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Old 22nd November 2010, 17:19   #1
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Default Test Drive of the Winger Platinum

Guys.
Here is the TD that I promised.
Before you start. I need to apologise on two things
1. Lack of photos (I did not have a camera with me)
2. A Huge post. (I put down all the things that I felt)

OK, now coming back to the topic. The Test Drive

Good, Bad and the Ugly!!
First, the things anyone would like –
1.Acres and Acres of space.
2.All captain seats individually recline; with seat belts.
3.Individual AC vents on all three rows.
4.Beige Interiors for the Up Market feel.

Things that I did not like.
1.Bad road grip at speeds beyond 100-120
2.Very small tyres - 185 on 14inchers.
3.Very big steering wheel – makes you feel you are driving a mini-bus.
4.Too Tall stance; I would prefer the roof line to be a little bit lower.
5.Only two colors – Pearl White and Blue
6.Sliding windows on all windows, except the driver and co-driver.
7.Old Turbo Engine.

Dimensions
Winger - 4520 mm X 1940mm X 2050
Ground Clearance – 165mm

Comparing it with the other people movers.
Innova – 4580 X 1770 X 1755 (from GTO’s Aria TD)
Xylo – 4520 X 1850 X 1895 (from Carwale)

The only parameter that has quite a difference, is the height. This works a little bit in favor (in terms of interior space) of the Winger and also against it (in terms of highway road stability).


Drive –
I managed to have the car at my disposal for almost an hour or so. I tested the car on ‘bumper to bumper traffic’ and ‘Typical Highway conditions’ with 6 people on board. The Winger performed quite well in the city limits. No major hassles. The clutch was a tad heavy. Being a FIAT used, I did not see any issues with that. The overall visibility is quite good overall. On grouse is the IRVM is very small, maybe as small as the ones on a Maruti 800, but this is compensated with the huge ORVMS on either side; quite a huge amount of visibility in them.
At speeds of 30-35kmph I twitched the steering left and right; there was not that much of a body as compared to say a Grande or even a Xylo, in spite of the Winger’s tall stance. But take it to higher speeds and do the same thing, you will be wanting for more grip. Though it comes down to vehicle dynamics, I feel a part of it could be corrected by wider tyres, say 205 on 14/15inchers.

Power delivery is sluggish to start off, but once the turbo kicks in, its good. It’s not a Robin Uthappa, but more like Dravid; slow to start off, but steady once settled. I took it to speeds of 100+ and the engine did not feel that strained. In fact, it was ready to be pushed more. I could not get the RPM reading though.

No complains with the drive as such. Put it to test on a high incline and it would not pull in 2nd gear. I had to put the first gear. But that is ok, even my Punto would not climb that incline in 2nd gear.

The braking is again not the best, but the disc-drum combination did a reasonable job in stopping the Winger. I stopped to a near 0kmph from 100+ and I would just say, it was not dramatic.

Engine – Yes, it’s an old engine, but nonetheless tested on numerous Tata vehicles. I feel this is a wrong move by Tata. If they are looking to capture the family segment and want a piece of the people-mover cake, they could at least plonk the detuned-for-Grande dicor engine. But again, no worries on its performance. And, it was not noisy either.

Interiors
You want space? Sure, you can have it; how much of it do you need?
You would be the obvious choice if you need to take your kid and his pals to a game of cricket/hockey. It gobbles up people like a huge Godzilla. You would be left wondering how much more can it take in.

Get into the driver seat and you do not feel that you are in a van/min-van. You might be at the same height as say, a Safari. The driver’s seat is adjustable 3-way.

But the steering wheel definitely makes you feel you are in a van. It’s huge. I would prefer they give it something small. But the good side is the power steering is quite responsive, so is the turning radius as well. The steering wheel does not get any adjustment though.


Dashboard is disappointing. A Nano has better dashboard than the Winger. The buttons and controls are just placed here and there with no specific pattern in mind. There is no glove box, instead there are two lockable compartments on either sides of the spare wheel at the rear of the Winger.

The interiors are all beige; because they want it to cater to the family segment. All the 7 seats recline and also get individual arm rests and seat belts. The seats were firm and offered a good amount of thigh support as well. The quality of the seats are good as well. Zippers are provided on all seat covers, which the SA mentioned are for ease of removal; to be washed and refitted on the seats.


Exteriors
See the Winger from the outside and you see nothing wrong with it. I know it’s a Van and its design seems to be borrowed from the 80’s. Reminds me of the Mercedes Benz 100d and 140d; design and styling apart, there is nothing that is wrong with it. It looks like a van, because it’s one. I have no qualms about it. It’s designed to take a lot of people over long distances in comfort and that’s it.

We parked it next to an Innova and it was tough to see the length difference between the two. But step inside and you are welcomed to lot of space (headroom included).

The Winger comes in a 4 door configuration. 1 for the driver, 1 for the co-driver, a huge sliding door on the left for the passengers and a split door for the luggage.

What you get with the Platinum is Body Colored bumpers, Body colors ORVMS, fog lamps, 185 on 14inch steel wheels, tubeless tyres, no alloy wheels, front disc and rear drum configuration.


FE – The SA claimed a FE of 12kmpl in city. I would definitely not buy that. A 9-9.5kmpl in city and a 12kmpl on the highways is more realistic and still fuel efficient.


Price
I did not receive the price list, but the SA mentioned the Euro III is priced at 7.12L Ex showroom. They are yet awaiting the Euro IV model still. They reckon the price of the Euro IV might be another 20k more.

Is it VFM ?
May be. At 7.12L Ex-showroom, it falls bang in Xylo territory. The Winger has the space advantage but loses out on the engine technology. Xylo has the image of a car, but not the Winger. Xylo offers various colors and variants, but for the Winger, there is only on Platinum variant and only two colors.
If it were me, I would have buy it. Because
1.The innova is terribly expensive.
2.The Xylo is ugly.
3.The Winger offers loads of space.
4.I like the blue color the Winger as well.

Tid Bits
The warranty is 1,50,000kms or 18 months.

The SA mentioned that there are 10 free services, the only disadvantage being, service Intervals of 10,000kms or 4 months, whichever is earlier. Though the 10 free services made me listen up in interest, the service interval put me down. I feel Tata should do something about it as they are catering to a family audience who would in all aspects not run the Winger that much.

The sliding door has a lock mechanism that does not slide-close if parked on an incline. Quite good.

Head lamps get the height adjustment treatment.

Plastic quality of wiper and headlamps/indicator stalks quite good.

The footwell is quite small. Not cramped, but not generous either.

The reverse gear has a gear lock, similar to the Palios; but it was tough to engage it. I had to try a couple of times. Again, something you would get used to.

Power steering good enough, quite a boon for city driving.

With a company claimed turning radius of 5.65m, this is a little bit more than the Xylo (5.4m)

The whole cabin gets quite a few cabin lamps here and there, one in the front, one at the back, and one in between as well.

Individual AC controls for all rows.

The Winger comes with a 2 din music system with LCD support. I did not test the audio quality of it though.

2 mobile charging points. One near the driver area and one near the sliding door. What happens when the door opens? Does the mobile not fall off?

The luggage area is well placed out. The spare wheel is locked below this luggage area, so it will not come in between your luggage.

The driver and co-driver get bottle holders that can easily hold 2L bottles with much ease.

All seats get magazine holders at the back.

No ABS, Airbags, nothing.

The passenger sliding door also gets a grab handle for people to climb in easily. Ingress is better than most people carriers (Safari/Xylo/Grande included).

The SA mentioned that the Winger has been equipped with Anti-roll bars and side impact beams for additional protection.


Am I buying it? – Like, I mentioned before, I am not buying it.
My brother is hell bent on a Safari, so we might as well pick up the Safari and sacrifice the two additional seats, but ‘Quit on Monday morning!! ‘ or ‘Reclaim my life’

Let me jot down my family's feedback after the TD
1. Brother's argument was more inline with the status factor and that he cannot take it to Office, if he wanted.
2. Wife felt she was seating in a mini-bus. This came as a surprise because, she felt the Safari jump seats to be too small and now in the Winger, she felt there was too much un-needed space.
3. My mom was non-committal. But, she was quite happy with it overall.
4. After the small handling test, I felt the Winger might perform better if the roof line was a little bit lower and Tata offered wider tyres to it.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 17:56   #2
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Quote:
gods-envy : Bad road grip at speeds beyond 100-120
Due to :
Quote:
gods-envy : 2.Very small tyres - 185 on 14inchers.

Quote:
gods-envy : I feel a part of it could be corrected by wider tyres, say 205 on 14/15inchers.
Yes, will definitely help with better tyres.

Quote:
gods-envy : FE – The SA claimed a FE of 12kmpl in city. I would definitely not buy that. A 9-9.5kmpl in city and a 12kmpl on the highways is more realistic and still fuel efficient.
Your estimate is quite realistic. 12 kmpl is city may be possible by the cabbies.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 19:23   #3
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@gods-envy, a detailed report on the Winger there ! Can the last row seats be folded to accomodate some suitcases ?

You have not indicated your kms of monthly running, if this is less you could think about the petrol Innova, provided you plan to use it for 10 years at least, as the resale value may not be as good as the diesel Innova.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 22:44   #4
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Hey that was a really nice exhaustive review of the winger. It surely sounds a very good car. Only fault I could see in the whole deal is the lack of ABS even as an option. A car like that ( for that matter every car) should come with ABS i believe.
So finally its going to be safari huh? Nice call. But I guess you should wait for the newer model if you can wait for sometime.
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Old 23rd November 2010, 11:54   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Due to :

Your estimate is quite realistic. 12 kmpl is city may be possible by the cabbies.
Right Condor, the cabbies could do it, keeping in mind their driving style

Quote:
Originally Posted by mooza View Post
@gods-envy, a detailed report on the Winger there ! Can the last row seats be folded to accomodate some suitcases ?

You have not indicated your kms of monthly running, if this is less you could think about the petrol Innova, provided you plan to use it for 10 years at least, as the resale value may not be as good as the diesel Innova.
Sorry mooza, I did not check that. I did check that the last row seats did fold, but did not check if they could be folded all the way to accommodate additional suitcases. Eitherways, the luggage area is more than enough to accommodate quite a few suitcases.

My monthly running would not be that much; say an occasional out of the city drive. So, worst case, I am looking at 10k per year. Not more than that. I like the Innova, but it's tough convincing my brother to pick up an UV. He wants a Safari. As a matter of fact, I am very happy with the Winger. I would pick the Winger and spend some money in modifying it to meet my needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Hey that was a really nice exhaustive review of the winger. It surely sounds a very good car. Only fault I could see in the whole deal is the lack of ABS even as an option. A car like that ( for that matter every car) should come with ABS i believe.
So finally its going to be safari huh? Nice call. But I guess you should wait for the newer model if you can wait for sometime.
Yes, drmohit, I think it's the Safari after all. Let's see, I am keeping my options open.
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Old 10th December 2010, 09:22   #6
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Default Re: Test-Driven! Tata Winger Platinum

Gods-Envy, that's an excellent review from a buyer's POV. I've copied your Winger review & replies to create a new, dedicated drive thread on the platinum.
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Old 10th December 2010, 10:13   #7
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Default Re: Test-Driven! Tata Winger Platinum

The big mistake TATA did with Winger is that selling it in the commercial segment rather than the passenger vehicles segment, this made the car get the maxi cab image and which will never ever fade. At least now, with addition of some bells and whistles and minor exterior changes(May be a Fiat engine) they can sell it through passenger segment which would yield some results. I guess even in maxi cab segment Winger is not selling as much, not sure what is the actual issue?
O.T. For how many more years TATA is going to plonk the same 1948 CC TCIC engine?? Does TATA R&D started to sleep post Fiat engine introduction?
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Old 12th December 2010, 22:45   #8
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Default Re: Test-Driven! Tata Winger Platinum

Quote:
Originally Posted by camchennai View Post
O.T. For how many more years TATA is going to plonk the same 1948 CC TCIC engine?? Does TATA R&D started to sleep post Fiat engine introduction?
Very true. This engine nearly killed the safari. It has resulted in the Bolero overtaking the Sumo as the best seller. Tata really needs to come up with a good 2.5 DI engine for it's economy range of vehicles. Bolero sales really took of after they launched the DI version of the Bolero from the old XD3P IDI engine.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 13:28   #9
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Default Re: Test-Driven! Tata Winger Platinum

some pictures of Winger Platinum.
it was locked so no interior pictures.

Test-Driven! Tata Winger Platinum-24122010177.jpg

Test-Driven! Tata Winger Platinum-24122010179.jpg

Last edited by jeepster : 2nd January 2011 at 13:30.
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Old 8th January 2011, 00:13   #10
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Default Re: Test-Driven! Tata Winger Platinum

Somehow i get the feeling that i am looking at a hearse van . The blue colour seems to look like black in the pics
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Old 18th October 2012, 08:52   #11
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Default Re: Test-Driven! Tata Winger Platinum

My brother bought a winger platinum for some occasional family trips. I drove it for some trips and totally agree with Gods-Envy's experience. As a passenger this feels nice though. Only in long drives vibration is a irritating factor.
My brother was thinking of a long drive in it from kolkata to ladakh and back for long time.
Now in month of September I got a call that he is indeed on the way to Ladakh with his wife and kid. He made a 8000KM trip in 15 days and have been to Leh, Ladakha , Changpa.
As I am out of country now, I am yet to get all the details or get hold of the photo.
BTW on his return he was invited to a small gathering of TATA customers by the Tata Dealer to congratulate him. They also said a letter of congratulation signed by Mr. Ratan Tata will arrive in a month.
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