Tata finally launches the Tiago in India, prices start from INR 3.20 Lakhs

The last few years have not been great for Tata Motors. Profits from Jaguar and Land Rover aside, there was hardly anything to cheer about for Tata. One after the other, the Nano, Aria, Storme, Zest and Bolt failed to make an impact, leaving the Indian brand in a state of bother. Just when Tata rested all its hopes in the all-new hatchback, named Zica then, that was about to be launched, the Zika virus outbreak put paid to those plans. Tata had to rename the car and the launch was delayed. After christening it the 'Tiago' based on the results of a public poll, Tata Motors finally launched the car in India today.

The Tiago is a significant launch, given that this is the first all-new car from Tata after the Aria that was launched way back in 2010. And it looks the part. Debuting Tata's new 'Impact Design' philosophy, the Tiago does make an impact the moment you run your eyeballs over it. Up front, Tata's signature honeycomb grille blends beautifully with the well-proportioned headlights. The 'Humanity Line' that's an integral part of the brand's new design language looks classy in chrome and extends into the headlights too. The profile is dominated by a prominent character line that starts from the front fenders and ends in the taillights cutting across the door handles. Smart 10-spoke alloy wheels and a swoosh at the bottom of the doors are not to be missed too. The rear is a clear departure from the Tata cars we have seen so far and features almond-shaped taillights and a sharp bootlid with multiple planes and surfaces. The bumper with black plastic inserts and the roof spoiler with black edges provide a nice contrast to the rear. 

Tata's coming of age with the Tiago doesn't stop with the exteriors. The interiors are far more impressive and can easily be mistaken for a car a segment or two higher. Again, multiple colours, textures and surfaces do the trick and we aren't exaggerating a bit when we say the Tiago's interiors look premium. The impressive steering wheel is a familiar one that we have in the Zest and the Bolt while the hexagonal center console is all new, incorporating the Harman-developed ConnectNext infotainment system that comes with four speakers and four tweeters! Yes, that's right. Given the segment it competes in, the Tiago sports an impressive feature list that includes segment-first features like Turn-by-Turn Navi app and the Juke-Car app apart from the regular features we find in cars of this segment. That's not all, even the side air vents are customizable in body colour, if Berry Red or Sunburst Orange is our choice. 

Safety features include Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Corner Stability Control (CSC), dual airbags for the driver and front passenger, adjustable front head restraints and seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiter. While these are standard on the top variant, all except ABS with EBD and CSC are offered as optional packs in all but the base variant.

Powering the Tiago is a pair of all-new engines developed in house by Tata. Dubbed 'Revotron', the petrol unit is a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine that generates 84 horsepower and 114 Nm of torque. Its an all-aluminium unit and features technologies like Variable Cam Timing (VCTi) and hydraulic lash adjusters. The diesel mill is called 'Revotorq' and generates 69 horsepower and 140 Nm of torque. This 1.05-liter 3-cylinder mill with a cast iron block features a balancer shaft to reduce vibrations and improve refinement. Both the engines are mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and feature segment-first 'Multi-drive' mode that lets drivers choose between the peppy 'City' and frugal 'Eco' modes. The petrol and diesel engines have an ARAI-certified fuel economy numbers of 23.84 and 27.28 km/l respectively, making the Tiago one of the most frugal cars on sale in India.

Just like it did with the Zest, Tata has surprised us with an aggressive pricing strategy for the Tiago. The five petrol variants are priced between INR 3.20 Lakhs to 4.75 Lakhs while the diesel variants retail between INR 3.94 to 5.54 Lakhs. Forget the Hyundai i10 that's almost a decade old, these prices are even lesser than Maruti-Suzuki's Celerio and places the Tiago in a good spot to snatch sales from its competitors. 

Tata has done its part well. Its upto us, the Indian car-buying public, now to give the verdict. Will the Tiago go places and help Tata grow? Will Lionel Messi's magic that worked brilliantly in the football field work in the automotive field? Will the Tiago bring in additional sales that Tata desperately needs? Or will Tata's image be a deterrent for all the above to happen? There's a lot to be answered and we can't wait to see how this pans out. For the moment, great job Tata!

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