Tata Motors’ has failed to establish a foothold in the Indian market and continues to burn money every year. But if our first impression at autoX of the Tata Zest is anything to go by, then the company is set to take a U-turn - a much needed one.
Speaking of design, the large headlights of the Tata Zest catches the eye and feature projectors - a first in class - along with LED daytime running lights. The headlights extend till the miniature grill that houses the Tata Motors logo.
The sides of the car are dominated by a shoulder line, with a further line added at the bottom to give it a sporty look. The boot is well integrated with the rest of the car, in stark contrast to the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire.
Overall, the design of the Zest is on the impressive side and is different to anything that has come out of Tata Motors’ factory.
The interiors was one space we were expecting the least from Tata, a company infamous for providing inferior quality plastics and upholstery. However, the Zest has completely changed our perception about a Tata Motors car. The seats are comfortable and the two-tone colour shade of the interiors give it a pleasing look. The instrument cluster is now in front of the driver instead of the middle of the dash - a rather welcome change.
Tata has worked closely with audio-giant Harman to satisfy the infotainment needs of the users. The top-end variant of the Tata Zest comes with a touchscreen, with bluetooth connectivity and voice command. The sound quality - as verified by us at autoX - is excellent and might well lure some customers away from rivals.
As far as power units are concerned, the Tata Zest comes in both petrol and diesel trims. The 90 bhp, 1.3 litre diesel engine is sourced from Fiat and comes with an automatic variant - a first in segment. The petrol engine, on the other hand, is made in-house by Tata and seems powerful and refined. Users can choose between Eco, City and Sport mode according to their varied needs.
Tata has introduced the Zest to reverse its increasingly waning fortunes in the Indian market. The company has brought a quality product, with styling, interiors and engine - all taken care or. While there is scope for improvement, the Tata Zest is a step in the right direction.
Moreover, it is a sub-4 metre - a segment that has shown tremendous growth in recent years. However, with strong opposition from Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Honda Amaze and Hyundai Xcent, it would be a difficult ride for Tata.
Tata Zest Quadrajet 90PS
Engine: 1,248cc / 4 Cylinders / 16 Valves / Common Rail Direct-Injection / Turbocharged
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual / Front-Wheel Drive
Power: 89bhp @ 4,000rpm
Torque: 200Nm @ 1,750-3,000rpm
Price: Rs. 7 lakhs (Ex-showroom, Delhi)