The Tata Tigor is the second compact sedan in the Indian carmaker’s lineup and sits below the Tata Zest. Built on the Tata Tiago platform, the Tigor was first showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo in Delhi as the Kite 5 Concept. The Tata Tigor has been built with the HorizonNext design ideology and is an important product on Tata’s road to revival.While the Tigor was expected to rattle the sub-four metre sedan segment with its pricing, it still sits almost Rs 50,000 below the likes of Honda Amaze, Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, Hyundai Xcent, Ford Aspire and the Volkswagen Ameo.
DESIGN AND STYLE ;
The Tigor compact sedan underpins slightly tweaked version of the XO platform. Although the car uses the same platform, the wheelbase has been extended by 50 more mm to add the extra amount of space for the rear passengers.Coming to its exterior styling, we must inform you all that the Tigor Styleback looks far better than any other compact sedans of the Indian market. It is quite evident that the Tigor hurriedly did not finish designing the car. It does not have any disproportionate lines towards the B-Pillar onward while the boot and the rear profile blends perfectly with the overall design quite well. The sloping roofline towards the rear of the car and that integrated roof spoiler with the stop lamps adds a premium appeal to the Styleback. The rear profile also features a wraparound split LED taillamps which look gorgeous with the Hexagonal elements in it. The lower bumper at the rear profile looks bulky which has helped in making the sedan appear slightly bigger than its sibling Tiago.
Apart from the newly done rear profile, the front and side profile gets the same treatment as seen on the Tiago hatchback. Fewer changes to the front include a smoked projector headlamp which also gets integrated LED DRL’s as well. The lower bumper houses round shaped fog lamps with chrome embellishments. The Tigor also gets Tata’s signature grille with Hexagonal detailing and Tata Motors logo at the centre; this grille can also be found in the Tiago hatchback as well. The side profile too looks identical to the hatchback with no such noticeable changes. However, it does get two different alloy wheel patterns for the petrol and diesel variants respectively.Thus with all the changes mentioned above calling the Tata Tigor one of the most proportionate looking compact sedan’s currently available in the Indian market won’t be an understatement.
CABIN AND COMFORT ;
Step inside and you won’t notice and major changes over the Tiago. The dashboard design is exactly the same including the 3-spoke steering wheel and the instrument cluster. However, you get some more goodies in the Tigor compared to its hatchback sibling. The centre console comes with a Harman Connectnext touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity. It is being offered with Tata App Suite that lets you control the system via several apps for Navigation, Music, Emergency, Car Settings, etc. The display also doubles up as a reverse parking camera display. The touch quality isn’t great but the interface is user friendly. You also get steering mounted audio controls along with voice command system. The Tigor comes with 8 speakers and it sounds quite impressive with clear acoustics.
Another additional feature over the Tiago is the automatic climate control system which works quite well and cools the cabin effectively. The quality, fit and finish is similar to the hatch, which is quite impressive as Tata has improved their quality leaps and bounds compared to the older products. There are quite a few storage spaces to keep the cabin neat and tidy. The seats are very comfortable, specially the rear seats that have been improved in terms of padding and support. The legroom is ample at the back and you also get centre arm rest with cup holders. The boot is very accommodating with 419-litre of capacity. The best part about the boot is that you don’t get those conventional hinges that hinder the capacity and instead Tata has put hydraulic struts for optimum space in the boot.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;
The Tigor will be available with the same diesel and petrol motors that power the Tiago, and both motors will be mated to a five-speed manual transmission. As of the now, the petrol version will not get an AMT gearbox option which is available on the Tiago. Let’s talk about the diesel Revotorq engine first. This is a 1.0-litre three-cylinder diesel mill that makes 70bhp and 140Nm of torque. On firing the engine, the diesel clatter can be heard within the cabin and some of the vibrations filter through to the pedals too.Off the mark, the diesel Tigor builds up pace in a linear manner and there’s hardly any turbo lag. It’s not exactly quick but there’s a mild surge at 1,900rpm till about 3,200rpm which helps the progression in speed. However, the narrow range means that you need to keep working the gearbox at times to derive the best out of this engine, especially for a quick overtake. One also needs to note that the engine gets louder when revved hard. This five-speed gearbox shifts with decent accuracy along a slightly rubbery gate but the throws are long and they sometimes don’t shift appropriately while slotting in a hurry.
This brings us to the all-aluminium three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engine that produces 85bhp and 114Nm of torque. This motor has undergone tweaks to improve the refinement and it shows immediately. However, if you keep the throttle depressed, the engine noise makes its presence felt but it doesn’t sound coarse. This is especially pronounced when you rev it to overtake or carry out a performance oriented manoeuvre. However, after driving the diesel Tigor, the petrol version felt a lot more eager and the build-up of momentum is quite linear all the way to the 6400rpm red line. This motor also has enough grunt for some adequate highway cruising abilities too.The five-speed gearbox on the petrol Tigor has long throws which feels far from precise. But thanks to the slightly lighter clutch (than diesel), the entire shifting process is easier. There are two drive modes on offer, namely Eco and City. The outcome of these modes are more pronounced in the petrol than in the diesel. When you start either of the engines, the City mode is activated by default, however on choosing Eco mode, the system slightly reduces the response from the engine to make way for more efficiency. Nevertheless, we felt that out on the highway, it makes sense to slot in City mode for some extra mid-range punch especially while overtaking.
DRIVING DYNAMICS ;
In terms of driving, the Tata Tigor ride has a very supple ride. It irons out most of the road bumps and it does a fairly good job. The handling too, is one of the best in its segment. Push it around a bend and the hatchback does a good job. The steering wheel is light and still has good enough feedback. This is what makes it stand out.The fuel tank capacity of the Tata Tigor is 35 litres, which will be sufficient for long road trips as well. The ride quality of this vehicle is good and what stands is its handling. It is a good mix of ride quality and handling characteristics. The ABS on offer comes with EBD (electronic brake force distribution), corner stability control (CSC) for enhanced braking efficiency.
BRAKING AND SAFETY ;
Tata Tigor specifications include disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear as standard. As for the safety of occupants, the company has incorporated a plethora of premium safety features, like dual front airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Corner Stability Control (CSC), speed-dependent auto door locks, follow-me-home lamps, park assist with sensors and camera, and seat belt with pretensioners and load limiters. Sadly, the base grade XE doesn’t get any of the aforementioned features.
What’s clear is that the Tigor is not just a Tiago with a boot. It’s got a different vibe and that’s all thanks to the way it looks. It is an attractive car and has a certain visual appeal that the typical compact sedan doesn’t have. In a sense, the Tigor will attract buyers to whom design and style get priority over practicality. That’s not to say the Tigor isn’t practical. Much to the contrary, it’s got a well thought-out cabin, ample interior space and a large and useable boot. At the same time, top-spec Tigor’s also address modern day requirements for connectivity and features.Where the Tigor could have been better is under the bonnet. Both the petrol and the diesel engine could have done with more power. In fact, given the good ride and handling package, the powertrain is the sole area where the Tigor feels a notch down to the existing compact sedans. But here’s the thing. The Tigor will come in under the Tata Zest, which by extension means it will be priced significantly lower than compact sedans like the Maruti Swift Dzire, Honda Amaze, Hyundai Xcent, Ford Figo Aspire and Volkswagen Ameo. Tata is said to be looking at an aggressive price tag for the Tigor with prices likely to range from Rs 4 lakh (estimated, ex-showroom, Delhi) for the base petrol to Rs 6.5 lakh for the top-spec diesel. And that means the Tigor could sit in a sweet spot in the market with no direct rivals.The Tiago hatchback has already shown there’s a market for a well-priced Tata. The Tigor has the potential to take things up a few notches.