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Review: Tata Indica eV2
Driven February 2014
Tata Motors has taken the Indica eV2 that it launched in 2011 (which later went through a refresh in 2012), and tweaked it a bit more, inside and out. This is a slight improvement on the hatchback that now borrows traits from its BS4-compliant sibling, the Indigo eCS.
The Indica eV2 comes with just one diesel engine and a 62bhp, 1.2-litre MPFI petrol motor. We drove the 1,396cc, common-rail, CR4, a Tata-developed diesel motor that’s borrowed from the Indica eCS.
As we’ve witnessed earlier, the engine churns out a lacklustre 69bhp and 140Nm of torque, and misses out on refinement and outright punch. The eV2 is no speed demon and won’t heave you to triple-digit speeds in a hurry – it takes a leisurely 16.44 seconds from standstill to 100kph. The Indica eV2 felt more at home in the city, with good initial response from the throttle, while not showing any great urgency in getting ahead of the rest out on the highway.
The eV2 does, however, incorporate an improvement in the form of the F-shift gearbox, which has made the short throws in the five-speed ’box slicker than before. Also, the eV2 now comes with the duo-float suspension, which has marginally improved the already pleasing ride quality of the earlier Indica.
The steering wheel felt flimsy, but thankfully offered small amounts of feedback as pace picked up. The distance between the accelerator and brake pedals is off, and within 15 minutes of driving, you’ll get a great leg and ankle warm-up.
The diesel eV2 comes in two trim levels – LS and LX. Tata has now blessed the higher LX variant with a list of goodies that has bettered the earlier car. Choose the lower LS variant and you’ll miss out on features like keyless entry, central locking remote, fog lamps, engine immobiliser, electrically-operated ORVMs, audio system with Bluetooth, heating, rear power windows, and that metallic moustache on its rear end.
The cabin is a bit gaudy-looking, with those bright beige seats set against black interior plastics and that silver console. The plastic bits again are frail and not up to the benchmark for quality. In an effort to cut costs, Tata is not offering the new eV2 with alloy wheels as an option, even on the LX variant.
The only real impressive bit about this car is its fuel efficiency. We recorded 13.5kpl in the city and 18.2kpl on the highway, which is one of the biggest testimonials for this commuter for the masses. The Indica never was, and still isn’t a fun car to drive. What it is, is an entry-level hatchback that will get you from A to B in relative comfort.
4cyl, 1,396cc, common-rail diesel, 69bhp, 140Nm, 5M, FWD, 0-100kph: 16.44s, 30-50kph (3rd): 3.81s, 30-50kph (4th): 7.05s, 50-70kph (5th): 10.4s, 80-0kph: 37.4m; 3.47s, City kpl: 13.5, Highway kpl: 18.2, Rs 5.83 lakh (on-road, Mumbai)
A budget, no-nonsense commuter with improved features that will get you from A to B without burning a hole in your wallet.