Launched: Tata Zest
Tata's new compact sedan is now on sale, at a lip-smacking price
After a really long wait, the Tata Zest is finally here. To give you a recap about the car itself, the Zest is spun off a heavily-modified 'X1' platform. In simpler terms, it's the same platform as seen on the Vista/Manza cousins, with significant revisions.
It has been co-designed by Tata's design centres in Pune, Coventry and Turin, and has been developed with three basic principles in mind: the first of which is DesigNext, Tata's new design language, which now includes the new Tata grille, and a 'Humanity Line' that flows into the headlights. The second principle is DriveNext, which emphasises Tata's approach to improved driving dynamics with the inclusion of a speed-sensitive power steering (which is now electric, and not hydraulic) equipped with the 'Active Return' feature as seen on the Nano Twist. ConnectNext is the third principle, with Tata placing importance on seamless connectivity between the driver and the car by introducing a five-inch Harman touchscreen infotainment system.
The Zest can be had with the new 1.2-litre, four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine that puts out 89bhp and 140Nm of torque, as well as the 89bhp, 200Nm 1.3-litre Quadrajet diesel that does duty on almost half of India's hatchbacks and small sedans. Also available is the 74bhp version of the same engine, which is only available in the base XE trim. The 89bhp diesel Zest can also be had with a new five-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) that Tata has co-developed with Magneti Marelli. The AMT is around 5 per cent more efficient than a conventional manual 'box, according to Tata's internal tests. With its under-four-metre length effectively classifying it as a small car, the AMT-equipped, diesel-propelled Zest XMA, at Rs 6.99 lakh, is now the cheapest two-pedal diesel car on Indian roads.
So, to the introductory prices. The petrol Zest starts at Rs 4.64 lakh for the XE, Rs 5.25 lakh for the XM, Rs 5.43 lakh for the XMS, and Rs 5.99 lakh for the XT. The diesel Zest starts at Rs 5.64 lakh for the 74bhp XE version, Rs 6.27 lakh for the XM, Rs 6.45 lakh for the XMS, while the XMA, with the AMT, is the same price as the manual gearbox-equipped XT - Rs 6.99 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom, Delhi).
At this price, it undercuts the likes of the Hyundai Xcent, Maruti DZire and the Honda Amaze. Opinions, TG.commers?