Tata Zest Facelift First Look Review

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Tata Zest Overview

The past few years haven’t been good to Tata Motors’ passenger car division. It has had a few good products, but there always was something that didn’t sit right. Of course, there were even more things that were brilliant about the products, but desirability, one of the most important things in an economy such as ours where a car still remains in large part a luxury rather than a necessity, was absent. Tata has now recognised this, and has thrown everything they have behind the new range of products that will launch from now on, and it all begins with this small car that will replace the cheapest sedan on the planet – the Tata Zest. Does it manage to deliver what Tata so badly needs?

Tata Zest Style

Tata Zest was designed with inputs from the company’s three different design studios – Pune (India), Conventry (UK) and Turin (Italy). Several designing processes were also carried out by the help of Jaguar Land Rover – company’s luxury vehicle divison, as more than 6000 engineers and technicians worked relentlessly and rigorously across five countries and eleven centres. All the aforementioned hard work resulted in the birth of a distinct and never-seen-before sedan in the form of Zest. Being based on a thoroughly modified X1 platform,

The all-new styling of the Zest is based on its new design direction of ‘Confident Dynamism’. As far as the front fascia is concerned, it flaunts the all new company signature grille with the newly introduced ‘Humanity Line’. This front grille is complimented immensely well by the dual projector headlamps with chrome accents, which are standard for every variant, except the base XE. Moreover, the top-end trim XT also enjoys LED daytime running lamps. The front bumper boasts triangle shaped twin fog lamps and double slat air dam. Check car loan for Tata Zest.

Coming to the side profile of the sedan, it has an enlarged C-pillar which makes the roofline a bit sloppy. The Zest has body colored ORVMs with blinkers and turn indicators, body colored door handles, and body colored bumpers as standard across the entire range of variants. The flared wheel arches have been bestowed with 15″ alloy wheels which, again, are standard feature and offered with each and every variant. At the rear-end of the car, the Zest is the first car in its segment to flaunt LED tail lamps. The whole tail lamp cluster is quite stylish and feature a wrap around design.

The boot-lid gets a lot of chrome treatment, particularly around the horizontally positioned strip, company logo and model badging. Tata Zest is being offered with 6 vibrant colors – Buzz Blue, Venetian Red, Sky Grey, Dune Beige, Platinum Silver and Pristine White. In all, Tata has finally succeeded in carving out a niche sedan that is good looking, stylish and sporty. It won’t be an exaggeration to term it ‘The Best Tata Car’ till date in the exterior designing aspect.

Tata Zest Space

Step inside the Zest and you might step out instantly mistaking it for a premium sedan. The team has not only improved but taken the standard several notches higher. First glance of the dashboard, central console and the steering wheel and it won’t remind of any other Tata car.It is the suave beige dashboard panel which manages to attract all attention possible. The trim quality and the plastics used are fantastic. The instrumental panel which sports a new design along with a central display of essential information has been tweaked too. It feels similar to the one on VW models. It displays all the information along with the gear engaged indicator.

The XT petrol variant comes loaded with features and functions. The Zest is one modern Tata car and the reason behind that statement is the series of duties the infotainment screen can do. If you wish to set the temperature or change the mode of air conditioning, it can be done with ease. It gets a powerful fully automatic air conditioner with climate control.

Personally I feel, the most important aspect inside a car has to be its entertainment system. I was thoroughly impressed with the one on Ford Classic but the one in Zest is equally amazing. It gets an 8 speaker individual channel music system by Harman. You can fiddle around with the sound quality along with adjusting the area of concentration with just a simple touch on the infotainment screen.

It also gets USB and Aux-in options along with Bluetooth telephony. All of them can be controlled via the screen in addition to the controls mounted on the steering wheel. There is also a segment first feature of voice assist in the Zest. The system is quick to understand voice commands. It can play music, adjust AC and make phone calls without any efforts. For more information on Tata Zest check Bioinformatica

Seats are reasonably comfortable. Even in top spec variant there are no leathers and instead it gets high quality fabric seats. Leather seats will be available as an optional pack. The Zest is primarily a driver centric car and it feels roomy in the first row while it is reasonably spacious for the second row. Door trims do not get space for large bottles. There are cup holders in the central zone. The boot swallowed our bags giving us a fair its large storage area.

Tata Zest Performance

As known, the Zest is being offered in both petrol and diesel trims. The petrol variants in-house the recently unveiled all new Revotron 1.2T engine. Being an extremely silent engine, it is India’s first Turbocharged Multi-point Fuel Injection (MPFi) Petrol engine. This 1193 cc, 4-cylinder, BS IV compliant motor musters out a maximum power output of 88.7 bhp at 5000rpm and a best-in-class peak torque performance of 140Nm at 1750-3500rpm.

The power is transferred to the front wheels of the sedan enroute a 5-speed manual transmission. On the other hand, the diesel variants come loaded with company’s tried and tested Fiat’s 1.3 MJD engine which returns power in two states – 73.9 bhp and 88.7 bhp. The base trim XE carries this engine and it belts out a top power of 73.9 bhp at 4000rpm and a maximum torque of 190Nm at 1750-3000rpm. It is paired to the company’s traditional 5-speed manual transmission. The remaining variant lineup of the diesel trim, donning the same 1248 cc, 4-cylinder, BS IV compliant engine, gets a power output of 88.7 bhp at 4000 and torque performance of 200Nm at 1750-3000rpm. All the variants are coupled with the company’s conventional 5-speed gearbox, except the XMA as it is mated to the first-in-class F-Tronic technology-enabled, 5-speed Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), with both Automatic and Sequential mode of gear-shifting.

Although, Tata is not the best in this aspect with the Zest but still it has tuned its both engines effectively to return a decent fuel economy. The petrol variants deliver a fuel economy of 17.6 kmpl while the diesel variants come up with an impressive 23.0 kmpl. Both the aforementioned mileage figures are ARAI certified and recorded under normal conditions and they may vary. In thick traffic, narrow and congested roads, and overcrowded streets, the mileage might drop down 4-5 kmpl in both the guises.

Tata Zest Driving

Just like the engines, Tata has tried to keep all the good things that Tatas are known for – namely, great ride – and tried to get rid of the bad things like the look of the cars rolling along on castors, the vibration in the steering at high speed and ordinary feedback from the controls. The steering is now an electrically assisted unit, and Tata has taken care that it returns to the straight-ahead when the driver isn’t turning it. It works well, this system, and the steering assist at low speeds is very well tuned. It is accurate at speed, but doesn’t weigh up very much as speeds increase, but we’ll put off a final opinion about this until we get a chance to slingshot the Zest along our favourite set of corners. However, Tata’s claim about it not having vibration stands true: it is as refined as the petrol engine now.

The brakes also are very confidence inspiring. Bite and progression are good, and outright power is good enough to let you brake late with full confidence. ABS, EBD and Corner Stability Control (what I gather to be an advanced form of EBD) are present on the top-spec variants.

The suspension is the traditional layout of McPherson struts in the front, and twist-beam rear. However, to keep the plush Tata ride intact with the larger wheels, Tata has included a second rubber mount for the front suspension that helps the secondary ride. The traditional mounts are also different to work around this, so if you’re thinking of swapping your Zest front suspension for something else, it won’t be possible. However, this is a very interesting solution for the problem at hand – secondary ride, in case you didn’t know, is the shock absorption done by things other than the actual spring and damper. Usually it is the tyres and the suspension mounts (made of hard rubber) that do this job, which is generally at low speed, and the primary ride is taken care of by the spring and damper at speed, because that is when the tyre starts moving vertically over bumps. Goa’s roads are smooth and flowing, so we didn’t get to verify this fully on our short drive, but I can safely say that both in high- and low-speed ride, the Zest is a traditional Tata. As far as handling is concerned, it is a whole new Tata – it takes the fast with the slow equally well, giving an unexpected level of feedback and therefore driver involvement. Of course, the Zest isn’t at the top of the class in the driver involvement section, but that was never the expectation. Is it much improved compared to before? Definitely.

Tata Zest Safety

Tata Zest comes equipped with Disc brake as front brake while Drum brake does the duties as the rear brake. This primary braking system responds instantly and to ensure much better braking, the company has also introduced the most advanced, the 9th generation Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) as secondary braking system. Tata has also blessed the Zest with Speed dependent auto door lock system and Front and rear fog lamps. But unfortunately, the XE variants in both the guises miss out on these features.

The company in a bid to avoid any mishap and make sure of maximum safety of the occupants, has also incorporated segment-first, the Corner Stability Control feature in the Tata Zest with mid and top trims. There are also dual front airbags and front seat belts with pre-tensioner & load limiter in the top-end trim. However, for the security of the vehicle; the company has come up with Immobiliser with every variant. But, the top-end trim XT also has a Perimetric alarm system that makes loud sound if any attempt of burglary or thievery is made.

Tata Zest Cost in Hyderabad

Tata Zest On Road Price is 6,54,434/- and Ex-showroom Price is 5,53,554/- in Hyderabad. Tata Zest comes in 6 colours, namely Venetian Red,Platinum Silver,Sky Grey,Pristine White,Dune Beige,Buzz Blue. Tata Zest comes with FWD with 1193 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 89 bhp@5000 rpm and Peak Torque 140 Nm@1500-4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Tata Zest comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .Check for Tata Zest price in Hyderabad at Autozhop.

Tata Zest Conclusion

The Zest has a lot riding on it, and that is why Tata has put so much thought – and a whole new engine and an automatic gearbox – into it. Usually when a manufacturer says ‘new car’, us cynical, jaded journalists expect a new paintjob and upholstery and not much else, but the Zest has proved my expectations wrong. That is a great thing for Tata, because it will earn respect and, eventually, profit, slowly but surely if things follow this path. This will also be a difficult period for Tata because the expectations that benefit the consumer, like a low purchase price and extremely low cost of spares and maintenance will be retained. Sometimes that will not be possible – a turbocharged engine with three electronic modes, an AMT gearbox, projector headlamps, LED DRLs, LED tail-lamps… these things aren’t inexpensive, but the Zest will be expected to be just that.

As always, it will boil down to the price: if Tata manages to retain its traditional place in the price hierarchy for the moment, it will convince people to walk into the showroom to look at the car. Once they drive it, I’m sure most people will come away impressed. If Tata wants to retain its customers, it will have to work on service as well – I expect Tata to manage the former with an introductory price, and hope that the latter improves dramatically and soon, because that’s what it will need to keep up with products like the Zest and prevent another sales slump.

For the moment, though, Tata’s Zest shines through in almost all areas, and is certainly something that you should wait for if you’re in the market for a sub-four metre sedan.

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