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Old 10th May 2016, 20:32   #2461
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Dr.Suraj View Post
Guys,


5. Am I missing any other car on the list with the single most important non-negotiable requirement of a DIESEL AMT ? My uncle is not so much for Tata as me. So is there any other option I should seriously be considering?
.
Well, the only, but massive competitor is the Dzire ZDi AMT! I am also torn between the two as I too am thinking of replacing my 6yr old Manza. There are no issues with the car however, my major concern is that TML may discontinue it, like they've done the Manza and leave me high and dry...again! Was considering the TUV300, but the AMT niggles and the 3Cyl engine put me off. Also waiting for the Ameo 1.5 TDI +7 speed DSG, but the reliability of DSG is historically suspect. That leaves only the Dzire, which has no major negatives, and the sales figures vouch for it. In Apr this year, the Dzire sold 13,256 units whereas the Zest plumbed a new low of only 1419, that's lesser even than Indigo! With sales falling slowly but surely Zest has an uncertain future. If Kite 5 takes off, TML may offer more powerful engines in it and kill the Zest..and the Bolt, which incidentally sold all of 290 units last month, way less than what the Swift sells each day, is already dead!
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Old 11th May 2016, 15:57   #2462
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

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Well, the only, but massive competitor is the Dzire ZDi AMT!
I think you should wait for Kite 5 rather than plonking your hard earned money on Dzire. I read somewhere that Tata is working on facelifts for Zest and Bolt. IMO, Kite 5 should be the ALL NEW ZEST with 4cyls. Let's see what TML has to offer. For now, wait for Kite 5, if you can.
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Old 11th May 2016, 16:07   #2463
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

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Kite 5 should be the ALL NEW ZEST with 4cyls
Exactly. Kite with a proper 4Cylinder engine will make the Zest redundant.
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Old 15th May 2016, 21:08   #2464
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Thank you everyone for the prompt replies.

Did a couple of test-drives of the Zest XMA (just did not get a SINGLE XTA to test drive in Mumbai. Not a single dealer has it) and the Swift Dzire ZDI AGS.

Pros for the Swift:
  • Smoothness of the drive. (but it was a new car barely 1000 kms on the ODO)
  • Auto-folding mirrors
  • Request Sensor and keyless entry with engine start stop button
  • Lot of cubby holes and even a rear charging point
  • Chiller AC

Pros for the Zest:
  • SPACE. Far more space than the swift. You feel that the Swift is such a big car outside but it just disappears inside
  • The ENGINE. Same 1.3 Qjet FIAT. YES. But VGT. 90 PS. WOW. The Dzire goes so 'flat'. No punch. No kick. No thrill. The Zest is eager. feels powerful!
  • The steering. Good feedback. Not dead at all. FUN.
  • That beautiful HK system. Touchscreen. Navigation. Bluetooth. SMS readouts. Voice commands. Clarity. NICE
  • Projector headlamps with DRLs and a beautiful BMW-esque corona rings around the headlamps. (XT only)
  • Seating! The Zest just felt a very nice seat to be in while driving and being driven. Despite all adjustments could not get the right spot in the Dzire.

Cons for the Dzire
  1. No boot opening lever. Quite awkward to take the key out.
  2. 1000 kms run car and the speed auto-lock had failed
  3. The MID is unimpressive. Difficult to toggle through. Not logical.
  4. Hated those orange backlit controls. Speedo console was not 'fun or exciting'.
  5. Space was quite quite less as compared to the Zest
  6. Too much BEIGE! 1k old car - the gear knob had so many dirty black greasy stains. Will be a pain to keep clean
  7. 2 DIN system cannot be interchanged with any other Maruti or after market install :(
  8. Plastics were not really 'good' all around. Some places they were quite poor
  9. NO SPORTS mode!

Cons for the Zest
  • Too few cubby holes and spaces for knick knacks
  • Obvious under-utilized spaces like ahead of the gear lever. How it's optimized in the Tiago
  • Not a fan of the Piano black finish on the consoles. Looks odd sometimes. Looks classy sometimes.
  • No cooled glove box like the Tiago
  • No auto-fold mirrors. (not present in any TATA I guess?)
  • No keyless entry (again not present across TATA? Heard they have bought stake in some company that manufactures the same and we should be seeing these in 2017)
  • Creep function was absent despite being the same Magneti Marelli AMT like the Dzire. (Unless that's the 5th generation, like the Nano GenX and I am mistaken)

So what's the verdict?
Difficult choice if the absolute non-negotiable criteria is DIESEL AUTOMATIC.

Ideally the Zest needs an update. Small minor changes, customer feedback incorporated and take a few pages from the Tiago - will become a far better product and unbeatable choice than what it is.

Bottomline - purchase not done. Query unresolved. Back to the drawing board. Calculating if 'Diesel' is absolutely necessary. Because Petrol Automatic means a whole gamut of options opens up.
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Old 17th May 2016, 10:23   #2465
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Dr.Suraj View Post
Bottomline - purchase not done. Query unresolved. Back to the drawing board. Calculating if 'Diesel' is absolutely necessary. Because Petrol Automatic means a whole gamut of options opens up.
Dr. Sooraj, you may also like to factor in that:
1. The Dzire sells 10 times of the Zest
2. Tata may stop producing the Zest after Kite 5 arrives. (read spares problem and reasale plummets, a la Manza)
3. The Dzire gives at least 3kpl more than the zest. (AMT to AMT comparo)
4. Zest XTA appears to have been discontinued...there's no mention of it on their online booking portal.

Do tell us what you decide though, am in the same quandry! What petrols are you considering?

Last edited by windiesel : 17th May 2016 at 10:29. Reason: updated info
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Old 17th May 2016, 10:45   #2466
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

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Originally Posted by windiesel View Post
...
2. Tata may stop producing the Zest after Kite 5 arrives. (read spares problem and reasale plummets, a la Manza)
...
What made you think of this ? I am curious to know. Zest is one segment up of Kite 5 sedan.
Even though Zest is selling slow, there is pretty much life left in it.
It is not even open for Taxi segment as of now.

With Manza and Vista no longer in production, Zest and Bolt will go on. No question of phasing them out. This is what I feel.
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Old 17th May 2016, 10:54   #2467
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Manza it seems is still being produced for export markets in petrol form with last shipment being 27th April to Philipines. With Zest and Bolt also being exported it's unlikely they will stop production within 2 years of their launch.
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Old 17th May 2016, 11:09   #2468
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

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Originally Posted by windiesel View Post
Dr. Sooraj, you may also like to factor in that:
1. The Dzire sells 10 times of the Zest
2. Tata may stop producing the Zest after Kite 5 arrives. (read spares problem and reasale plummets, a la Manza)
3. The Dzire gives at least 3kpl more than the zest. (AMT to AMT comparo)
4. Zest XTA appears to have been discontinued...there's no mention of it on their online booking portal.

Do tell us what you decide though, am in the same quandry! What petrols are you considering?

1. No that's not something I would like to factor in. Just because something sells 'more' does not mean it's the better product. Especially in the Indian market. Infact that's to some extent an entry in the cons column - because thats one too many Swift Dzire's on the road - and sizeable number are in the taxi segment. Buying a White or Silver Swift Dzire was ruled out on the spot because of that. AAnd amazingly Maruti has instantly discontinue their 'NEW' Carbon Black colour - the one that looked grey without the hint of bronze.

2. I don't know where you got your info from - you are wrong on both counts. I own a Manza which is 5 years old and 66k done. I have no issues whatsoever with spares. Not that I have needed many. But recently something like the power steering pump went kaput (my fault - car went into a bad pothole landing in a tripod position with 1 wheel in the air - more on that on my ownership thread later) - and I had no issue whatsoever procuring that spare. Even somewhere as far as Ahmednagar I had no issues procuring spares. More importantly since the same engine (1.3 Fiat Qjet) is used across the range a LOT of components are common. And the Vista + Manza do share a lot of parts - both are still doing duty on many taxis as well. With TATA I am not really concerned about the parts issue. Never been a problem. Infact with streamlined vendors its better than before.
Now - for the Zest being discontinued ... the Manza was discontinued because it did not fit with HorizoNext strategy. It was needed to change the image. The demand for the Manza was quite poor - unlike the Zest. Zest has barely completed 2 years since launch. Like Bolt has been opened to the taxi segment, the Zest might be too - since the XE & XM versions now have a 75 ps engine instead of the 90 ps available on XMA, XMS, XT & XTA. So NO, no real chance of it just being axed off. Sumo Grande, Venture, Manza - these are of a bygone era and TATA Motors axed them to try and change their image so that showrooms display the NEW ones and public perception changes.

3. I did check that too. In city driving I found it be more like a difference of 1 or 1.5 kmpl. (strictly using their respective MIDs set to zero for a good 10 to 15 km trip) But I think that's because of the uninsipiring 75 ps FGT engine v/s the 90 ps VGT engine in the Zest. Not to mention the extra weight (which I welcome) - the heft of the door itself is a satisfactory feeling as compared to the Dzire. So a more eager engine v/s a flat one which showed no enthusiasm to rev up the numbers even when pushed ... I definitely don't mid 1 or 2 or even 3 kmpl lesser. One should be able to enjoy the drive! That also brings me to the seating of the Dzire. It was neither enjoyable in the driver's seat nor in the rear passenger's seat. So whether I am driving or being driven - it was average joe. At some points definitely not comfy.

4. XTA is definitely not discontinued. I have dealer prices, break-ups, quotations for 2016 manufactured models. None of the 5 dealers I spoke mentioned anything about it or even showed reluctance or hesitated in being able to procure one. Their own website brochure does mention the Zest XTA quite clearly. Here: http://zest.tatamotors.com/ZEST-Brochure.pdf
As for the online booking portal - trust TATA to have overlooked it or have their own (albeit cocky) logic to have not listed it there.

What petrols are being considered?
For starters one test drive and Celerio AMT, WagonR AMT, StingRay AMT are all out of the picture.

Honda showroom themselves advised us to NOT buy a Brio AT. They were adamant that we don't think of buying such an inferior product (their words, not mine). So there's the Jazz AT. Which is basically a Honda City platform (which we already have) with poorer engine and slightly better average than the Honda City AT. This comes around 10.5 OTR.

There's the POLO GT - only Petrol Automatic that was fun to drive - again around 10.5 OTR.

Nissan-Renault is not being considered. Chevrolet is out of the picture too. Nothing from the Mahindra stable either. (TUV300 has AMT issues anyways)

Would love to try the FORD Aspire or Figo in AT (DCT) - that's next on the list. Maybe next weekend. Although once again the AT is not in the TOP version. One below the TOP - like Honda Jazz. I wonder why ! Why must I miss out on features just because I want an automatic!

Had the Tiago been an AMT - petrol or diesel - would have booked instantly - eyes closed. But that's not there too.

So there really isn't much of a choice to make !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravindra M View Post
What made you think of this ? I am curious to know. Zest is one segment up of Kite 5 sedan.
Even though Zest is selling slow, there is pretty much life left in it.
It is not even open for Taxi segment as of now.

With Manza and Vista no longer in production, Zest and Bolt will go on. No question of phasing them out. This is what I feel.

Last edited by Dr.Suraj : 17th May 2016 at 11:18.
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Old 17th May 2016, 11:17   #2469
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Originally Posted by windiesel View Post
1. The Dzire sells 10 times of the Zest
Irrelevant. Zest is a better product any given day.

Quote:
2. Tata may stop producing the Zest after Kite 5 arrives. (read spares problem and reasale plummets, a la Manza)
They aren't going to stop producing Zest.
Even if they did, spares is not an issue. It is not an issue for my new Fiesta. Zest has sold much more than the Fiesta.
[/quote]

Quote:
3. The Dzire gives at least 3kpl more than the zest. (AMT to AMT comparo)
Can you please give the figures? Zest is heavier as it is better built, so FE can't be as high as a Maruti but it makes a difference of 200-300₹ per month. Do you really care?

Quote:
Do tell us what you decide though, am in the same quandry! What petrols are you considering?
I would drive the Zest AMT in city rather than a petrol CVT or a TC auto. Reasoning is that for an auto, low end torque is what matters. Zest's VGT ensures that it is there with a linear power delivery. Believe me, I have driven enough my father's 14 dec XMA to say this. It is a hoot to drive.
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Old 17th May 2016, 18:20   #2470
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Updated - Baleno AT has made it to the list.
It seems they do offer it now in the 'top-variant' Zeta and not just the Delta.
Sketchy details, shall update if I do a TD.

It's not entirely my decision to make, but I would any day go for the Zest over the Swift. Or most of the other cars mentioned.
A facelift Zest would be awesome! Hands down winner. But that's not the case so maybe ...
Baleno - that's a different deal.
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Old 17th May 2016, 21:08   #2471
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Dr.Suraj View Post
Updated - Baleno AT has made it to the list.
It seems they do offer it now in the 'top-variant' Zeta and not just the Delta.
Sketchy details, shall update if I do a TD.

It's not entirely my decision to make, but I would any day go for the Zest over the Swift. Or most of the other cars mentioned.
A facelift Zest would be awesome! Hands down winner. But that's not the case so maybe ...
Baleno - that's a different deal.
Thanks for your detailed reply which is much appreciated. I too am a current Manza and an ex Indica 2000 model (one of the first non power steering ones!)owner. I want a Zest too, but my head screams 'NO'. You know what I'll get for my 2010 Manza done 95k? 2 lacs, if I'm lucky. And dzire of similar vintage will go for 3 and a half! Re spares, just yesterday, I went to the auth wksp for getting my windscreen water nozzles changed, the new ones dont shoot out a jet but a spray sort of which clouds the vision momentarily. I found it horribly dangerous. The rear high mounted brake light was also not available. Maybe these are minor isolated incidents, but sir, they don't happen with my wifes wagonR. BTW any tips on softening the dreaded Manza (Diesels) clutch? Mine's harder than Rambo!

Last edited by windiesel : 17th May 2016 at 21:09.
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Old 18th May 2016, 08:47   #2472
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Dr.Suraj View Post
....

Bottomline - purchase not done. Query unresolved. Back to the drawing board. Calculating if 'Diesel' is absolutely necessary. Because Petrol Automatic means a whole gamut of options opens up.
I did a lot of research on automatics this year. The caveat is that I ended up not buying one as I feel I should wait for one or two more iterations in the industry before autos can deliver the features and price points to my satisfaction.

That said, and given your price points, which sound very similar to mine, if you're buying a diesel automatic, I found Zest was the best option.

If you are now looking at petrol, Ford Figo Aspire. Only disadvantage, not as spacious as the Zest.

Between the two, Ford just about was my first ranked choice, but barely.

If you suddenly find an additional pot of money to spend, the Ford Ecosport Automatic (petrol).

You have ruled out the Renaults/ Mahindras etc so I won't go there.
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Old 18th May 2016, 09:37   #2473
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Suraj View Post
Updated - Baleno AT has made it to the list.
It seems they do offer it now in the 'top-variant' Zeta and not just the Delta.
Sketchy details, shall update if I do a TD.

It's not entirely my decision to make, but I would any day go for the Zest over the Swift. Or most of the other cars mentioned.
A facelift Zest would be awesome! Hands down winner. But that's not the case so maybe ...
Baleno - that's a different deal.
Baleno is not available in the top variant, it was first available only in top -2 Delta variant and recently the AT was launched in the top-1 variant zeta. The Alpha is the top variant.

If you are not in too much of a hurry worth waiting to see where the VW Ameo compact sedan is going to slot in. That is coming with a diesel dsg automatic.

Zest is probably the most VFM option though.
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Old 18th May 2016, 13:20   #2474
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Nice to see Zest being defended even by those who do not own it.

Sales of Dzire are higher but it is true that Zest is a better car.

Mileage - wise, Dzire is a bit more frugal as per the company claims. Two obvious factors contribute to comparatively less FE of Zest - weight of the car and a more powerful engine. Also, bottom end torque is a bit more on Zest, as felt by driving both the cars.

It's true that the doors weigh superb and the shutting sounds good, so unlike tinny sound.

Seating position is superb, entry and exit relatively easy even with steering pulled down all the way.

Rides over pot holes and undulations better. A few months ago we were doing high speed driving on NH 5 with Zest and Swift and Swift couldn't ride as effortlessly on that undulating 4 laned highway. We had to slow down for it.

Not faced an issue mechanically, no rattles and sounds till date, after 39000 km.

Kite may be better looking one but evn if it has comparable space inside, I doubt it can match the superb seating position of Zest, by what I have seen in Tiago.

Lest I forget, that high ground clearance- I am yet to scrap the bottom of even the front bumper. It's beyond any other sedan.

One thing which irritates is the lack of cubby holes and one litre bottle holders in door packets.

What if Zest gives around only 20 kmpl? One gets satisfaction hearing door closing thud, very silent and refined drive, gliding over pot holes ride, sure footed handling on undulating roads, more space inside and higher seating position?
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Old 18th May 2016, 15:23   #2475
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Dr.Suraj View Post
Guys,
Someone in the close family is keenly looking to buy a Zest Diesel AMT - XTA.
For the most important reason - it is the cheapest diesel automatic in the market today.

I have, ofcourse, been following this thread religiously since day one.

Nevertheless I have a few questions to all the Zest XTA owners here:

1. The ZEST has a 4th Generation AMT

2. Any known niggles or complaints of the ZEST AMT (XMA or XTA) ? Apart from the mud covering for the engine bay.....................
Having driven the Zest XTA for over 15k Kms in 6 months, I definitely vote in favor of it.

From high ground clearance, to all around seating comfort, to powerful engine, and convenient AMT, this car has never failed to impress me.

The car till date is rattle free, and absorbs the road bumps really well at high speeds. At low speeds, you may feel some bumps, but nothing significant. High speed mannerisms are top-class, inspiring you to carry on with those speeds.

I have driven many times on Del-Chd-Del & Del-Jaip-Del route, sometimes returning on same day. I have never, not even once, felt fatigued after my journey. Thanks to itís seating comfort & convenience of AMT.

AMT does have itís proís & conís:

1. Sometimes in the middle of driving, once in a blue moon, AMT loses itís cool, & the RPM shoots to 3000 revs, but settles down when I pull back from the A-pedal.
2. Sometimes, the AMT does not shift to a higher gear, and continues to accelerate on in the same gear. A little nudge of gear lever to manual & back to auto does the trick.
3. At times, when in extreme bumper-to-bumper traffic, you are braking and accelerating every second. When applying the brakes, the car will try to pull ahead a fraction of second more, but eventually comes to stop safely. It does gives you heart in mouth scenario for that fraction of second.

Also, AMT in general is sluggish. If you are a spirited driver, you will not find the AMT very efficient. However, if you are a sedate driver, you will never have problem with the AMT.

Donít get me wrong, the car can reach higher speeds in a timely manner, but donít expect it to shoot at the push of an accelerator.

Air-conditioning is excellent, and at level 6, the air throw is sufficient to reach and cool the rear cabin.

HK Music system, from a non-audiophileís perspective, is more than what you could bargain for from a company fitted music system.

Fuel efficiency is always depending on the way you drive. Personally, I have got 25/26 KMPL when I drove within 80-90 kmph range, and I get anywhere between 17-20 KMPL with AC on full time, and usual bumper to bumper traffic.

Other than lack of cubby holes, I donít see much wrong with the car. People crib about re-sale value, which is true. But if you are buying to drive the vehicle for 5-6 years, I donít think it should matter that much in the long run. Even if they discontinue the Zest, they have to carry the spares for at-least 10 years after discontinuing the model.

Regarding TATAís dealership & service experience, it is a hit and miss. Try visiting different showrooms, see how they interact, how willing are they to negotiate, etc. I personally visited 3 different showrooms before finalizing on one, who gave me a good deal, were interested to sell, and answered all queries swiftly. I remember from the moment I bought the car, till after my first service, I got regular calls from the dealership checking on my ownership experience, any issues I might be facing, and reminder for the 1st service. I had small niggles in the car, which the service centre resolved very promptly. Overall, I am very happy with the after-sales experience.

I was advised by everyone I know to NOT go for TATA vehicle. However, I listened to myself, understood my priorities (Diesel+Automatic, under 10 Lakh), and was left with only 2 choices at the time- Zest & TUV300. I guess in hindsight, I made the right choice.

Hope this helps you in making your decision.
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