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Old 2nd January 2012, 18:31   #1
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Default Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report

Hello Folks,

I picked up a Tata Manza Elan (Quadrajet BS IV) in the first week of November 2011. It has been two months and I have racked up 4200 kms in the car. I just wanted to share my impressions with you all. I will limit myself to seating comfort ,driving experience and general issues I have noticed for now.


The Car :

Forgive me for the cliche, but if there ever was a poor man's merc, this is probably how it would be. Sure, the car has its share of handicaps (which car doesn't), but the general ownership experience has been very positive so far.

Seating :

The front seats come with four way adjustments ( horizontal, tilt, height and lumbar) and are pretty comfortable. I have not taken the car on a genuinely long drive so we will have to wait and see if they are comfortable for long hours. The steering has tilt adjustment but reach is fixed. Gear lever is well within reach and so are the audio controls. The steering has audio controls as well. It is easy to find a good driving position. Clutch pedal position is a major step forward from the Indicas and the Indigos. It no longer kills the left ankle. Front passengers have good legroom as well as headroom.

Rear seat is a stunner. The comfort of the rear bench has to be experienced to be believed. Acres of legroom, perfect seat inclination and a nice center armrest make life extremely comfortable for the rear passengers.

Driving Experience :

The Manza has the Fiat Linea spec Quadrajet powering it and that is a very good thing. The engine is pretty refined and frugal. Initial throttle response is a little dull.The vario geometry turbo kicks in at around 1300 rpm and the car pulls very cleanly and with a solid 'punch' after that. Keep it above 1300 rpm and the car is a hoot to drive.

The gear throw is short and the feel is good. This gearbox is probably the best yet seen on a Tata sedan. Gear ratios are optimized for mileage and not outright performance. I have hit a maximum speed of 160kmph on the Outer Ring Road and that is probably the outer edge of its performance envelope. The car feels extremely planted at high speeds. Suspension is soft and soaks up bumps like a sponge. The downside is extremely nervous handling during high speed cornering.

This is a car meant to be driven sedately. It will eat up miles effortlessly and with great speed, as long as you make sure that you dont carry too much speed into corners. Manza will cruise at 120kmph all day without missing a beat.

Cabin insulation is excellent. Between 1800 rpm - 3000 rpm, the cabin is extremely quiet and you will be hard pressed to tell if a diesel motor is under the hood.

This car comes with ABS (with EBD) and the brakes have good stopping power. The brake feel is a little vague though.

Mileage :

13.8 - 14.5 kmpl in city (100% AC)

17.5 - 18 kmpl on highways (100 % AC)


Other Plus Points :

- Interiors are surprisingly good and the car feels well built. There is a premium feel inside the cabin and one must commend TATA for the leaps made in quality. But a few niggles (like poor quality door beadings, somewhat uneven body panel gaps, a rear logo that started peeling) remain.

- Top notch Paint finish and quality

- Hands Free Dialing works like a charm. My Blackberry and my Galaxy SII connect effortlessly to the system and the call quality is pretty good. This is a highly impressive feature in the Manza and I have been making good use of it.

- Stock bulbs are pretty good and the lighting is very effective. Fog lamps have surprisingly good throw and spread

- Doors shut with a solid and nice 'thud' and they open wide in three stages. My grandmother absolutely loves the car for the easy ingress and high seating.

- Boot Space is massive. Three full size international suitcases went in effortlessly

- This is a genuine five seater. Rear bench will seat three 'full size adults' with comfort.


Minus Points

- Enthusiasts will be sorely disappointed with the nervous handling in corners and the gearing. I plan to do something about this once the car crosses 20,000 Kms

- Company fitted audio unit is pretty depressing. Speakers are atrocious. I have upgraded the speakers, but the audio quality remains strictly average. I do not want to change the head unit (atleast not right away) as I love the hands free calling system.

- No Climate Control. At this price point, it should have been a part of the package. No complaints about the AC though. It is highly effective and is an absolute chiller.

- Clutch is light and easy most of the time. But once in a while, especially in extended 'stop-go' traffic, it tends to harden slightly. Need to get this inspected at the next service.



Verdict :

As I said earlier, the overall experience has been pretty positive and I am happy with the purchase. Some niggles need to be sorted out at the next service. I miss the delightful driving experience my old Swift Vdi (ABS) used to deliver, but I love the comfort and the pampering of the Manza.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 18:34   #2
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Default Re: Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report

Attaching some photos of my Manza Elan
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Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report-manza3.jpg  

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Old 2nd January 2012, 18:51   #3
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Default Re: Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report

Congrats on your new car. Thanks for the nice and crisp review. Tata has surely come a long way with the Manza. Those OEM alloys look really awesome. I agree with you that they should offer the Automatic AC now atleast on the top end.

I have always wanted to ask a Manza owner how do they feel while driving at high speeds. Since you touched 160 I think you might be able to answer. Whenever I see a Manza on the road it looks a lot more lifted up from the ground specially at the rear. The GC resembles more of a SUV. I never get the same feeling when I see a Dzire for instance. Is it just me or did you also feel the same? If yes does it become a concern at high speeds?
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Old 2nd January 2012, 18:55   #4
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Default Re: Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report

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Originally Posted by Diesel9999 View Post
I have not taken the car on a genuinely long drive so we will have to wait and see if they are comfortable for long hours.
Congrats, on your new buy buddy !!! 4200 kms in 2 months and you say you have not gone on a long drive!!!! Buddy, by the looks of it you are on a a long driving vacation !!!!!!
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Old 2nd January 2012, 19:08   #5
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Default Re: Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Congrats on your new car. Thanks for the nice and crisp review. Tata has surely come a long way with the Manza. Those OEM alloys look really awesome. I agree with you that they should offer the Automatic AC now atleast on the top end.

I have always wanted to ask a Manza owner how do they feel while driving at high speeds. Since you touched 160 I think you might be able to answer. Whenever I see a Manza on the road it looks a lot more lifted up from the ground specially at the rear. The GC resembles more of a SUV. I never get the same feeling when I see a Dzire for instance. Is it just me or did you also feel the same? If yes does it become a concern at high speeds?
Ground clearance is definitely very good and yes, the car does ride high. The biggest speed bumps in Hyderabad never managed to scrape the car. During my high speed runs on the Outer Ring Road, the high stance has never been a problem. As I said, the car feels extremely well planted at high speeds.

Corners are a different ball game altogether. The car is extremely jittery if you carry a lot of speed into corners. This could be due to the extremely soft suspension and partly due to the high stance
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Old 2nd January 2012, 19:15   #6
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Default Re: Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Congrats on your new car. Thanks for the nice and crisp review. Tata has surely come a long way with the Manza. Those OEM alloys look really awesome. I agree with you that they should offer the Automatic AC now atleast on the top end.

I have always wanted to ask a Manza owner how do they feel while driving at high speeds. Since you touched 160 I think you might be able to answer. Whenever I see a Manza on the road it looks a lot more lifted up from the ground specially at the rear. The GC resembles more of a SUV. I never get the same feeling when I see a Dzire for instance. Is it just me or did you also feel the same? If yes does it become a concern at high speeds?
The Manza does look quite lifted from the rear, no doubts there. But, you cannot feel any such thing inside the cabin. Infact, the Manza is better at high speeds when you compare it to the Dzire. I can say this confidently since I own both.

The Manza can cruise effortlessly at 140kph all day, but once you cross the 150 mark, the ride becomes unstable and uncomfortable. That said, the Manza is meant to be driven sedately and will never disappoint anyone.

@Diesel9999- Congratulations on your new car!

Here is a link to my thread.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...anza-elan.html (My Tyrian Wine beauty! The Manza Elan)

By the way, what niggles have you faced till date?

Last edited by DeKay : 2nd January 2012 at 19:17.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 19:18   #7
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Default Re: Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report

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Originally Posted by DeKay View Post
The Manza does look quite lifted from the rear, no doubts there. But, you cannot feel any such thing inside the cabin. Infact, the Manza is better at high speeds when you compare it to the Dzire. I can say this confidently since I own both.

The Manza can cruise effortlessly at 140kph all day, but once you cross the 150 mark, the ride becomes unstable and uncomfortable. That said, the Manza is meant to be driven sedately and will never disappoint anyone.

Hi DeKay,

I removed the stock tyres and went in for upsize Yokohama's. The car rides a lot better now and is extremely comfortable with 150 kmph speeds. You should try upsizing.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 19:24   #8
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Default Re: Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report

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Hi DeKay,

I removed the stock tyres and went in for upsize Yokohama's. The car rides a lot better now and is extremely comfortable with 150 kmph speeds. You should try upsizing.
Well, the car is exclusively for my grandfather and he has his own chauffeur. So, upsizing is not an urgent need now. When the stock tyres wear off, I will definitely upsize the tyres.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 19:30   #9
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Default Re: Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
I agree with you that they should offer the Automatic AC now atleast on the top end.
Hi!

I know a climatronic AC adds a premium feel because the AC is operated by push-buttons rather than sliders or knobs, but I still find the traditional AC controls more usable. When I use a climatronic, I always set the temperature to the minimum and use the manual control to adjust the fan speed. I don't mind having the fan speed adjust automatically but that isn't how climatronic systems work. The only time I think a climatronic would suit me is in the winters that we have in southern India where we need the AC to deal with the humidity (defogging the glass) but with a manual AC I simply turn it on with its coldest setting and turn it off when the glass is clear again.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 20:19   #10
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Default Re: Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report

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Hi!

I know a climatronic AC adds a premium feel because the AC is operated by push-buttons rather than sliders or knobs, but I still find the traditional AC controls more usable. When I use a climatronic, I always set the temperature to the minimum and use the manual control to adjust the fan speed. I don't mind having the fan speed adjust automatically but that isn't how climatronic systems work.
Sir your post has left me a little confused as to what you are trying to say. Can you please elaborate a little more as to why you think the manual AC works better for you?

The fan speed does adjust automatically. Once you set the temperature you desire, you don't need to do anything else. Its quite a blissful experience I feel. And in addition to it ,as you rightly pointed out too, it adds a lot to the aesthetics and looks quite premium.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 23:21   #11
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Default Re: Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Sir your post has left me a little confused as to what you are trying to say. Can you please elaborate a little more as to why you think the manual AC works better for you?

The fan speed does adjust automatically. Once you set the temperature you desire, you don't need to do anything else. Its quite a blissful experience I feel. And in addition to it ,as you rightly pointed out too, it adds a lot to the aesthetics and looks quite premium.
Hi Mohit!

A climatronic AC automatically adjusts both the air temperature and the fan speed based on the desired cabin temperature being set whereas what I want it to do is to adjust only the fan speed. If I set the temperature to its lowest setting, the climatronic also sets the fan speed to the maximum setting and that gets very loud. I usually switch to manual control of the temperature and fan, which is essentially what I would do with the conventional knob/slider AC.

Replacing the knob/slider controls with push-button controls will save on dashboard space, thus making room for more accessories or controls to be put up, so that's something the manufacturers could consider when fitting a car with climatronic controls.

Last edited by k_nitin_r : 2nd January 2012 at 23:24.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 01:09   #12
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Default Re: Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report

Congratulations Diesel for buying the New TATA Manza.
For many times I got the chance to experience its rear seat & I can understand what you want to say through your words.
Those are comfortable enough to induce a sleep/nap to even an Angry person, sitting on it.
Liked your unbiased report, as my friend owes one so, I agree with all the facts.
Happy Motoring.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 09:30   #13
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Default Re: Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report

Diesel9999
Welcome to the Manza club and happy motoring. Completely agree with you except for
a) hard clutch
b) poor fog lamps.

I own a Aura+ and perhaps Tata's have addressed the above issues in the recent Elan. Can you please let us know the spec of your upsized tyre?

As far as ICE is concerned, the HU cannot power good speakers by its own and would need an amplifier. I have upgraded my front comps, added an amp connected through an high-to-low converter.

Did you try the HU settings suggested by Mr.Behram Dhabhar in one of the Vista threads?

Audio (on front fascia) Treble - 7 / Bass - 7 (5 would be optimized for those who want less bass effect) / ExBass 3 / E-Bass- 60Hz, 1.0 / E-Treble- 10.0Khz / Mid- 1000Khz, +7, 0.5 / Ex-Bass- 60Hz, 3.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ml#post2578380 (Tata Vista VX Our new White Stallion!)

DrMohit >> Manza's boot looks elevated but once the rear seat gets occupied, the rear begins to sag. With heavy loads, it may start scraping speed breakers unless you are careful.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 10:53   #14
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Default Re: Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report

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Originally Posted by Diesel9999 View Post
I have hit a maximum speed of 160kmph on the Outer Ring Road and that is probably the outer edge of its performance envelope.

Cabin insulation is excellent. Between 1800 rpm - 3000 rpm, the cabin is extremely quiet and you will be hard pressed to tell if a diesel motor is under the hood.
Very well written review by you, Mahesh.
I have re-started thinking of Manza again after reading your review.

How much was the noise level in the cabin when you did the ORR run?
At this moment, my major concern is cabin noise.

I am trying to shortlist a sedan with bearable noise levels both in front seats and rear seats.

Are you coming for the meet tomorrow?
If yes, I wish to check your car out.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 12:52   #15
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Default Re: Tata Manza Elan: 2 Months - 4200 Kms Report

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Originally Posted by Sridhar K View Post
Diesel9999
Welcome to the Manza club and happy motoring. Completely agree with you except for
a) hard clutch
b) poor fog lamps.

I own a Aura+ and perhaps Tata's have addressed the above issues in the recent Elan. Can you please let us know the spec of your upsized tyre?


DrMohit >> Manza's boot looks elevated but once the rear seat gets occupied, the rear begins to sag. With heavy loads, it may start scraping speed breakers unless you are careful.
Dear Sridhar, I am running 195/60 R 15 Yoko A drives . The clutch on my Manza is pretty light, on par with a Dzire or a Swift. It just tends to harden a bit with repeated usage in stop go traffic. It gets back to normal once the usage comes down.

I have not experienced the sagging problem so far even with 110kgs in the boot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyd_traveller View Post
Very well written review by you, Mahesh.
I have re-started thinking of Manza again after reading your review.

How much was the noise level in the cabin when you did the ORR run?
At this moment, my major concern is cabin noise.

I am trying to shortlist a sedan with bearable noise levels both in front seats and rear seats.

Are you coming for the meet tomorrow?
If yes, I wish to check your car out.
Thanks sir

Noise insulation is very good for the front seats and excellent for the rear seats. On the ORR run, there was barely any engine noise but the Yoko A Drives are slightly noisy. Overall, a quiet and comfortable experience though.

Not sure if I can make it to the meet tomorrow. Will drop in if I can and you are welcome to check out my car anytime.

Last edited by Diesel9999 : 3rd January 2012 at 12:53.
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