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Old 14th January 2015, 01:03   #1
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Default My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver

Warning: The tribute is a rather long one, feel free to skip to the review section.

Disclaimer 1: I have primarily been driving the Zen, and my opinions about Zest are predominantly in comparison with the Zen.

Disclaimer 2: I am in the run-in period and hence driving quite sedately. My impressions about engine performance, turbo etc are based on this sedate driving. The behaviour of the vehicle during "pedal to metal" action might be different.

Tribute to my Robo-car

The second most toughest part of the new car buying experience was to let go of my trusted 2005 Zen Lxi.

I purchased a (preowned) 2005 model Zen in 2008 with 19K on the odometer for Rs.2.55 Lakhs. It was my first car and was my daily ride for the last 6.5 years. Wife and I learnt driving in this car, lots of mundane drives through traffic, a few long drives, a few small mishaps, lots of memories - was difficult to part with the car.

I did try to think of some excuse to keep the car, and the conersation went like this:
Me: The showroom guys are offering 1.2 L for the Zen, though it is not a bad price, I still don't think we should sell it.
Wife: Why?
Me: Our Zen is in perfect running condition, and i am using it every day. If it is at home, you can use it when you need it or when parents come here.
Wife: You will get accustomed to the new car, and you wont use the old one. It will only get spoilt.
Me: I can still use the old car one day a week to go to office.
Wife: Really? What happened to the scooter after you got Zen? Now every time you want to start it, you have to call a mechanic. Got spoilt because of not using it. The same will happen with Zen if you have it in addition to the new car.
Me: Hmmm. (Can't argue with that, will have to sell the Zen). OK, we will exchange the Zen.

When our last few days with the Zen were nearing:
Wife: I want to drive the Zen once before you give it off" (wife is on a sabattical after the baby, and hasn't driven the car for almost 2 years now).
Me: (After the drive) You seem emotional and don't want to let go of the car
Wife: I always liked this car, you are the one who wants a new car.

I didn't imagine she would get so emotional about the car. On the day before the exchange, I went to wash the old car and spent good 2 hours washing it. Somehow it felt like I was talking to the car, thanking her for all the good times, and wishing her luck with the new owner.

Some snaps of our final moments with the Zen.
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3573.jpg

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3575.jpg

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3576.jpg


I had maintained an excel file with details of fuel and other expenses covering service, repairs, modifications, insurnace etc. Here is a screen print of the file also depicting the ownership cost considering cost of vehicle as 1.35 Lakhs (2.55-1.2) (Real value for money)

Name:  zen  ownership cosr per km.png
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Size:  13.1 KB


The final odometer reading:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3582.jpg

A final snap at the TATA showroom before the robo car was taken away (and my wife's eyes welled-up shortly thereafter)

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3579.jpg

My requirements from the new car!

1. Diesel - My daily commute to office has been a minimum of 70 kms in the last 2.5 years
2. Minimal or no turbo-lag
3. Good/Excellent Ride quality: A daily drive of 70 kms in Bangalore city necessiates this.
4. Should comfortably seat 5 adults
5. Automatic Climate Control (yes, you read that right!) - this was one of the few mandatory requirements.
6. ABS mandatory, airbags preferred (airbags not mandatory)!
7. Electrically adjustable ORVM (preferred, not mandatory) - I just cannot drive without having the 2 ORVMs in the right position, I wonder how some folks drive with only one ORVM.
8. Budget - 12 Lakhs
9. Value for money


Alternatives considered

I have been on the look-out for a new car for some time now. So, some of the alternatives were considered a while ago and not necesarily in the recent past.

Nissan Sunny
Took the test drive of this car about two years ago. Really liked the car. In GTO's ownership review of his family's Sunny, there was this statement that left a lasting impression.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
On a recent outing, Mom sat on the backseat of my brother-in-law's new Mercedes C250. After the 14 kms drive, she jumped into the Sunny and stated that the Nissan is way more spacious & comfortable at 1/4th the price. She found the C-Class cramped & the Merc's air-con less effective.
After a ride in this C250, Mum couldn't wait to get back to the Sunny:
But did not go with the Sunny, as Nissan was still new then and I absolutely loathed the looks of the ACC unit.

Ford Ecosport
With all the buzz around the launch (and the long wait for the launch), I had read almost all reviews about the Ecosport, had seen a million videos on youtube. With huge expectations I went to the showroom, but it was next to impossible to get a test drive in the initial few days. After the initial buzz settled down, I went to the Ford showroom with my wife, and my wife loved the looks! (It is very difficult for any car to please my wife in terms of looks!) and I was trying hard to hide my grin because this meant, the Ecosport had won half the battle. We were both trying out the rear bench of the Ecosport when another gentleman was checking out the car. I requested him to come in and sit next to me as I wanted to check how comfortable 5 adults would be in this car, and it was a tight fit (My wife and I have quite average or below average physique and the other gentleman had a similar build as mine). And with a VERY VERY heavy heart, for ONLY this reason we had to reject the Ecosport (If only...WHY Ford, Why?)

Renault Duster
Where do I start!? Me wife and I had gone to check out the Duster on the first day of its availability in the showroom. The team-bhp review was already out by then. I had read about the fabled "magic carpet ride" and started fantasizing about owning this car one day. Again to quote GTO:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
The Renault Duster has outstanding ride quality.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
I can think of only a handful of cars costing <50 lakh that ride like the Duster.
This became the new benchmark for me, every new car that was lauched was compared with Duster. Even the recently launched Honda City Diesel was compared (I have a photo comparison somewhere in my personal folders).
Initially there were some rumours about water entering into the Duster, rusting and some other niggles. I waited for the dust to settle, and for Renault to make a mark in the market. By then the price of the specific model that I had in mind went from about 10L on road in Bangalore to 12.75L!! with hardly any improvements. And at that price point, I personally found the interiors to be a tad bit under equipped.

Other cars considered
Totyota Etios: Liked the ride and the ease of driving, but the Taxi image kept me from finalizing on this car.
Honda Amaze: Noticeable turbo lag, excessive engine noise and bland interiors stopped me from finalizing this. But in my personal opinion, Amaze isthe best looking compact sedan in the Indian market. Honda's SAs behaviour was most rigid when it came to test drive. "Sir you can only drive till here, you should return to showroom" (despite not even having completed the suggested test drive route map as shown in the showroom)
Hyundai Xcent: Read in a review that it cannot comfortably seat 5 adults, and I personally do not like the looks of the Xcent.
Honda Mobilio:Too stiff suspension for my preference.
Skoda Rapid/VW Vento: The large transmission tunnel makes it comfortable only for 2 adults in the rear bench. I like the classic understated looks of the Vento though.

Why the "Zest"
With the year end approaching many manufacturers were offering discounts. The one that interested me was the 75K off on the Renault Duster for the specific model I was looking for, thereby reducing the on-road price to 12L. This was tempting.
I arranged for the second test drive of both Duster and Zest on one morning near my residence. The benefit of doing a test drive around my residence was that I knew the roads and could compare the test drive vehicle with my daily ride in terms of ride quality. Test drove the Duster around 7.30am and Zest around 9.00 am. So, I got a good feel of the ride quality of both the vehicles. No doubt the Duster was better than the Zest, but the humble Zest did not feel too far behind. Yes, Zest was a little too soft and definitely it did not dismiss the potholes with the ease of the Duster. But, on all other counts (other than Ride) Zest felt on-par (with) or better than the Duster. Zest had a more premium feel, had more features, had better interiors, and seemed more value for money. Ofcourse, no B segment Sedan/compact Sedan can match the buch looks or the SUV feel of the Duster and even today I ALWAYS give a second look to the Duster wherever I see it.

There was no discount on the Zest, but the SAs from two different showrooms told me that the price would go up in the new year, the 333 assurance would not be free and alloy wheels would not be standard across all variants.

Plus, Zest met all my requiremetns, and some more.

At the time of delivery:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3592.jpg

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3593.jpg

Booking and Delivery Experience

After reading the review of Zest on team-bhp, I wanted to take a test drive of the Zest and requested for one on the TATA Zest website. The next morning I got calls from Aadya Motors, Prerana Motors and Concorde. (I am surprised to hear some members saying that their request for test drive was not honoured). I got a follow-up call from the company to check if I was offered the test drive!

The first test drive was near my office, and the vehicle came from Aadya Motors (close to my office). Drove the vehicle over some really bad roads with lots of craters and large speed breakers. This drive gave me confidence about the ground clearance. When I got a call from Prerana, I asked them to provide a car near my residence early in the morning (before I can leave for office) and they obliged. The SA from Prerana was able to provide some discounts on Insurance. I also went to both Aadya and Prerana to get my Zen evaluated. Prerana again gave me a much better price. The offer made by Aadya was ridiculous, and I decided to go with Prerana right then. Plus, the SA from Prerana had assured that he could get me car of any colour before Dec 31st. I also got an assurance that I would be getting the 2014 pricing provided the payment for the ex-showrrom amount was cleared before 28th Dec.

Hence, I decided to go ahead with the booking amount. The SA offered to come to my residence (a good 15 kms from the showroom) to pick-up the booking amount cheque. I used this opportunity to check the AMT, and asked him to come in the AMT test drive vehicle.

After making the arrangements for the payment, I asked for a PDI. The yard is about 25 kms frm the showroom, and the SA offered a vehcile and driver from the showroom to the yard and back.

Since I had to exchange my Zen for the Zest, on the day of the delivery I went in my Zen and came back in my Zest. Delivery process was smooth and everything was taken care of in an orderly fashion.

Overall, I had a satisfactory experience with the Dealer (Prerana Motors), and I would rate them 8/10. One point deducted as standard procedure as nobody is perfect and an additional point deducted for not having all the varieties of the Zest seat cover in the showroom.

The SA (Kaushik) was very helpful:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3583.jpg

On-road price & discounts

Ex-Showroom Price : 7,11,422
Registration Charges: 6,500
Road Tax: 1,10,555
Insurance (Zero dep): 20,353
Accesories: 2,000

Total: 8,50,830
Discount was only on insurance, originally quoted as 26,596 for comprehensive insurnace was reduced to 20,353 adding Zero depreceation.

Last edited by vasanthn21 : 26th January 2015 at 23:50.
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Old 23rd January 2015, 00:59   #2
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Default re: My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver

Got the 333 plan free of cost (silver plan) covering 3 years of 45K whichever is earlier.

"The good and bad about its features"
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-gbu.png

Safety

ABS with EBD and CSC (Corner Stability Control)
Dual SRS Airbags
Child Locks
Seat belt warning
Door Ajar sensor
Speed sensing door locks
Rear power windows can be "disabled" by driver
Front and Rear Fog Lamps
Rear defogger
Rear parking sensors
Seat belts with pre-tensioner & load limiter
Perimetric Alarm system
Engine immobilizer

The driving experience!

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-odo.jpg
I got delivery of the car on Jan 10th, and in the last 15-16 days I have driven about 900 Kms. (The current ODO reading is about 950 kms and ODO read about 50 kms at the time of delivery).

My daily commute to office is about 80 kms two-ways including about 20 kms on a toll-road.

It is easy to find a good driving position with seat height adjust and adjustment for rake on the steering. Did not find the need for reach (I am 5'6" tall). The seats hug you in a nice way (TATA calls it the "rugby shoulders" - not too sure how much of a difference this makes though). The ergonomics seem right too.

The driver's seat with height adjust:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-20seat-height-adjust-lever.jpg

Being an Indian manufacturer's car, the controls and stalks are in a position that I was accustomed to in my Zen (Indicator stalk to the right, and wiper stalk to the left) unlike the European cars.

Visibility is quite good, and the seat height adjust helps. I am seated at a much higher position than in my Zen and that makes it feel like I am driving a mini-suv at times (from visibility perspective). Yes, the "A" pillars are a little thick, and cause a minor blind spot, but nothing unmanageable. The outer rear view mirrors provide a great view. I would have preferred the IRVM to be slightly bigger, but again one can manage with the stock IRVM.

The steering is very easy to use at low speeds and weighs up nicely. At times when I expect the "active return" function to help get the steering back to "home" position after taking a turn, it doesn't do so and I have to manually do it in a hurry. There was much better "active return" in my Zen - complete a turn, and let go of the steering to return to "home" position.

Braking is good, but the pedal has a long play, and it takes a fraction of a second more than what you would expect for the vehicle to start "stopping". (I remember reading similar set-up in Sunny). But one gets used to this very soon, and can adjust accordingly.

As mentioned, I am trying to stay below the 2K rpm range as I am in the run-in period, but the 1st gear is really short and unknowingly one reaches 3K rpm before shifting to 2nd gear (Or my driving style is still suited to a petrol vehicle and I need to change that). There is a small window in the 2nd gear when you can notice a faint turbo lag if you really are observant.

The driveability in city is wonderful. In most situations, slot-in first gear, take your foot off the brakes and the vehicle moves forward, accelerator input is not required. And it is a smooth take-off; no jerks at all even if one uses the accelerator, this makes it very very easy to drive in bumper to bumper traffic.

On the highway (Nice road - for those who know Bangalore), I try not to cross 80kmph and the engine potters around comfortably at 2000 rpm in 5th gear. Have not crossed these speeds and have not tried any overtaking manouvers, so I will have to wait to see how the engine responds when I am at 100/120 kmph on the highway and there is a need to overtake - I am not sure if this will require a downshift.

One additional point I want to mention about the engine is how "smooth" it is. I had a situation when the I turned the engine on, and I was not sure if it was on or not as I did not feel any vibrations at all (There would have been some engine noise, but the radio was on). I could feel more vibrations in my petrol Zen while idling. Other owners can correct me if this changes with time!

There is a bit audible noise though when the engine is strained (for eg. driving at 30 kmph in 4th gear). Under normal driving conditions, it is quite a silent one. Note again that I am not driving abover 2000 rpm.
At the end of the day, it is a FIAT engine. I am hoping it will continue to please me in the long run.

The ride as mentioned earlier is above average. I did go into a couple of rather large potholes at high speeds, and it was hardly felt inside the cabin, and the suspension was rather silent at doing its job. I felt the ride is good at really low speeds or above 40 kmph. 15-30 kmph is where one can feel a bit of the lateral movement while going over a bumpy patch.

I cannot comment on the handling as of now. Would like to hear from other owners.

Interior design/quality


The design IMHO is on par with the vehicles a segment above. It looks and feels very premium (one of the primary reasons Zest won the battle against Duster). Will let pictures cover this.

Interior (also note the thick A-pillar):
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-1interior.jpg

Aircon cents with chrome inserts (tweeter also seen in this pic):
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-2aircon-vents-side.jpg

MID:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-3mid-1.jpg

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-4mid-2.jpg

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-5mid-3.jpg

The dials do a complete swipe on start-up:


The chunky steering wheel with audio controls:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-6steering.jpg

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-7steering-mc.jpg

The button on the steering for voice commands - works decently:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-8voice-cab.jpg

Power window controls & controls for ORVM adjustments (and a smaller button at the bottom of the pic to enable/disable individual window controls):
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-9power-window-control.jpg

The rear parcel tray (and defogger):
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-10rear-parcel-tray.jpg

The glove box with space for visiting cards, a pen holder and pocket for the first aid kit:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-11glove-box.jpg

Cabin lamp (with a nice touch of dimming and turning off on locking the car)
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-12lamp.jpg

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-13power-scoket.jpg

Closer look at the seat fabric:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-14seat-fabric.jpg

Though the ergonomics is good for most part, the fog lamps and rear defogger controls are on the lower section of the central console. One will have to take eyes off the road to use these buttons. I am not sure about the position of these buttons in other cars!
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3690.jpg

The controls for front and rear defogging, air circulation mode, and blower positioning preference. The second row of buttons shows the controls for park assist (enables the reversing sensor without engaging the reverse gear), front and rear fog lamps. A few "blank" buttons as the diesel is missing the "Eco", "City" and "Sports" modes. The aux and USB ports in the third row.
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-controls.jpg

The 400 litre boot is big enough for my needs and has protection bars to prevent passengers in case of accident.
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3686.jpg

Boot-lamp:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3699.jpg

The took kit is stuck to the floor carpet by the velcro around it and hence doesn't move around:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3700.jpg



Now coming to the bad part of the interior - storage. There is very limited apace for storage. The door pockets can't hold a 500 ml bottle. So, the available space is taken up by a bottle, a perfume can and the mobile phone goes next to the perfume can. The other day, the guy at the toll booth gave chocolates instead of change, and I was lost for a second not knowing where to keep it. I store the access card and sun glass with cover in the door pocket.

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-15storage.jpg

Comfort

As the team-bhp official review mentions, this is a rare compact sedan that can seat 5 adults comfortably and this was one of my criteria for shortlisting the Zest. There is good legroom, good underthigh support and a comfortable recline angle. Note that the passengers in my car have been on short drives only. Have to test the comfort of rear seat on long drives.

The maximum and minimum legroom.
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-16maxmin.jpg

The legroom when I (5'6" tall) am seated at the back with the driver seat pushed all the way back:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-17legroom.jpg

Front and Rear doors:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-18front-door.jpg
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-19rear-door.jpg

Cannot comment on the effectiveness of AC as it cannot be truly tested in Bangalore at this time of the year. The ACC controls are very comfortable to use. However, I felt that the blower (fan) noise was tad high even when set at a speed of 1.

The NVH is excellent, and adds to the premium feel.

Last edited by vasanthn21 : 29th January 2015 at 00:12.
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Old 27th January 2015, 01:25   #3
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Default re: My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver

Build/Exterior

I am not an expert and it might be a bit early to comment about the build quality, but to me it looks pretty solid. Definitely better than the Japanese and the Koreans, but might not be on par with the Europeans. The fit and finish is top notch in most areas.

The front grill with the "humanity" line and chrome lip. Though the honeycomb grill looks good, it can get very difficult to clean:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-1-grill.jpg

The projector headlamps - yet to test the throw on highway drives, feels sufficient for city rides.
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-2-projectors.jpg

The mean looking fog lamps along with DRLs - THE DRLs are very bright, and not actually sure which of these two will help in heavy fog! Its a shame the DRLs cannot be switched on along with the guide rings (as TATA likes to call it, or Angel eyes)
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-3-fog-lamp.jpg

The guide rings:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-guide-rings.jpg

The ORVM with integrated blinkers:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-4-orvm.jpg

The door handle - top notch quality, the door itself is quite heavy and closes with a thud.
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-5-handle.jpg

The wrap-around tail lamp - I personally felt that these looked best on the blue coloured Zest.
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-6-tail-lamp.jpg

Classy looking alloys. Originally this design was meant only for diesel and the petrol XT had a different one. Apparently customers did not like the petrol alloy, and were promptly replaced with these. But I saw the erstwhile petrol alloys made a re-appearance although blackened, in the BOLT.
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-7-alloys.jpg

The view in the ORVM is excellent, combined with the electrical control adds to the convenience.
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-9-mirror.jpg

The TATA logo on the boot lid: Strangely I have HUGE respect for the TATA group other than the "MOTORS"! Hoping that things will change with the Zest and the future launches.
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-10-logo.jpg

The 'T' from the Zest was shaking during the first wash!
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-11-badging.jpg

Haven't used the wipers yet!
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-12-wipers.jpg

Rear defogger and Antenna (The antenna seems to be good, I get full signal in the basement of my apartment where i NEVER got ANY signal):
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-13-defogger-antenna.jpg

Boot lid and the rear fog lamps:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-rear.jpg


There are a few grey areas though.

The boot lid without cladding; feels very tinny.
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-uncaldded-boot-lid.jpg

The misaligned and tinny fuel cap cover. During normal car wash, I have observed water getting into this. I am sure it won't get into the fuel tank, but is this normal? I never observed water inside the cover in my Zen.
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-fuel-lid.jpg

Is this wire for the seat belt sensor? The seat belt buzzer starts with a beep and gets irritating with increase in speed (IIRC, it starts beeping after vehicle crosses 25kmph).
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-seat-belt-wiring.jpg

Last edited by vasanthn21 : 29th January 2015 at 00:05.
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Old 28th January 2015, 03:19   #4
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Default re: My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver

The Harman Kardon system


Name:  TataZestDashboard.jpg
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Size:  48.9 KB

I will leverage the information available on the HARMAN site and YOTUBE for further details here.

Article on the HARMAN website.

Here is a youtube video describing the features and voice commands. Note: I have copied the video from youtube and do not own it, copyright belongs to the person who created it.


Opinion:


-> I am not an audiophile, I read in the reviews that audio quality is extremely good, I personally cannot rate it with my limited knowledge.
-> My "requirements from new car" list mentioned "ACC" as a mandatory feature. This is because I was tired of managing the AC again and again in varying weather conditions. Switching on AC does not drain any power. (unlike Zen)
-> I found the steering mounted controls helpful for the following:
* Opening call log and scrolling through call log
* Making a call without having to take hand off the steering wheel
* Using voice commands to search for contacts, without looking at phonebook.
* Disconnecting/Rejecting a call without taking hands off the steering.
-> The bluetooth pairing works wonderfully well for calls, contacts and audio. Note: In my phone, when i switched off bluetooth at the end of the day and switched it on the next morning, it would require re-pairing of the phone. So, I never switch off bluetooth on the phone now. Yes, it drains the battery but the cell phone can be charged using the USB port when you are driving.
-> System was able to recognize Indian names via the voice command (like Sanjay, Ranju etc) but somehow I could not get it to understand "Mom"!!
-> Have not used the SD card image reader
-> It takes about 10 seconds for the call log to be updated after each call. When my wife gives me a call, I usually disconnet and call back. After disconnecting the call, I have to wait for 10 seconds for the call log to refresh to call her back (On the plus side, this gives me enough time to "prepare mentally" for the call; I am sure married folks here will understand).
-> Changing radio channels with the steering mounted control makes life so much easier when one wants to avoid all those boring commeercials.
-> ACC is pretty standard. I personally find it easier to use the large knobs to increase/decrease temperature or to use the button (for air circulation mode) than to use the touch screen.
-> Reverse parking works like a charm. I already avoided a dent on my rear bumper - thanks to this.
-> Settings like Auto-locking, audio balance, parking buzzer tone, play audio while reversing, bluetooth pairing (upto 10 devices) etc can be modified using this system.
-> There is a separate user manual for the Harman Kardon system
-> Yes, audio can be controlled via a remote if you prefer to be chauffer driven.
-> There is an option to switch off the display and this brings up a classy analog clock on the display which looks really cool.

Note: The call reject with SMS and SMS notification features are not working for me as my Android is not upgraded to 4.4 KitKat. I am told these features work only with 4.4 Kitkat or later versions.

Note: I understand that BOLT comes with inbuilt navigation system and video playback. I am hoping these will be available in the Zest too with a software upgrade - Experts?

Last edited by vasanthn21 : 29th January 2015 at 00:03.
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Old 28th January 2015, 03:40   #5
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Default re: My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver

The Verdict


The MID displayed a mileage of 16.5 kmpl, and I measured a mileage of 17.5kmpl (cut-off method) in the city. Have not gone on any long drives yet. (Have to use a smiley for this).

With Zest ticking all the boxes in the "my requirements from the new car" list, I am a very happy owner. Oh wait, did you say how do I know it is value for money? I could list the features available on this Diesel compact Sedan at 8.5 Lakhs OTR in Bangalore and the list would exceed one page.

But, a car doesn't become "value for money" if it has lots of features. One has to consider a lot of other parameters like design, performance, feel, ride/handling, quality, reliability, cost of maintenance etc. I believe guys from "Autocar" thought of all this.

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-best-value-money-car-award-bloomberg-autocar-india.png

Zest also won the "Compact Sedan of the year" award, but then there were only 2 cars nominated in this segment for this year.

"But why TATA?", "Don't buy TATA", "Did you say Toyota?" - These were some of the responses I got when I told my friends that I booked the Zest (All well wishers wanting to save me some trouble). My response was/is to them is, "please test drive the car". This car is very different from the "typical" TATA car. Yes, I understand that my friends were not worried just about the car, but also about the manufacturer's track record and general perception. I am fully cognizant of these facts and have taken this into account while making the decision. Even if I factor in additional cost/head aches, I still feel it is value for money.

By the way, I do not have to spend a penny on service for the first 3 years or 45,000 kms (whichever is earlier) as long as there is no unscheduled replacement of parts. To conclude, I am a very happy/satisfied owner so far. Hopefully it will remain so in the long run.

Closing the review with some more pics.
The "Swagath" welcome kit given by TATA:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3715.jpg

I would have preferred the remote key to have "boot open" than "headlamps" option:
My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3709.jpg

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3710.jpg

Some parting shots:

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag0003.jpg

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3615.jpg

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3617.jpg

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3620.jpg

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3621.jpg

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3677.jpg

My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver-imag3682.jpg

Last edited by vasanthn21 : 29th January 2015 at 00:04.
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Old 29th January 2015, 12:08   #6
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Default re: My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th January 2015, 12:40   #7
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Default re: My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
The Verdict


With Zest ticking all the boxes in the "my requirements from the new car" list, I am a very happy owner.
Congrats vasanthn21 on your latest acquisition and a Zest-cridlble report at that.

IMO Tata have really out-done themselves with the launch of Zest & Bolt in India. I am sure that they have some time to get to the quality provided by Korean or German rivals, but then again they are getting there faster than many other competitors in the market.

I was under the impression that the Diesel Zest did not have a DRL integrated into the bumper. Have Tata started providing this now as a standard equipment on higher models ?

Considering your registration plate and the Tata Showroom (Lalbagh road?) that you bought the Zest from, you must be in South Bangalore. Photoshoot meet sometime ?

Last edited by Vik0728 : 29th January 2015 at 12:41.
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Old 29th January 2015, 12:41   #8
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Default re: My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver

Ah finally, A Zest ownership report.
A well compiled one i must say (with the limited time you have been with her)
Regarding the missing boot cladding, it's the same with the new Honda City now a days.
I wish you many happy miles with your Zest.
Please keep the thread regularly updated.
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Old 29th January 2015, 13:45   #9
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Default Re: My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver

Hi vasanthn21

Congratulation on your new sets of wheels.

I believe yours is the first ownership review of Zest Diesel.
Even I wanted to wait for it but the final decision to go for hatchback killed the plan.

The DRL looks really cool and I am sure it will soon go popular with many of C segment cars.
thanks
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Old 29th January 2015, 13:48   #10
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Default Re: My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver

Hi did you check the underseat storage tray below the front passenger seat? It's pretty decent can hold around 4 1litre bottles.
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Old 29th January 2015, 14:17   #11
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Default Re: My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver

Hey Vasanth,

Congrats on the new car. Zest is a good choice for sub-4m cars. I did like the Amaze at one point of time (when it was launched) but ordinary interiors and issues like wearing brake pads, hydrolock (not sure if its an issue indeed), build, etc. have tilted my opinion a little towards negativity. However, still Amaze is one of the better examples of boot-integration.

Tata has certainly put a lot of effort on the Zest and it shows everywhere. The interiors look cozy and I like the front end too. Good choice and I hope that it serves you well for coming years. Tata have made massive improvements, be it manufacturing or after sales; this is what I get through this forum and I wish that your experience is on the same lines.

You will enjoy the increase in ground clearance (compared to Zen) and it will quite a relief crossing speed breakers without scraping the underbody but you will surely miss the free revving engine of the Zen. It must be tough for you to let the Zen go. I too feel emotional to let that go. Not that we haven't sold our cars before but Zen (jelly bean) is so special to me that despite getting another car, I am hanging off to it and hope to keep it for long, although my usage is pretty low. It is though little tough to maintain 2 cars, esp. giving time to both.

Finally, appreciate your time to compile this well written and detailed report. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Regards,
Saket
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Old 29th January 2015, 15:32   #12
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Default Re: My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver

Hi vasanthn
Congratulations on your new ride. Thanks for those informative videos you have posted. I have heard the music system in the car and the quality of sound it produces is really commendable. Its one of those things which people do want to upgrade in their cars but with this particular music system i don't think much people would require doing so.
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Old 29th January 2015, 15:43   #13
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Default Re: My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver

Wonderful review Vasanth. This is a very good opportunity for Tata to come back and compete successfully with international players in this crowded segment. So far they are good and hope to do well post sales.

Happy and Safe Motoring!!!!.
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Old 29th January 2015, 16:47   #14
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Default Re: My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver

Congrats for the new car and wish you many happy road trips.
Zest is a really good product from Tata Motors and so it also was the TBHP car of the year.

The boot cladding indeed looks tiny. just be careful that any of your standing luggage do not get entangled in the open spaces at the top after a bumpy ride. may be a temporary fix can be some plastic sheet attached through a tape.
Also please get that fuel lid cover checked with the service guys. it should be in perfect alignment with the body. There might be some fix required to the lock. If water is going inside, it might be a problem during rains.

Hope you have a great time with the car. Keep on updating us with the experiences.
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Old 29th January 2015, 16:50   #15
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Default Re: My Tata Zest XT 1.3L Quadrajet - Platinum Silver

Congratulations on the Zest! Here's to wishing you many many more miles with the vehicle. I am sure after the interiors of this car, you would find the interiors of the Duster to be a bit 'agricultural'. The rings in the headlights and the projectors look really awesome.
For all the negativity about Tatas, let me tell you our 5 year old Manza has done it's job faithfully and is still doing so, and the A*S*S isn't much of a problem either.
Congrats once again
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