Tata Bolt Diesel Long Term Review
Having spent 8 months with the Bolt, we found the hatchback quite impressive

Tata Bolt Long Term Review

Long Term Test No. 87

Car Tested: Tata Bolt MultiJet XT
Kms Done: 9508 kms
Test Started at: 5271 kms
Test Concluded at: 14779 kms
Mileage: 15.99 km/l, 19.98 km/l (best), 12 km/l (worst)
Fuel Consumed: 595-litres
Fuel Cost: Rs. 30,654/-
Rs. per km: Rs. 3.22/-

Drive the Bolt and you’ll know that Tata Motors has worked hard in making this hatchback

Everyday is a revelation. The general rule that we follow in life is the fact that we should try our best to learn something new everyday. And that’s what happened when I started driving the Tata Bolt MultiJet which I got once my Hyundai Grand i10 CRDi had bid adieu to me. I was never a fan of Tata cars but the Bolt did something startling in its long term stay with me. Did it impress or not? Read on to find out just that.

[flickr size=”center” float=”medium”]http://www.flickr.com/photos/motorbeam/23960517106/[/flickr]

The Bolt is a good looker but reminds us of the older Indica

The Bolt is an all-new car but it still continues to carry some styling inspiration from the older Indica Vista which really ticks off a lot potential buyers. However, look with a closer eye and you do see quite a lot of finer bits on the Bolt. The hatchback comes with nicely detailed headlamps that also have projectors, a honeycomb grille with a smiley face and excellent paint quality. Our test car also had gunmetal alloy wheels which looked really sexy and gelled well with the red colour. The rear looks quite chic and the floating C-pillar adds a very nice feel to the car.

[flickr size=”center” float=”medium”]http://www.flickr.com/photos/motorbeam/23904027161/[/flickr]

The insides of this hatchback have very good quality components

Move to the interiors and you get a big surprise. The quality of most of the materials is extremely good and the build is also very decent. The overall feel that you get inside the cabin is very pleasant. The Bolt is also loaded with a good number of features and I personally found the seats to be very roomy too. The driver’s seat has good under-thigh support but the back support could have been slightly better and you realise this only when you drive for long distances.

[flickr size=”center” float=”medium”]http://www.flickr.com/photos/motorbeam/26254979722/[/flickr]

The Bolt always kept us happy with its mileage

The Tata Bolt gets a very nice-sounding Harman audio system with a touchscreen but shockingly the car misses out on rear parking sensors, let alone a rear camera. The touchscreen does act funny at times though and takes more than one attempt for it to carry out the required function. The infotainment system does not come with in-built GPS but it does mirror navigation from your phone if you’ve connected to it. Another significant grouse I have with the Bolt is the fact that it comes with hardly any cubbyholes and bottle-holders which is a big negative point.

[flickr size=”center” float=”medium”]http://www.flickr.com/photos/motorbeam/26321420236/[/flickr]

The 1.3-litre engine is reliable and easy to drive

The Bolt is powered by the national engine of India. The 1.3-litre MultiJet unit is offered in the 75 PS tune unlike the Zest which also gets the 90 PS tune. The motor is very nicely tuned for the car and it provides good performance. Turbo lag is there but it doesn’t get very troublesome while driving in traffic too as it’s quite well contained. Go full throttle and the car accelerates pretty quickly and even touches speeds of 150 km/hr without any fuss.

[flickr size=”center” float=”medium”]http://www.flickr.com/photos/motorbeam/23359767313/[/flickr]

The Bolt has exceptional ride quality, handling is fun too

The oil-burner is reliable, efficient and gives good performance all the time

Even in terms of ride and handling, the car has always surpassed our expectations. The ride is exceptional and feels very smooth and comfy. It absorbs potholes without any issue and feels like a well set-up car. Handling is also good and the Bolt is fun to throw around corners. The steering weighs up beautifully at speeds but it lacks feel. Talking about mileage, we managed to extract anywhere between 13-18 km/l which is good.

[flickr size=”center” float=”medium”]http://www.flickr.com/photos/motorbeam/23690887070/[/flickr]

The clutch feels a bit weird but is otherwise very light

The Tata Bolt is a very good effort and the overall product feels splendid as a whole package. It makes for a good car to drive around the city and the occasional highway run. It does resemble older Tata vehicles but make no mistake, it is a whole new product on the inside. The hatchback is pretty spacious and comfortable which is almost a trait of every Tata vehicle and the equipment list is good enough for something in this segment. The engine is infamous here as it powers a lot of vehicles across the Tata, Maruti and Fiat range and its fuel efficiency is also extremely good. However, does all this make the Bolt a winner?

[flickr size=”center” float=”medium”]http://www.flickr.com/photos/motorbeam/23358379074/[/flickr]

The handling of the Tata Bolt is quite good, tyres grip well

Tata Bolt Service Costs

1. Service Schedule – 15,000 kms and 12 months (whichever is earlier)
2. Cost of Service Per 1,00,000 kms – Rs. 33,000/- (D)
3. Cost of Spares –

* Engine Oil Per Service – Rs. 1404/- (3.2-litres) (D)
* Brake Oil – Rs. 350/- (500 ml) (D)
* Oil Filter – Rs. 396/- (D)
* Fuel Filter – Rs. 1829/- (D)
* Brake Pads (Front and Rear) – Rs. 1580/-
* Front Bumper (without painting) – Rs. 2301/-
* Rear Bumper (without painting) – Rs. 2852/-
* Headlamp Assembly (Each) – Rs. 3688/-
* Tail Lamp Assembly (Each) – Rs. 1375/-

Above parts prices are for Mumbai inclusive of all taxes. Diesel denoted by (D). Tata Motors has a very large service network spread across the entire length of the country but owners have always had mixed experiences.

[flickr size=”center” float=”medium”]http://www.flickr.com/photos/motorbeam/26281150141/[/flickr]

Unfortunately, the Bolt isn’t selling in half decent numbers due to pricing

Buyers in the Indian automotive market are very price sensitive and more so the ones who are looking for practical and value-for-money hatchbacks. The Bolt is a splendid product, no doubt, but Tata Motors really missed hitting the bull’s horn when they set out to price this car and this is one of the most significant reasons for it to not sell well. Tata currently sells 500-600 units of the Bolt every month which is far less than what this car deserves to rake in and having first hand experience of the Bolt’s abilities, we really think that this car deserves to move out of the shelves at a much higher rate.

[flickr size=”center” float=”medium”]http://www.flickr.com/photos/motorbeam/23690928530/[/flickr]

The Bolt turned out to be the most reliable car in our long term fleet

What’s Cool

* Good equipment list for this segment
* Engine has been tuned nicely, great efficiency too
* Lots of space for the passengers
* Ride quality is impressive

What’s Not So Cool

* Misses out on useful cubbyholes and bottle-holders
* The exteriors somewhat remind us of the older Indica Vista
* Seat cushioning could have been better, back hurts on long drives

[flickr size=”center” float=”medium”]http://www.flickr.com/photos/motorbeam/23904057081/[/flickr]

Tata has an excellent product on their hands with the Bolt

Testers’ Note:

“I remember the day the Tata Bolt arrived in our long term fleet, everything felt exceptional and just last week when it left, I sat in the car one last time and had an intense look at everything, nothing had changed. After 10,000 kms of abusing the car through the worst of conditions, nothing even moved an inch, such is the improvement in quality of Tata cars. I am hugely impressed by how Tata Motors has worked on its quality and reliability and the new products from the company are a definite leap forward.” – Faisal Khan, Editor, MotorBeam.
“The Bolt is one such product from Tata which truly changes the perception with which Tata cars are seen. A big leap in quality, design, dynamics and performance, the Bolt impressed me with its build quality which was unruffled over months of tough use. I also loved the way this car drives, the Harman audio system and the interior space. If only it was priced more competitively, this is one car which definitely deserves to be seen more on the road.” – Dr. Javeid Khan, Deputy Editor, MotorBeam.
“I was very excited to have the Bolt on board with us. Not that I’m a Tata fan, but I had heard a lot of things about the Bolt from my colleagues and fellow auto journos. One month with the Bolt and I was blown away. I loved the car for its smooth performance and the sorted ride and handling characteristics. The light clutch and the extremely good fuel efficiency are another noteworthy positives about the Bolt.” – Parth Gohil, Road Tester, MotorBeam.
“The Tata Bolt is very comfortable, spacious with great boot space too. The ride quality is good but gets a bit bouncy on improper roads, yet it’s pretty stable on the highway. The Bolt’s audio system by Harman makes it very appealing but only if Tata could get some storage pockets or spaces inside the cabin, it would would been a more practical product. A 90 PS engine tune for the diesel would be able to justify the price.” – Dhanil Vira, Road Tester, MotorBeam.
[flickr size=”center” float=”medium”]http://www.flickr.com/photos/motorbeam/23878351202/[/flickr]

The Tata Bolt has played support car with us for a lot of shoots

Further Reading

Tata Bolt Long Term Review – Initial Report
Tata Bolt Review
Tata Bolt Diesel Review
Hyundai Grand i10 vs Tata Bolt vs Maruti Swift
Hyundai Grand i10 vs Tata Bolt vs Maruti Swift – Video
Tata Bolt vs Ford Figo vs Hyundai Grand i10 vs Maruti Swift – Video