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Old 16th January 2015, 19:10   #1696
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Took delivery on 15.10.2014 of silver Zest XM D.

Opted for an additional warranty for fourth year/1.5 lakh kilometres for Rs.8000.00, standard offer being 3 years/1 lakh km. Standard AMC - AMC Silver- is maintenance upto 3 years/45,000 km which includes cost of oils, coolants and scheduled consumables.

The interior is quite spacious and the driving position good. Having driven extensively Vista, Santro and Dzire, driving position did not overwhelm me but Zest has an edge. Space-wise, it betters even Vista.

The car has a commanding presence, especially when viewed from behind. The good ground clearance is accentuated at the rear with the high loading lip. The ground clearance feels, for all practical purposes, more than the 165 mm mentioned.

Ingress and egress is not at all a problem.

Rear bench can seat 3 comfortably.

Tilt-able steering does block the view of top of instrument cluster when set at lowest point. However, when positioned half way up, the cluster is not blocked (at my hieght).

The Fiat engine, though not exactly silent, is very muted inside the cabin, especially when the vehicle is past 60 kmph and in 5 th.

Turbo lag is lesser compared to the 75 HP engines.

Clutch is smooth, gear shifter too doesnt need much effort. The smaller steering, after getting used to, is a delight.

AC is very good. The car was parked for a couple of hours in mid-afternoon sun. Cooled the cabin in no time with five people in it and running up a steep incline. And the blower speed was set at second.

Suspension is quite good. Vertical travel is minimal. I made a 460 km round trip where 160 kms are ghat roads and the remaining road is a broken tarmac with frequents bumps, pot hole and craters. Except for the tyre noise while going over the broken tarmac, I did not feel any concern. However, I did find an annoying issue-while going over disturbed crests - deposits of gravel, bitumen and the like - I felt a very muted clinking sound from the steering coloumn. There wasnt any vibration but I repeated the same maneuver whenever I found that sort of patch on road. Same muted clinking sound without any vibration of steering.

One more thing is the placement of front indicator right below the headlamp. I doubt whether the oncoming driver can see the indicator if the headlights are on. I feel the side indicators placed on ORVMs are more visible.

First mileage check showed 16.2 kmpl.

Seat covers ( art-leather ) were charged Rs.6,700 at the dealership.

Did a trip to Sabarimala. Three members were accommodated in reasonable comfort on the rear seat. Footwells are quite deep so that the person sitting in the front can stretch legs without pushing the seat backwards too much.

Noice intrusion is quite less even at three digit speeds.

AC was never required to be set beyond the first speed, with 5 people onboard, but then this is winter.

The engine pulled cleanly, linearly even while in higher gear and lower speeds.

Handling was superb. Road was never straight for more than 100 metres for a stretch of 400 kilometres. Body roll is very less, occupants are not thrown around while negotiating turns at good speeds.

Vertical movement is very less while coming out of a hump or pot holes and the like.

Suspension felt quite solid and sounded solid too when negotiating pot holes.

Faced with a curious problem. After travelling for three hundred kilometres, the air speed was reduced drastically but the sound of blower was still the same. I switched off the AC for a few minutes and then started it again. Still the same problem. I disengaged recirulation mode. Then the AC started functioning normally. This had happened for several times in succession but was not repeated again. When taken to the first service, the SA said it was due to some aberration in the function of the AC thermostat. He said the service people had cleaned the deposit of ice around the thermostat ( no ice should be formed on it). If the problem persists, then they would replace the thermostat, said he. The problem didnt repeat, nor did I travel 300 km non stop.

Had a quite a few people curious about it. Looks were appreciated, cabin space impressed people, and fuel consumption figures bought smiles.

Alternatives considered were Dzire and Xcent. I have driven and travelled extensively in Dzire. Though a bit cramped and sounded a bit hoarse at above 100 kmph, it is a very good car, its sales a testimony.

Xcent was spacious, more smooth, looked good too but I was apprehensive of 3 cylinder diesel.

Zest looked alright, sounded powerful enough at 90 HP, features like music system and alloy wheels too added to its allure.
Cabin space is what floors a prospective customer ( atleast that was my requirement, among other things).

Driving position was commanding. It was commanding in Dzire too but not quite so in Xcent. But Dzire's bonnet stretches more.

When I test drove the Zest, I was surprised by the low noise levels and the cabin space.My son, at 14, is 5'11". I made him sit on all sides ( though not in driver's seat) to make sure there is enough leg and head space for him presently and for the future. Dzire was okay too but Zest surpassed Dzire.

The 'shove', associated with the 75 HP FIAT diesel past 1750 rpm was very much less in this engine, though the boost is palpable.

First thing it hits one when the car is first seen is ground clearance. And true to looks, we didnt scrape the bottom any where even with full compliment of passengers.

Clutch is very smooth and effortless, gear shift is smooth too, albeit with a longer throw. Once got used to, no issues there. Slots in effortlessly.

Th car is equipped with ABS. We never faced a situation where ABS would be put to use. Twice we had to come to stop from 100 kmph very soon. The brake bite was very progressive but picked up after a couple of seconds, and the braking was superb. Tyres didnt lock, and the vehicle stopped well ahead of the pot hole. I was used to good braking vehicles like Bolero and Santro. Still I am pleasantly surprised. Braking is that effective.

The smaller steering wheel was quite odd at first but we got used to it. It is chunky and nice to hold. Buttons (audio) on it functioned well. Didnt use phone buttons. Steering, as seen from my past experiences, is okay. Steering returnability is very good. I did hear a very low cling-clang noise from the coloumn when going over a particularly bad strech with almost vertical stones placed like speed brakers. The SA they made some tightening. The sound didnt go away. As a matter of fact, I have observed such sound in Dzire and Santro too but in Zest it is wee bit more frequent ( I mean, even on lesser bad patches). The reason I compare the Zest to Dzire and Santro is because I have driven/drive these cars as often as I drive Zest. I have travelled extensively in Indica, Swift and Vista.

Other than that, I did not feel any difference compared to other vehicles. The difference between Dzire and Zest steering is the size and the returnability. Preference for size is subjective; returnability is superior.

Audio sounded very good, compared to the competition. Lack of disc player is a bit disappointing. Also irritating is the placement of USB socket and auxiliary input jack way down the centre console. While the aux - in may be placed at the bottom due to the cable which will be out of way, USB socket placement is not convenient. Placing it on top along side the system head would have been far more convenient for the user. Having said this, the quality of music is very, very good.

Lights are okay for stock headlights but they are better than the competition - in illumination, width of the throw. Length of the throw should have been more. Switching on fog lamps improves illumination side ways.

Turbo-lag, as mentioned, is there but not quite obvious as in 75 HP engines. Only when faced with steep inclinations and delayed down shifting does one find the lag glaring. For normal city and highway driving it wouldnt be bothersome. It revves happily upto 3500 rpm; I didnt go beyond that, so no comments. However, vehicle pulls effortlessly, very effortless is the drive.

NVH levels are superb, way better than the competition. In fact, this is one of the first things one notices in this car.

Boot space is adequate, almost all the space is usable, except for the extreme nooks.

I didnt like the rear parcel tray placed so high.

No cubby holes/ internal storage space except a small one on the central console. Door pads do not hold litre water bottles. We were forced to shove the bottles into the pockets of seat covers. Passenger seat does have a tray but we didnt check whether it would take a water bottle.

Tyres, at 185, are wider, well planted and look substantial on this car.

Rides very well. One doesnt notice small pot holes, humps and undulations except at lower speeds. The vertical travel of the rear is very limited and only rarely does it heaves multiple times. In this area, the car is superb. Seems TML atoned for the soft sprung Vista.

Fuel consumption is on expected line. On sedate 80 - 100 kmph driving on high way alone produced 21.9 kmpl, with 5 passengers and luggage. It varied according to the terrain, gave 15.44 once in the hill section. Overall figures are about 20.5 kmpl. However, the in-dash FE average indicator does show atleast a couple of kilometres per litre less return when compared to the tankful to tankful method. The in-dash indicator's highest recording was 19.8 kmpl.

I was interested in the stance of the vehicle. When I got inside, I was impressed by space. Felt quite comfortable.

Pick up was good. Engine was proven, so I didnt give it much thought. NVH levels were quite good

Boot space is adequate for my foreseeable requirements. Tyre size, Alloy wheels, music system, ABS, 3 - year maintenance, option for extended warranty added to the allure of the package with price lower than the less equipped Dzire.

Neither the Dealer nor TML provided any booklet/acknowledgement for the extended warranty. The Sales Advisor and his higher-ups didnt have any clue about that. However, the SA requested me to call/mail the customer care. I emailed them. Prompt came the reply that the Dealer would contact me very soon. Within a few minutes the SA called me and said they were instructed to raise an invoice for the extended warranty. The problem was solved within a few minutes.

No document was presented as a proof for the 3 year maintenance plan. However, I was informed all the cars have default 3 - year maintenance plan. The Service Advisor confirmed both the extended warranty scheme and the 3 -year maintenance plan were updated in their database.

What would I change in Zest if given a chance ? Door pockets, which are too slim to hold water bottle, a couple of more cubby holes, placement of USB and Aux-In ports.
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Old 17th January 2015, 10:43   #1697
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

A couple of questions to the Zest owners:

1. Underbody coating: I see a thin layer of silver coloured rubbery coating on the underbody of the Zest. Is it only a temporary thing or is it an alternative to the 3M underbody coating?
2. Bluetooth connectivity on the Harman Kardon system: Every morning when I enter the car, i switch on bluetooth on my cell phone, I get a beep and a visual notifcation on the screen to confirm that bluetooth device is paired. After this, when I use the steering control on the RHS of the steering wheel to open the "Phone", I get a message saying no bluetooth device paired. I have been pairing the device again every day. Am I doing anything wrong?
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Old 17th January 2015, 13:29   #1698
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
2. Bluetooth connectivity on the Harman Kardon system: Every morning when I enter the car, i switch on bluetooth on my cell phone, I get a beep and a visual notifcation on the screen to confirm that bluetooth device is paired. After this, when I use the steering control on the RHS of the steering wheel to open the "Phone", I get a message saying no bluetooth device paired. I have been pairing the device again every day. Am I doing anything wrong?
Update: Is this an issue with my android version? I hadn't switched off bluetooth last night when I got out of the vehicle. When I entered the car today, evcerything worked perfectly fine.

Am I not supposed to switch off/on bluetooth?
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Old 17th January 2015, 14:31   #1699
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
A couple of questions to the Zest owners:

1. Underbody coating: I see a thin layer of silver coloured rubbery coating on the underbody of the Zest. Is it only a temporary thing or is it an alternative to the 3M underbody coating?
It is there in all TATA cars. My Vista had it. There is no need for any under body coat. I did not do it in my Vista as per the advise of Sale guy. Even after 6 years there is no rust and almost entire coat is intact except where the under body scrapped.
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Old 17th January 2015, 15:41   #1700
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Guys, took delivery of XT Diesel on 15th. So far the car is going great. Was trying to figure out couple of things but, could not find the same even in the user manual or the connect next manual.

1. Anyway to switch off the DRL's. Just curious to know if it's possible.
2. The remote lock functions without any audible indicators, only a visual indication from the indicators. Anyway to enable an audible tone?
3. The clock on the Harman system shows a small digital display on the top right. If, we switch off the system then, an analogue watch appears on the Harman system. Is there a way to enable the analogue clock while the Harman system is running?

Cheers
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Old 17th January 2015, 17:23   #1701
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Test drove Zest XMA today afternoon. This car has good handling characteristics and build quality. It took me a while to adjust to automatic in India but after that the drive was good.

I loved the build quality of this car. There was no engine noise seeping in and drive was comfortable.

Need to drive a manual as well before and will comment more.
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Old 17th January 2015, 17:39   #1702
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkg View Post
It is there in all TATA cars. My Vista had it. There is no need for any under body coat. I did not do it in my Vista as per the advise of Sale guy. Even after 6 years there is no rust and almost entire coat is intact except where the under body scrapped.
Thanks rkg for the information. So I save some bucks on the underbody coating. I am getting curious now, how many other (non-luxury)manufacturers provide the underbody coating OEM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pareshraheja View Post
1. Anyway to switch off the DRL's. Just curious to know if it's possible.
2. The remote lock functions without any audible indicators, only a visual indication from the indicators. Anyway to enable an audible tone?
3. The clock on the Harman system shows a small digital display on the top right. If, we switch off the system then, an analogue watch appears on the Harman system. Is there a way to enable the analogue clock while the Harman system is running?

Cheers
Congrats on the purchase and welcome to the club, which color did you opt for?
The DRL's switch off when you switch on the parking lights. On a more serious not, did you try calling the helpline number to find out answers to these questions? I hear they are quite well informed. Curious to know why you want to switch off the DRL's?
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Old 17th January 2015, 18:13   #1703
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by pareshraheja View Post
Guys, took delivery of XT Diesel on 15th. So far the car is going great. Was trying to figure out couple of things but, could not find the same even in the user manual or the connect next manual.

1. Anyway to switch off the DRL's. Just curious to know if it's possible.
2. The remote lock functions without any audible indicators, only a visual indication from the indicators. Anyway to enable an audible tone?
3. The clock on the Harman system shows a small digital display on the top right. If, we switch off the system then, an analogue watch appears on the Harman system. Is there a way to enable the analogue clock while the Harman system is running?

Cheers
1. they can be permanently disabled by tata service centers. there is no switch to enable / disable
2. No
3. Analog clock comes up only when harman is switched off
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Old 17th January 2015, 18:17   #1704
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post

Congrats on the purchase and welcome to the club, which color did you opt for?
The DRL's switch off when you switch on the parking lights. On a more serious not, did you try calling the helpline number to find out answers to these questions? I hear they are quite well informed. Curious to know why you want to switch off the DRL's?
Hehe, I am aware of that. Wanted to know how to manually switch off the DRL's coz if I am running a low battery or even as a safety measure in a jungle safari situation. Let me explain.

Whenever I travel to places like Coorg or Dandeli, I have been advised by locals to be prepared to switch off the headlights and parking lights if we come across an elephant or other wild animals at night and too keep the engine running. Will be traveling to Coorg next weekend. Was wondering what will I do in a such a scenario.

Cheers

PS - The color is Dun Beige. See pic below. Thats my dad in the car
Attached Thumbnails
Tata Zest : Official Review-20150115_131647.jpg  

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Old 17th January 2015, 18:29   #1705
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Interesting scenario you have there. From the above post from "highwaylover" it looks like there is an option to permanently disable it, which means you can get a small mod job done from a local mechanic to have an internal switch for this (I doubt TATA will do this). Not sure if this will have any impact on the warranty though (usually TATA is very customer friendly when it comes to warranty issues).

By the way, Dune Beige looks awesome in this pic.

Last edited by vasanthn21 : 17th January 2015 at 18:30.
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Old 17th January 2015, 19:31   #1706
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pareshraheja View Post
Hehe, I am aware of that. Wanted to know how to manually switch off the DRL's coz if I am running a low battery or even as a safety measure in a jungle safari situation. Let me explain.

Whenever I travel to places like Coorg or Dandeli, I have been advised by locals to be prepared to switch off the headlights and parking lights if we come across an elephant or other wild animals at night and too keep the engine running. Will be traveling to Coorg next weekend. Was wondering what will I do in a such a scenario.

Cheers

PS - The color is Dun Beige. See pic below. Thats my dad in the car
Congrats.
As Vasanth just said above, take it to your local mechanic and get a switch installed for switching them on/off. It should be very simple and straight forward. If you try figuring out thw wires powering the DRLs, you would get a better idea.
Only thing is, I don't know if it may affect the warranty as it involves fiddling with original electricals.
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Old 17th January 2015, 21:16   #1707
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pareshraheja View Post
Whenever I travel to places like Coorg or Dandeli, I have been advised by locals to be prepared to switch off the headlights and parking lights if we come across an elephant or other wild animals at night and too keep the engine running. Will be traveling to Coorg next weekend. Was wondering what will I do in a such a scenario.
Hi, congrats on your new car, I wish many many happy and safe miles with this lovely car.

Please do not mod the brand new car for DRL configuration , it's my personal opinion. Even if you mod you may want to check with the ASC. The service centre will be able to customize the DRL as per you preference. Check the Owners manual pg no. 52.
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Old 17th January 2015, 22:47   #1708
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

I am considering XT petrol. On road price in Mumbai is 7.6 lakh.

Break-up of the on-road cost:

Name:  Zest Cost.png
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Old 17th January 2015, 22:51   #1709
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
I am considering XT petrol. On road price in Mumbai is 7.6 lakh.

Break-up of the on-road cost:

Attachment 1329780
The insurance quote seems a little high. Please bargain further and I am sure you will get a better deal. The Zero Dep premium on my XT diesel was lesser than this. Rest all seems fine.
You might have to consider another 2k for the standard accessories kit consisting of mud flaps, footmat, idol and perfume - unless you plan on getting the mud-flaps and/or floor mats from another vendor.

Last edited by vasanthn21 : 17th January 2015 at 22:55.
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Old 18th January 2015, 00:01   #1710
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

I went for the PDI and was happy with most parts except the boot,

The boot lid was ever so slightly misaligned, the gap on the left was more than the gap on the right.
I checked all the other Zests in their parking but in their case the boots were perfectly aligned.

The SA said he'll get it done. I tried to see any patchwork in paint but didn't find any though checked it in basement in fluoroscent lighting.

Any ideas why it might be misaligned?

A bit confused right now.

The car is not yet registered in my name.

- Slick
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