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Old 2nd May 2005, 13:59   #1
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Default Indica V2 Petrol

Model - Indica V2 LGi (Petrol)
KMs - 3300 , (bought in Feb 2005)
Colour - Jet Black
Tyres - Apollo Amazer XL 165/65/R13
Features - Power steering, Power windows (front)
Accessories - 13" Aura alloy wheels, Sony Xplod MP3 Unit with 4 speakers, rubber mats, leather steering wrap.

Here comes a review of the car generally scoffed at not just at t-bhp but most Indian Motoring (pun intended) mags..
This might get long n boring but sorry guys..
Reason behind choosing this car:
My priorities when setting out to buy a car were -
petrol car, max budget 4.5L, decent grunt, space, comfort.
Obviously looks come first as you have to look at the car everyday and not just get fascinated by its features/specs!
So Santro and WagonR were never in the reckoning (no offense to any owners!!) while although I liked the Zen for driving pleasure...it has no space.
So it was a dogfight between the Indica and the Palio.
I loved the Palio, its looks, its engine and everyone seemed to love it.
It also had some great paint jobs..so what went wrong ? I should have been posting abt a Palio 1.2 ELX/Sport right now.

I started checking magazines/internet just to get a idea about these 2 cars and I stumbled across team-bhp. I found a great site but nothing abt the Indica...plenty of stuff on the Palio everywhere though. And whatever little I saw on the net was negative to the Tata car.
I liked it though, its looks (the new touches) , space it offered etc
So I decided to compares prices (yeah I know...typical Indian, but hey it was my pocket which was gonna pay for it afterall!)
For similar configurations the Palio was about 60k more than the Indica!!
The contest effectively ended there as I have many ways to spend Rs 60k on other things this year.

So I took a test drive of the Indica, chose the black colour and booked it w/o taxing my brain more...Went for the alloys and even if I say so myself it looks stunning! (yea I know you are sniggering at the back but its my car! :-) , some photos will follow if I can get my stupid digicam batteries to work.

So its been less than 3 months and here is my feelings about the car.

Engine/Transmission: 75bhp is not less but the car is huge and bulky..so it may not be a hot-hatch but more than enough to do the job.
Gear lever has a nice steel knob but changing gears in the new car was a struggle...4->5 seems impossible for 1st time drivers, but in 3 months I can say I have got used to its notchy feel...its not great though.
Enough power as I said to cruise easily at 100-110kph, and pass those pesky slower vehicles on the highway/city.
In the city I can cruise in 3rd or even 4th in slow moving traffic making it much easier to drive than what I was used to (M800).

Driving dynamics:
Handling is pretty good although there is some amount of body roll, but it kinda adds to the fun..Not really thrown it around but have been thru plenty of ghats/twisty roads at good speeds to notice.
Steering feel is not great I have to say.
Brakes are pretty good from what I have seen.
The car seems huge from inside though, you cannot even see the end of the hood but once you are used to it its nice.
'A' Pillar is too big (as said in the Palio review as well - on tbhp) its a pain in the butt when taking fast right handers....I have to keep looking thru the windshield + the right window(!!) to really see ahead.
But it is mostly due to the European design of the car and it feels very safe inside and very stable at high speeds too.

Tyres: tyre performance is okay but lot of squeeling in ghats, maybe I was driving too quickly but still...one thing annoying is the tyre/road noise on rough surface....The car is very quiet on nice roads but you see a bad patch and it gets noisy, not sure its as much in other cars.
Next set will be 175/185 width though..

Suspension/Ride:
Seems to be tweaked for a softer ride as people in the rear seat find it nice, I think its okay. Driver seats are very comfortable for long drives.

Build quality:
Nothing fancy but decent, nothing has fallen off/come loose although after a gruelling trip to Goa (from Pune) some squeaks/rattles from the rear shocks seem to have comeup..will get that checked at 1st service.
Also the rear seat-belt has got stuck somewhere..

Fuel Economy:
I haven't managed to check this properly till now but I have feeling its not very good. Not too bothered as most of my driving is on highways and I dont use the car everyday. But should be around the 11-12 kpl (mixed).

No problems till now on anything else (touchwood) and customer service from the dealer has been great.They even called twice till now (in 2 months) "just to check if the car is doing okay" !

Thats it will keep updating as the KMs roll on...and some photos too.

ps: btw the biggest criticism to this car (after its FE) is not being "refined"
If by that they means the engine is a bit rough/noisy well to heck with it....I'm kinda liking the sounds coming from it ..hehe

Last edited by Abhay : 2nd May 2005 at 14:02.
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Old 2nd May 2005, 14:17   #2
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Nice review.
By the way, tbhp does have its share of tata fans. Its not all about palio and fiat only!
And i am guessing u posted it in the "long term review" section by mistake... right?

Cheers
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Old 2nd May 2005, 14:27   #3
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Nice review there Abhay. Its the first on a petrol Indica. Waiting for the pics. Btw what inclined you towards a petrol Indica than a diesel one. Since youve mentioned you drive on highways diesel would have been economical isnt it?

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Old 2nd May 2005, 14:39   #4
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Amitoj - I wasn't sure if it should be in "new car test dive" or "long term report", so I will let the mods decide on this ? (since its not a test drive but rather a ownership report)
Dippy- too sluggish...and I dislike their tractor noise so never thought of anything but petrol (unless they make zippy TD hatches in India )
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Old 2nd May 2005, 15:23   #5
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Nice review Abhay. Indica is one of the most underrated cars in our market. It has good looks, decent power, decent handling and good spce/ride comfort as well.

As yes, I liked your passing comment on refinement.
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Old 2nd May 2005, 15:45   #6
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Just to add ...
the car comes with central locking, 60:40 rear split seats etc as well - a nice addition is the light which comes on when you open the hatch (I guess its in most cars now?)
Also it has front fog-lamps and a provision for rear lamps.

add to accessories list - Huff Minda Remote Locking.

One thing which I really wanted but isn't there is the rear wash-wiper which is on the LXi model (with rear fogs also) but I would have had to shell out 30k more and got a crap casette player along with it which is useless since I wanted a mp3/cd player.
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Old 2nd May 2005, 16:15   #7
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Quote:
ps: btw the biggest criticism to this car (after its FE) is not being "refined"
If by that they means the engine is a bit rough/noisy well to heck with it....I'm kinda liking the sounds coming from it ..hehe
The indica petrol didnt do well mainly because of its low FE. I just love that sound upwards of 3000rpms. I had a v2 lxi as well. Damn good car for its price. Sold it not because the car was giving trouble...but because the petrol prices kept going north and we couldnt afford 3000kms a month. All in all i miss that car.

And yeah nice review.

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Old 12th May 2005, 10:41   #8
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ah finally managed to upload a pic....when I get some more (there are more but sadly were taken with my normal camera and my silly digicam wasn't working!)

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Old 24th May 2005, 14:59   #9
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a little update - one more nice road trip from Pune to Kolhapur last weeke-end..
The car ran pretty well....Kolhapur has baaad roads though and people who drive crazily too..(that coming from a Puneite.......eh)
Car was nicely thru the 4-lane highway, road is superb from Khambatki thru Satara-Karad .
Had a nice little run near Satara where me and a Palio were leaving all others on the road behind......didnt try to race with the Palio though (did 120kph at a point and the guy still was leaving me in his wake) but I did a steady 100-110 all the way..

btw managed to calculate the FE before I started the trip:
~14 kpl - (with A/C being used only abt 7-10% of the time)
60% highway, 40% city traffic
thats better than I expected.
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Old 21st June 2005, 10:27   #10
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Y'day the car went for its 1st service at abt 4800 kms and got it later in the day....
Cost = 0 Rs.....
the front bumper got a scraping though on sat (wife driving!) and LHS mirror is broken which costs 1200 apparently (the whole assembly) !(stupid myself driving....)
Need to get this done soon....apart from that in almost 5k kms no problems whatsover and 0 maintenance costs..next service is at 10k (with oil changes etc).
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Old 21st June 2005, 10:56   #11
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the Palio and Indica were designed by the same Guy.
Looks wise, Indica is very Good. probably there is much too gap between the wheels and the mud guard(whatever it is).
The Black looks good too.
If only people write about their Cars, we will all get to know its true worth.
I do not think anybody scoffs at TATA. hey, there are after all the first Indian company which built a Car.
Good luck to you.
Please post you experience after 5000KMS
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Old 21st June 2005, 11:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v_s_natarajan
probably there is much too gap between the wheels and the mud guard(whatever it is).
The term used by the guys at the garage is 'Fender'. I cant imagine what it fends off, though.

I think the slight flares on the fender on the new models tackles the gap quite well. Now if only they introduced a model with the City Rover's looks which are a bit more butch than the smiley grille.
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Old 21st June 2005, 11:15   #13
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Default Yes, the Rover Indica was good looking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
Now if only they introduced a model with the City Rover's looks which are a bit more butch than the smiley grille.
Yes, the Rover Indica was good looking.
I believe they made some modifications" suspensions, tweaking of the engine, etc.
I have not driven Indica but 1.4L Engine definitely is appealing
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Old 21st June 2005, 11:31   #14
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Actually the indica wheel well can accomodate 14 inch wheels, which do duty on indigo, therefore it looks odd. As for the 1.4L engine, it produces about 85Bhp on the indigo(Compared to indica 75) and the diesel does 70Bhp on indigo compared to indicas 53.
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Old 21st June 2005, 12:38   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v_s_natarajan
Please post you experience after 5000KMS
Give me a week's time and I will post a 40000 km ownership report of my March 2003 Indica LSi. I have 8 km to go before hitting the 40K mark and will be servicing it this weekend.

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