and it should pull easily with such weights.
    • The real fun begins when you cross the 3k rpm mark and the car maxes out at 7k rpm.
    • Once in 3rd gear, the car pulls confidently and due to it very well managed mid range torque (190Nm@1750 rpm), you can pull the car past 80 kmph while still remaining under 4.5k rpms. I actually floored the Accelerator in 4th gear and the car easily touched 100kmph without any effort what so ever.

    Drive and Comfort

    I guess that's the main thing anybody would like to look into while buying a car of this segment.

    • For a B+ segment car, I found the power steering of the car a bit un-refined and there's a lot of scope of improvement over this front.
    • Same goes for the Gear Shift. The Gear Shift movements though short, but are a bit stiff and do not inspire a sense of sophistication.

    (The above points can be due to the fact that it was a demo car which generally get pretty badly abused)

    • The sitting is pretty decent too. Owing to the ample leg space both for the driver and co-passengers both besides and behind the driver, the overall travel experience in the car is pretty comfortable.
    • The brakes could have had more bite in them.... but overall work fine and stably.

    Overall I found the Indica Vista Aura, a wee bit lacking for a B+ segment but still, before giving the final thumbs up or down, I would like to test drive it's petrol version. But seeing the price of the petrol version - Rs. 383899 ex-showroom for the normal Aura and Rs. 414756 ex-showroom for the 10th Anniversary Aura, in Gurgaon, the price war is really hot and the end customer is the final winner over here, riding cool in Tata Indica Vista.

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    Item Reviewed: Tata Indica Vista Aura - First Impression Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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