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Old 10th December 2007, 03:19   #1
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Default TATA Winger Test Drive (Edit: And buyer queries)

Last week, I had a special appointment with 2 wingers. Yes, they were especially called down for me. One was the standard (75BHP, NA version) in 14 seater configuration and the 2nd one was top of the line Luxury version which had all the bells and whistles and came in 10 seater configuration. I was a bit surprised to see these being parked in. Eventhough they're very big, they fit in were a Safari will. Ofcourse, a bit of careful eyes needed.
I was offered to check the vehicle inside out and take it for a test drive or keep them for a day or 2! And they promised it is demo only vehicles and will not be sold to any customer. I decided to go for a TD anyway.

Looks: It's a very subjective matter. But one important point here; This is a van! Something which was designed with only one purpose that is space. And that too a lot of it. So, don't expect this to be anywhere near a miss world or for that, even near miss JBLs! It hardly looks any better than a Logan too (which was also designed by Renault). Jokes apart, this vehicle is what it is. A boxy van. Comparing it with a tempo traveller which has aged a lot now, I like this ones a bit more. It looks a bit fresh and different from what we see everyday. Also remember the Mahindra vans which looks like a shoebox on wheels. This is in that category and looks better anyday. Ok! Not enough of reasoning to say I like the looks? I give up.
Exteriors: It's a 4door configuration. 2doors in the front for driver and passengers. 1door (left side) for the rear passengers and 1split door in the rear for cargo/luggage. The sheet metal seemed to be quite sturdy and nicely finished. The glass is also of good quality and I couldn't find any irregular waves or so in the windows. There're good metallic paints offered in the luxury version. Tires may look a bit puny when looked at the whole vehicle and it's a sore scene. The front bonnet has an air scoop (which unfortunately is not of body colour) and unlike the current Scorpio, it works. The headlights as positioned a bit below at normal car levels and has good throw as well.
Interiors: First the standard version. It's a 14 seater. The seats are comfortable for short trips and they're not adjustable. It may become a bit uncomfortable in long drives. Configuration of the seats are 14+1. Excellent people mover.
The luxury version is completely different from that. It's a 10seater. Configuration is 3+2+3+1+driver. Good thoughtful configuration it is. All the seats are recline adjustable including the rear most ones. Boom! Some seats are foldable too. Seats have enough padding and would be comfortable for long drives too. I would've loved to see some more thigh support though.
The driver seat is power adjustable! It's positioned a bit high and you can see the road ahead of you in a very commanding position. The glass area is quiet huge and it gives a good view of the world outside and the infinite roadblocks to enjoy. That also means, without some good sunfilm, the Ac will be working double overtime to keep things cool. Aah! Ac. Did I say about it? It's a Subros unit I think. Something which used to come as aftermarket fitment for Ambassadors, contessas etc... Yes, the one with a black and blue lining knob. Remember? It's the same or similar here. Shame Tata shame! We expect something better next time. That too, It's hidden behind a console in the dash. You've to open it to find it and leave it open if you want to constantly make changes to it. Anyway, the Ac does a brilliant job. It cools down the house on wheels in no big time. But also, I am talking about a Bangalore december evening. Will have to see how it performs in summer at Madras. The Ac vents are all placed high upto head levels including the ones near the driver. A good thought again for this kind of a vehicle. Blower sound is a bit high, but I think it will sink in with other blah blahs which is obvious in such crowded vehicle.
Engine: Yes! It's the tried, tested and thrashed engine from Tata. It has done duty in many different vehicles already and every time Tata installs it into a new vehicle, it tends to improve. This time too, It's not different. The mill sounds refined and starts up without much of an earthquake. Once it settles down, everything is well. So, time for a drive!
Drive: I chose to drive the luxury version only. I took it for a short spin. If time allowed me, I would've driven all the way till Mysore. First thing which came to my dislike was the pedals position. It's very wierd. I dunno if it was the case with the Traffik too, I don't remember. The accelerator pedal is placed very close to the brake pedals. So, if you're wearing a bit fatter shoes, you're in trouble. This is due to the wheel well which intrudes into the pedal area I think. The driver has to sit with his legs a bit crooked towards the left to reach them comfortably. Short drivers are going to have problems with this for sure.
Instrument console is basic but has rev meter. It's well lit too with enough of tell tale lights. The stalks were also not of normal Tata quality. They looked and felt far better. The steering wheel is typical for a van and does remind you again and again that this is not a car by any chance. Slot the gear lever into 1st and we're ready to move. Gearshift too is much improved. Clutch is a bit on the hard side but nothing uncontrolable. Lo... We move.

Continued.....

MOD NOTE: A separate thread has been created for better visibility

Last edited by Mpower : 10th December 2007 at 18:46.
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Old 10th December 2007, 04:08   #2
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Drive continued......
As I told earlier, I'm sitting high and in a very good commanding position. So, I'm able to make proper calculations of each and every corner of the vehicle. I didn't have much of a trouble coming out of tight parking. As soon as I was out in some open empty stretch, my right foot sank in. And the Winger spreads it's wings. There's very little turbo lag (I like them) then the turbo spools in and it lunges forward with some good spirit. 2nd, 3rd and 4th. We're comfortably cruising in the city traffic at some respectable speeds. Not bad at all. I'm impressed.
Then came a tight signal I wanted to take a Uturn there. This was an excellent place to check out the turning radius of this mammoth. Many people have trouble turning their Safaris here. I wait for the signal and ...... ...... ...... Green! I let go of the clutch and turn fully to my right. Wow! The power steering is not that bad too. A bit over servoed maybe, but It's a delight in the city. Steering locked to the right, I move keeping constant on the rear view mirror to find out about the possibility of a reverse. But, VOILA! It does it. No reverse or adjustments. I'm happy.
It's an open road ahead of me. I press down my foot, go thru all the gears, touches the 3 figure mark and engine is ready to do more. But if I don't brake now, I'll no more be able to drive any vehicle again. So, I do just that. Hard! Hmmm.... The pedal feel is good. Not very confidence inspiring but okay. I use a bit of engine braking also to keep things under control. The Tata guys sitting behind are suddenly very quite. And I'm sure they won't open up for some time.
But come on! I'm not that cruel. I ask them about the steering rake/height adjustment. For a moment they're quiet then they admit it's not provided. That would be a worthy addition, I say. They nod in approval. The suspension setup is a bit stiff but not by much. It does make it's height felt if cornered or braked hard. But ok for everyday or that once in a while picnic drives. Another 5 mins of driving and we're back. Yes, I told you! I'm impressed Baba!
Claimed Fuel efficiency: As I told you earlier, I was not at all in a mood to spent lots of time for this. I was very much preoccupied with something else and I was not going to do a FE check now. So, I type in the so claimed figures from the Tata guys. In city:10kmpl without Ac and 9kmpl with Ac. Highway:12 without Ac and 11 with Ac. I may believe them with a bit of spice.
VFM: As everybody know by now, these thingys are offered by Tata for some very delicious prices. Callcentre guys are buying them with their eyes closed and so does the tour operators. Many have made way as hotel pickups too. The standard version is being offered for a spine chilling/mouth watering sum of +/-5lacs OTR. The luxury version with everything and 2 bunnies is offered at 7lacs OTR. Doesn't that make my heart go thump thump thrrrr....? Yes it does.

So, It's final. The luxury version it is. The color is yet to be decided. A sunroof, refrigerator, hotbox and loads of ICE. I'm on a world driving tour! (hey! I need a sponsor please!).
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Old 10th December 2007, 06:06   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedzak View Post
So, It's final. The luxury version it is. The color is yet to be decided. A sunroof, refrigerator, hotbox and loads of ICE. I'm on a world driving tour! (hey! I need a sponsor please!).
After MIVEC, now the WINGER?

Somebody here is on a big purchasing trip!
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Old 10th December 2007, 07:38   #4
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Zak, an excellent review. Thank you !.

Considering that the turbo mill in the luxury is the same that I have in my Victa, I will definitely go with those FE numbers. Acutally, add 1 kmpl to those figures for the normal driver who upshifts a little early (compared to my style - I upshift a little late, and downshift a little early).

How did the Winger feel at higher speeds in terms of stability ? How did it behave at turns & in cornering ? I suppose comfortable & recommended turning speeds will be about 50-60 kmph.

And, Congrats. Like Steer said, can we borrow it sometime ?
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Old 10th December 2007, 10:44   #5
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Looks like Tata has another winner on its hands. I have started seeing a lot more of these vans in Bangalore outskirts these days. Feels pretty refined , though not as good looking as Traveler.
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Old 10th December 2007, 19:25   #6
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Whats the kerb weight of this van? Isnt the 2000cc 90 bhp underpowered for a vehicle of this size and weight, given that it has to run the AC and power steering as well.

The kerb weight is around 16XX for the normal version and 1740 kgs for the Luxury version so the power to weight ratio is same the the sumo and better than the 2.0 safari!

Last edited by extreme_torque : 10th December 2007 at 19:42.
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Old 10th December 2007, 19:39   #7
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Surprisingly, it isnt heavy. Kerb & GVW figures are:

1620 kg & 2670 kg for Basic version
1720 kg & 2850 kg for Luxury version.

Comparo : Sumo is heavier by a 100 kg's each version. And engines are the same as for the Sumo SE or Victa LX / EX and Victa GX Turbo respectively.

The Luxury version will not feel so very under-powered, though the base version will.
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Old 10th December 2007, 20:04   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Surprisingly, it isnt heavy. Kerb & GVW figures are:

1620 kg & 2670 kg for Basic version
1720 kg & 2850 kg for Luxury version.

Comparo : Sumo is heavier by a 100 kg's each version. And engines are the same as for the Sumo SE or Victa LX / EX and Victa GX Turbo respectively.

The Luxury version will not feel so very under-powered, though the base version will.
Yeah even I was surprised seeing the kerb weight. And the fact that TC engine tops out at 125 kmph, means that gearing is more towards handling higher loads and more poke lower down and in the middle than top speed.
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Old 10th December 2007, 22:29   #9
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Yet to read the whole writeup.

Isnt it the big van like thing which looks good too?

Zak, 200bhp vs a 75bhp ??? hello? What did the twins do to you?
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Old 10th December 2007, 23:21   #10
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Zak fix your 200bhp in Winger.Hey JK dont ask any private things on open forum.You can PM him .
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Old 11th December 2007, 05:47   #11
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There's one thing I forgot to mention. There's a highroof version available in the deluxe version. Yes, the 14 seater one. A normal person can stand inside and sing songs too. Believe me, this is the perfect vehicle for that joint family trips in school vacations etc...

Also there's ample space behind the rearmost seats for everybody's luggage. Get a cycle rack from Thule and we can carry 2 bicycles too.
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Old 11th December 2007, 20:17   #12
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Zak, is this an urgent purchase? You must be aware that the Tempo Traveller is getting a huge make over and a new Mercedes engine from the C220.

Somehow I am not happy with Tatas choice of power train, the TCIC.
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Old 11th December 2007, 20:24   #13
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Compared to the Tempo traveller (we have one in the family), this one is more compact. And it has more car like behaviour.
Yes, That's absolutely my take on this.

Regarding the urgency of the purchase, the holidays are coming and dad is in full mood for a holiday vehicle. Why spoil it?
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Old 11th December 2007, 20:37   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedzak View Post
Regarding the urgency of the purchase, the holidays are coming and dad is in full mood for a holiday vehicle. Why spoil it?
Traveller is not the holiday vehicle?

Thats a B-I-G garage, to say the least!

What about safety? The Winger does look like an Omni from front. (though i must confess i havent seen it from inside)

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 11th December 2007 at 20:39.
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Old 11th December 2007, 21:13   #15
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I dunno much about the safety aspect of the Winger. But, being a Renault by origin, will it be that bad?

Tempo traveller is huge! We're looking for something a bit compact with lots of seats and space inside. And the seats of the traveller needs to be altered for a better comfortable ride. Not in Winger. Nothing to beat this for the moment.

There're rumours of a Dicor version coming out next year too. That will be a true whopper! But I won't wait it seems.
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