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Old 15th October 2004, 02:09   #1
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Well, this one happened, all of a sudden. I was browsing the net when the maid servant informed me that my *Dad was calling me outside. I went outside, to find my dad standing next to the Tata Marina. As I walked towards it, the sales guy handed over the keys to me and said "Here, why don't you test drive your car".

Hold on a sec, did he say "My car" I looked at my dad with a "Please tell me he's lying" look on my face. He said he had not booked it as yet. I was relieved ........

So, I sat in the car and shifted from 1st to reverse. Backed the car out of the driveway. And took it towards the road that leads to Bijapur. LOL

RIDE HANDLING AND SUSPENSION : I just wanted to see why and how those Indica/Indigo guys were able to overtake my Vtec on those roads, at those speeds. I got my answer as soon as I laid tread on that section. The Marina just floated over those dreadful potholes and scarred asphalt.

However, all was not fine, there was a little body roll *present, but not as much as on the Wagon R. I could hear a few squeaks, one of them coming from the front left suspension, the alignment had gone all wrong making the car pull towards the right.

I asked him the reason for all this. He said that the car had just made a trip from Bijapur yesterday. Now it all made sense to me.

Later, we hit a stretch of smooth tarmac where I hit around 100kmph. The car seemed stable but the roll got a bit more annoying. Steering still felt light and twitchy. I'm not sure if the Marina has speed sensitive steering, cos it surely didn't feel like this particular variant had it.

Though, I never got to test it's handling on winding roads, I was able to flick the car between lanes at 100kmph which it managed to do without much chaos.

TRANSMISSION *: This is one area where Tata needs to do a lot or R & D. Frankly, I've never hated shifting gears, as much as I did, while driving this car.

During the return journey, the salesman asked me how I felt about the gears and I said, "not good, not good at all" He was mighty surprised with my comment, probably never expected such a frank reply. *

He then, tried to justify himself by saying, "Are you comparing it to the Vtec's shift"? I said, "No, I'm comparing it with the Wagon ".
For some reason, he didn't seem comfortable with that. I don't see why he should have a problem, Tata vehicles are known for their less than average shifts.

ENGINE : Well what can I say, the Marina, with it's heavy weight and an engine producing a measly 85bhp, fails to impress. Without the A/C, it's up n running, but switch on the A/C and everything just dies down. Slamming the accelerator, actually slows the car for a fraction of a sec and then it starts picking up revs.

Even after that, you will have to wait for quite some time before you see any of the red markings on the tacho.

BRAKES : For a car of it's shape and weight, it brakes very well. Impressive!!! The car stuck to it's line and brought us to a halt in a prolonged yet assuring manner.

BUILD, FIT AND FINISH : The interiors are not very different from the Indigo or the Indica. It's a bit more plasticy than one would like it. The dials looked refreshing with those metallic rims running around the circumference. Even the rev and speedo markings have a strong feel to them.

Build quality is nowhere as good as the Germans, thought this car felt a bit tighter and stronger than the Wagon R, I'm not sure if it can live up to some of the latest offerings in it's segments.

The gaps between the body panels do tell a lot about it's refines. A well built car should always have gaps with a precise distance between them. Another area, Tata needs to look at.

TYRES : It comes with the same Bridgestone ( S322 175/65 R14 82T ) tyres on my Vtec. They're good, tough, reliable and long lasting. Not the grippiest *but good enough for a Marina. A tubeless version would have been better.

VERDICT : So the big question, is it the worst car I've ever driven. Not exactly, the fact that this car was a petrol and had a transmisson , which Tata claims to have revamped in the newer models, puts it one up over my cousin's old Fiat Uno 1.7, which I drove from B'lore to Hubli last year. That, is the worst car I've driven so far.

The Marina is a good vehicle if power and acceleration aren't most important, to you. It's safe, sturdy and easy to maintain.

No wonder Tata manages to sell so many of it's cars, annually.

Shan2nu



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Old 15th October 2004, 03:54   #2
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Hey shantanu..important question..did your dad book the car finally ?
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Old 15th October 2004, 14:29   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Hey shantanu..important question..did your dad book the car finally ?
He was not happy with the overall package. The Wagon R is easier to drive, it's quicker through the revvs, has better FE and cheaper to maintain.

He likes small, light cars. Prob is, the only small light cars made here are all by MUL. He's owned 2 M800s, 1 van, 1 Zen, 1 Esteem and now the Wagon R.

Off them, the Wagon R has proved to be the best, for city use. So, it's not going to be easy for any car to replace the Wagon R.

Dunno much about the Getz, but he might want to give it a try.

Personally, i've seen many of my relatives, switch from their Wagon Rs to........... hehe another Wagon R.

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Old 15th October 2004, 14:53   #4
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Shan2nu,

Any reason why Baleno was not considered? It is also from MUL, and from what I have read on this forum, several members have given it a fairly good rating.

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Old 15th October 2004, 15:04   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Any reason why Baleno was not considered? It is also from MUL, and from what I have read on this forum, several members have given it a fairly good rating.
Like i said, he likes small and light cars. The Baleno is relatively lighter than the Vtec, but it's not as light and small as the Wagon R. Why would someone buy a Baleno to go to the market or a congested part of the city?

While the Vtec takes care of all our highway trips, the Wagon R replaces the need for a bus or a rickshaw, in and around the City.

Dad just wants to see if there's anything out there, that can do the job better.

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Old 15th October 2004, 15:46   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ] I just wanted to see why and how those Indica/Indigo guys were able to overtake my Vtec on those roads, at those speeds. I got my answer as soon as I laid tread on that section. The Marina just floated over those dreadful potholes and scarred asphalt.
Hey Shan,
Heres a hint. The Tata Indica Series uses suspension technology from Edelbrock USA (Pronounced kinda like Edel-Bro). Edelbrock is a pretty good company with their suspensions.

Cheers
Dom
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Old 15th October 2004, 17:32   #7
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Nice review Shan2nu!! i havent driven the Indigo Marina yet..but..i expect it to be better than the Indigo
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Old 15th October 2004, 20:26   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]i havent driven the Indigo Marina yet..but..i expect it to be better than the Indigo
Actually, it's shift was better than my cousin's Indigo Diesel. They have improved it but, not to an extent where one would want to shift again and again.

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Old 15th October 2004, 22:06   #9
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Enjoyed reading the review, and a very insightful one at that. The Marina is the only station wagon in India to be priced within 15000 - 20000 of its sedan sibling. The market will now answer the age old question "Are estates overpriced, or do Indians not like the look at all?"

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Old 15th October 2004, 23:18   #10
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My experience was with the petrol ... so maybe the diesel might be a little better .... nice car overall .. liked the space in the cabin. Especially the fact that i had about 3 inches of space between my knees and the steering wheel while driving - which is something i have not seen in too many other cars.

However - build quality is a question . . there were squeaks and squeals from inside on an absolutely new car, so one dare imagine what would happen after 30,000 kms.

Also - the car is a little irritating at lower revs - doesnt give you the kind of power delivery you'd really expect... very damp till about 3k revs .. and then finally the engine comes to life ... and in bombay traffic ... thats exactly when you have to hit the brakes again.

Could not test it on an open road .. but i'd imagine this car would be just perfect to cruise in at 100 kmph .. all packed up with wife, kids, doggies and pet squirrels !!

nice picnic in the back - while you're floating along in the driver's seat ... all the excitement would be from the back seat though ..
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Old 15th October 2004, 23:19   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ] very damp till about 3k revs
make that about 2000 rpm
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Old 21st November 2004, 00:04   #12
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All set to change for a new family car. we decided to go for a diesel car. Indica and palio emerged. I never came across a person complained about Palio but y many people are not going in for palio that ws the only question stuck me. i went through a complete market study. It says buy a car which is dearer to your country not a best car in your country. Tata and Maruthi are the brands which offer diesel cars at a reasonable prices. Maruthi did not have options other than zen where the price of esteem is annoying. went to a telco showroom the guy insisted on petrol and we stuck on diesel and we found the marina. I mistook it for indigo when looked from front in the side ways and when we entered inside the showroom we saw the beast .. Indigo marina
the top end of diesel indica is 4.15 laks on road , marina LS diesel is 5.27 on road. jumped to Marina.. looked inside the car, it looked like a small house. i bet no other car will have a boot space for the passengers in the rear as marina offers.
i took the diesel car for a test drive.....
1. super comfort
2. spacious
3. A/C U cant get anything better than that
4. More Clear View in the front and positioned for high look where a R&D is done to make the view point angle and chipped in the dashboard to have a better view. No other car has this visibility range in this segment
5. Drive comfort is at its best when it comes to an average indian who have been driving cars.

Needs improvement: The gear system is not smooth its little rough really needs to be worked on.

But if u have hard yearned money looking for a value for money car "with quality" go in for tata indigo marina diesel LS
With the price it offers. It can shut its competitors and the remarks made by kids.

Turbo diesel engine ...... its not a joke its a josh when it hits 60kmph. at this price its certainly a croud puller...
I am not going in for small details which dosent make sence for indian roads and indians as few kids talk about.
As an indian i want a car which is spacious, cost effective, cheap maintainance, good service (considering hike in petrol price we can only imagine of petrol)

I bet TATA with its modest claims of selling 6000 marina per year. It had already sold more than 3000 (source rediff) from the date of launch - roughly 2 months, So i bet Indigo marina will be a trend setter in the car market.

so lets think wise and get along with the people 3000 customers cannot be wrong in their decision
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Old 21st November 2004, 23:34   #13
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The initial josh of the Marina is now dying down (in terms of sales figures). Indians do want more car per car, but how many would actually use that huge luggage space of the Marina? Plus its a but more tedious (and sluggish) to drive when compared to the Indigo. Lastly, a sedan will always hold more prestige than an estate.

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Old 22nd November 2004, 00:14   #14
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Its premmature to comment on dipping sales as this is the year ending.. as people tend to buy vehicles in the month of JAN ... rather than getting it registered in the month of Nov or december. Its the way we look at a car
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Old 22nd November 2004, 01:38   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]
Its premmature to comment on dipping sales as this is the year ending.. as people tend to buy vehicles in the month of JAN ... rather than getting it registered in the month of Nov or december. Its the way we look at a car
The Indigo vs Marina comment is based on actual user opinions.

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