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Found 20 results

  1. Hi All, Creating this new thread of Tata Tigor XZ variant Ownership review, details will be provided as and when updates and observations comes up during the ownership. I had NANO CX 2012 model, clocked 65000. NANO is a good car and never gave any trouble in last six years. I have driven Nano from Visakhapatnam to Mumbai and back, other destinations ware Puri, Bhubneshwar, Raipur, Araku, Guntur, Vijaywada, Hyderabad, Palasa, Srikakulam, so overall it has served its purpose without any fuss or breakdown. The search for replacement of Nano began in Feb 2017 when this GST bill was about to pass which speculated that the price might go up or come down. Looking at the positive side of the price coming down , I checked out Ertiga, Breeza, Baleno, Aspire. Price somewhere was a big issue in deciding the car. My requirement was simple, it should be road worthy as I prefer travelling to long distances by road only. So this is how it all started, I was desperately looking for an upgrade, there were quite a few in that segment like Aspire Dzire, Baleno. I do a lot of road trips, i.e. second home. So after a lot of test drive and various ownership reviews on net and TAI, I checked out TATA Tigor seriously, after a lot of dilemma decided to make Tigor our next family member. I am a petrol head and love driving petrol car only period, so no point looking for Diesel. My daily run is 32 Kms plus few extra kms during weekends and using diesel car for the same does not make any sense. The features in Tigor at such price was one more deciding factor. Come July when I went for my NANO servicing, a blue color beautiful Sedan was displayed in service center. I checked it looked around and it got my attention. It was Tigor, After going through a lot of reading on internet and finding the facts, discussion with wife we zeroed on making this car as our new family member. So one 08 Sep , booked my Tigor by paying 10000 INR and to my surprise the dealer said the delivery can be done the following week. excitement was at its high and on 9th I was able to visit the stockyard for PDI. One look at the Espresso brown and I knew it was going to be my new family member. On road price as per dealer is 713031 INR, I got 60000 INR for NANO in exchange and was able to successfully negotiate 5 K from the insurance, 2000 as corporate discount, also negotiated for seat cover and dealer agreed for a discount of 50 % bringing down the price to 3500 INR. so On road it is going to cost me 643031 INR. Mr Prabhakar from Siva Shankar Motors Visakahapatnam also promised few additional goodies like mud flaps, extra pair of Mats and perfume for the car, Also they are giving an offer of 1 Gm gold coin or cash discount which gave me another 3 K minus from the total amount. Wait begun for 21 Sep when the car will be delivered. After one day of Ownership. 1) Smooth delivery process. 2) The sound of engine when it was started by me is mesmerizing. 3) already completed 101 Kms. 4) Showing 10.2 KMPL, hope this changes soon. 5) Tank filled till brim with 35.2 Liter of petrol. 6) Found a bit lag in power in ECO mode. 7)Don't now but it seems I am feeling little pain in my right arm, while driving, so had to switch to left arm diving. 8) Steering is light and very responsive. 9) Reverse parking with sensors seemed to be a challenge, hope I will be used to in few days. 10) Second gear with 2000 RPM cleanly shows loss in power. 11) Following the gear shifting as it indicates in MID. 12) ORVM having amazing view, top notch. IRVM at night is a blessing. 13) A real head turner. 14) Height adjustment of the seat is good. 15) Felt 5 gears not adequate for this car, felt the lack of 6th gear on highway. 16) A sure shot head turner, I thoroughly enjoyed the way people looked at my car. Observations after a weeks ownership. 1) Driving comfort at par with any other car from this segment. 2)Maximum speed touched was 140 Km, did not feel any vibration, no issues faced apart from a bit of delay in car coming to halt post braking. 3) Gear knob felt a bit shaky after 100 KMph. 4) Engine noise can be heard in the cabin. 5) AC is too good, bone chilling. 5) Fuel efficient showing as 13.2 as I write this. 6) Shockers are the best things in the car, not at all bumpy under any circumstances, takes on pot holes without a fuss. 7) Did a bit of off roading and found the car too be ok for off roading as well. 8) Felt a bit of power lag in 4th gear. 9) Rear seat riding feels good, very comfortable ride. 10) Boot space is a boon takes on your weekend grocery shopping with ease. 2 months over and ODO completed 4300 kms which included one road trip of 2212 kms. The car is getting better by each kilometer and the best part is post completing 3 K kms, the vehicle is giving an average of 21 on highways and 18 in city. No problem whatsoever so far. Good to see TATA has actually looked into the quality bit. The car is real value for money keeping in mind other brands with the same features are at least 75 K to 1 Lakhs more than Tigor. Car is very stable, low vibration at high speeds of 120-140 kmph. though the cabin noise due to raod and tyre is a bit on the higher side but one can live with it due to the Harman music System. It is not suggested to go for such speeds keeping in mind the safety angle and unexpected Indian road. Completed 5200 Kms , engine sound is reducing and I am able to see the smoothness coming in with increase in mileage by 1.5 to 2 Kms (again depending on driving manners). Drawback of car not being pick up friendly is very much prominent otherwise, its gem of a car. few points post completion of 5k KMS. (a) Hassle free ride absolutely without any problem. (b) Burning smell issues observed earlier is talk of past. (c) Tyres filled with nitrogen 30days back is still intact with no pressure drop (Checked today 17/12/17). (d) Under body cover of some sort in the engine bay could have been of some help as every time I open the bonnet I am able to see soil accumulation on various parts. (e) One can easily get 20 Kmpl in cities if the urge of moving fast is controlled. (f) No regrets of going for 2nd time TATA as it provides whatever I need with family of 4 with two growing up children. (g) completed 2212 kms road trip without any kind of stress or fatigue. 2nd Free service done after 7380 Kms on 9/1/17. Appointment was booked online through TMSC app, the SC followed up quite diligently with me to update on the schedule. Checks were carried out as per the Manual. 1) General check up for oil levels and engine oil check was done. 2) Air and AC filter were cleaned. 3) Wheel balancing and alignment was done. They charged for Balancing( for lead attachments). 50 INR. 4) Wiper water pump was changed as it was not giving desired result, spray of water instead it was just dropping water on the lower part of the wind shield. Replaced without any charges as under warranty and gold AMC. Attached video is of the location of the pump. 5) Laptop was connected for cleaning of all the sensory data which included cleaning of engine management system post which the spanner symbol indicating service due on MID was gone. The next symbol will come post 15 K kms as a reminder for 3rd service. 6) Washing and cleaning was done. 7) Only thing that didn't went down well with me was it took five hours for doing this regular job. I went for buying center Arm rest for my car and works fine. Actual price as it is TATA genuine accessories is 5293 INR, I was able to bargain and bring down the price to 3998 INR . It took 10 mins for the SC guys to fix. No vibrations and quite nifty, only loss is the center water bottle space is now covered due mounting of the arm rest. initially one might not find it comfortable for engaging the hand break, however one can live with it.
  2. Introduction Its been just over 2 months since I bought the Tata Aria. It was a tough decision since there were so many options in the market one will be spoilt for choice. I still did some research and narrowed down to six cars with Tata Aria, MS Ertiga, Toyota Innova, 2014 Mahindra Scorpio, Chevy Enjoy, Safari Storme. I expelled the Enjoy for its dated cabin and poor quality, next to go was the Storme just because it was so similar to the old safari, next in line to go was the Innova for its taxi image. I narrowed down to 3 options and then deducted the Scorpio because I already owned a 2012 Scorpio and this one was too similar. With the last 2 contender the Tata Aria seemed to be a better contender on parameter of space, practicality and goods on offer in the car. Exterior One would be amazed by looking at its gigantic proportions with a close to 5 meters of length its definitely long. From the front you see a resemblance to other Tata products with vertically slotted sharp headlamps and the smiling grill being the prominent features in the front. Move on to the side and you’re bound to notice the huge proportions of the vehicle. Although the side is pretty much plain you have some design cues such as blacked out B & C pillars and Aria decal running on the side of the car. On the rear it’s the same familiar Tata look with vertical pillar stacked tail lamps with clear lenses. I would like to mention that the panel gaps are prominent in this car although not as drastic and one will be finding these in the bonnet shut lines and the hatch shut lining in the rear, all the other places have almost no panel gaps. The car is quite high and moving in and out of the car is a bit of a task. Also the ORVM are awkwardly designed and are about a feet excess to the car's width. Interior Interior quality is decent but not upto the mark of say a Toyota Innova. One can find some panel gaps although have to mention that the fit and finish is decent and you get a faint resemblance of a range rover dashboard. You get a lot of kit with the car as seen in the pictures which include one touch power down on all windows, Leather upholstery, 3 Rows of AC with independent controls, etc. One thing that might be a sore eye are the ergonomics of the car. For example, there are almost no cubby holes in the car, the twin glove boxes are so shallow that they cant even house the cars own user manual, front passenger footwell is intruded by the 4X4 transfer box, cup holders on the center stack are practically useless as you end up spilling coffee on your gear knob. One saving grace is the size of door pockets which are big enough to have a 2 litre bottle in them and even then have enough space for a harry potter book. Also the bolstering on these seats are not the most efficient and broad frame people will have a problem fitting in them. Middle row is very comfortable with good underthigh support and a reclining backrest and 4 AC vents to keep you cool. Last row is miserable with not enough space for even 5 footer although you have 2 AC vents and enough space for nic nacks. The rear hatch door houses a dedicated subwoofer housing with bracket and boot has an amplifier housing although it’s small, this housing can also be utilized to keep small but necessary things. AC vents are one thing that are in abundance and hence you get 10 AC vents. The armrest does not come in the base model and the one here is a custom made one. Performance and Ride Quality Tata tweaked the engine to make it more refine and up the power to 150 PS and so it’s a good cruiser. The power is there when you want if you keep it in 1500 – 3000 RPM range. Although in lower RPM it showcases a turbo lag. The NVH level of the car are decent considering it to be a single mass flywheel although higher models have a very good NVH level with a dual mass flywheel. The car gives a mileage of 13 in city with AC and 17 on highways with AC and these are good enough for a car in Mumbai. It cruises in peace at about 120Kmph but feels out of place and pushed hard at over 120Kmph. The ride is very leveled with only crater sized potholes filtering into the cabin. It feels at home on highways because car is about 2.5 tonnes it sticks to the tarmac on high speeds and does not wobble. Its sometimes strange to drive of these enormous proportions with this ease. Verdict Many said that I was taking a wrong step in going for a Tata but it was a heart over mind decision and I don’t regret it, although the after sales are very poor and unpremium and regular services take a lifetime to get done let alone the change of parts and Tata is synonymous with poor reliability, but in all due respect I shall say that I will wait and see it for myself how this Tata delivers. Let’s just hope for good, Fingers Crossed.
  3. I recently bought a new Tata Aria as I posted earlier and, it had a temporary registration when it came, now since the car has to get a registration the dealer which is called as Wasan Motors is demanding Rs.8000 as adjustment charges to the RTO. As my proof I have submitted- 1. Latest electricity bill 2. Latest property tax reciept 3. House Agreement 4. Posession Letter The reason he said for the same is that electricity bill as an address proof wont do the whole job so I need to give some adjustment charges. Please Advice that is it necessary to give such charges.
  4. Music system Installation query

    I just got delivery of my Tata Aria Pure LX Pearl White and as you all know it doesn't come with a music system so I'm planning to install a Volkswagen RCD320 BT music system that I sourced from my Vento. The connectors on the rear look the same as universal connectors but I want to make sure that the system does run in the Aria. I would like you all to put some light on my query.
  5. Want to buy a new car, please advice

    I am looking for a MUV/SUV and have finally bought down my choice to Tata Aria in Pure LX guise and wanted to know if its a good buy or not or should I wait for any new launches. My budget is quite strict at under 10 lacs.
  6. The Tata Aria hasnt really seen the success it expected. First of all it was launched with a hefty price tag which was eventually lowered with 4x2 and cut price variants as well but that hasnt done any wonders either. Here is recent spy shot of the Aria. If you observe carefully it has smoked headlamps which might signal that the Aria might be headed for a facelift soon. The Aria was also showcased with an AT box at the Auto Expo last year but there has been no news on that at all. Youe opinions on the facelift and what Tata should do to turn the Aria's fortunes in the market News and pic source: Motorbash.com
  7. Tata Motors was the first to come out with a compact sedan when it launched the Indigo CS. Everyone jumped onto the band wagon there after. Now it looks like the Manza is undergoing the same treatment. Here are first pics of the Manza CS . It is based on the same platform as the Vista hatchback and the Manza sedan. But, it will share the wheelbase and track lengths, and its exterior and interior styling with the full length sedan. The most significant change to the design is, of course, at the rear. The Manza CS gets a new boot lid design and fresh tail lamps that are of the wrap around variety. The bumpers - both front and back, as well as the front grille design is new and it gets new ORVMs as well. Given the rules that define the excise benefit, the Manza CS will sport a smaller petrol engine. The engine will be a 1.2 litre turbo petrol and will make close to 90PS of max output. Now, we have seen naturally aspirated engines with similar engine capacity make similar power, so the focus forwith this engine clearly is better fuel economy. The Manza CS will come with a 5-speed manual and will run on 15 inch wheels for the top trims. It will comfortably be one of the most spacious in its class as well. It will be available in a number of trim options for both petrol and diesel versions and expect the top of the line variant to sport best in class kit like Bluetooth telephony, digital climate control and possibly an in-built Satnav as well. Here are the pics Source: Zigwheels
  8. Today I have spotted this new tata motors chessis in my city Bhilwara, Rajasthan.
  9. Here are a few spy shots of another Tata Nano testing. The source says that it is a petrol so it could be possible that this has a bigger and more powerful engine. The boot and the bumpers have been camouflaged so l guess this one comes with an openable boot. What do think? Source
  10. The original Sumo was a big hit with private buyers and the yellow plate market alike. It was one of Tata's best seller by far. But the same cannot be said of the Grande which didnt sell that much and was outdone by better products from rival companies. Now Tata Motors is set to give the Sumo Grand a makeover and design cues are said to be coming from the new Range Rover / Land Rover SUVs. Things will remain same under the hood, the 2.2 Liter DICOR turbo diesel engine with the variable geometry turbo charger will be retained, along with the rear wheel drive layout that the current version of the Grande comes with. It is also said that all of Tatas products will take engineering inputs from LR which I think is a way in the right direction. Here are some design sketches of the Sumo Grande facelift Source: indiancarbikes.in
  11. Tata Safari Storme launched

    After ages of speculation, Tata Motors is finally launching the Safari Storme on the 17th of October 2012. The wait for the new Safari has been really long and competition has moved on. The Storme will have a task on its hands for sure. Renault has hit the jackpot with the Duster and Mahindra has achieved huge success with the XUV 500. Do you think the Storme will be able to fight these two rivals and make a mark for itself? Or is it a bit too late to join the party. Also what do you think should be the ideal pricing for the Storme. Opinions?
  12. I've been using this car since July 2012 (all thanks to my boss! )and yes this is my company car- a 2009 Tata Nano LX. Regular readers of the Autocar India magazine would recognize this one instantly! Here's why.. This is the car that was one of the first Nano's to roll off the showrooms and we gave you a full dealership and buying experience when we bought it. AND this is the car that was featured in numerous reviews, road test, long term tests in Autocar India. YES! This is the car that did the epic trip from Singur to Sanad. and Yes (If i am not wrong!) This is one of the very few Nano's that can proudly be called as "Made in Singur"! One of my best experiences with this car was in December last year when I took the car for a routine service at Tata Motors' workshop in Worli Mumbai. A young chap of around 20 was curiously checking out this golden nano. I saw him seeing the car for almost ten mins from various angles. Feeling suspicious, I went near him and seeing me, he raised a question, sir, is this your car? I said yes, Its a company car. But may I i know why do you ask? He said yes, I remember this one, 4068. Its Autocar India's Nano! I remember this one very well. This is the one that made me take the happy decision of buying my first car and then he pointed out towards a yellow one that he had brought for servicing. Hearing all this from him made me proud of the iconic little wonder that I get to use daily and also the publication I work for. This is just one story, I have come accross some more people who remember the cute 4068 very well. One of my colleagues who was part of the Singur to Sanand Drive also bought a similar Nano as a personal car and there are many more! Will come up with more of my experiences with the Nano soon. Its indeed "Khushiyo ki Chaabi" for many Indians! and yes it has more features ( little things that matter) which are not available in the newer 800cc cars! So today (17/2/2013) I took the car to Motoshines, Saki Naka for a steam wash and interior cleaning. Now let the pictures do the talking! This is the place I went to get the car cleaned, Motoshines, Saki Naka, Mumbai The car before cleaning treatment The floor-mats getting cleaned Interior gets a through vacuum done Clean interior for sure Steam wash process starts and more steam wash and some more Ozone treatment starts, this is a treatment done to remove all foul odor from the interior of the car. Total time for the Ozone treatment was 15 mins. The tyres getting the "shine treatment" Clean, real clean interiors and seats. The dash got a mild wax polish done too! Ready to go! Total time for this process, approx 45min to one hour. Approxmate cost: Rs 500 for both steam wash and interior treatment.
  13. The Indigo seems to be a case of never say die and Tata is making it soldier on. How long we dont know but here are clear spy pictures of the eCS which has undergone a facelift. At the upfront, the smart looking grille is the most noticeable change. Also seen are new fog lamps. That completes the changes to the front end. Moving to the back, the rear bumper now gets dual tone shades. The car seen in the pics is a diesel LX variant. There is no clue as to when this model will be launched but it should be sometime this year. But it is not alone as it will have competition from other sub 4 meter sedans like the DZire and the soon to come Verito CS as well. At a time when sales are down Tata should be looking at new models rather than keep refreshing old ones in my opinion Source: Motorbash
  14. are undisguised pictures of the facelifted Tata Nano which will be launched sometime this year. Though its nothing very major here is whats new : Chrome strip on the rear of the car to add a dash of premium-ness to the Nano’s backside The glove boxes atop the dashboard(first seen on the Nano Special Edition) now become standard The facelifted Nano also gets dual speakers that are integrated into the dashboard of the car Honeycomb grille above the rear bumper of the car Integrated Stereo Source: indiancarsbikes.in
  15. JLR engines could power Tata cars

    You could soon have your Tata Safari or Aria with an engine from Jaguar Land Rover. According to a news article in HT, JLR said it may supply its small 2-litre 4-cylinder petrol and diesel engines that its is currently developing in the UK, and these may fit into some of Tata’s sports utility vehicles — the segemnt that has been seeing action in the Indian market in recent times. Tata’s range of SUVs such as the Sumo, Safari and the Aria all use engines that are as big or bigger than 2,000cc, and potentially, can benefit from the new range being developed by JLR. In my opinion this could be an awesome move and honestly just what I had hoped for ever since Tata Motors took over JLR Here is the link to the whole news story in HT http://www.hindustantimes.com/Autos/Latest-News/JLR-engines-may-now-drive-parent-Tata-s-cars/Article1-1035222.aspx
  16. Tata has finally unveiled its first AT vehicle by showcasing the Aria with a 6 speed autobox at the Geneva Motor Show. It will be launched in India later this year. Here is one pic for now directly from Geneva A couple of more pics source: indianautosblog
  17. Introduction: The BCIM (Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar) Car Rally was an exercise undertaken by the Confederation of Indian Industry and Autocar India on behest of the Ministry of External Affairs. It was a convoy drive through India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and China to promote trade, commerce, investment, people to people contact and friendship in the region. More than 3000kms would be covered from Kolkata to Kunming. 80 participants from the four countries were invited to participate in it. They included delegates, government officials, businessmen, doctors, media personnel, technicians and even high ranking officers of Tata Motors. Pre-Rally preparations: Twenty cars comprising of Tata Safari Stormes, Arias, a Xenon and Chinese built Left Hand Drive Hawtai SUVs were parked at The ITC Sonar, Kolkata. The two gentlemen from Tata Motors did a fantastic job to clean and sticker them. Each car was fitted with a CB Radio for communication. The teams from India and Bangladesh would be using Tata vehicles, while the teams from China and Myanmar would use the Hawtais. Inside the hotel, there was a counter for registering the participants' names. On registration, each participant was given a backpack of goodies comprising of Rally T-Shirts, a jacket and a cap among other things. These were to be worn throughout the course of the Rally. Following this was a briefing. Bloomberg Autocar Show editor and presenter, Renuka Kirpalani read out the rules and cleared any doubts that the participants had. She was also the Chief Marshal for the event. This was followed by a photograph session with dignitaries, drinks and a grand dinner where we acquainted ourselves with the other participants. Flag Off and drive from Kolkata to Petropole - February 22, 2013: All the cars were driven in the morning to the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata and lined up in numerical order 1 - 20. Three Autocar drivers including me, were deputed to drive the three Team Bangladesh Tata Arias on the Indian legs of the Rally. I was to drive car #4. After breakfast, there was a cultural programme performed mainly by children. This was followed by speeches from the dignitaries on the dias, notably the Honourable Chief Minister of West Bengal, Ms. Mamta Banerjee and the President of the CII, Mr. Adi Godrej. The CM flagged off the convoy at approximately 2pm. The lead Safari Storme #1 was driven by Autocar India editor, Hormazd Sorabjee. We had been assigned a police escort. Most of the traffic was stopped so that the convoy could pass without any hindrance. While on the move, I got to know more about my passengers. Riding shotgun was a senior news editor and the three gentlemen sitting in rear were officials from various departments. Within a few moments we were chatting and laughing like we had been friends since ages. Most of the talk was about what each of us does and our families. Lunch was had on the move. The packets provided at the start came in handy. I was carrying a lot of music with me, but it soon became apparent that my passengers would not be too comfortable with hard rock, reggae or trance. So the DJ for the day was Ms. Munni Saha who had come loaded with Bangladeshi patriotic music. Driving at speeds up to 70km/h, we glided through towns which would normally be clogged with traffic. Our Chinese participants were not well-versed in English and since they all had Left Hand Drive cars, they did have some trouble keeping up. Occasionally, the convoy would halt and regroup. In another incident an errant driver of a small commercial vehicle grazed the front right door of car #2. Other than that, it was smooth sailing. The road, which was a single carriageway, was fairly good with the occasional pothole. The Aria, which was loaded with people and luggage, gobbled up the miles with no trouble. As we crossed railway lines many times and drove towards the Bangladesh border, my team members gave enlightened me about the people of the region, the trees and even gave me a lesson on the history of the road. All very interesting. Passengers of the other cars in the convoy had even resorted to singing on thr CB Radio. A lady from Myanmar even sang a Bollywood song. The 80kms to Petropole, which is the border town was a breeze. What was touching was the rousing welcome we got. School children lined up along the road, showered us with flowers and shook our hands. An Average Joe like me had never felt so important or welcome anywhere. It was tough to digest. Anyway, this is where I was to get off. I bade goodbye to the team promising to drive them when the convoy entered India again. Aria #4 was taken over by a Bangladehsi driver, while I got into a backup Sumo and returned to my favourite metropolitan city, Kolkata. After spending a day enjoying the historic monuments and street food of this wonderful city, I flew to Silchar in Assam. The next day I was driven to the border town of Sutarkandi in Karimganj district where I would rejoin the Rally. The convoy, meanwhile, drove through Jessore, Dhaka and Sylhet to Sutarkandi. Sutarkandi to Silchar - February 25, 2013: Around 11.30am, the convoy rolled back into India. A function was arranged at the customs office at Sutarkandi to welcome the participants. After parking the cars in the compound, gifts and bouquets were given to the participants by school children and a tilak was applied on their foreheads. The lunch, which was arranged by the army, was delicious and filling. Following this was a cultural programme which incorporated dances from not just Assam, but various parts of the country. It was so entertaining and lively, that many of the rallyists (mostly ladies) started dancing on the stage with the performers. The atmosphere was electric and enjoyed by one and all. Just before the performance was over, I went over to Aria #4 and checked it as I always do before I set off. Starved of driving for almost three days, I was itching to get behind the wheel. It was here that my team members saw me again and welcomed me back in the car. They treated me to some Bangladeshi delicacies which they had got for me while I was not with them. cultural programme over, after saying goodbye and thanking the people who had assembled to greet us, we made our way towards Silchar. The drive as such was uneventful, but, the number of people who had turned up and lined the entire length of the road to Silchar was simply astonishing! Most of the time, I had to keep my right hand free for waving to the crowds. The road was not too bad and the speed was low, so this was not too difficult. My passengers, who were by now well and truly in their element were cheering with the crowds, waving out and even shooting proceedings with a camcorder. We talked about what we did over the past three days and I told them what to expect over the next couple of days. When we reached Silchar there was still an hour or so of daylight left. Parking for the cars was arranged at a stadium. Once again, there was a grand reception at the stadium for us. Speeches from local dignitaries and a few dances followed. It had been a tiring day for everyone, so we had dinner which was arranged by the government and retired to our hotel rooms. Silchar to Imphal - February 26, 2013: At 7am, all the participants were at the stadium to start what would turn out to be the most gruelling day of the Rally. After a few speeches and a cultural event, the convoy set off from Silchar and headed towards Imphal, which is in Manipur. Ahead of us lay 260kms of extremely poor roads. The loose and uneven surface can be a nightmare for inexperienced drivers. Add to that, the road runs along the faces of mountains. The drops are sheer and there are no railings to stop a vehicle going over and as with most mountain roads in our country, landslides can occur at any time too. Even then, cheered by locals, and led by a military Gypsy, off we went. In the car, we talked about something that I could relate to - the Indian automobile industry. My Bangladeshi passengers were particularly interested in the little Nano. It was obvious since it is an extremely convenient city runabout and very cheap too. Perfect for a developing country. A little later, one of my passengers caught sight of a Tata Magic Iris wanted to know everything about it. Bangladeshi patriotic songs were once again playing on the stereo. By now, even though I couldn't understand what they meant, I was getting well-versed with them. We entered the state of Manipur and at the norder town of Jiribam, we were given another absolutely fabulous reception. Things looked good. The scenery was nothing short of stunning, but, as the miles went by, the road went from fairly smooth tarmac, to broken surface to loose surface. A lot of dust was being kicked up by the cars and visibility was poor. We had to maintain a big gap between each car so that no mishap occured. On loose surfaces, keeping up the momentum was the key to not getting bogged down. On harder surfaces, care had to be taken to see to it that the undercarriage would not scrape. The Aria which was probably weighing just under 3 tonnes with the load it was carrying, managed without any issues. So did the other Arias, the Stormes and the Xenon. Dust trails are not new turf for me. So far from feeling frightened, I was enjoying the drive. However, a couple of Hawtais were not so lucky. The fine dust had taken a toll on the transmission of car #10 which was driven by the Chinese team. It would just not move. All efforts to get it going were in vain. It was finally pushed onto a truck With great difficulty. Far ahead, the rest of the convoy was waiting. Here we discovered that car #16, driven by the Myanmar team had developed an oil leak, probably after taking a hit on the undercarriage. After a lot of discussions, some sealant and packing tape were used to try and stop the leak. The trick worked and the leak was now brought under control. We were carrying a lot of spare oil cans with us. This meant that car #16 could continue after a topping up. We had been stationary for well over an hour now and longing to move. So we did. Progress was slow. Many bridges along this road permit just one vehicle to cross at a time and the road winding through the mountains was dangerous. All this, coupled with regular halts to regroup and check the damaged car meant that we were running way behind schedule. A little way up the road, we took another halt at an army camp where they brewed us some fresh tea. In the next town, Nungba, lunch had been arranged for us, but since it was well into the evening and we were running late, we decided to excuse ourselves and skip it. Driving on those roads after nightfall would be very tricky and everyone knew that. So while there was daylight, we decided to cover as much ground as possible. But our efforts were in vain as nightfall beat us comfortably. Meanwhile, in Aria #4, the Bangladeshi patriotic music had made way for some Asha Bhosle classics - a welcome change. With regular halts to regroup, we made our way into Imphal at 10.30pm. The roads were closed to the public, but I was moved by the number of people who had stayed up and come out on the streets to welcome the convoy. The authorities had very kindly arranged a cultural programme and a traditional Manipuri style dinner for us. This was silghtly difficult for me as it had been a very long time since I had had any meals sitting down with my legs crossed. The food however, was delicious. By the time we parked the cars and called it a day, it was past 1.30am. Imphal to Moreh - February 27, 2013: Even though the previous day had been tiring and we had had just a few hours of sleep, we were up and ready by 6am. We took the cars for a wash, had them refuelled and lined them up inside Kangla Fort. Once again, we had car #16 topped up with oil to prevent any problems. The Government of Manipur felicitated the participants and presented them with mementos. It was here that I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Karl Slym, the Managing Director of Tata Motors. He would be joining the rally and driving car #1 from this point. On the request of another senior official from Tata Motors, I gave up my drivers seat in the Aria and made myself comfortable in a backup Safari with our chief photographer and videographer. My job for the day would be to help them select spots and shoot. I soon found out that this was much harder than what I had been doing for all these days. It involved racing up ahead waiting for the convoy in the hot sun. Even then, I had a good time chatting with the lovely policewomen of Manipur and the locals. The distance from Imphal to Moreh, which is the last Indian town before one crosses over to Myanmar, is about 110kms. The main towns along the route are Thoubal and Tengnoupal. Car #8 (Team China) had some overheating issues, but that didn't hold us up for long. We reached Moreh at lunch time and gorged ourselves the delicacies that were prepared for us. This was the last meal I had with the participants of the BCIM Car Rally, 2013. After this, I bade goodbye to all of them, more so to the occupants of Aria #4 and promised to keep in touch. I followed the convoy to the border and then turned back towards Imphal while the Rally crossed the bridge and continued into Myanmar. To conclude, it was not the fastest, longest or toughest drive in my life by a long shot but it was the most special. It's how many smiling faces I saw and all the friends I made that made it more than worthwhile. I'd like to thank the CII, Tata Motors and ofcourse, Autocar India for giving me this opportunity to be a part of this special drive.
  18. Tata has launched the Vista with an 88 bhp 1.3 Quadrajet diesel and the variant is called the Vista Quadrajet D90. This engine is also found in the Fiat Punto 90HP and the Manza Sedan. One of the major changes the Vista 90 comes with is interior styling similar to the Manza saloon’s. This means the instrument console now moves behind the steering wheel.The Vista Quadrajet 90 is available in two trims, namely VX and ZX. The VX comes equipped with features like power windows, central locking, ABS with EBD and trip computer. All Vista Quadarajet 90s will come with a black painted roof. The ZX variant comes with all the features of the VX and adds alloy wheels and dual airbags. The addition of the new diesel motor takes the Vista’s diesel tally up to two. There are also two petrol motors including a 1.2-litre unit that is good for 64 bhp and a 1.4-litre engine that churns out 89bhp. The other diesel motor is the same 1.3-litre unit that makes 74bhp and is shared with various Fiat and Maruti products. Read the ACI review here:http://www.autocarindia.com/Review/330336,tata-vista-d90-review-test-drive.aspx Prices: Vista D90 VX: Rs 5.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), Rs 5.75 lakh (ex-showroom, Panvel), Rs 6.03 lakh (ex-showroom,Mumbai). Vista D90 ZX: Rs 6.83 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), Rs 6.32 lakh (ex-showroom, Panvel), Rs 6.63 lakh (ex-showroom-Mumbai). Fiat Punto Sport 90HP diesel prices Rs 7.59 lakh (ex-showroom-Mumbai)
  19. Tata showcases D90 Xtreme crossover

    Alongside the recent launch of its Vista D90 hatchback, Tata Motors also showcased a concept for a crossover based on the Vista, called the Vista D90 Xtreme. The crossover is conceptualised in the same vein as the Skoda Fabia Scout and the upcoming VW CrossPolo, in that it is a standard hatchback with slightly raised suspension (25mm in this case) and a number of cosmetic touches, like a tailgate-mounted spare wheel, to give it the appearance of an SUV. For the D90 Xtreme, additional touches include black cladding on the bumpers and below the doors, roof rails, flared wheelarches and larger, 16-inch alloy wheels. Interestingly, unlike most SUVs, which mount the wheel directly on the tailgate, the Vista D90 Xtreme’s spare is mounted on a swingarm that is hinged to the rear bumper, beneath the hatch. This was done to avoid tailgate rattle, and to keep the hatch door light enough to lift open easily. And since the spare wheel is not counted in the car’s overall length (which is the same as the standard hatchback’s) the car will still qualify for sub-four-metre small car excise benefits. On the inside, the car gets black leather seats with yellow stitching, and an aluminium-effect gearlever and pedals. Under the bonnet, the standard Vista D90’s 89bhp, 1.3-litre, variable-geometry turbo-equipped Quadrajet engine has been modified to produce 104bhp. Our sources tell us the modifications have been carried out in-house by Tata Motors, with a little help from Abarth, Fiat’s performance division. The tweaks include a modified exhaust, a remapped ECU and an optimised turbocharger. More here: http://www.autocarindia.com/News/330469,tata-vista-based-crossover-unveiled.aspx
  20. Folks, which is the best budget hatch currently available in the country? The Tata Nano 2012 or the long-in-the-tooth Alto and Spark? I personally like the K10 and the way it drives but the interior and the 1990s styling now look a bit boring as compared to the fashionable new Eon which is again an okayish car with poor driving dynamics. What's your say?