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Old 11th May 2005, 11:34   #1
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Default Tata Indigo LS Mar 2005

I very recently moved to noida from bangalore. Since my Indica from blr will be coming only next week or so, I borrowed the New Indigo LS from home(ldh) and have driven about 500kms in a week. Heres my driving impression about the car.

The interiors look familiar. Infact so familiar that it would not be possible to distinguish between my indica(2002) and this car. But what gives away is the excellent seats with side support and great lumbar support, which is not so great in the indica. The other giveaway is the quality of plastics and controls. Tata has learned a lot in three years, and it shows. Though i got the "improved" V2 in june 2002, this car is much much more improved.

Fire up the engine, and the diffrences are really really apparent. For starters the engine is silent. Yes pretty much so. Infact in delhi traffic with windows rolled up and idling with AC on a busy signal you would be hard pressed to tell its an oil burner. The only giveaway is the slight engine vibration which gets transmitted to the cabin. Rev her hard, and there is a muted growl, not the clatter bang of the indica. Infact in a quite place you can hear the whistle of the turbo.

Put the car into first gear, and the differences become even more apparent. The Gearshift is no longer that vague. Its no city or suzuki, but still its pretty good. For an indica user its a pure bliss. Floor the throttle and it slowly takes of. Initially slower than the indica too since the revs are low and turbo boost is not there. The difference become apparent when you shift into second around 20. From intial turbo lag there is a whoosh and soon you are at 40 where you shift into third. 40-70 in third is where the fun is. You can actually feel the acceleration picking up. I shift into 4th around 60, and 5th around 70. From then on its a highway cruiser. Having driven the indica for 42000kms, this feels like a sports car.

I had the oppurtunity of flying on the DND flyway and 130 came with ease, after which it was a struggle. To add insult to injury, a skoda tdi whooshed passed me with my speedo showing 125kmph. That guy was driving effortlessly at 140+. Wish it had the extra 10bhp which the intercooler engines give. Neverthless the car felt firmly planted. There were heavy crosswinds gusting to 50kmph+ but this car didn't budge.

But where the my indica scores is handling. Two reasons. Stiffer suspention and Potenza GIII. Indigo is on stock S322. While coming from noida i took the sharp turn to ISBT, and there i felt the handling a little shaky with body roll and tail threatening to break away. To do that on my potenza shot Indica you would have to take turns real real fast. But straight line stability is same in the indigo, which i mostly attribute to new suspension, balanced tyres and no rim bends.

Ride quality is also much better. Infact she has amazing ride quality which you cannot find on accents and marutis. Another great thing is the back seat. Its actually usable by my 6'2" frame. If only there was an inch more of head room. But apart from that i can actually stretch my legs.

Now we come to the economy part. The FE is amazing. I earlier did not bother much about FE but delhi's distances have made me bother. It returned 15 in delhi traffic with most of the run on crowded roads. Indica manages only 14 in similar conditions. But in indica you really have to gnash your teeth, rev hard and curse to make it move. Indigo encourages more sedate driving if you are not in taxi mode. Since diesel is only 26.something in delhi, the running cost is much less than bangalore where it goes close to 34! Earlier i used to think i will buy a petrol car after indica. But after these huge distances diesel would be the best option. What would i choose. Well it depends. If i had 7 lakhs to spare then its the crdi, but if i dont i will buy the indigo without blinking. Its cheap. Its got loads of space. Its economical and has enough power for india.

Tata has struck the perfect formula. Add the intercooler and it is the best diesel sedan. Anyone of you test driven the intercooler version? If so please post.
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Old 24th May 2005, 14:35   #2
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A friend of mine owns a Tata Indigo LS model. When ever we go for a outing, my other friend used to shout out at the sluggish pick up of the vehicle when he was behind the wheels. The finish of the vehicle is not fine tuned and it is exposed.

I know u are a TATA Fan, but just my comments based on (others) experience.
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Old 24th May 2005, 15:01   #3
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tsk1979, nice report. However, you drove the Indigo from the Indica frame of reference. Hence, your impression may be different. My father-in-law recently test drove the Indigo and took it home for family approval; well, he tried. The road to the house has a 30 degree incline and then it turns into the house driveway at the same incline. The road is such that you have to come to complete halt before you can turn and start on this incline. It simply refused to climb and the sales rep was going red in the face. Then he offered to get the Petrol Indigo very next day which he said would get into the house.

My F-I-L said No Thanks! He had already test driven Petra-D and Accent Crdi and was expecting some power even in a diesel car. No other car ever has failed to make it into the driveway.

If it is any consolation, I had to downshift the Baleno to 1st gear to take this incline easily, couldn't do it in 2nd gear.
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Old 24th May 2005, 16:23   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
My F-I-L said No Thanks! He had already test driven Petra-D and Accent Crdi and was expecting some power even in a diesel car. No other car ever has failed to make it into the driveway.
Petra D and Indigo D have similar power and torque figures. The Accent CRDi though is in a class of its own.
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Old 24th May 2005, 16:33   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
Petra D and Indigo D have similar power and torque figures.
That's why they say proof is in the pudding. Tata ponies are similar to Hyundai ponies I guess.
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Old 24th May 2005, 16:36   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
That's why they say proof is in the pudding. Tata ponies are similar to Hyundai ponies I guess.
Hate to disappoint you,but having driven both I dont find any difference in the power output except at lower revs when the Indigo's turbo hasnt kicked in yet.

Drive the two side by side and check it out - its a bet.
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Old 24th May 2005, 16:39   #7
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I have taken 40 degree incline in indica in first gear, albiet after wheelspin and clutch slip. And since the turbo kicks on after 1500rpm, its always better to rev up first.
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Old 24th May 2005, 17:07   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
Hate to disappoint you,but having driven both I dont find any difference in the power output except at lower revs when the Indigo's turbo hasnt kicked in yet.

Drive the two side by side and check it out - its a bet.
Are you suggesting one should floor the accelerator in order to climb the incline? I don't think my father-in-law will consider it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979
I have taken 40 degree incline in indica in first gear, albiet after wheelspin and clutch slip. And since the turbo kicks on after 1500rpm, its always better to rev up first.
That may be too fast on this curving incline.

-----------
| ######## ---> House
| # -------
| # |
| # |
| # |
| # -----
| ******* <---
---------

* : represents 20 degree decline.
# : represents 30 degree incline all the way

The road is very narrow (not a two way), have to drive at 5KMPH.
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Old 24th May 2005, 17:28   #9
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I dont know about you guys but I have climbed some really big inclines in my Indigo LS and it easily climbs in first gear. Its all upto how you shoot it.
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Old 24th May 2005, 17:38   #10
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Not to drag this too much, in short Indigo does climb at higher revs once the Turbo kicks in. In situations where one has to climb very slowly making 90 degree turns, it is not up to the task.
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Old 24th May 2005, 18:12   #11
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the indigo is a bit sluggish in the 1st gear but it also depends the way you shoot it up.
i feel the 3rd gear is the best in the indigo d with intercooler after the turbo kick the car just shoots like a petol engine there after zooommm ...
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Old 24th May 2005, 22:03   #12
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If you think the Indigo is bad, you aint seen nothin yet. My friend owns a Astra 1.7 TD and that thing has the worst lag in history. To add insult to injury, the final drive is really tall. The trick in these situations is to 'half clutch' the car so that you can get more torque. I remember we had gone to a restaurant and the valet guy was trying to bring car from the underground parking. Its was probably a 35-40 deg incline and the surface was wet !!! due to a water leak. Like Samurai mentioned, he could'nt get a running start because of a tight turn that preceded the climb. He gave up and my friend had to ride the clutch to get it out. The car is a mile muncher on the highway but totally useless in traffic. Needless to say that clutch is not going to last very long. (what a coincidence!....both are IDI turbos)

Can't comment on the Indigo, but having owned an Indica V1, I can confirm that the first gear is kinda tall and its hard to launch. That car is geared for FE.
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