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Old 21st October 2005, 22:35   #1
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Default Tata Indica Turbo & Indigo TDI twin test

Today evening i went to take a test drive of the indica turbo, and ended up testing both the Indica and Indigo
Technically there is not much difference between the two of them. going by the manufacturers spec sheet :
Indica :
68PS@4500rpm 67.07bhp
130NM@2500rpm
1050kg
64.76PS/ton 63.87bhp/ton

Indigo
70PS@4500rpm
132.44nm@2500rpm
1070kg
65.42PS/ton 64.52bhp/ton

P/W difference 0.67bhp/ton

Now 0.67bhp/ton in hardly anything, and it feels so. But there are a few subtle differences, read on for more

Looks and feel
===========
Tata indica is a good looking car and the cherry red color is hot. Tata indigo is one good looking car and one average looking car. Depends on where you look from. For the city indica is definately easier to drive and offers better visibility. Interiors are similar. Though people say plastics are tacky and cheap quality, i have driven mostly Tata and a 2002 santro, so I am kinda okay. But compare it to japanese and european rivals, indica/indigo interiors are a big letdown. The saving grace is the panel gaps and exterior finish. There is a marked improvement, with the indica turbo now rivaling the competition. Now i will cut the cr** and move on to what you are waiting for.
Engine, transmission and performance
===============================
Lets start with the Tata indica turbo. This was the first car we test drove. As the dealer test driver moved out, i moved into the drivers seat. At idling it sounds similar to the old indica, but the sound deadning is better. I was greeted by a familiar steering wheel and an unfamiliar instrument cluster. Compared to our old indica the new one is miles ahead. The lighting is sporty (Black background, Pioneer 4750 style blue-white foreground). So I slotted the car into first gear, and left the clutch very slowly. The car stalled. I was promptly informed that due to no PDI(Pre Delivery inspection) the clutch has not been set therefore the effective clutch travel is very less. So i started the car again. And revved a couple of times. A very faint turbo whistle could be hurd hinting at the "Role model" within. So I again slot it in first gear rev up and move. My eyes are at the speedo needle which does not budge. The guy tells me that since no PDI, speedo not connected. I ask him that how does he think I can gauge the performance. He tells me that i can drive a Indigo TDI, since the performance is exactly same. Anyways i drove the car around a bit, in heavy to light traffic. Verdict - The effect of 18 bhp shows... but above 1800rpm or so. At a low rev start its still a little lethargic because of the the turbo lag. Infact this is not a first gear happy car. When you slot her in second gear, around 20kmph(When i quote speedo readings, its from the indigo TDI), then you feel the push, Having driven the 62bhp indigo extensively couple of months back, I can safely say that the effects of intercooler are evident. Most fun was the third gear and the 4th. Now no more planning the highway overtaking. She is going to embarress petrols. But theres a flip side. The gear shift. Though compared to my old Indica this is miles ahead, when I compare it to the santro or getz, there is a lot of room for improvement. Forget room, there is a foodball field scope for improvement. But this downside is made up by the 130Nm of torque at 2500rpm. Such amount of twist makes you forget all the downsides. After trying out all the gears in light traffic I turned towards the workshop, since without speedo there was not much point. At this point my wife took over. She also found it to be more comfortable to drive though not as much as the santro as far as the gearshift department is concerned.

Next came the turn of the indigo. The first thing different was the seat. Indigo seat has more support, definately. As for the gearshift, its slightly better. But the reason could be the PDI not having taken place, or teething issues with the new turbo indicas? But this was the drive which was the most fun. Through light to heavy traffic, it was evident that performance wise there is not much difference between the two Tatas. And heavy traffic proved that indica is easier to drive.
Then we took the indigo TDI to the express highway to test the highway performance. With three lanes of empty well lit tarmarac in front the indigo came into its own. Soon the engine was humming at a lazy 3000 rpm at around 125kmph. The workshop dude was sweating at 22 degrees, lazily. The sweat became more and more pronounced as the speedo needle crossed 140. Now not just the sales guy, but the test driver guy were also palpating. But at 140kmph, the only indication of the speed was speedo and fear. The car was rock solid. Stable as if it was at 80kmph. Its much more stable than the getz and santro(Only other cars I have driven at 140kmph, 130 for santro). Anyways I eased up and came down to hundred, where the engine was really really relaxed. My guess, she will touch 165 on the speedo, but anything above 140 will be a pain. 140 is easy, 130 is a breeze. Now the indigo/ca both are able highway cruisers. If only they can put santro/getz gearbox, this is almost perfect.

Ride and handling
===============
Nothing changes here, with indigo a better bet for back seat passengers thanks to a three link indepedent rear suspension. Both handle well, with indigo better over bad roads. Indigo has 175/60R14 wide tyres compared to 165/65R14s on indica.

Verdict
======
Indica turbo rocks. If you have been driving an elantra or a skoda, then it does not rock, but if you have been tortured by Mitsubishi/Ford/Tata it rocks. Infact, south of 7lakhs accent crdi is the only thing which can beat the Tata duo in perfomance. But Tata beats the accents and marutis in terms of space any time. The indica is roomy nd indigo is even roomier. By 5cms for the rear seat passengers. 50mm is a lot.
If we compare both indigo and indica, the only thing indigo offers now is more boot and slightly more comfortable drivers seat. Indica DLG is definately great value for money, now if only TATA had given the DLX night mode rear view mirror which is standard on indigo LS/LX/SX.

Also the DLG has headlight level adjustment, and so dies indigo LX. But indigo LS does not have it. This is supposed to be illegal, but seems govt has given a reprive for some more time. Did not get a chance to check out the SX.

So if you wanna buy, buy the DLG, the best value for money. If you want a boot wait. Indigo is getting a 10000 cash discount, which will rise to 20000 soon as the indica turbo eats into its pie. Indica will start selling 700-10000 cars a month more due to launch of turbo. Its a winner for sure.

Summing it up:
==============
The good : Engine, Space, handling, ride(indigo more), Cherry red color(indica)
The little bad : Gearbox, engine sound
The ugly : No night vision mirror in DLG, just a cassete player in DLX. They should have given an mp3 player. 25K for rear power windows, nigh vision mirror, casette player, body color handles and mirrors, Bad tata bad.
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Old 21st October 2005, 22:51   #2
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Nice review pal..
About the seats, i have heard somewhere that the Indica DLX has a better driver's seat compared to DLG (maybe more underthigh and lumber support).. is that true?.. And i have also heard that Indigo TDI is quite silent inside with windows rolled up.. how does Indica Turbo compare here.. any vibrations etc.?..
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Old 21st October 2005, 22:59   #3
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Tata indica turbo is indigo tdi without boot. As for drivers seat the I tested a DLX as DLG was not available for test. Seats are same as DLG but indigo seat has better support.
As for vibrations there is hardly any difference, though the indigo felt a little smoother. But then this could be teething issues as I mentioned.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 09:48   #4
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Great review tsk. Thanks for covering all your observations in detail. I strongly feel that Tata has made the right move to supress the hype for the Swift and get into the minds of the Getz buyers.

And I am pretty sure they will smartly launch the DICOR when Maruti and Hyundai come up with JTDi's and CRDis.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 10:02   #5
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tsk nice reviews. Am also planning to test drive both the cars today. I am looking for a replacement for my Dad's Siena 1.2. I have set my eyes on SX as my big man deserves some luxury.

How do you think these cars fare when compared with Palio 1.9D. I am sure performance in Palio is much better than the 1st generation Indigo. I want to check out how the new Indigo is compared to Palio.

Last edited by satish_appasani : 22nd October 2005 at 10:05.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 12:29   #6
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Good review there TSK.... I tried my best not to come around this thread, but couldn't resist, and now i'm cursing myself.... But well, things happen, and i'm convinced to wait till Tata comes out with the Dicor Indica .....

I've started saving up for my 2nd car, and i'm hoping Tata comes with the Dicor Indica by mid 2007, and i'd like to compare that with the Swift JTD, which i'm eagerly looking forward too.... The only thing which would make the stick to the Tata car is the space.... It just beats any other vechicle in its class...
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Old 22nd October 2005, 12:54   #7
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Palio does not come with any TC. So the + point is same performance with no turbo lag as compared to the old indigo. But the downside is lot of dependence on environmental factors like air pressure. At high altitudes NA diesels are a trouble.

As for the SX i suggest you stick to LX. SX is good if you are chauffer driven, otherwise you will never use those VCD screens. So if your dad drives himself. get him a indigo LX and then put leather and all.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 12:59   #8
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well look at it this way, if you had bought the turbo indica you will not have thought about the DICOR indica/indigo in mid 2007. I am not buying the indigo even though it is more refined, reason is that with the indica i can afford a 3 year loan as per the 4 year one with indigo. So after three years I can buy a DICOR safari.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 15:37   #9
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Hey TSK - thanks so much for this review. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your insights.

My schedule has not permitted a Turbo Indica test drive, and it is something that I am really looking forward to. Your review has made it that much easier...

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Old 22nd October 2005, 16:26   #10
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Hey GTO, the turbo indica which i got did not have PDI done. So clutch adjustment, idling rpm and lights and all were funny. When you test drive one do check out wether indigo is more refined or the piece I test drove had an adjustment problem?
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Old 22nd October 2005, 21:10   #11
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nice review there, tsk - and if this is any indication of things as they are, then that should mean that the indica turbo would return absolutely phenomenal F.E. figures.....perhaps even better than that of the indigo....

which could mean that we might have a successor to the legendary zen D here....in terms of F.E. only, of course...

one more thing, though- the indigo beats the accent crdi on all other counts, except the performance...that is, the indigo triumphs in the F.E, space, and comfort criteria...
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Old 23rd October 2005, 12:35   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979
... So after three years I can buy a DICOR safari.
My brother !!!
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Old 24th October 2005, 10:58   #13
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Checked out a customer TDI indica and an indigo TDI side by side. Main motive was to check gearshift and refinement
On the refinement department there is no difference. Both cars make the same noises. Also gearshift is the same. Probably the indica turbo i test drove had adjustment problems due to PDI not having done. the only difference we found was the front seats having better support.
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Old 24th October 2005, 15:20   #14
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great review tsk !
I would like to try out the new turbo ...well maybe when my colleague who booked it gets it aftr Diwali....and yah I agree completely....the G versions are much more VFM than the X..
thats the reason I went for the LGi instead of the LXi....cassette player....*** ?
only thing I wished I had from the LXi/DLX is teh rear window wiper.
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Old 24th October 2005, 15:55   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veyron1
nice review there, tsk - and if this is any indication of things as they are, then that should mean that the indica turbo would return absolutely phenomenal F.E. figures....
Hey veyron.... What do you mean by phenomenal F.E???? Indica pehle se hhi gives phenomenal F.E man aur chahiye kya?.... My DLS is averaging between 15-16 kms in city driving...

And i'm yet to make a long distance highway run.... Planning to do one post diwali, when a close buddy returns home from his trip....
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