After numerous sightings, great expectations and a long wait, the Tata Tigor is finally out of the bag. For those of you who just tuned in, the Tigor serves as a sedan version of the Tiago, and will sit below the Tata Zest. This is a compact ‘under four meter’ sedan for those buyers who need the convenience and practicality from such a vehicle but with an unmistakeable dash of style. It is for this same reason that Tata calls the Tigor a ‘Styleback’, thanks to the unique fastback-like design of the rear portion.While the Tiago was the first well-rounded product from the Tata portfolio, a lot now rests on the shoulders of the Tigor to build upon that reputation. Let’s dig deeper to find out what makes Tata’s new Tigor tick. Check Price of Tigor
Study photos of the Tigor and Tiago’s front ends and you’ll find only a few subtle differences. The Tigor’s headlights get a smoked-effect and also use projector lenses. New chrome lining for the lower portion of the glasshouse adds a bit of richness to the Tigor’s look. However, it’s from the B-pillar onwards that the Tigor takes on a whole different identity. The sedan sits on a 50mm longer wheelbase, uses different rear doors and even has a unique window line with a Skoda-like upward kink at the rear quarter glass. Visually though what really makes the Tigor stand out is the coupé-like manner the roof flows into the tail; inspiration for the ‘Styleback’ name. The swooping roof and distinctive tail section make the Tigor look far removed from all other compact sedans that are, more often than not, hatchbacks with a boot tacked on. Certain angles aren’t quite as flattering to the Tigor’s derriére (especially on the diesel version that gets only 14-inch rims) but, on the whole, the car’s shape is attractive and sure to be a big draw.
Styling at the rear is neat, helped by the smart tail-lamps, chunky bar of chrome above the number plate and a black plastic strip low down on the bumper to balance visual mass. There are also some nifty details elsewhere on the body. See the blacked-out lip (home to a strip of LEDs) above the rear windscreen? Aside from being a design element in its own right, it’s also the end point for a neatly hidden hump in the roof that’s been incorporated to free up headroom in the rear section of the cabin. Care has been taken to ensure maximum boot space too. How? Tata has ditched the traditional gooseneck hinges for the boot opening and opted for a significantly more expensive multi-hinge and damper arrangement. The setup is less intrusive and helps make the most of the luggage area, which, by the way, is a sizeable 419 litres. Another point to note is that only petrol Tigors will be available with the attractive ‘diamond cut’ 15-inch alloy rims. As mentioned, diesel Tigors make use of smaller 14-inchers. Tata engineers we spoke to told us the heavier diesel required the added cushioning of thicker sidewall tyres to keep ride comfort at the desired level. In all, the Tigor weighs 50kg more than a comparable Tiago.
Although there are plenty of changes on the exterior Tata Motors decided not to mess too much with the cabin inside for the Tigor. You can clearly notice that the steering wheel, dashboard, instrument cluster and everything else that you see shared with the Tigor hatchback. However, the changes do come in the form of a new 5.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system which housed in the middle of the dash.
What else is also new is the rear seat design. Tata Motors calls it a sofa because the back seat stretched to the both the edge of the door opening; the rear seat also gets a foldable rear armrest with two additional cupholders exclusive to Tigor. There are also plenty of cubby holes inside the cabin as well Tata says that there are as much as 17 cubby holes inside the cabin which is quite practical. The extended wheelbase has not only helped in extracting the maximum amount of knee room for the rear passengers but boot space as well. The Tigor gets an impressive 419 Litres of boot space at the back of this compact car which definitely will come in handy for the customers of this segment.
Overall the interior looks spacious (credit goes to the extended wheelbase), well-equipped thanks to the new touchscreen infotainment screen, automatic climate control (available on the top end variant) and JBL speakers. The seats too look comfortable because it is slightly more reclined and can comfortably accommodate 3 average side adults. Furthermore, the cabin also gets plenty of cubby holes as well which really comes in handy during long tours.
We drove both the petrol and diesel versions, and the engines and transmissions are the same 1.2-litre 3-cylinder Revotron and 1.05-litre 3-cylinder Revotorq from the Tiago mated to five speed manual gearboxes. Power and torque figures are the same as the Tiago’s, at 85PS and 114Nm. The diesel remains unchanged too, offering 70PS of power and 140Nm of torque. However, as the Tigor is heavier by 40 – 50 kgs, the gearing has been tweaked to offer the right kind of drivability.On the road, the engine feels smooth and is quiet at idle but gets a bit noisy as you rev it. The petrol engine is the better pick in this lineup as it feels livelier even at low speeds. Throttle response is quicker at part throttle, which should make the petrol easier and more comfortable to drive in city. However, the petrol uses gear ratios that are aimed at getting good fuel efficiency and that saps some of the engine’s peppiness. For instance, you can almost hit a speedo-indicated 140kph in third gear alone!
Being more powerful, it also felt quicker to accelerate, and also has a better torque curve since its power does not taper off as sharply as the diesel’s. It also feels quite at ease while cruising on the highway.The diesel feels quite dull to drive. It is at its peppiest best in a very narrow window. Turbo lag is apparent below 2000rpm and you feel some of the turbo’s effect at around 2200rpm, but it tapers off just after 3500rpm. Any time you want to go faster, whether in the city or on open roads, you will have to work the gearbox. Gearshift quality in the diesel is also not as good as in the petrol, especially when shifting from second to third gear.Petrol and diesel both get Eco and City driving modes, like the Tiago, and Tata says the modes have been tweaked for a better experience.
DRIVING DYNAMICS ;
The ride quality has to be one of the Tigor’s biggest highlights. The suspension offers a very good combination of ride and handling, especially the diesel, which runs on 14-inch wheels. It soaked bumps and potholes extremely well, and while both versions do not lose their composure over bad roads, the diesel offers a better ride with lesser up-and-down or side-to-side movements. The petrol uses 15-inch wheels and tends to cause more movement on broken roads, though ride quality is very good.The Tigor is impressive in terms of handling too. The suspension offers confidence when driving sportily or going fast around corners. The steering has a nice weighted feel, and it is not too sharp in terms of responses, but the suspension adds to the confidence. The petrol feels more confident with its bigger wheels and a slightly more responsive steering, as it is lighter than the diesel by about 70kg. Brakes feel good, though we would have liked some more initial bite. Stability under hard braking is better in the petrol.
Tata Motors is offering the new Tigor with dual front airbags, ABS, EBD with cornering stability control. The Tigor hasn’t been crash tested yet but the body panels and the sheet metal feels quite solid and well built, specially when you open/close the doors. Tata has a wide network across the country and with the success of the Tiago, their after sales have become much better. The Tigor is expected to offer low maintenance with reasonably priced servicing and spare parts.
The Tata Tigor styleback surely was able to impress the crowd with its styling and also with its features both inside as well as outside. The smoked projector headlamps, stylish alloy wheels, coupe-like roofline all contributes to the unique looks of this compact sedan. The interior too gets plenty of updates as well in the form of better legroom for the rear passengers, redesigned rear seats a new touchscreen infotainment screen and JBL speakers. The car uses the same drivetrains from the Tigor hatchback which might affect the performance a bit because the compact sedan is slightly heavier than the hatchback. What the owners will also miss is an AMT transmission as well which makes driving a lot more stress-free especially in bumper to bumper City traffic. But Tata might introduce the AMT at a later stage for sure with the Tigor.