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Old 24th March 2010, 22:49   #1
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Default Indigo Manza & the art of GT.

GT ('Glass Tracing' for the benefit of the non Engineers) has saved many, including yours truly, from the sheer boredom of studying to be an Engineer.

'Experts' will recall to how hard you needed to push the class nerd to finish his Engineering Drawing sheet fast enough for you to clip it on a contraption of a glass sheet, a light bulb shoved underneath and trace it on to your blank sheet in 15 minutes flat. What elevates this mere tracing to the fine art-of-the-con is the removing all traces of, well, the trace lines, pocking small holes to mimic the place where the compass would have been placed by the nerd. The two hours you saved by doing a GT and not actually making the drawing is better utilized for spiritual pursuits with the Old Monk.

The Indigo Manza smacks of GT and ctrl C + ctrl V all the way – right from the lights on the sun-visors to the faux 'Blue & Me' on the steering wheel, to the big *** hurriedly slapped on to the Vista front and down to the illuminated key hole rings.

Quite like Anu Malik's 'inspired' music, the Indigo Manza (or is it just the Manza?) is one hell of an 'inspired' car.

I saw the Manza Aura Plus at the local Concorde showroom.

Despite the Manza's imposing length, the finesse in its body lines is just not there. There is that familiar headlamp peeking out, the bulbous boot overflowing quite like that girl in your neighbourhood who tried to squeeze into a Levis Slim-fit. And to mask all this there is a hell of a lot of chrome on the car – front grille, sides and right down to the boot. On a car this size the 15" inch rubbers seem quite puny. Mongoose tyres, if I may call it.

Remember the old joke, how do you fit an elephant in a car? (Answer: open the door and get him sit in). In the Manza's boot you can get the entire clan to fit in. Cavernous is apt description.

Stepping inside the Manza is like stepping into stadium – acres of space. The abundance of beige on the inside also probably helps. Any colour on the inside, as long as it beige, is a sure shot winner in the Indian market. (apologies Mr. Henry Ford)

You sit in the driver's seat; get the nice view of the road ahead. While on this car you have driver seat height adjustment and even lumbar support, the control levers have a tacky feel to it. Quite like the chrome on the outside the interiors reek with the silver accents on the steering wheel, the console, the power window controls…. Personally, to me, its kitsch gone ballistic.

The glove box has several nifty touches, lights, locking facility, card holder, a pen holder (remember hunting for the pen to sign the charge slip at the fuel station) and even a washbasin. (ok I made the last one up). See the lights on the sun visors and you immediately realize that for the Manza they really didn't have to look too far beyond the Tata-Fiat showroom for 'inspiration'.

The digital information system is neat and does the job in telling you the time, date and the outside temperature. The largish steering wheel has a nice feel to it.

The blue-tooth system, not 'Blue & Me' but imaginatively called 'Blue' is standard issue with the top end. The system has been ergonomically designed for gremlins, with tiny buttons. Push the 'call' button with your thumb and you could very well push the 'disconnect' button as well. If you are the kind who gives missed calls this is a feature made for you.

Switch the engine on (And while you are at it look at the lighted rings around the key hole) and hear the refined purr of the diesel engine. Blimy, this engine sounds jolly good. And then the penny drops, it’s the national diesel engine - the Fiat Multijet. (ok, Quadrajet, if you insist on nitpicking).

Step on the pedal and the car lumbers along pretty well. No outright performance here, but am not complaining, can't expect more from a one-three, can you? Shift to the mid range, the engine comes to life, smooth operator she is. Push harder and the Manza struggles. The car held up pretty well on the drive down Worli on the Sunday. Steering is just right for city driving, the right level of feedback at speeds and so un-Tata-like that it had me surprised. This is clearly made for the city slicker in you; race it down the Expressway if you are prepared for the disappointment.

With ABS, dual airbags, the fancy music system with steering control, lumbar support on seat, height adjust on driver seats, electric adjust for ORVMs, keyless entry, at the end of day, you get a lot of car for seven-point-eleven lakh rupees. (ex-showroom Mumbai)

There is no mistaking that with the Manza Tata's R & D (that’s Refer & Duplicate) has come a long way in the build quality, equipment, finish levels etc. But Engineers like me know that GT does take you some distance but nowhere close to the original.

In the fairy tale, 'Beauty and the Beast', the Prince with his heart of gold is cursed to turn into a beast and would get his true form back only when he finds true love despite, well, his beastly appearance. Alas, the Manza is no beast from the fable, even if you fall in love with its Multijet (oops, Quadrajet) heart of gold, it will continue to maintain its beastly appearance.

If you are the kind whose mind can wrestle down the nay saying heart, then trundle along and buy yourself a Manza.
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Old 24th March 2010, 23:08   #2
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Comparing the Manza to GT done in engineering is a new angle to look at but can you provide more details on what the original was?

Liked your review through

Last edited by Dippy : 25th March 2010 at 10:10. Reason: Please avoid quoting a long post when replying to a topic. Thanks.
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Old 24th March 2010, 23:46   #3
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Interesting write up dude.Though at no point you made a point about actually buying the car.Well if it was a ctrl+c what was the original?
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Old 25th March 2010, 01:02   #4
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A cursory glance through the post should reveal that's he's probably alluding to the Linea.
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Old 25th March 2010, 01:33   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaushikz View Post
GT ('Glass Tracing' for the benefit of the non Engineers) has saved many, including yours truly, from the sheer boredom of studying to be an Engineer.

'Experts' will recall to how hard you needed to push the class nerd to finish his Engineering Drawing sheet fast enough for you to clip it on a contraption of a glass sheet, a light bulb shoved underneath and trace it on to your blank sheet in 15 minutes flat. .
well, this art of GT goes beyond engineering colleges these days. i remember using the same at my dental college way back in early this decacde.and man, i loved it..
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Old 25th March 2010, 02:11   #6
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Hey there Kaushik! Your review is fabulous. Guys, if you haven't read his other 3 reviews (Fiat 500 (Fiat 500 - no more Mr.Kent) , Honda Jazz (Honda Jazz: Your school time nightmare comes back.) and Tata Xenon, do read it. I am a fan of your reviews, please keep them coming at regular intervals

Last edited by prateekm : 25th March 2010 at 02:17.
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Old 25th March 2010, 03:57   #7
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Enjoyed reading it. Let the cat out of the bag
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Old 25th March 2010, 09:57   #8
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From the post I guess the Manza has been added to his garage. Anyways, looking forward to see the cat out of the bag.
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Old 25th March 2010, 12:56   #9
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The initial few lines I had to read twice since I am not from a similar background as you - but the writing was crisp.

Talking about the Linea as the original? If yes, I would tend to agree.
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Old 25th March 2010, 13:32   #10
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I perused his other witty posts and they are worthy enough to get pulished in a lifestyle mag.Hmm. his writing style is more in line with soulful writing of the guys at Business standard motoring!Ask if they have a vacancy to be filled!
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Old 26th March 2010, 12:45   #11
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Interesting writeup!
Couldn't make out if you have purchased the Manza or is this just a review on it?

Last edited by aman9393 : 26th March 2010 at 12:48.
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Old 26th March 2010, 13:30   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaushikz View Post
Steering is just right for city driving, the right level of feedback at speeds and so un-Tata-like that it had me surprised.
That's very interesting! Is it quite different than Vista? When I drove a Vista, I found the steering so vague that I wasn't initially sure where the wheels are going to lead us.

Caveat: I may be totally used to and spoiled by my good old Fiat Petra's steering, which sort of magically reads the mind. And though it sounds absolutely preposterous, I am yet to come across anything better than that.
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Old 26th March 2010, 16:47   #13
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I am not a big fan of Tata, and neither am I a fan of the Hatch-converted-to-Sedan segment. (I drive a Hyundai i10, and I have no association with Tata)

But I don't see any issue with copying/borrowing/being inspired by features from other cars. Also I see no problem with parts being reused in several models for the purpose of economies of scales (as long as these parts are integrated properly).

How come nobody calls Toyota a copy cat for providing similar interiors in Fortuner and Innova, even though Fortuner costs much more and belongs to a different segment ?

If a car manufacturer skimps on the features, we call them cheap. If a car manufacturer provides more features at an affordable price, we call them copycats. Not fair, I say.

Manza may not be a looker, it may not have outright performance, but is definitely a good all round performer for its price.

I find it very disrespectful to use the term glass tracing for an excellent car like Manza.

Rohan
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Old 26th March 2010, 17:08   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
Enjoyed reading it. Let the cat out of the bag
+1 to that. I like the style and flow. found it similarly pleasing in the jazz review too. let them flow..
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Old 26th March 2010, 17:23   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
I am not a big fan of Tata, and neither am I a fan of the Hatch-converted-to-Sedan segment. (I drive a Hyundai i10, and I have no association with Tata)

But I don't see any issue with copying/borrowing/being inspired by features from other cars. Also I see no problem with parts being reused in several models for the purpose of economies of scales (as long as these parts are integrated properly).

How come nobody calls Toyota a copy cat for providing similar interiors in Fortuner and Innova, even though Fortuner costs much more and belongs to a different segment ?

If a car manufacturer skimps on the features, we call them cheap. If a car manufacturer provides more features at an affordable price, we call them copycats. Not fair, I say.

Manza may not be a looker, it may not have outright performance, but is definitely a good all round performer for its price.

I find it very disrespectful to use the term glass tracing for an excellent car like Manza.

Rohan
+1 Rohan. You are almost in sync with me - I wouldnt call GT though

PS - I did go through this author's other reviews and looks good. As someone above pointed, the write-up is definitely "dramatic" and "attractive" that the author should apply for a concerned job

One more request to author - How about a similar review on Safari 2010 variant ? I would like to hear in your view point.

Prem.

Last edited by kaviprem : 26th March 2010 at 17:27.
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