In a manner of coincidence, two of our avid readers caught the Tata Bolt hatchback and Zest compact sedan being tested in different parts of the country on the same day. While we updated about the Bolt testing in Karnataka sometime ago, the Zest was caught by our reader Jatin Bhagwat wearing heavy camouflage, however showing off the front and rear lights. The compact sedan was showcased ahead of the 2014 Auto Expo last month and will enter the segment in the second half of this year.
The Tata Zest replaces the Manza sedan in the compact sedan segment and has strong and rather appropriate proportions. The compact design sports a young demeanour which should please young buyers. The Zest will be powered by a 1.2-litre Revotron engine in 85 PS and 140 Nm guise, while the 1.3-litre Multijet diesel with a variable-geometry turbocharger (VGT) will produce 90 PS and 200 Nm of torque. The car will get a 5-speed manual transmission with the F-Tronic AMT gearbox also being on offer, while not being too expensive.
The Tata Zest was developed with inputs from the company’s design centre in UK, Pune and Italy. The automaker will carry forward the features like EPAC steering system, projector headlamps and daytime running lights, ABS with cornering stability function as well as a 5-inch touchscreen unit, a Harman infotainment system, MapmyIndia navigation device and Bluetooth telephony from the Bolt hatchback. The overall fit and finish on the car too has improved heavily with better quality plastics said to be used.
Going by first impressions, the Zest is a promising sedan and Tata Motors is making sure it gets it right the first time by testing it extensively. With the compact sedan segment growing by ten-folds, the Zest is sure to leave a mark in its class against competitors like the Maruti Swift DZire, Honda Amaze, Hyundai Xcent and the upcoming Ford Figo sedan. Will the Zest be announced as the new segment king dethroning the DZire? Only time will tell.