Car tested: 2012 Tata Indica Vista ZX Quadrajet
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 6,91,237/-
Tata Motors unveiled the Indica Vista for the first time at the 2008 Auto Expo. Since then, alot has changed and new competitors have emerged in the competitive hatchback segment. The Vista has received a much needed facelift to keep it fresh amongst new rivals. The company has not done drastic changes on the Indica Vista, but subtle ones, which have been done after factoring in feedback from existing customers. With the new India Vista, Tata Motors’ expects sales to rise by 20-22% and feels that the LX and VX variant will be the most popular one. With 4 engines on offer across 4 variants, we find out if the Vista is a worthy hatchback amongst global alternatives.
Exteriors – One look at the new Indica Vista and you immediately realize the generous addition of chrome on the car. The front is very reminiscent of the Indigo Manza and has been done intentionally. The company wants people to associate the Vista with the Manza, rather then with the Indica. The new three barrel headlamps and chrome grille go along well on the new Vista. Chrome has been added to the side as well, along with the addition of new 14-inch alloy wheels. The rear gets a pearl black finish strip, along with changes in font size for the TATA and Indica Vista logo. Overall, the design of the Indica Vista remains very similar to the old model, with slight changes to keep things looking fresh. The company is offering the new Vista with two new colours – yellow (from the Indica Sport at the Auto Expo) and blue.
Interiors – Step inside the new Indica Vista and the first thing you realize is the sahara beige interiors. The doors too have been modified to be easy to open and close. The center console has been carried over from the Manza and the steering wheel now sports audio controls. Addition of features on the new Vista has been done to offer value to buyers and thus the new Vista now sports dual airbags, ABS, Blue 5 (BlueTooth system), electrically operated outside rear view mirrors, 2-way adjustable lumbar support and the likes. The good thing though is, that some of the features of the top end ZX model are being offered on the lower variants as well. For instance, the rear wiper is now called intelligent, because it automatically switches on (if the fronts are on), when you put the car in reverse.
The Indica Vista has excellent space and thus the company has given the new car the tagline – Sedan Class. Interior room is one of the best in the segment and the driver as well as co-passengers will have no issues in stretching out in the new Vista. However, this has led to a slightly compromise in boot space, which although is 232-liters, appears to be less due to the hump on both sides from the wheel arch. However, the rear seats have split folding function. Seats are comfortable and the quality has improved significantly. The switches feel a tad heavy to operate, while the buttons on the steering wheel are molded inside the steering, rather than on it, makes getting used to. The centrally mounted instrument cluster is not something we liked, and is quite distracting to say the least. Overall, one of the foremost reason for buying the Indica Vista would be the space it offers and it does it in abundance.
Ride, Handling and Braking – Tata Motors’ engineers have improved the handling of the new Indica Vista. Earlier there was alot of body roll, but now the Vista corners with new found confidence. Steering feel too has improved significantly but high speed stability still remains alot to be desired from. Braking is good and the ABS works well. However the weight of the car becomes very apparent during braking. The company is working on reducing the weight of its cars in the near future. The foot well is very cramped and there is no dead pedal. Ride quality of the Indica has never been an issue and the new Vista continues with this trend. The suspension absorbs most bumps and rarely do you feel the terrible condition of our cratered roads.
Performance – Tata Motors’ offers four engines on the new Vista range. The 1.2-liter Safire 65, 1.4-liter Safire 90, 1.4-liter TDi and 1.4-liter Quadrajet. Both the petrol engines are not segment leaders, neither in performance, nor in fuel economy. The 1.4-TDi is best opted for if your on a serious budget or want to run your car as a Taxi. We drove the new Vista with the Quadrajet engine and find it to be well suited for the car. Infact the Quadrajet motor is easily the engine of choice for the Vista and excels at its duty.
The Quadrajet (don’t be fooled by the name) is nothing but a 1.3-liter Fiat Multijet engine. Producing 75 PS of power at 4000 RPM and 190 Nm of torque at 1750-3000 RPM, the Quadrajet motor has very good performance and will easily revv to 5000 RPM should you please. Driving in the city is a breeze and the engine is tuned for driveabilty. Turbo lag has been minimized but not absent. The Indica Vista will easily do 150 kmph with this engine and returns a mileage of 22.3 kmpl (ARAI figures). The clutch is light and the gearbox is relatively smooth and easy to operate. NVH levels are very good and engine noise has been suppressed to quite an extent.
Conclusion – Tata Motors has given the Vista a mild makeover to ensure it continues to sell decent numbers every month. The Vista had some minor niggling issues which seem to have been sorted now. This makes the new Vista easier to live with. Furthermore, the new Vista now gets new features which make it an attractive option for those who look at space and value for money. The quality has been improved as well and the rough edges of the old Vista have been addressed to a large extent. With prices set to be very competitive, the new Vista indeed offers more car per car.
* Value for money
* Features across variants
* Improvement in quality
Whats Not So Cool
* Petrol engines not the most fuel efficient
* High speed stability
* Centrally mounted instrument cluster