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Old 13th February 2013, 19:19   #1
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Default Tata Indica Vista D90 : Official Review

The Tata Vista D90 has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 6.00 - 6.83 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you’ll like:

• 89 BHP Vista is noticeably punchier than the regular 74 BHP variant. Improved low-end torque
• Among the most spacious hatchbacks
• Safety isn't optional anymore. ABS and EBD are standard on the Vista D90
• Instrument cluster is back where it belongs (in front of the driver)
• New interiors look and feel better in terms of overall quality
• NVH levels are impressive. Nearly petrol-like, up to a certain rpm level

What you won’t:

• Stiffened suspension means ride quality isn't as soft & absorbent as the 74 BHP Vista
• Fit & finish still aren't up to the mark. They leave a lot to be desired
• Top-end performance is missing. Swift is faster, Punto 90 more fun to drive
• Mediocre 232 liter boot size
• Niggling issues & irritants persist (as reported by existing Vista owners)
• Tata’s after-sales-service remains a gamble


Last edited by Rehaan : 14th February 2013 at 09:16.
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Old 13th February 2013, 19:19   #2
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Default re: Tata Indica Vista D90 : Official Review

Since the Tata Indica Vista has already been reviewed by Team-BHP, this report will only focus on the changes vis--vis the older Vista. For easy reference, here are direct links to the full Tata Indica Vista test:

Tata Indica Vista90 (Tata Indica Vista90 : Test Drive & Review)

Tata Indica Vista Refresh (Tata Indica Vista Refresh : Test Drive & Review)

Last edited by GTO : 13th February 2013 at 20:28.
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Old 13th February 2013, 19:19   #3
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Tata Indica Vista D90 : Official Review-tata-vista-d90-prices.png

Exterior Changes:

The D90 looks just like the refresh model that was recently updated, barring some minor changes. The black roof is now a standard offering on the ZX+ trim level; the VX gets a black roof too, but only on the Spicy Red body shade. The black roof looks great! Though, good luck in maintaining it if you park under a tree. Here's how it looks under the morning sun. The roof was tough to clean for this picture as it smudges easily:


The left fender gets a Quadrajet 90 badge straight from the Manza's boot lid:


Tata badge on the boot with closely spaced letters (they had spaced out the lettering with the Vista refresh):


Boot lid gets a monogram on the right-hand-side specifying the variant. ABS is standard on the D90:


Jack mount locations hang lower than the floor and are visible from the side. Quite an eyesore:


An optional body-kit is available at the dealer level. Honestly, the body kit looks quirky from the front. At best, you'd get the rear bumper treatment and skip the other bits:


Features Snapshot:
Tata Indica Vista D90 : Official Review-vista-d90-feature-list.png

Last edited by GTO : 14th February 2013 at 13:56. Reason: Adding snapshot of features
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Old 13th February 2013, 19:19   #4
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Default re: Tata Indica Vista D90 : Official Review

On the Inside:



Unlike the exterior, the interior dons significant (very welcome) changes. As a relief, the speedometer cluster is back where it belongs, thanks to the Manza's dashboard being used. Let's face it, center-mounted meter consoles just don't work in passenger cars. The instrument cluster is a direct lift from the Manza parts bin, as are many other components. Two neat touches : The speedometer illumination dims itself when the headlamps are turned on, and the tachometer needle becomes progressively red as you approach the redline. However, speed readings aren't clearly visible due to the smaller fonts. The D90's entire cabin gets white lights.



The center mounted MID is basic, but easy to read. You can toggle between the distance to empty count, instantaneous fuel economy and average FE. I'd prefer the toggle button being placed within reach of the steering wheel; it's quite a distraction to operate the MID with the button placed on the instrument cluster. A big clock and outside temperature make up the other display data.

Distance to empty:


Average fuel economy:


Our test car (ZX+ variant) was equipped with a double-DIN touchscreen TFT DVD head-unit. In a segment first, the head-unit has an inbuilt voice enabled GPS system. Maps can be updated as and when they are released. The GPS led us to Sunny-da-dhaba via the shortest route on the old Pune-Mumbai route. Halfway through, I chose to take the expressway and it seamlessly recalculated the new route in swift time. The music volume automatically lowers when GPS instructions are given out.



As a sore point, the display is very bright, even at the lowest setting. Its glare lights up the cabin at night. We tried to enable night mode as well, albeit that didn't help. We suggest you enable the sleep feature to turn off the display (after an idle interval). On the flip side, the display is not clearly visible under direct sunlight. The response time of the touch panel has a noticeable delay too. Don't expect dual-core PC speeds on the display refresh, else you'll end up sorely disappointed.

The HU's main menu is inspired by tablet PC layouts. On the home screen, you can choose the feature you'd like to use. Come to think of it, the only buttons on the HU are a volume / power knob, navigation shortcut and disc eject. Everything else is controlled via the touchscreen interface. A disadvantage is that, touchscreen head-units aren't the easiest to operate while driving.

The head-unit is versatile and accepts USB, SD, Micro SD, Aux-in and DVDs as your file source. On the quality front, I would rate the 4 speakers and 2 tweeters as average. For the audiophiles among us, this isn't the setup you'd care for. For feature seekers and function lovers, it's just about at acceptable levels.

There's support for pairing up to 5 mobile phones via bluetooth. The steering mounted controls facilitate answering phone calls, volume, track seek and mute. Must say that the buttons are neatly integrated and made of good quality material.

Automatic Climate Control:



The ZX+ variant gets an automatic climate control unit. Tata has gone a step ahead and added a solar sensor on the dash to gauge the location of the sun and adjust cabin temperature accordingly. This, they claim, helps in setting just the right ambient air flow and temperature for passenger comfort. While this might be a thoughtful addition, we couldn't really make out much difference in cabin temperature while driving with sunlight on the windscreen, or when the sun was shining on the boot.

The ACC correctly maintains cabin temperature at night. We didn't have to fiddle around too much to get to a comfortable setting. The air-conditioner is an absolute chiller. It's noteworthy to mention that the air-conditioner doesn't drop engine power; the 1.3L diesel takes compressor load quite well.

The ACC offers three modes:

Normal: Manually set blower speeds and temperature using ultra cheap rotary knobs.

Auto: Completely automatic, based on ambient outside temperature and inputs from the solar sensor.

ECO: Maximises fuel economy at the cost of outright cooling. Lesser engagement of the compressor.

The solar sensor on the dashboard:

Last edited by Rehaan : 14th February 2013 at 09:21.
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Old 13th February 2013, 19:19   #5
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Default re: Tata Indica Vista D90 : Official Review

The talking point here is this 89 BHP diesel motor, taking the tally of Vista engine options to 5!


As is obvious, the Vista D90 is the outcome of a Vista refresh and Indigo Manza parked next to each other. The Vista is powered by the same 1.3L powerplant doing duty under the Manza's hood. Although this engine is shared with the Punto 90, Linea, Ertiga and SX4, it performs differently in each of the cars owing to varying states of tune. The gearboxes are different too. This 1248 cc engine puts out 89 BHP (@ 4,000 rpm) and 200 Nm of torque (from 1,750 rpm). That's an additional 15 BHP & 10 Nm of torque over the regular 74 BHP version which powers cars like the Swift diesel. I drove my Swift & the D90 back to back to gauge differences between the two.

The D90 pulls well from idle, without any surge in power delivery when the turbo starts spooling. The severe turbo-lag of the 74 BHP version is noticeably reduced, while power delivery is more gradual across the range. The Variable Geometry Turbo (VGT) does a good job of controlling lag and delivering torque at lower rpms, making city driving a peppier affair. Of course, there is still a certain amount of lag and this car is no Nissan Micra, yet the lag is no deal breaker. 2,500 rpm sees a prominent tug all the way to 3,750 rpm. This is the range you'll typically use on highways. Like most other diesels, the D90 has nothing to offer past 4,000 rpm, where the torque curve starts falling. No point in high-revving diesel engines, you'll only waste fuel without really getting anywhere.

The gearbox ratios are sweet. In-gear acceleration is brisk and you won't be wrestling the gear lever too much. The improvement in shift quality is obvious, although there's more effort required from Tata to make it sure slotting. The first 4 gears engage seamlessly, but effort is required to slot into fifth and reverse. There's also excessive play; the lever freely moves around ~50% of its travel range. Expect more play to seep in after a couple of thousand kms of wear. The clutch pedal is marginally heavier than that of the Maruti Swift and Hyundai i20. Those who are used to driving European heavyweights won't complain.

In a straight line drag, the Swift & i20 diesels are decidedly quicker. While the engine + gearbox combination offers decent in-gear acceleration, the D90 isn't a road scorcher. Tata engineers appear to have given fuel economy a higher priority than outright performance. The ARAI certified mileage is 21.12 kpl.

Ride quality is acceptable, but certainly not as soft (on bad roads) as the regular Vista. Tata has given the D90 a set of stiffer springs with some damper tuning. I'd say that it is a bit too stiff for backseat occupants as the ride tends to get bumpy. With the 35 psi recommended tyre pressure at the front and 33 psi at the rear, you shouldn't expect a plush ride on imperfect roads. The car's overall handling is neutral and in line with what you would expect from a family hatchback. It isn't a boat, neither is the D90 a corner carver. Keep within safe limits and you'll be satisfied. If you approach a corner too fast though, there is a generous amount of under-steer and the steering lacks feel too.

The top-end variant rides on 8-spoke alloy wheels shod with 175/65 R14 Bridgestone tubeless tyres. Good thing that Tata doesn't under-tyre its cars due to cost cutting exercises. I must mention that the stock tyres squeal a lot under hard cornering or panic braking conditions.

The turning radius is terrible. You can't make a U-turn on regular city roads without having to reverse. The Vista is as bad as the erstwhile Fiat Palio in this area.

Even the base variant comes equipped with ABS as standard fitment. Thumbs up to Tata for giving safety a top priority. The brakes on the car are topnotch and have superb pedal feel. There's a wee bit of sponginess at full lock, but nothing that should make you worry. We tested the brakes to their limit and they didn't disappoint by family hatchback standards. Importantly, the D90's brakes are far superior to the anchors of my Swift VDi. On the flip side, under emergency braking conditions, the Vista does nosedive and the rear end feels somewhat loose.

The ABS module. ABS is standard on the Vista D90


Replacement of oil and diesel filters is a cakewalk:



Last edited by moralfibre : 14th February 2013 at 09:30.
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Old 13th February 2013, 19:20   #6
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Other Points:

2 year / 75,000 km warranty, with an option to extend it for another 2 years. Extended warranty is a must-have with Tata cars.

The D90 gets a bigger 44 liter diesel tank.

Driver's seat is height-adjustable. Has adjustable lumbar support too.

Currently available only in two higher trim levels (VX & ZX+).

The head-unit will only play videos when the vehicle is at a standstill, with the handbrake engaged. A safety requirement. Understandably, videos can be extremely distracting to the driver:


A shoddy job at fitting door trim plastic panels:


A second 12 volt socket is placed next to the parcel tray. Nifty:


Ultra bright head-unit at night:


The D90 has significantly beefed up insulation. An example is this foam piece where the bonnet hinge rests:


Rear seat has a 60:40 split. Useful:


Non-alloy full size spare wheel:

Last edited by GTO : 13th February 2013 at 20:25.
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Old 13th February 2013, 20:32   #7
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Default Re: Tata Indica Vista D90 : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Official Reviews. Thanks for sharing & rating it a well-deserved 5 stars!
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Old 13th February 2013, 20:50   #8
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Default Re: Tata Indica Vista D90 : Official Review

Nice review, moralfibre!

I've got to say the Vista D90 leaves me confused. What are TATA trying to achieve with the model? Who are they targeting? Attempting to give the Indica "sporty" characteristics, seems redundant. I don't think potential Swift or Polo buyers will find the car appealing.

The Indica is a functional, roomy and comfortable hatchback. Focusing on these strengths and improving build quality (and reliability) should be TATA's top priority.

All said and done, the interiors (minus the HU) look rather smart. Nice dials.
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Old 13th February 2013, 21:23   #9
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Default Re: Tata Indica Vista D90 : Official Review

Great review moralfiber,

I must say this is one of the best products from the tata stable yet. I like all that they have incorporated in the D90.

I agree that this might not win the award for the hot-hatch of the country, however there is a large population that is attracted to these changes. The correct placement of the odometer would itself win customers. The touch screen HU and the better fit and finish also adds up .

Now that Tata is on the right track, they should focus on making their new small car less bulky.
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Old 13th February 2013, 22:16   #10
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Default Re: Tata Indica Vista D90 : Official Review

Thanks a lot for a nice review. I think one of the USPs of Vista was a comfortable & spacious rear bench. Looks like they have not got the best with this variant. I understand this was the need of the hour with a more powerful engine, but a well tuned suspension would have been nice.

Anyway wish TATA success with this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
....The D90's entire cabin gets white lights....
Any idea what's the color on the 75 bhp variant? I always thought it was white since Manza has all white lights in it's cabin.
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Old 13th February 2013, 23:00   #11
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Default Re: Tata Indica Vista D90 : Official Review

Thanks for the wonderful review moralfibre.

Will the changes to interiors be carried over to the existing 75BHP Vista, too? I read somewhere on the forum that it wasn't the case.

With the spot on pricing it has got, this version looks promising for Tata. It will definitely help in improving Vista's image and sales, IMO.
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Old 14th February 2013, 00:21   #12
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Default Re: Tata Indica Vista D90 : Official Review

Thanks for the review but even before I started reading the review, I knew I would read this
"Fit & finish still aren't up to the mark. They leave a lot to be desired" but in the review apart from the ill fitting door trim (which could be due to this being a demo car) I haven't seen anything else being mentioned.
And when you say "Leave a lot to be desired" I would sincerely like to know what was the benchmark here and what left a lot be desired, fittings? plastic quality? both? A few more pictures would have seriously helped. I am seriously considering buying Vista 90 as my next car over the Figo.
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Old 14th February 2013, 01:46   #13
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Default Re: Tata Indica Vista D90 : Official Review

Great Review Kiran

I too wlecome the change in dashboard, looks much better no doubt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
On the Inside:


Come to think of it, the only buttons on the HU are a volume / power knob, navigation shortcut and disc eject.
The solar sensor on the dashboard:
I cringed when I looked at the hacksaw fitting of the Controls on the Head Unit & the way the solar sensor unit shows up.

The HU buttons looks so crude & the gap on the USB/AUX/SD panel below volume control is noticeable. Even the Vlume knob plate with map button seems like an after thought.

The solar sensors border is uneven argh.
Why cant they take care of fit & finish?
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Old 14th February 2013, 05:13   #14
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Default Re: Tata Indica Vista D90 : Official Review

Looks like TATA is releasing versions after versions. Their main problems still remain the same. Their response also remains the same. Reminds me of the statement about "Insanity" widely attributed to Albert Einstein.

They need to stop focusing on Indica, Indigo (sadly Manza was a victim of this nomenclature) and work on a new look car with a different name. To start with, a different and better looking car with another name would sell much more (even with the same engine). They just have to take a cue from Mahindra and get the pricing right.

Secondly, they have to spend on a major campaign and highlight their strength. Currently, they are everyone's favorite punching bag. I mean, what can you say when you see this picture and a related write-up in a totally non-automotive blog declares that most likely cause for a traffic jam are TATA cars breaking down.
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Old 14th February 2013, 08:48   #15
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Default Re: Tata Indica Vista D90 : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
...

• The head-unit will only play videos when the vehicle is at a standstill, with the handbrake engaged. A safety requirement. Understandably, videos can be extremely distracting to the driver
...
A very good feature IMO. Off-late I see a lot of cars driving around my city with IRVM mounted video displays and movies playing on them.
Quite obviously they were driven badly and are a threat to everyone around.
The link to the handbrake mechanism is a nice solution. But with Tata's quality record and our people's mentality, disconnecting this small link(switch) is not a big deal isn't it?


Quote:
• A second 12 volt socket is placed next to the parcel tray. Nifty:
...
Really useful feature. Sitting in the rear seat and using a mobile phone with low battery levels got more easier!


Quote:
• Ultra bright head-unit at night:...
It looks like a Map My India maps. and it seems to be in Day mode and hence its too bright.
This can be changed by setting to "day" "night" or "Auto"(changes to night mode at 6:30PM)
The night mode has black background with roads drawn in green


Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
...
The HU buttons looks so crude & the gap on the USB/AUX/SD panel below volume control is noticeable.
...
The USB/AUX/SD panel gap is intentional I feel.
It looks like a rubber cover and that gap is for putting one's fingernail and open to use a pen drive or AUX cable or SD card

But having said that, in all other areas I too have the same question like you (quoted below and made bold)
Quote:
...Why cant they take care of fit & finish?

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 14th February 2013 at 08:53. Reason: corrected spelling mistakes
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