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Old 4th August 2014, 09:55   #1
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Default Tata Zest : Official Review

The Tata Zest has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 4.64 - 6.99 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:

• India's first diesel-automatic in the C1 segment. Affordable, convenient & low running costs
• Build quality, fit and finish are on par with competitors. Tata has made significant improvements
• Spacious well-designed interiors & comfortable seats. A rare compact sedan that can seat 5 adults
• 1.2L turbo-petrol has class-leading torque and impressive low-end driveability
• Balanced suspension offers compliant ride quality mated to neutral handling. Nice EPS too
• Light controls, agreeable ergonomics and good refinement. Drives like no mass market Tata car has before
• Features: 3-driving modes (petrol), LED DRLs, projector headlamps, 5" touchscreen, parking sensors, voice commands & more

What you won't:

• When driven hard, the AMT can't match the smoothness & shift-times of a conventional automatic
• Turbo-petrol lacks mid-range punch and fails to excite at higher rpms. Not to an enthusiast's tastes
• Poor in-cabin storage & missing niceties (rear seat armrest, dead pedal, seatbelt height adjustment)
• Thick A-Pillars create severe blind spots while driving
• Concerns over long-term reliability & durability. Previous Tata cars haven't fared well in this area
• Tata's sub-par after-sales service quality is far from that of Maruti, Hyundai and Honda

This review has been jointly compiled with Rehaan. Thanks to him for the expert observations & photography!

Last edited by GTO : 23rd May 2015 at 15:06. Reason: AMT now available in the top-end too. Removing that point
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Old 4th August 2014, 09:55   #2
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In 2008, Tata Motors created the sub-4 meter 'compact sedan' segment, with the launch of the Indigo CS. While the car did fairly well for itself in the initial years, it is outdated today and has been left behind by the competition. The Maruti Dzire, Honda Amaze and Hyundai Xcent are far more modern and appealing.

For Tata Motors to remain relevant in this segment, they needed to develop a new product that was capable of competing with the Japanese & Koreans in terms of quality, performance, reliability and refinement. With the Zest, Tata will try to regain some of the ground it has lost over the years. Tata knows how important the Zest and upcoming Bolt hatchback are. Apart from aggressive promotions, the company has taken steps to revamp its dealership network. Sixty showrooms have been renovated with digital integration, incorporating video walls. 3,000 tablet-equipped personnel have been trained for sales and service roles. For service appointments, notes are taken down digitally on these tablets and then emailed out to customers.

Tata Motors developed the Zest on the X1 platform – also used in the Vista hatchback. It has the same 2470 mm wheelbase too. However, the company claims that it has been extensively re-engineered. The Zest does bear resemblance to earlier models from the Tata stable. The company claims this has been done deliberately to keep the identity of the car as a Tata product. Other than those styling cues though, there is nothing on the exterior that the Zest has in common with its predecessors. Each body panel of the car is new.

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The Zest falls in the sub-4 meter category which qualifies it for a lower excise duty than conventionally sized sedans. With a length of 3995 mm, the Tata matches the Maruti Dzire and Hyundai Xcent, and is 5 mm longer than the Honda Amaze. The 1706 mm width and 1570 mm height contribute to making the Zest the widest & tallest, and therefore, the biggest sub-4 meter sedan in the country. It is also the heaviest of the lot with the petrol version tipping the scales between 1115 - 1135 kg, while the diesel weighs 1170 kg. The Zest petrol has the highest ground clearance in its class at 175 mm, although the diesel stands lower at 165 mm.

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The Zest embodies Tata's new design language with a fresh signature grille that has chrome lines running along the top & bottom, and a honeycomb mesh in between. The headlamp clusters have halogen projectors for the low beams (a first in this segment). The headlights also have a “follow me home” function and cool "angel eye" light rings around the projectors. The front bumper incorporates a wide, trapezoidal air dam along with foglamp housings that are lined with LED day-time running lights (another segment first) or chrome accents (depending on the variant). The bonnet of the car rises at both ends and has a sculpted power bulge in the middle too.

Viewed from the side, the Zest appears to ride rather high for a sedan. There are very pronounced shoulder lines running along the sides of the car (especially noticeable on the lighter colours). The 15-inch alloy wheels try their best to fill the wheel wells, but they still appear small for the flared wheel arches. The top and mid variants get 185/60 R15 tyres.

Tata has done a fair job of integrating the boot into the design. Though some people might find it disproportionate from certain angles, Rehaan and I felt that it was a nicer integration than the Amaze, although not quite as well-executed as the Hyundai Xcent. There is a new pair of wraparound LED tail lamps. The rear bumper sports a black plastic cladding at the bottom with a center mounted fog lamp.

Overall, the exterior fit and finish are a lot more impressive than what we've seen so far on Tata cars. The shut lines are tight and consistent. The Zest also feels solidly constructed. Its doors, while not shutting with a European thud, don't feel flimsy like some budget offerings from Asian manufacturers. The rubber beading used is of very good quality and it goes all the way around the doors too. Fact is, it's pretty hard to spot any blatant cost cutting on the Zest...can't say the same for some of its direct competitors. Tata has clearly paid a lot of attention to the quality and workmanship, and it shows.

Tata Zest : Official Review-tata-zest-features.png

Bright white DRLs are an eye-catching feature on Indian roads. Notice the grille's lower chrome line flowing into the headlights:


Large parabolic headlamps and a relatively long hood define the front end of the Zest:


There are mixed opinions on the boot integration, but Rehaan and I felt that it has been carried off quite well:


Like most other sub-4 meter sedans, the Zest gets a fat chrome strip running across its boot:


The silhouette is unmistakably Tata:


Power bulge at the center of the bonnet, and the hood also curves up towards the side edges:


Halogen projector low beams (a first in this segment) are also provided on the mid variant, but without the 'guide lights' ('angel eye' rings):


Large smiling grille has a stretched honeycomb pattern. Inside the Tata 'T' logo is a smaller honeycomb patterned grille:


Chrome accent on foglamp housing of the mid variant:


The top variant gets LED DRLs. Observe the honeycomb texture on the foglamp housing:


ORVMs get integrated turn indicators:


Strong shoulder line of the Zest is more prominent on lighter colours:


Blackened B-pillar. Door seal rubber beading is of good quality and goes all the way around the door:


Body coloured door handles. The shut lines & panel gaps were impressively tight and consistent all-around:


The diesel and petrol, both get 15" alloy wheels. However, each one has a different design. This is the petrol:


And this is the diesel. Bridgestone B250 185/60 R15 tyres provided good traction:


Wheel wells don't have full cladding. Still, NVH levels are well controlled:


Forward pointing, wraparound LED tail-lamps look nice:


The boot lip doesn't rise up at all. It just sticks out backwards by a few millimeters:


Rear foglamp is center mounted on the lower part of the bumper. 4 parking sensors provided:


Radio antenna is located on the roof, towards the rear of the car:


View of the clean underbody of the diesel (165 mm ground clearance). The petrol has 175 mm GC. Neither should face scraping issues:


The only poorly finished area we could spot on the outside. A bit of smudged paint, more visible due to the Zest's raised stance:


Lowest edge of the front & rear bumpers are matte black. Great for rough or muddy roads:


We can't help but think those headlights might be a bit too big. The 'angel eyes' (rings) are semi-visible in this image:


The rear looks contemporary and balanced (interestingly, nothing about the rear styling says 'Tata'):


Both cars are the same length, but the Zest rides much higher. Fact: the Zest's panel gaps are tighter than those of the Amaze:

Last edited by Aditya : 10th September 2014 at 11:13.
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Old 4th August 2014, 09:55   #3
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Interior - Front



The Zest has large doors that open wide. This, combined with the height of the car and fairly high seating position, makes getting in and out easy. Like most Tata cars, the cabin of the Zest is large, with an arched roof, giving it that airy feel inside.

The first thing that jumps out at you is the Zest's stylish & elegant dashboard design. Anyone familiar with Tata cars will be pleasantly surprised at the styling. The look is fresh, while the black + beige theme, silver detailing and sparkling black accents look a lot more upmarket than the Vista or Manza. In fact, the colour palette, knurled knobs and switches (with embedded amber & green LEDs) have more of a Euro design-feel than a Japanese or Korean one. The quality of material used is as good as some of the other cars in its segment. The dashboard layout is logical and user-friendly, with one small exception that we'll touch upon soon.

Just like the exterior, the Zest's interior is a vast improvement over any previous Tata offering. Quality and finish of what is in plain sight is good. Unless you go looking around for a rough edge, you're unlikely to find one. Tata seems to have stepped up the level of quality it expects from its vendors; this clearly shows on the inside. It's no Hyundai Grand i10 though. Look closely and you'll spot a handful (details in the pictures below).

There is a new 3-spoke steering wheel. Small and good-looking, the steering wheel feels nice to hold. The horn pad is hexagonal with buttons to control the infotainment system and telephone. These buttons felt pretty solid. As is the norm in this price range, the steering can be adjusted for height, but not reach. The horn pad is a little difficult to reach and is fairly firm to press. The wiper & light stalks felt nice to touch, with no rough edges or mold lines easily visible.

The front seats are soft, yet supportive and comfortable. The top layer of the seat padding is soft, and overall support is firm enough for you not to sink completely into them. It's just like a comfortable armchair on a smaller scale. The seat fabric's kaleidoscopic print pattern doesn't seem to match the interiors perfectly, though not many will complain about this. The side bolstering extends forward by 3-4 inches and provides excellent lateral support. The driver's seat can be adjusted for height and finding a good driving position is easy. Crank it all the way up and you sit like in the Wagon R, with a commanding view of the road ahead. Most will find the ergonomics to be spot on with the steering, control stalks and gear lever falling right into hand. The seats don't travel too far back though. This could result in a cramped driving position for super tall drivers who have long legs. The pedals are well spaced out, but there is no dead pedal or even space to the left of the clutch pedal to rest your foot. Also, the seat belts lack height adjustment.

While frontal visibility is otherwise good, the A-pillars are rather thick and can cause blind spots around curves. The ORVMs are tall, albeit not as wide as we'd like. The new instrument cluster has white back-lighting. There is an MID in the middle, with a tachometer to the left and speedometer to the right. Like some other Tata cars, the rpm needle glows red when it approaches the rev limit. A digital temperature and fuel gauge sit at the bottom of the tachometer and speedometer respectively. While the digital fuel gauge looks great, it has a resolution of only 6 segments, so you don't get the same accuracy that you would with an analogue meter. The masses will love the real-time fuel efficiency bar that is permanently displayed on the MID. Because it is graphical in nature, it's a lot easier to reference when you're driving (rather than a constantly changing digital number). The MID can be toggled to show the distance to empty counter, clock, odometer, outside temperature and 2 trip meters. When you get to the trip meters, it automatically shows you the respective fuel efficiency for each of the trips. Convenient, and so easy to use! Another thoughtful touch is the door open indicator indicating the exact door that is open. This saves the driver from having to guess which door hasn't been shut completely.

The instrument cluster, all the buttons on the center console and the power window switches are illuminated with the same clean white back light. The brightness of the back light, along with the entertainment unit screen, is adjustable in five steps (though the "ILLU" graphic pictured below might lead you to believe there are more adjustment steps).

Below on the waterfall center console are buttons for the parking sensor, fog lamps and 'Eco' & 'Sport' driving modes. Given that the Eco & Sport driving modes are such a quintessential part of the Revotron petrol engine (there's roughly a 4-6 second difference in the 0-100 times), we think these buttons should have been placed on the steering wheel. In their current position, they are hidden away out of sight and thus, out of mind. A prominent position would result in Zest owners using these buttons more often. This is the one exception to the logical layout of controls that we mentioned earlier.

Located at the top of the center console is an infotainment system that Tata and Harman have jointly developed. It has a 5-inch resistive touchscreen and boasts of USB, AUX, SD Card and Bluetooth connectivity. The Zest is equipped with 8 speakers - two speakers and two tweeters at the front and back each. Sound quality is impressive. Even after turning the volume all the way up, there is no clipping or distortion. In fact, this is one of the rare OEM systems that sounds better and better as you go louder. Another good thing about the system is that the music starts playing immediately on start-up. No wait involved, like we see in some other vehicles. There's even a 'display' button which turns the screen off; apt feature for night driving.

The touchscreen doubles up as a parking sensor display. Climate control and some vehicle settings (auto-locking doors, parking sensor customisation, approach lamps etc.) can be changed via the touchscreen. The system supports smartphone integration and has an SMS read-out function. It had some trouble downloading contacts from our smartphone, thus we didn't get a chance to test all the voice command functions. We did, however, test the voice commands for the climate control and they worked as intended (similar to the Ford Fiesta's system). While the touch functions work properly, the screen’s sensitivity needs some getting used to. I also feel that some of the virtual buttons could have been a little bigger. As an example, the temperature control buttons are 8 mm diameter circles, which can be difficult to operate on a bumpy road. Of course, this problem can be avoided by using the climate control's physical dials.

It was not easy to judge the air-con's cooling performance as we tested the car in heavy rain. A verdict on how it performs in peak summer is best left to our ownership reports. The air-conditioner has an 'economy' mode button which reduces the usage of the compressor, thereby increasing fuel-economy. There is a large gap between the fan & temperature controller where one would normally expect a display. Of course, in the Zest, this display appears on the touchscreen (a la XUV500).

What might trouble owners is the scarcity of storage spots. There is just one cup holder ahead of the gear lever. A larger bin-like area below the handbrake is the only option for you to drop your large smartphone. The doors get very narrow pockets which can barely squeeze in a 500 ml water bottle each. Thankfully, the glove compartment is quite accommodating. It has slots for a pen, visiting cards and the owner's manual. Under the front passenger's seat is a medium-sized storage drawer too.

Attractive dashboard has a black & beige theme, with silver and sparkling black detailing on the center console:


Steering with a hexagonal horn pad. Perforated texture and silver detailing look fab:


Steering-mounted audio buttons feel pretty solid:


Phone / Voice recognition button needs to be kept pressed for a second before it starts listening:


Instrument cluster looks very upmarket with its white backlight. Tachometer needle turns red as you approach the redline. We welcome the instrument cluster's relocation at the right place, as against the Vista which had it in the center of the dashboard:


The MID 'ILLU'mination can be dimmed. Toggle through outside temperature, clock and distance-to-empty. Trip A & B display their respective average FE. The graphical bar for instantaneous FE is always shown & is easy to refer to while driving:


Stalks are lightly textured and quality of plastics is excellent. Mold lines barely visible. Notice the logical placement of the headlight level control:


The center console looks smart. Nothing is awkwardly positioned or shaped:


Harman-developed 5" touchscreen head-unit has excellent sound quality (4x25w RMS amp):


Blank area where you'd expect a climate control screen. A/C settings are shown on the infotainment screen (pic above):


Parking sensors, foglamp, Eco and Sport buttons on the top-end petrol. Chrome inserts between the buttons look stellar. USB / Aux below:


The gear lever feels nice in your hand. Throws are a medium distance and the positioning is ergonomic:


Merely one cup holder in the entire car, placed beside the 12v port. Safe to assume that the Zest won't be sold in America!


Pedals are well spaced out. Though, there's no dead pedal and absolutely no room to the left of the clutch to rest your foot:


Front seats are properly cushioned and supportive. Lots of side bolstering too. High seating position gives a commanding view of the road ahead:


Driver's seat is height adjustable:


The driver's door pad. Small pockets and no bottle holder:


Red light on the 'window lock button' appears when all passenger windows are unlocked. Should have been the other way around. Driver's window gets one-touch-down convenience:


Our top variant got metallic finish door handles (but top-end cars displayed at malls didn't). All window switches are backlit:


The center air-con vents can be shut by pushing them sideways. Little air still gets through. Side vents can't be closed:


Passenger's sun visor gets a vanity mirror and a large printed warning label:


Seatbelts aren't adjustable for height. The B-pillar curves inwards, making the belts easier to grab:


Glove compartment is spacious, with a shelf at the top for the owner's manual. Lid has holders for a pen, visiting cards etc.:


A/C vents for the foot wells are located on the side of the center console:


Seats have felt lining (alongside the handbrake) to hide their metal rails. Storage below the handbrake is also visible here:


Bluetooth microphone is placed just ahead of the (single) cabin light:


ORVMs are tall, but not as wide as we'd prefer:


Prismatic rear view mirror is barely big enough to cover the entire rear windscreen:


Rearward view for the driver. High parcel shelf and massive C-pillars make things difficult when parking:

Last edited by GTO : 14th August 2014 at 10:24.
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Old 4th August 2014, 09:55   #4
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Interior - Rear

The rear seat is wide and comfortable. It can accommodate three occupants without much of a squeeze. The doors open wide and the seat is at a good height, aiding ingress and egress. The front seatbacks have been scooped out to enhance rear knee room. Sitting behind the driver's seat in my driving position (I am 5'10"), the car still had knee room to spare! Even with the front seats pushed back all the way, there's adequate legroom available. Of course, this can be attributed to the fact that the front seats don't slide as far back as in some European cars.

Rear passengers will find the space in this sub 4-meter sedan to be plentiful. The roof doming upwards, ahead of them, only adds to the airiness of the cabin. The rear windows are large and they roll down all the way. The seat-base is at a comfortable height while under-thigh support is standard fare (like any other car). The seatback recline angle is comfortable. It's not as reclined as in the Manza, yet there's been no compromise on the angle (for example, to free up legroom). Headroom is sufficient for those up to 5'11", although a 6-footer might have minimal clearance from the roof.

The middle passenger will have to place his feet on either side of the floor hump. While this hump isn't terribly tall, it is still prominent enough to be an irritant for the 5th passenger. Though the rear bench does have a slight rise around the middle, the center passenger's seating area is comfortable. It doesn't feel like he's perched awkwardly higher than others beside him. No neck restraint for the 5th occupant though. It's nice to see that Tata has provided adjustable neck restraints at the rear too. The door pads are upholstered with fabric where your arms rest. Having said that, a center armrest (on the back seat) as well as seatback pockets are missing. For the convenience of rear passengers, the top-end audio system comes with an infrared remote control. Like the front, the door pockets are only capable of holding smaller 500 ml bottles, and there are no cup holders anywhere. The parcel tray is relatively small too.

All 3 grab-handles have a soft return action - yet another classy touch showing that the interior quality has stepped up a notch. In addition, the ones at the rear get nifty coat / bag hooks. Note: For the mid-variant, these grab handles are fixed and no coat hooks have been provided.

The Zest's 390-liter boot is bigger than the Dzire's and only slightly smaller than the Xcent (407 L) & Amaze (400 L). However, the usability is restricted by wheel wells protruding far into it. Loading the boot is further hampered by the high loading sill and narrow mouth. No, the rear seat doesn't fold down.

Doors open wide, allowing for easy ingress & egress. 3-stage opening mechanism for the front doors and 2-stage for the rear:


Comfortable rear seat. No center armrest:


There is enough headroom for anyone up to 5'11" height. At 5'10", I had adequate legroom even with the front seat pushed all the way back - as shown below. Driver's seat is set for Rehaan's 5'8" driving position:


Rehaan sitting behind his own 5'8" driving position:


The floor hump isn't terribly tall, yet it's not low enough for the 5th passenger to comfortably place his feet on:


Seat-back pockets are missing. Seat-back is scooped out to maximize rear knee room:


500 ml bottles are a squeeze in the small door pockets. Light beige fabric of the armrest area is sure to get dirty with use:


Rear headrests are height adjustable. They are firm, unlike the soft pillows of the Etios:


Parcel tray isn't deep at all. Stop lamp and raised sides intrude in on the space. The inch-high lip at the front prevents your tissue box from sliding forward under braking:


Typical compact sedan boot (390 liters). Loading the boot is hampered by the high sill and fairly narrow mouth. Wheel wells are intrusive, thereby limiting usable space:


Boot widens up towards the rear of the car, but airport hauls with large suitcases aren't going to be easy:


Boot lid has no cladding on the underside. Looks cheap on an otherwise well-kitted car:


Same size spare isn't an alloy wheel:


Properly stocked tool kit. The pouch has velcro that helps it stick to the boot carpet, preventing it from moving about:

Last edited by GTO : 4th August 2014 at 10:09.
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Old 4th August 2014, 09:55   #5
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Driving the 1.3L Quadrajet Diesel:

The Fiat 1.3L - India's national engine - in a higher state of tune. 89 BHP vs the Dzire's 74:


A closer look at the AMT gear shifter. Move it to the left to engage 'manual' mode:


The 'Sport mode' button:


Sufficient space to rest your left foot, but no dead pedal even on the automatic Zest:


MID showing that the lever is in 'Auto' mode, with 'Sport' functionality activated:


Here, you can see the lever is in 'Manual' (MAN) mode, with the system suggesting a downshift from the current (2nd) gear:


The Zest diesel is powered by the familiar 1.3 liter, Fiat-sourced Quadrajet engine with a variable geometry turbo. It produces 89 BHP @ 4000 rpm and peak torque of 200 Nm @ 1750-3000 rpm. Most of you are well familiar with this motor. We welcome Tata's decision of providing the higher-tune version of the 1.3L diesel. Entry-level sedans (e.g. Dzire, Sail, Linea Classic) usually deploy the 74 - 77 BHP version with a fixed geometry turbo, reserving this variable geometry turbo variant for more expensive cars (e.g. SX4, Ertiga).

What's really special with the Zest is that the 1.3L diesel is mated to a 5-speed automated manual transmission (AMT). Tata is badging the AMT as 'F-Tronic' and sources it from Magnetti Marelli (just like Maruti). It's not the same model as the one used in the Celerio though. There's a dearth of diesel automatics in the sub-10 lakh segment, with the Verna & Scorpio ATs being the only options available. Make no mistake, this is the Zest's USP. We understand that Tata is excited about the Revotron petrol motor they've developed, but can't help feeling that they should have advertised the 'diesel automatic' bit more! They've gotten an incredible first-mover advantage here, as the Zest will be the cheapest diesel AT in the country!

How the AMT works is pretty straightforward. Mechanically, the AMT gearbox is identical to a manual transmission. What's different is how the clutch is operated and how the gears are shifted. In the manual, the driver is responsible for these tasks. With the AMT, hydraulic actuators located in the engine bay operate the clutch and shift gears. There's no clutch pedal, and zero driver input is required for gearshifts, making it exactly like a conventional automatic to operate. Simply put, the mechanical functions of operating the clutch and gear-lever have moved from inside the cabin to the engine bay. The AMT is particularly clever because it is cheaper to manufacture than a regular 'slush box' automatic and can be mated onto any existing manual drivetrain (if there's space for it). The AMT is the 4th type of Automatic to be offered in India, after the traditional torque-converter type, dual-clutch AT & CVT.

Try firing up the Zest without putting your foot on the brake, and it won't start. There's no "foot on brake" warning icon on the instrument cluster (Celerio had one). Instead, there's just a "dinging" warning sound. Shift into "D" and let go of the brake. Unlike a regular automatic, the Zest AMT doesn't move forward at all. It remains in a clutch-depressed-like state until you press the accelerator. This is an advantage and prevents undesired crawling. However, if the car has been parked on a slope, remember to accelerate, else it will roll back.

The Zest diesel sets off smoothly. While the turbo kicks in at ~2300 rpm, even at low revvs, there is no shortage of power or driveability. The diesel engine's natural characteristics of an early rising + overall flat torque curve compliment the AMT gearbox extremely well. This 'diesel + AMT' combination helps eliminate a lot of the issues we faced with the Celerio AMT - namely, noticeably jerky shifts (for the driver) and the high frequency of up / down shifts. The additional torque means that the Zest AMT doesn't change gears as often as the Celerio, thereby making city driving a smoother experience. In the Zest, passengers will be hard pressed to notice the gearshifts as they happen. The driver will definitely perceive them, but they won't be anywhere near as jarring as in the Celerio AMT. The transmission is also completely silent in its operation.

Driving the Zest in the city is an absolute breeze. In these conditions, the AMT truly shines and brings the most benefits. There's no clutch pedal and there's no requirement for the driver to repeatedly shift between Neutral-1st-2nd either. At these speeds, no difference is felt between the AMT and a conventional AT. In fact, this is more like a DSG in stop & go traffic, since the mechanism is identical (but only between Neutral and 1st gear). Owners will love the fact that their left leg is completely relaxed, while the higher fuel-economy is an added bonus. Diesel remains the cheaper fuel in India and the Zest diesel AT's fuel-economy will easily surpass that of petrol AT sedans by a wide margin. I'd also like to add that the AMT manages the clutch & gearbox a lot better than sub-par drivers out there. There's no doubt that it is more talented than a below-average driver in choosing when to shift, how to shift and what gear to be in.

'Sport' mode can be toggled on and off by using the button placed on the gear lever surround. From what we could tell, it increases the limit at which the gearbox automatically upshifts. With a heavy foot, you're looking at upshifts between 4000 - 4500 rpm.

Parking is easier than in the Celerio. With the Zest, you don't need to press the brake pedal when shifting between R <-> D, up to 5 kph. This allows you to quickly swap between the two gears when parking in a tight spot. It's different with the Celerio where you have to stop & brake before shifting between R <-> D.

On the open road, the Zest is best suited to a sedate driving style. The diesel's sheer torque ensures that the AMT doesn't hunt for gears as much as the Celerio and it can indeed be a smooth long-distance cruiser. On the flip side, an enthusiastic right foot brings out the AMT's weaknesses. For one, gearshifts are a lot more noticeable above 3,000 rpm. At higher rpms, the shifts get jerky too. Those used to smoother AT gearboxes will definitely notice the compromise. This isn't a quick gearbox either and its response times are slow. Not a problem in the city, yet can be one on the highway. Overtaking in automatic mode can be a slow & tedious affair. The workaround: before overtaking, it's better to put the gearbox in manual mode, downshift and bring the engine into its power band. Preparing the car prior to your overtaking manoeuvre works best with the AMT (this was the case with the Celerio too).

Manual Mode has other advantages, especially for the more enthusiastic drivers who want a higher degree of control. We recommend shifting to manual mode before overtaking and when you need engine braking (say, on hilly terrain). Manual mode is better on downhill sections as it gives you the desired engine braking, and prevents unsettling upshifts mid-corner. A good thing is that the AMT doesn’t ever free-wheel (some dual-clutch ATs do). It always keeps the clutch & gearbox engaged, resulting in better control. Further, 0-100 times are best tried in manual mode, but they certainly won't match up to the true manual Zest. Why? Because there's no way to dump the clutch and get a hard launch on the AMT, along with the faster gearshifts that a good driver can pull off. All said and done, manual mode isn't as much fun as in a petrol car, due to the diesel engine's inherent power curve and lower max rpm level.

If the rpm drops too low in manual mode, the AMT will downshift to prevent the motor from stalling. If you try to upshift at too low an rpm or downshift at too high an rpm, the AMT will ignore your instructions. To use manual mode, push the gear lever forward for an upshift, and vice versa.

Hill starts require that you use the correct procedure in order to minimize rollback. We advise you to deploy the handbrake to aid starting on an incline. When starting off on a hill, switching your foot immediately from the brake to accelerator will result in the Zest rolling back....before it engages the clutch and moves forward. It's dangerous, and also bad for the clutch in terms of wear & tear and overheating. Thus, it's best to use the handbrake on an incline. The Celerio had a prominent warning sticker about this on the driver's side door, but the Zest doesn't come with any such instructions. On a related note, 'Hill Hold' braking functionality would have been a neat addition to the Zest AMT.

Additional observations with the Diesel AMT:

• Tata has clearly worked on insulation and refinement. The diesel's NVH levels are nice. When you're driving around town, all you'll hear is a muted clatter.

• For regular usage, there is no need to use Neutral, other than for starting the Zest.

• You can start the car off in manual mode in 2nd gear. This might come in handy in slippery conditions (snow, slush).

• If you're driving uphill with a light foot in automatic mode, the AMT shifts from 1st to 2nd, the rpm falls into turbo lag zone and - as a result - the AMT shifts back to 1st. This behaviour can get annoying.

• A strange issue we noticed: when lugging up a slope in 2nd gear (not pressing the accelerator), we shifted to manual mode and tried to put the AMT in 1st gear, but it didn't engage 1st. The AMT shifted into neutral (de-clutched) and began to roll backward. We could tell that, every 2 seconds, the AMT would try and get the clutch to engage, albeit unsuccessfully, since we were rolling backwards.

• Whilst driving in 3rd gear, we shifted the lever from "D" to "N". The MID still showed that we were in 3rd gear, but the engine revved freely like it was in Neutral. This could be an issue if you accidentally bump the gear lever from "D" to "N" on the move. Don’t worry, pushing it into "R" at speed only leads to a beeping noise (it won't actually shift into reverse).

• Not sure how the AMT will behave once the clutch starts to wear out. Will AMT clutches have to be replaced sooner than MT clutches? Proper clutch service and setting will play an important role with the Zest AMT. And remember, use the handbrake on inclines!

F-Tronic (what Tata calls the AMT) badge garnishes the boot. Variants ending with the letter 'A' are automatics:


Turbo-diesel's intercooler sits low in the front bumper:


This backward-facing inlet (for the air intake) sure is positioned strangely:


Bonnet cladding for the diesel:



Driving the 1.2T Revotron Petrol:

1.2L turbo with class-leading torque:


Here are Tata's test numbers of the Eco, City & Sport modes. 5.7 second difference in 0-100 times! This isn't just marketing:


That's the small turbo visible at the end of the black pipe. The petrol too has an intercooler, just like the diesel:


Tata Motors has plonked a new 1193 cc petrol 'Revotron' engine under the Zest's hood. While it uses the same block as that of the Indica Xeta, the motor has been extensively reworked. Developed in-house, this powerplant uses a Honeywell-developed turbocharger, making the Zest the only turbocharged petrol sedan in its class. The engine also makes the Zest the most powerful sub-four meter petrol sedan in the country, with power & torque figures of 89 BHP (@ 5000 rpm) and 140 Nm (@ 1750 - 3500 rpm) respectively. While the Zest is only slightly more powerful than its rivals in terms of horsepower, it makes significantly more torque. For the petrol, the TA65 5-speed manual gearbox is the only one on offer at the moment.

The Zest's engine has three drive modes: Eco, City and Sport. On switching between these modes, not only does the Zest change the sensitivity of the accelerator pedal, but it also tells the ECU to use different maps to deliver either more power or fuel economy. Listen very carefully at idle when you press the Eco or Sport buttons and you'll actually hear the engine idle change a little, which indicates that it is actively changing settings in the maps. One point to keep in mind - every time you switch the car on, the system is back to the default "City" mode. If you wish to regularly use Sport or Eco mode, you must remember to engage it at every start up.

As a safety feature, you need to press the clutch pedal to start the Zest. Think of "turbo" and words like "lag" come to mind immediately. However, with the Zest, that isn't the case. The Revotron engine is nearly lag-free and moves eagerly. It's seamless enough that you never feel a lull before the turbo spools up. The turbo is fairly small, as you'll see in the picture above. The Revotron can pull from low revs without much effort and is well-suited to India's traffic conditions. There is so much low-end torque available that, upon releasing the clutch & with zero throttle input, the car simply pushes forward without stalling. You can even crawl over speed breakers and climb moderate inclines in 2nd gear itself. Tata engineers have done a commendable job of keeping the turbo lag at minimal levels and making the engine extremely drivable in the low rpm range. The Zest has a light steering with a pretty quick ratio, making it manoeuvrable in tight lanes. The clutch too is light enough and has a short 3" travel range. All these factors put together make the Zest an ideal city sedan. On the flip side, due to the high seating position and absolute lack of space to the left of the clutch pedal, the driver's left ankle will get tired from keeping his foot on the clutch pedal in stop-go traffic.

While the engine shines in driveability, those expecting outright performance will be disappointed. Don't even mistakenly compare the Revotron to that explosive 1.2L TSI from the Polo. The Revotron motor certainly doesn't like to be revved hard. Take it past 3500 rpm and the engine gets a bit throaty. The needle turns red at 5500 rpm, with the engine sounding harsh, although you can take it up to 6000 rpm. On the expressway, the Zest is in its comfort zone cruising at legal speeds, and being driven in a sedate manner (< 4000 rpm). 100 kph in 5th gear is attained at 2300 rpm (identical to the Dzire & Amaze). You can switch to 'sport' mode on the highway, but this still isn't an engine that begs you to go faster. Don't get me wrong, performance is totally adequate for a family sedan, yet it's no tarmac scorcher like the VW TSI. Overtaking manoeuvres will definitely require downshifts.

Eco Mode:

Press the 'Eco' button to take the engine into its fuel efficient mode. Eco greatly mutes throttle response, even when compared to the default 'City' mode. The car isn't eager to respond quickly. That said, the Revotron's low-end torque keeps the Zest usable in bumper-to-bumper traffic. While it is sluggish compared to the other modes, it doesn't get affected by turbo lag. On the other hand, Eco mode is unsuitable for highway driving.

Sport Mode:

Engaging Sport mode makes the car noticeably more responsive to throttle inputs (both, in terms of pedal and engine mapping). A slight dab on the accelerator and the difference is immediately felt. The car is peppy in urban conditions, with initial performance improving considerably over the other modes. However, once the car crosses its comfort zone (about 3500 - 4000 rpm), the Revotron isn't exactly 'sporty'.

The gearshift is one area where Tata Motors has made significant progress. The throw is not as long as older Tata vehicles. The gears slot in smoothly and you won't be missing a shift. The gearshift doesn't feel notchy or rubbery, while the gear knob is nice to hold too. However, it does have some issues. On pressing the throttle or lifting off, the gear lever moves back and forth. This also happens when you shift gears and let go of the clutch. We even noticed some vibrations in 3rd gear at 1500 rpm. On our test car, after three hours of driving in the city, the gears seemed to require more effort to engage and sounded noticeably clunkier. Those with a keener sense of hearing might notice faint transmission whine coming into the cabin.

The Zest has sufficient insulation for most driving conditions. The car is acceptably refined and there are no concerns on this front. It’s only at high speeds that some wind & tyre noise creeps in. It wasn't excessive, but definitely noticeable.

Tata is clearly proud of their Revotron engine and, as a result, the Zest wears this prominent chrome badge. Got 3 modes?


A closer look at the motor. The ECU is just ahead of the battery:


Most manufacturers skip this NVH cladding for their petrol variants...not Tata:


Sound deadening and heat-reflective insulation on the firewall:



Ride, handling, steering and braking:

Tata Motors has made a lot of progress in this department. The Zest manages to glide over roads smoothly at any speed. The suspension did its job beautifully & silently on the rough patches we encountered on our test-drive. Even larger bumps were eaten up without a problem. The ride is compliant and the cabin feels well insulated.

The Zest is decent around corners too. At regular speeds, it has no problems tackling them. When throwing the car hard into corners, there is a bit of understeer, although not as much as other Tata sedans (e.g. Manza). The 185 mm Bridgestone B250s provide good grip, while overall road behaviour is helped by the wide tracks (1450 mm front and 1440 mm rear). That said, there is a fair deal of body roll which dampens the driving experience. It's a tall and heavy car with a suspension tuned for comfort. Don't expect it to be a corner carver or involving handler in any way. The Zest's handling is competent for a family sedan and the average Joe will be happy with its neutral dynamics.

The new electric power steering developed by ZF is light and accurate. Like the Nano Twist XT, it has an "Active Return" function which makes the car less tiring to drive and park. It's light enough at crawling speeds. They've struck the right balance here. Going past 45 kph however, it does weigh up noticeably, almost a little too much (or too early, we should say). At high speeds, there's absolutely no vagueness or twitchiness, which helps the Zest feel planted. This is definitely one of the better EPS units around.

As is the norm in this segment, the Zest is equipped with disc brakes at the front and drums at the rear. The 9th generation ABS unit is sourced from Bosch. Overall, the brakes have adequate stopping power. Upon braking in the wet, the ABS did kick in a few times, yet it wasn't intrusive at all. When getting on the brakes, not much happens for the first inch of pedal travel or so. A little more initial bite would have certainly helped make them feel more effective & confidence inspiring.

Last edited by GTO : 5th August 2014 at 17:45. Reason: 'picture above'
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Old 4th August 2014, 09:55   #6
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Other Points:

• ARAI fuel efficiency ratings are 23.0 kpl for the diesel and 17.6 kpl for the petrol.

• The Zest is the first in a line of new products that Tata plans to introduce till 2020. It will be manufactured at the Ranjangaon factory, alongside the Manza.

• Available in 6 colours: Buzz Blue, Venetian Red, Sky Grey, Dune Beige, Platinum Silver & Pristine White. Black is absent on the list.

• Why is it that all sedans <4 meters in length have such corny names? Amaze, Dzire, Xcent and now, Zest (which is probably the least corny of the lot, by the way).

• The Zest is clearly a competent product. If you refer to our earlier reviews, you'll see that we were quite impressed with the Nano's brilliance, the Aria's competence and the Manza's all-roundedness. Where Tata fails is in the marketing function. We hope that the Zest receives the sales & marketing support it deserves.

• If you insert the key and hurriedly start the engine (without stopping momentarily at the accessory position), the starter won't crank.

• Tata Motors will certainly offer the diesel with a manual gearbox too. It wasn't available at the media drive though.

• The DRLs go off when the 'angel eye' parking lights are switched on. It would have further upped the 'cool' factor if it was possible to have them both on at the same time!

• Hallelujah, a variant naming system that actually makes sense! XT = Top, XM = Mid, XE = Entry / Economy. If there's an 'A' at the end (e.g. XMA), its the Automatic version of the respective variant. If there's an S at the end (e.g. XMS), it has the safety pack.

• Turning radius of 5.1 meters is bigger than the Amaze (4.5 - 4.7m) and Dzire (4.8m).

• The driver's window switch doesn't have 2-steps of progression. As a result, to engage one-touch-down, you have to keep it pressed for more than half a second or so. There's no one-touch-up functionality.

• If you pull the (inside) driver's door handle, it opens the driver's door & unlocks all other doors (rather than having to specifically flip the lock / unlock lever separately). The fact that this is only available on the driver's door is a good thing.

• Auto-locking doors can be activated / deactivated from the vehicle settings screen. Same for 'auto relock'. Meaning, if you unlock via the remote but don't open the doors within a certain time limit, the Zest will re-lock itself automatically.

• To adjust the brightness of MID & interior illumination, the headlights have to be turned on. After that, keep tapping the left instrument cluster stalk to cycle through the 5 adjustment levels.

• The audio system has a slight delay in responding to actions like changing the volume. It takes half a second to reflect the adjustments you make. While this isn't a big deal, the delay is definitely perceivable.

• The 5" touchscreen has a "picture viewer" mode, which enables the display of any image from your USB drive / SD card. If the images don't fit the screen's aspect ratio, they are disproportionately squished to fill the whole screen.

• The infotainment system has a few bugs. Bluetooth (specifically the contacts & call logs) didn't always work perfectly with our Android phones. Calls and music streaming functioned fine. But we couldn't ever get the "read incoming SMS aloud" feature to work. Once, while we were adjusting the music volume, an SMS came in and caused all the info in the central part of the screen to disappear. Regardless of what we tried doing to restore things, it only returned back to its usual self after a long shut-down of the car.

• Voice recognition on the Zest is limited to a set of predefined commands. Some examples: Tune to <station>, Play song <song name>, Play album <album name>, Call <contact name>, Dial <number>, Set fan speed <fan speed>, Set temperature <temp>, etc.

• The parking assist sensor system has some cool features. The 4 sensors have a rearward range of 1.5 meters, displayed in steps of 0.25 m on the screen. You have a choice of 3 warning tones (though none are particularly pleasant to the ear). There's independent parking volume control, and the option to mix it with the music or override the music. Lastly, you can choose how long the parking sensors stay active after you've shifted out of reverse (e.g. for 0 seconds, 10 seconds etc.). VW owners will be familiar with this, as their parking sensors remain active up to 5 - 10 kph of forward speed.

• Indicator stalk has a soft touch lane change feature - tap it and it blinks thrice. Also, the headlamp levelling control is mounted on the light stalk itself...a much more logical place for it.

• We were told that the Zest's OBD port is located behind the large snap-fit panel, to the right of the steering column. This means that it's not always accessible (e.g. if you want to use a bluetooth OBD module while driving).

• Despite Tata claiming the Zest is aimed squarely at the personal car segment, rumours of a 74 BHP stripped-down variant does indicate they don't plan to turn a cold shoulder on their commercial customers.

• Tata is offering what they call '333 Confidence'. This includes warranty for 3 years / 100,000 kms, an Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) of 3 years / 45000 kms and free 24x7 roadside assistance for 3 years.

• A huge shout-out to Talented Moderator Stratos for post-processing the review pictures!

Disclaimer : Tata invited Team-BHP for the Zest test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by GTO : 12th August 2014 at 19:27. Reason: Updating variant naming point.
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Old 4th August 2014, 09:55   #7
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The Smaller yet Significant Things:

Flippy key with a special center button for activating the headlamps:


Dials do a clean sweep at start-up. Note that the digital temp & fuel gauges don't provide the same resolution as analog ones:


Faux leather covers up the gap between the instrument cluster and steering wheel - a premium touch:


Ignition keyhole is illuminated. In all 4 of the cars we tested, inserting the key required some force to get over the initial resistance:


Several configurable shortcuts on the infotainment home screen. You can have them link directly to any audio or vehicle settings page:


4-segment reversing sensor has a range of 150 cm (1.5 meters). The distance display is broken into 6 parts - 25, 50, 75, 100, 125 and 150 cm:


Remote control has been provided for the infotainment system:


Mid-variant doesn't get the touchscreen system. Functionality is very similar, although sound quality and amp specs are less impressive (4x20w RMS):


SD card reader is left out in the mid-variant, but USB & Aux are still present. This being the diesel, Eco and Sport buttons are missing:


Mid-variant gets regular HVAC unit (instead of climate control). No parking sensors, but front and rear foglamps have been provided:


A medium-sized storage drawer under the front passenger's seat:


At night, all the pure-white LEDs of the dash, steering and interior are visible. Dimming the instrument cluster adjusts them too. Very premium:


Detailing & quality are evident. Things aren't absolutely perfect though. This volume knob was already loose on one of the cars we drove:


Bright yellow warning is printed on! This isn't a removable sticker. Various languages suggest an export possibility:


Boot & fuel lid release levers are conventionally placed. 'Zest' mats are another nice touch:


Concentric arch-like demister pattern on the rear glass. That dotted black band at the top is rare on a rear windshield:


Top XT variant gets dual airbags:


The edge of the hood meets the fender in an almost vertical fashion:


The Zest doesn't have those black strips running from the roof's front to rear. Resultant gap at the windscreen end is visible:


Quality control still needs to be improved. Bolt holding the rear seat has pinched the felt cladding, making it unable to cover the bolt head:


Ill-fitted plastic panel in the passenger's foot well:


Gap between the horn pad & steering wheel. You can see a red wire inside!


Foam / padding under the boot carpet. Notice the strap to lift, as well as hook to hold the floor panel up. A thoughtful touch:


Mid-variant gets door handles without the metallic finish:


DRL indicator visible at the top right. The 'door open' warning conveniently shows exactly which door (or boot) is open:

Last edited by GTO : 14th August 2014 at 10:19.
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Old 4th August 2014, 09:56   #8
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Chief Competitors of the Tata Zest

Maruti Dzire

What you’ll like:
• Priced lower than the outgoing Dzire. Noticeably better in most areas (quality, comfort, interiors etc.)
• Competent engine range. Very refined motors
• Absorbent ride quality, even over rough roads. Neutral road manners too
• Terrific fuel efficiency, especially from the diesel
• Effortless to drive in the city; light steering, clutch and gearshift. Automatic transmission available
• Maruti’s excellent after-sales service & wide dealer network

What you won’t:
• Oddball boot design. Side profile looks particularly awkward
• Small 316L boot & no folding rear seat either. Limited practicality
• Mediocre brakes (LXi / LDi & VXi / VDi), just like the mechanically-identical Swift
• Limited rear seat space is incomparable to the Manza, Etios, Verito et al
• Hefty 1.2 lakh premium for the Automatic transmission variant

Honda Amaze

What you'll like:
• An all-rounded compact sedan that does most things well
• Packaging brilliance. Roomier backseat than the Dzire, and a larger 400 Liter boot
• 1.5L i-DTEC engine offers segment-best power & performance. Excellent driveability too
• Diesel's 25.8 kpl ARAI fuel economy rating
• Light controls, slick gearshift and easy maneuverability for in-city commuting. AT gearbox available
• Honda's reliability & fuss-free ownership experience

What you won't:
• Diesel's NVH is a full level poorer than the refined Maruti Dzire
• Brio's unconventional dashboard is too basic for this class of car
• Not as dynamically accomplished as the Ford Fiesta Classic, Toyota Etios and others
• Diesel isn't as high-rpm friendly as the 1.3L MJD
• Many practical features missing (climate control, seat-belt height adjustment, adjustable neck restraints, auto-locking doors, full MID, folding rear seat etc.)

Hyundai Xcent

What you'll like:
• All-rounded package in a contemporary design
• Interiors have best-in-class fit, finish & quality. Accommodating 407 liter boot too
• Fuel-efficient, practical diesel & peppy petrol. Smooth gearbox
• Loaded with features (keyless start & go, reversing camera, rear air-con, cooled glovebox etc.)
• Comfortable ride quality and predictable handling
• Hyundai's fuss free ownership experience & excellent after-sales service

What you won't:
• 1.1L 3-cylinder diesel lacks the top-end punch of competition. Ordinary highway performance
• Steering & dynamics aren't to an enthusiast's tastes
• Narrow width makes it more suited as a 4 seater, rather than 5
• Boot aside, the premium i20 is closely priced with more power, space, equipment & refinement
• Adjustable front neck restraints, seat-belt height adjustment, full MID, auto-locking doors & dead pedal missing

Last edited by GTO : 4th August 2014 at 10:13.
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Old 4th August 2014, 10:34   #9
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Official Reviews.

Thanks for sharing, guys!
Fabulous review, mind-blowing detail. Tells me everything I need to know about the Zest.

*Rates thread a well-deserved 5 stars*
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Old 4th August 2014, 10:40   #10
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Let me start off my saying, I was thoroughly impressed by the Zest. Not only as a step forward for Tata, but more importantly when compared to the competition as well.

Everyone who saw the euro-looking dashboard was pleasantly surprised. Both in terms of design and quality, it is impressive. What became apparent to us, spending several hours looking around the Zest was that the Tata team has definitely put a lot of thought and attention to detail into everything - and it shows.

I'm glad to see that finally a company has developed an engine with user-switchable maps. Think about it, this is the kind of functionality that people pay 20,000+ Rupees for in the form of switchable "Pete's" or "RaceDynamics" boxes. Tata has built that in, and that too in this segment! Of course, the Revotron is in no way an exciting or enthusiast engine, but I really applaud this step. It's something that's always been possible, but no one has bothered to do (in the lower segments). I just wish the driving mode buttons were not "out of sight and therefore out of mind". They should have been on the steering wheel, and they should have remembered their setting after a restart too.

My guess is that Tata is going to come out with class topping ARAI fuel efficiency numbers. That's why that tiny turbo is in there. This is of course pure speculation on my part (and assuming that ARAI lets them use the "Eco" mode figures). Let's wait and see…

The diesel AMT is no doubt something the mass market is drooling over. The beauty of it is that it has the wide torque of the diesel to its benefit, (which is what makes it more driveable than the Celerio). For the average driver, this engine + AMT combo will be responsive and truly enjoyable. However, pushed hard, it will get much more coarse.

Mechanical (and now electronic) gremlins would be my foremost concern with the Zest. The diesel (Fiat engine, Magneti Marelli AMT) would be my pick, not only for more peace of mind, but also because I thought it was better to drive.

The touchscreen audio system has a lot of bells and whistles. If you ever give it a listen, turn the volume ALL THE WAY up - that's when it's most impressive. (The mid-variant audio, though decent, isn't as good).

Here's a parting shot:
Tata Zest : Official Review-img_20140729_175115-copy.jpg

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th August 2014 at 10:53.
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Old 4th August 2014, 11:03   #11
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Wow a brilliant detailed review. Read it in one go !!

Deserves 5-stars

Having driven the Revotron Zest for a very short distance, I must admit the steering feel and the quality of buttons are absolutely impressive. This is definitely going to be a big thing for the Tata's. However, Tata must pull their socks in the aftersales department too. But, I am sure even that will improve with the Zest and the Bolt. I recently visited the Concorde showroom in Prabhadevi and what a stunning showroom it is !! Very knowledgable staffs, great interiors, almost felt like a lounge.
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Old 4th August 2014, 11:10   #12
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Great review, am impressed. There are a few rough edges but I did not see any signs of "cheapness" and cost cutting that was so apparent in the Mobilio test
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Old 4th August 2014, 11:14   #13
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Brilliant review. More than anything else, I hope the diesel automatic becomes a market sensation and other companies follow suit as well.

That apart, the car is a very big leap for TATA Motors. Personally, I'll still be a skeptical on their reliability and would like to wait and watch few months how things fare. If TATA is able to provide good initial ownership and service experiences, I wouldn't mind putting my money down on this one- the diesel AMT of course.


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Old 4th August 2014, 11:17   #14
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review

Fantastic review, guys! Take a bow. The attention given to each detail of the Zest is simply mind-blowing!

This is arguably the first world-class product from the Tata stable. A lot of small, neat finishes look like they were the results of inputs from the late Karl Slym - the classy European touches to the exteriors/interiors, placement of the central console buttons, even the OEM Head Unit resembles those RCD units from the Volkswagen cars we know of.

I am really proud of the fact that an Indian company has taken such giant strides in vehicle development and has developed (in-house) a truly segment-topping car not only for the Indian market but for international markets as well, with several first-in-segment features. I was waiting for this moment to say this, but - Hyundai, take a backseat!

The car itself is a looker from the front and rear, no doubt about it. Tata needs to seriously amp up it's marketing strategy with the Zest - that superb Revotron mill with class-leading figures, and a segment-first and the most cheapest diesel AMT in the country! The Zest has all the makings of being a bestseller, a superstar in it's segment (or even a segment higher/lower, I dare say). I sincerely hope it turns out to be in the top 10 sellers in our monthly sales charts - both Tata Motors and the legacy of the late Karl Slym thoroughly deserve it.

Rated thread a very well-deserved 5-stars!

Last edited by RavenAvi : 4th August 2014 at 11:22.
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Old 4th August 2014, 11:34   #15
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Default Re: Tata Zest : Official Review



Tata Motors trying to give a youth touch to the Zest, not sure if it works, but all the best to them. Would really want to see Zest clock up good numbers and give good competition to the DZires, Xcents, Amazes around.
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