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Old 21st October 2007, 11:25   #1
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Default Report on Indica Turbo DLX 2007 after 2500 KM

I was looking for a car, which is value for money (this only reflects my personal view and requirements)

Budget : 4.0 – 4.6 lac (I have mentioned what were the things that I was looking for within this budget below)

Models that I compared : Santro XO, Indica Turbo Diesel, Swift VXI, Getz
(This is an unfair comparison though, between Diesel and Petrol vehicle but Swift VXI and Indica Turbo are in same price range with Swift being costlier than Indica’s highest variant by around Rs 10k, so calculating diesel cost and the cost of Disel cars being costlier really did not matter me)

Chevrolet Spark and UVA could also have been good options but I did not consider, as they were pretty new in the market (wanted to go for the one that had been in market for some time i.e. time tested, same reason why I did not opt for Indica Xeta). Palio Stile was good, but is costly with an underpowered engine. I really like Swift Diesel but it was over shooting my budget by Rs.1 lac (VDI model, as I was looking for power windows on all four doors)

Note: There are many more worthy choices available (e.g. Wagon R, Alto, Getz, Palio, Zen Estilo) in Indian market now, as Indian market is maturing especially in small hatch back segment (This means most of the cars are equivalent in most of the parameters – which leaves choice of models mostly as a personal opinion).

Features I was looking for:

- Fuel economy
- Good Passenger Space (for 5 people and some luggage space)
- Safety
- Decent Torque (helpful in bumper to bumper traffic)
- Good Air Conditioning
- Low Maintenance cost (In fact diesel cars and Petrol cars have same servicing cycle, easy availability and cheap costs of spares are a definite plus).
- Power Steering
- Power Windows (all four doors)
- Good Suspension (to drive on city’s potholed roads – it really does not matter which city until you are in India)

What really was not bothering me:

- Quality of interiors (I can live with this some how)
- BHP (as I know I will mostly drive in city traffic not going beyond 70 - 80 km/h, going up to 100+ Km per hour will be a rare possibility and will be more for fun rather than requirement)
- Cabin Noise (I found noise of turbo diesel engine bearable – may be my choice)
- Vibration (new diesel models are more refined and have acceptable vibration and this depends more on personal tolerance level, I feel)

Before purchase I also used to search through reader comments, mostly on mouthshut.com, team-bhp.com and some auto car sites. The user responses for all four models above were mixed bag with one set of users really happy for there choices and one set of users really upset about there decision to purchase.

Based on these feedbacks my only assumption was that it mostly depends on the individual piece that you get (luck factor) and the expectations you build around that car.

For me, I was looking for a car for 90% city drive (mostly bumper to bumper) and few weekends out side the city (not more than 120 – 150 km drive)
This would mean travel of approximately 1000 KM per month.

I do not plan to sell it in next 4-5 years

I feel Swift and Santro/Getz have a better build quality than Indica (some how I feel they are safer then Indica as well, as they have got 4 and 3/4 ratings out of 5 in European Crash Test standards respectively, I am not aware of any such rating for Indica though)

Comparing the four models above (I went to the respective showrooms to get price quote and price bargains as well) the car that suited most to my expectations was Indica Turbo DLX, especially for the Torque and Space on offer, not to mention about loads of other features like rear wipers which is missing in Swift (Don’t ask me how I compared, may be I was comparing Swift’s Petrol mileage to Indica’s diesel mileage – which means my decision may have been more biased in favour of Indica Turbo rather than rational, Getz would have been a definite favorite if they had kept the prices at least at the Swift VXI levels with same set of features, though it would have scored less on Fuel Economy. I really have no point why I discarded Santro, may be on space considerations but a real good car)

I have covered approximately 2500 KM till date (> 95% time in city as expected) with no long drive till date.

My experience with Indica has been good (so far so good)

First Tank full – I was getting mileage of 13.5 km per liter (I try to use premium quality diesel)

After the car covered 1500 KM and first service done the mileage is now around 15.5 km per liter, with 30% of the times AC on. This is a pleasant surprise as I was expecting the mileage of Indica to be between 14 and 15 km per liter. I still need to check fuel mileage on highways.

Indica Turbo’s Cabin noise and Vibrations seem to be more hyped (in few user comments that I came across) rather than real, as both of these issues really reduces at greater than or equal to 1500 RPM (a good Stereo system also helps divert your attention from these issues)

One thing that I would have definitely expected is Tyre rubber thickness used on wheels of Indica. This is just about adequate. But the good part with Indica Turbo DLX is that the wheels comes with 14 inch rim radius, which can be a consolation.

One thing that I liked in Indica Turbo is its good torque at lower RPM levels. This was best in the models that I compared; this really helps in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Though turbo lag below 2000 RPM is apparent but Tata motors have managed to make power delivery as much linear as possible.

The paint job on Indica is comparable to the others in its segment. I would consider this as a good job by Tata motors.

I have read about niggling issues with Indicas in various user comments but I am still to get one (as this still is a new car)

I am using Diesel Additive suggested by Indica user’s manual, and this is definitely helping me in getting good fuel economy currently.

My personal view till date:

Over All a good value for money car “if you are clear on your requirements” and “keep the car well maintained”. (I have intentionally not commented on my experience with dealers which I found similar in most of the show rooms that I visited)
It would still take some time for Tata motors to deliver consistent quality as Honda or Toyota, but seems that they are trying to get there. But that is how they are able to maintain low prices with acceptable quality (which makes Indica as second most selling car in its segment after Suzuki Alto within 9 years of its launch)

To Sum up my personal observations:

Things that I liked:

- Good power at lower RPM (best in its class)
- Space (I liked 40:60 split of back seats, not available in other models, this really helps when you have 3-4 people and need to carry more luggage than available in boot)
- Good Suspension
- Not to mention good fuel economy.
- Good AC (though it has still to be tested in hot summer conditions)
- Good (but not precise) power steering.
- Outer Paint job (Car body paint)

Things that I expect to improve:

- Thin Tyres (as the current tyre specification – 165/60 makes wheel rims vulnerable to pot holes, but as I mentioned 14 inch rims are a consolation)
- Though this is just my observation and has really not been an issue, but I am not able to see the cars bonnet, this is helpful in getting distance perception from the car in front of yours in bumper-to-bumper traffic. I am now used to it.
- This again is not an issue but I felt gear transmissions could have been smoother. May be it will become smoother over time (same observation for the clutch pedals but I am used to it now).

An interesting note here is that all Tata dealers whom I talked to, were trying hard to sell me Xeta even though I had made my choice clear to go for diesel variant

I will keep posted on further developments. Wish me luck

Ending Note: Please bargain hard with the dealers, don’t stick to one Showroom or one car model. I was able to get a decent bargain over the corporate discount offered to me (approx Rs. 17k ).
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Old 21st October 2007, 19:14   #2
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Originally Posted by Mahendraps View Post

After the car covered 1500 KM and first service done the mileage is now around 15.5 km per liter, with 30% of the times AC on. This is a pleasant surprise as I was expecting the mileage of Indica to be between 14 and 15 km per liter. I still need to check fuel mileage on highways.
Good review. I too have a Turbo going at 11k kms now, and going good. So, was the first service at 1500? Intresting, that my 1 year old car has the first service at 5k and no engine oil change too. Did you have to change the engine oil in this service? Was is as per the service manual?

I mileage i get is between 14.5 to 17 (with 25% AC usage). So, there is a lot of variation based on the traffic conditions in Bangalore.
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Old 21st October 2007, 22:03   #3
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Default 1st Service

Thanks Deep, I had my first servicing done at around 900 KM, what I noticed was that use of diesel additives really helped improving the mileage figures. I was not aware about this when I got the diesel tank filled for the first time.
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Old 22nd October 2007, 21:13   #4
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Nice detailed review Mahendraps. Very helpful. Thanks.

My DLG Turbo's going to be delivered this Thursday/Friday.
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Old 22nd October 2007, 21:50   #5
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XETA no doubt is a good machine...! But Turbo D is a class itself

The Gear Transmission becomes better, but not as smooth as a Maruti or Santro specially with Reverse.

If you're not happy with the wheels, you can upsize them- However the Mileage can come into the scanner.

Keep her in good shape, don't miss the service. Goodluck
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Old 23rd October 2007, 00:11   #6
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A very good unbiased review, I own a Indica DLS 2003 model covered already 50K.

When I start the engine in morning, I hear lot of engine noise, I keep it in idling for a min or so. gradually the noise reduces and with a couple of mins the cabin is silent. this might help you guys.

Also my music system is always on during the drive, this reduces the issues with niggling noise and keeps you calm in the city traffic.

I think all the Indica owners enjoy the Subsidy provided by government on Diesel and in the long run save a huge money on fuel.
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Old 23rd October 2007, 10:06   #7
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I own a turbo Indica DLX 2006. But I am not satisfied with the car's performance. The car usually gets "tired" when its a lot of traffic and its running with AC. The clutch becomes a pain and accelerator seems not to work at all. Long journeys make my feet ache badly. If the road is clear and no brakes to be applied car is fine. Overall, I didnt like it.
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Old 23rd October 2007, 11:48   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahendraps View Post
I
It would still take some time for Tata motors to deliver consistent quality as Honda or Toyota, but seems that they are trying to get there. But that is how they are able to maintain low prices with acceptable quality (which makes Indica as second most selling car in its segment after Suzuki Alto within 9 years of its launch)
This is a good and honest review of Indica's virtues and some shortcomings. Regarding the quote, I agree with you. Indica can be last long if maintained properly and I know of many who have managed to exceed 100,000 k without any major problems. What more do you want from a 3-4 lakh car that is very frugal on fuel costs.

I may not dig Tata Motors cars, but definitely Tata Group as a whole is known for its high ethical standards (may not look like that to some), good place to work for, and generally making decent products. Tata Motors is still on a learning curve and in auto industry, there usually is no escaping it. But unlike many others, they seem to be sincerely working on making the transition from a `truck' manufacturer to a `car' manufacturer, and perhaps in a decade or two, they can boast of a quality that can be comparable to some of the best.

For your information, Tata Motors has recently set up a technical center at Warwick University, UK. With the assistance of Warwick Manufacturing Group, which is part of the university's engineering school, TML expects to modernise and upgrade the vehicles presently sold in Europe—Indica, Indigo station wagon, Safari SUV, and Telcoline pickup. Warwick Manufacturing Group helped to modernise the production systems of Ford Motor's Jaguar and Land Rover units.

PS: I own a Toyota product and was flattered when Prakash Telang, Tata's vice president of light and small commercial vehicles, said to Automotive News Europe that European input is essential to raising Tata quality. He said that on a scale of one to 10, with Toyota representing 10, Tata quality registers only a 3.5 or four. He said that they are working on making quality consistent (instead of some cars being good and some being clunkers) with declining low probability of problems. Refreshingly for Indian buyers, he also said that they are aiming for seven to 7.5 within the next five years (by 2011-12). Toyota also faced the same problem in the 1950s and recently Toyota's most famous chairman, Toyoda said that when they launched the Toyopet Crown in 1957, the only way that clunker could keep up with American cars and fast moving traffic was to go downhill on a slope.
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Old 23rd October 2007, 16:52   #9
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Thumbs up Tata Indica - Then ( '99 ) & Now ( '07)

We have all spent loads of reading time on the nuances of the Indica. More like a generation x to Gen-Next kinda appeal here.

My experiences stem from two products - a DLX '99 - 98k & a Turbo DLG '07 11k.

Luckily, I have never faced major issues - until 26/7. Which is when DLX'99 went under ground. After a full 6 days on the sun and some part replacement - the baby's back and in full glory.

Another set of wheels was required and by '06, a host of other VFM products had entered the market. On close examination of a few critical criteria - the Indica Turbo won again.

Immediate istallment cost +
Interest EMI for 47 recurring months +
Avg running cost for 2000kms per month +
Maintenance at every interval of 30K kms +
Possible re-sale value +
Comfort factor for a family of five.

On close consideration of the above factors, DLG Turbo took the 2nd vehicle berth for us.

Indians have allways been a fogiving lot and need i say more. Some irritants of cabin noise, clunky gear shaft, hard clutch, etc versus spacious interiors, super VFM on longg trips and pure tenacity of the baby makes this tick.

In all, my long term experience has been positive to say the least.

To make up for the lack of finisse from the Tata stable, there are the Dyanamat Extremes, Wurth, JBL, POlk Momo, K&N, Koni suspensions, Llumar, Bose products that ensure that a benchmarked product can be surely upgraded to the standards one aspires to acheive.

Cheers to the Indian spirit of survival, amongst all odds.
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Old 5th November 2007, 22:05   #10
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Default My TURBO DLX

Hi Guys!
I am just in love with my 2006 Turbo DLX. I have clocked 28000 kms without any major issues. There was a issue with the steering and got it replaced under Warranty at the Dealer at Alwar..... and now comes the best part... i complained abt the steering becoming very hard but to no consequence...finally at the 5th service another dealer in meerut pointed out that the steering rack is wrong. I was amazed and wrote a stinker to Debasis ray, Head Corporate Communications @ TATA....and to my satisfaction my veh was repaired free of cost by the TATAs even after the warranty had expired... sometimes things do work....
apart from this useless and incompetent I am satisfied with my turbo...

my father has got a DLS 2003..already clocked 100000....and running without an issue!! he is also happy!
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Old 25th November 2007, 10:51   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahendraps View Post
First Tank full – I was getting mileage of 13.5 km per liter (I try to use premium quality diesel)


I am using Diesel Additive suggested by Indica user’s manual, and this is definitely helping me in getting good fuel economy currently.

I don't think you need to use additives in addition to premium fuel.
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Old 11th January 2008, 18:03   #12
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my father has got a DLS 2003..already clocked 100000....and running without an issue!! he is also happy!
Almost same here, my dad had a 2003 variant and did some 1,25,000 kms on it. Sold it in 2007 as someone told him that Indica engines usually start creating probs after 1,25k.

Hwe bought a new one in 2007 Jan and TBH i really liked the quality. After a very rough use and driving in all kinda bad roads and traffic the car has done 40,000 till now and no issue with and body panel rattles or clutch or suspension.

Tata has really upped the game
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Old 12th January 2008, 13:50   #13
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Hi,

> I am using Diesel Additive suggested by Indica user’s manual, and this is
> definitely helping me in getting good fuel economy currently.

Don't use additional fuel additives if you are using premium diesel.

Wait for 10 seconds after the heating coil indicator goes off before you crank. It will start faster.
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Old 13th January 2008, 17:43   #14
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Originally Posted by SRShrikanth View Post

Cheers to the Indian spirit of survival, amongst all odds.
Very Well Summed Up!!
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Old 14th January 2008, 16:49   #15
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Welcome to the club I am also using Indica Turbo DLX since Aug. '07 have already done some 17,000 km's on it car gives good mileage between 15-16 Km in Gurgaon to Noida commute with 90% AC . It is a very economical and rugged car so far I have not faced any issue with the car .
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