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Old 8th November 2012, 10:09   #1
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Default 3 Year Review : White Tata 207 DI Crew Cab

Hi Guys,

This is my first ever review, I hope I do Ok.

I have had the turbulent experience of being a proud TATA Pick-up owner for the last 3 years (almost!) now.
She is a white 207 Crew Cab with the 407 engine, 2010 model.

When I was first looking for a truck, I needed to consider 4 things.

1. Price (of course) I had just come back from being a student and didn't have too much money.

2. Durability ; This would be the only vehicle I would be able to afford for the next few years so I had to make sure that it lasted.

3. Utility. My work takes me to some far flung places, bad roads and I usually have to travel with a fair load of equipment with me. Being a "new age" tradesman in India, I carry my tools and stuff with me, and don't have "labour" to do the job for me.

4. Comfort. As this car would be both my work horse and my personal run-around, I had to make sure it would serve both purposes of comfort and uitlity. I also have to make some crazy long journeys (i.e. Pune- Chandigarh, Pune - Indore, Indore- guwhati, Pune - Chennai etc) on a regular basis and some creature comforts are definitely a must.

I test drove and checked out a few vehicles. Before arriving at the 207, one was the Mahindra Pick-Up, The Force Toofan and ofcourse, my 207.

I found the Trax too basic, with no embellishments whatsoever, it didn't even have a dashboard. Also, the absence of a tray was a bit of a downside. The vehicle in itself was cumbersome and uncomfortable to drive and was all over the place on the unwieghted test drive I took over a couple of bad roads. On the other hand, as soon as the showroom guys figured out that they weren't dealing with a "People Transporter" they magically went from dismissive and rude to polite and helpful, even offering to throw in power steering and air-conditioning for me. Then they became pushy and I got totally turned off. Add to this the 6 lakh price tag and it was a No No.

The Mahindra was OK, but again, I did not find it comfortable at all, it was too compact for my liking and while it suited the purpose, driver comfort was minimal and I was not too sure how i would feel about it on the long term.

I looked at the Xenon, but she seemed underpowered, and more of yuppy city-biy statement maker kind of thing.

Finally, after negotiations we settled on the 207 DI priced at 5.2 lakhs with a 50k down payment and 15,000 Rs. monthly instalments.

The test drive was nice, the driver comfort i would say is the best in it's class. Unwieghted she was bumpy, but evened out as soon as we threw in 500 kgs of weight.

Sept 2010: Delivery Day, the car that rolled up in my front yard had a right front indicator falling off, rust in and under the tray, a crooked driver's seat, scratches on the dash, indicators that had to be manually switched off and wipers that did not work. I was, naturally furious.

We called TATA back (Chakan Showroom, Pune) and they apologised profusely, saying they would take the car back and send in a new one the next day.

It took them 10 days to send in the new truck, during which time I made sure I abused the one I currently had as much as possible (out of spite). Made 3 trips to Mumbai and back, thrashed it on some dirt roads in Mulshi and basically enjoyed my 10 day long test drive to the max.
The new truck was much better, no glitches, everything worked and I was happy with it.

Thus started my journey with Rrrramona, my trusty Truck.

Appearance: The cab, is, in my opinion the best looking in the Light Commercial segment, the tray, seems to be an after-market chop-shop job and has alot to be desired. I would have much prefered a TL looking sleeker finish. The pressed metal tray seems to be a bit of an after thought, which ruins the overall look of the car.
Road presence is great, I am able to even gently persuade the safari driving netas in Indore to give me room. Sometimes, in the city, I feel like Moses parting the red sea. Definitely a plus point.

Driver Comfort: The seats in front are a 1+1 simple design and though basic are actually quite comfortable with more than adequate legroom. The absence of a head rest surprisingly, I haven't missed much.
Shifting gears is comfortable and smooth, though the knob vibrates ALOT when in the neutral position. Unlike alot of other commercial vehicles, the gear stick is actually placed in a reasonably comfortable place.
There is a lack of head-room as the top is fairly low. Anyone over 6.1 ft would have trouble.
The rear bench seat, is not much to talk about. Grossly uncomfortable to say the least. No leg room, narrow bench and almost upright backrest. But this does not bother me much as I rarely have passengers sitting in the back. And when I do, I generally don't enjoy their company much.
The back seat has ALOT of bounce in it too, many times my staff have hit their heads on the top as a result of a bump taken too fast.

Dash/Accessories/Dials etc : One Sentence : "Made In China"
The over-use of crappy cheap plastic is one thing that annoys me about this car. Badly designed, and badly put together in general. Bits and pieces like the a/c panels, window rollers etc simply fell off after a couple of months.

Plastic door panels etc also come loose after a few months and just decide to randomly detach themselves and fall.

The Speedo stopped working at 15,000 kms, got it fixed, only for it to break again 7 kms down the road, refixed, broke once more after 30 kms.
Gave Up.

Same with the wipers, they have seen 3 monsoons now and have never worked. I get them fixed, they break 2-3 days later. Has something to do with the wiper arm, the long one that connects to two, as well as the short one going from the wiper motor to the long arm. One of these either breaks and gets dislodged. Finding the part in itself is a chore as they stopped making it only months after my particular model was upgraded to the next one.

Have spoken with many other drivers, they too have had similar experiences with speedo and wipers.

Driver Experience : This is what I love about this car. She is not fast, but she is strong. I've clocked up over (what i assume) is around 150,000 km in about 2.5 years and shes going strong. Handling/Steering is comfortable and she is very manoeuvrable, even in a city (inner city) setting. The power steering is a godsend. She jumps about and swings a bit around a bit when unladen, but evens out and handles much nicer when there is a 1/2 tonne load in the back.

Loaded, she sticks to the highway and can touch up to 100 kmph easy, at 105 she starts straining.
Unloaded she can do 120kmph, but I wouldn't bother trying. Breaking or even shifting lanes at that speed would probably put her into a tail-spin due to the total concentration of weight on the front-end.
Turning radius is about 7 meters, and you need 2.5 lanes to do a U-turn.
The 407 engine means that there is a lot, ALOT of power in there to move her 1.9 tonne unladen body, this has lent help plenty of times when I've found myself in mud or such sticky situations.

Driving is comfortable, and I have done trips upwards of 1800 km with little fatigue or discomfort. Cabin vibration does sometimes tend to tire, but this I feel, cannot be helped.

Another thing, she is LOUD. Inside, outside, everywhere. But I sort of like that.

The cab has no insulation, which means she gets HOT HOT HOT. Like a furnace. I kick myself for not fitting an A/c but I could not afford it at the time. Its windows down for me.

Engine: I don't know much about Engines, but I shall give this a shot anyway. She runs the 407 engine, which is sturdy and meant to last pretty much forever. I stick to a 15,000 km oil change and service schedule. However, The radiator did start leaking about 450 kms into my first long trip from Indore to Mysore.
She also blew her main gasket about 3 months into purchase.

Overheating IS a problem, if anyone has suggestions for this, it would be welcome. On long trips I have to sometimes stop and wait, like people used to with the old ambys.

Fuel Efficiency: She gives me 13-14 on the highways, and about 10 in the city. Loaded.

Payload: TATA recommends no more than 800 kg, but I assume that is to make someone at the RTO happy. The Tata reps said she can take upward of 1.5 tonnes, even with the smaller tray in the crew cab version. I have tested this, and she has run well, even with up to 2 tonnes in the back, although she did a couple of semi-wheelies over speed bumps.

Luggage room: TONNES.. Literally.

Safety: ofcourse, being a primitive Indian commercial gaadi, there are no airbags, no ABS or anything else for that matter. Seat Belts and a prayer are about all you've got. However, I did once hit a call-centre indicab and sent him flying across the road, while I only dented the bumper, lightly.
So Im not too concerned about dying in my truck just yet.

TATA aftersales service is pathetic, especially in the commercial segment. I guess they are too used to dealing with transporters and the like. Many a time I have had to return the car to get something that THEY screwed up refixed. But on the other hand, she is cheap to service, cheap to get fixed and cheap to run in general.
Whats more is, she can be fixed ANYWHERE. I remember a village mechanic putting a spoon-ful of haldi (much to my own horror) into the radiator to fix a leak, and it hasnt leaked since. That was a year ago.

Apart from stuff randomly falling off, crappy service and low interior quality. I am quite happy with her. Despite being thoroughly abused for the last 3 odd years, she is still going strong. Her engine runs fine (minus the occassional heating up) and as far as functionality goes, she is in top nick.
I would have loved it if TATA had put some love into building this truck because as far as Utility goes, I give it *****

Overall rating:

Looks : ***
Comfort: ***
Handling: ****
Top Speed: **
Reliability: *****
Utility: *****
Safety: *
Cost Effectiveness: ****
Availability of Parts: **
After Sales Service: *

Last edited by GTO : 9th November 2012 at 20:47. Reason: Adding paragraph spacing to aid readability
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Old 9th November 2012, 20:49   #2
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Default Re: 3 Year Review : White Tata 207 DI Crew Cab

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Commercial Vehicles Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 9th November 2012, 21:05   #3
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Default Re: 3 Year Review : White Tata 207 DI Crew Cab

Tcavalo, that was one detailed review! I seldom visit the commercial vehicles thread but took a look at your review as I always had a soft spot for the 207. I am curious to see your work horse in flesh, can you put up some pics, including the interiors. Also, I am curious to know if the rear bench/backrest can be modified (after market) to make the ride a little more comfortable?
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Old 9th November 2012, 21:14   #4
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Default Re: 3 Year Review : White Tata 207 DI Crew Cab

Tcavalo,

It was a very interesting review. I always liked the concept of work truck and envied people who has it. I wish you more miles on it.
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Old 9th November 2012, 21:22   #5
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Default Re: 3 Year Review : White Tata 207 DI Crew Cab

hi TCavalo, a different review there ! Would have like some pics too
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcavalo View Post
The absence of a head rest surprisingly, I haven't missed much.
Considering that you travel so much, I would suggest better seats, and some thing with the head-Restraint.

And if you are going to keep her longer, then why not get the T.A.S.S to fit in an a/c too ? Try some damping of the cabin, and inlcuding the roof (inside the roof lining), doors, floor.

But overall, that's a torque-monster that can go on for ever. Cheap to maintain too. I was actually surprised that you have done such long trips.

Keep driving !
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Old 9th November 2012, 21:27   #6
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Default Re: 3 Year Review : White Tata 207 DI Crew Cab

Awesome review ! Quite a change from private vehicles.
Can you please upload a few pics also? with parts & everything.
BTW who are the major competitors in this segment? Is Mahindra also present?
& 207 ,407 , are these just model nos or actual HP ?
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Old 9th November 2012, 23:03   #7
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Default Re: 3 Year Review : White Tata 207 DI Crew Cab

That's a very nicely written review which has not only appreciated, but also pointed the issues in the vehicle.

At the end of the day, what matters is owner's satisfaction.

Now is the time to upload some pictures for a vehicle of a different category.

Wishing you more happy miles with the 207.
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Old 9th November 2012, 23:41   #8
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Default Re: 3 Year Review : White Tata 207 DI Crew Cab

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeTorque View Post
Tcavalo, that was one detailed review! I seldom visit the commercial vehicles thread but took a look at your review as I always had a soft spot for the 207. I am curious to see your work horse in flesh, can you put up some pics, including the interiors. Also, I am curious to know if the rear bench/backrest can be modified (after market) to make the ride a little more comfortable?
I'm working on it, I've tried uploading pics but for some reason it doesn't seem to be working. I don't have too much on file at the moment, the review was more a spur of the moment sort of thing. I'll get some under-the-hood shots too soon.
The rear seat is tricky. There is a raised compartment for storing the jack/tools under the seat, so the actual bench sits on this raised platform with what looks to be a very basic fabricated steel frame. The backrest is almost 90 degrees and pressed up against the rear wall of the cabin. I really doubt there would be much room for modification or even replacement unless you removed the raised storage thing and turned the floor under the seat flat. Too much work and meddling if you ask me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
hi TCavalo, a different review there ! Would have like some pics too Considering that you travel so much, I would suggest better seats, and some thing with the head-Restraint.

And if you are going to keep her longer, then why not get the T.A.S.S to fit in an a/c too ? Try some damping of the cabin, and inlcuding the roof (inside the roof lining), doors, floor.

But overall, that's a torque-monster that can go on for ever. Cheap to maintain too. I was actually surprised that you have done such long trips.

Keep driving !
Works been a bit slow condor. Haha, when I get some money to spare, I was thinking either safari or even innova seats for the front. There'd be some minor fabricating to be done, but its do-able. The safari is a good fit.

A.c has been on the charts for 2 summers now. Each time I promise myself that when the pocket gets a bit deeper, i'll invest in an air conditioner, but when the money comes in, I only find myself buying more horses. Its a curse..Occupational Hazard if you may.

I suprise myself with some of the drives I do too. haha. But I prefer driving. i like the flexibility and the fact that I have a car when I reach my destination. Also, with a country like ours, who would want to fly over it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudeep11787 View Post
Awesome review ! Quite a change from private vehicles.
Can you please upload a few pics also? with parts & everything.
BTW who are the major competitors in this segment? Is Mahindra also present?
& 207 ,407 , are these just model nos or actual HP ?
I think they are model nos. the engine in the 207 and 407 are the same so im assuming HP is the same too. 65 or something like that I think. 407 HP, that would be a dream. Hahaha.
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Old 10th November 2012, 03:01   #9
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Default Re: 3 Year Review : White Tata 207 DI Crew Cab

That's really a nice review and for a change, it's something different.

I guess I saw this car yesterday evening somewhere, I can't exactly remember where but I'm guessing it was in the parking at C21 mall. Was it you?
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Old 10th November 2012, 05:43   #10
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Yes Manoj, that would have most definitely have been me..

Wait, who is manoj? Hahaha sorry, I dont know why I typed that, its 5 am and I am not sure where my brain is.

Last edited by benbsb29 : 11th November 2012 at 19:36. Reason: Merged back-to-back posts.
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Old 15th November 2012, 11:37   #11
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Default Re: 3 Year Review : White Tata 207 DI Crew Cab

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcavalo View Post
A.c has been on the charts for 2 summers now. Each time I promise myself that when the pocket gets a bit deeper, i'll invest in an air conditioner, but when the money comes in, I only find myself buying more horses. Its a curse..Occupational Hazard if you may.

I suprise myself with some of the drives I do too. haha. But I prefer driving. i like the flexibility and the fact that I have a car when I reach my destination.
A very refreshing review indeed!

For an entrepreneur, business always has priority over comfort as you rightly termed it as 'occupational hazzard'. The amount of driving you do without AC and comfortable seats is simply amazing. I wonder what would you have done if you also had these comforts. Do you have music system installed?

Thanks to mods for putting this thread under 'Hot Threads'.
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Old 15th November 2012, 11:49   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sourabhzen View Post
A very refreshing review indeed!

For an entrepreneur, business always has priority over comfort as you rightly termed it as 'occupational hazzard'. The amount of driving you do without AC and comfortable seats is simply amazing. I wonder what would you have done if you also had these comforts. Do you have music system installed?

Thanks to mods for putting this thread under 'Hot Threads'.
I have a very basic Sony Xplode something or the other installed. the lack of space in the rear forces me to keep the speakers in boxes on the floor. I have to change the rear speakers about 4 times a year because of all the mud and dust that goes into them.

My work forces me to travel huge distances, and i prefer driving over flying etc. I like the freedom, I like the sights etc.
Still, I never drive more than I absolutely have to. hahaha.
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Old 15th November 2012, 16:38   #13
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Default Re: 3 Year Review : White Tata 207 DI Crew Cab

What about the tyres? Are those crossplys or radials? Looks like crossplys to me. I would highly recommend an upgrade to better rubber based on the sheer amount of running you do.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 15th November 2012, 20:18   #14
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Default Re: 3 Year Review : White Tata 207 DI Crew Cab

T Cavalo,
I find the aux light mounting very attractive on your truck. May I know where these are available? It is for my crew cab mahindra.

Andy
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Old 16th November 2012, 17:20   #15
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Default Re: 3 Year Review : White Tata 207 DI Crew Cab

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcavalo View Post
Hi Guys,

This is my first ever review, I hope I do Ok.

Apart from stuff randomly falling off, crappy service and low interior quality. I am quite happy with her. Despite being thoroughly abused for the last 3 odd years, she is still going strong. Her engine runs fine (minus the occassional heating up) and as far as functionality goes, she is in top nick.
I would have loved it if TATA had put some love into building this truck because as far as Utility goes, I give it *****

Overall rating:

Looks : ***
Comfort: ***
Handling: ****
Top Speed: **
Reliability: *****
Utility: *****
Safety: *
Cost Effectiveness: ****
Availability of Parts: **
After Sales Service: *

Wonderful review.

I was just wondering when I saw these pics today (attached below) that is there really a market for such cars in India

and to have read your review .....

Tata could definitely put some more love into such a meaningful vehicle which actually is an integral part of someone's life.

Wish you all the very best with your endavours and your journey of life!

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