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Old 6th August 2010, 16:14   #1
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Default Indigo Ecs CR4 diesel : testdrive

On sunday I ( The car guru in the family ) recieved a call from my cousin early morning and he announced that he wants to buy a brand new car and wants me to spare time to help him buy one.He knows practically nothing about cars and drives his dads maruti 800 occassionally.

His requirements suggested a diesel car.i immediately suggested the swift which he promptly declined saying that there are too many on road.I myself drive a DDiS.The next car that came to my mind was the punto 90hp and he immediately was excited.Off we went to the nearest TATA-FIAT showroom at thane ( Fortune motors). Unfortunately the test drive vehicle hadnt arrived. The new indigo e cs was standing nearby and i suggested we have a look.

We drove the els model which is the base version

exterior and interior :

The exterior remains unchanged from the old indigo cs .The only addition are the turn indicators on the ORVM's.But i feel that the indigo cs looks much better and smart compared to his elder brother.

Stepping out of the swift the interiors immediately looked and felt much larger and roomier. dash has been given brown colour which looks rather pleasing.seats are nice and comfortable and beige ( More of brown-beige)
Interior plastics are the shining type and of OK quality. But everything inside looks and feels well built. Door fabrics are of good quality.

Dials do not have the flair of a punto but are functional.
Ergonomics is decent.

seats are slightly hard to feel but offer good all round support. Comfortable driving position can be easily attained. Frontal view is excellent too.

Back seat comfort is best in class.

Not many useful cubbyholes around.

Boot space of 380 litres is quite usefull. Can easily take a big suitcase and a couple of small ones.


engine and gearbox

The engine is the same DICOR engine which did duty in the indica.TATA has retuned it for better driveability and hopefully corrected the diesel pump problem that it had.
They have renamed it as the CR4 engine. Its a common rail 16-valve,DOHC,bs4 compliant engine Which uses a variable geometry turbocharger.
Power is rated at 70ps@4000rpm and 140NM@1800-3000rpm of turning force.Figures dont look all that good especially compared to the multijets and DDis and Crdi's.But actually the engine is a decent performer.

Start the engine and even someone who knows nothing abouth cars will say that " diesel hai kya? ". Lots of clatter penetrates into the cabin and vibrations can be felt on the gear box , steering and clutch pedal. Race the engine slightly and the vibrations lessen but can always be felt.

The gear box is vague and rubbery and has no feel. In fact i felt as if its loose or something. As GTO had once put forth " akin to moving a rod in a cement mix" . Iam used to the khat-khat shortthrow box on the swift and this one felt really gross.
clutch is light which is a good thing.

Slot into first and release the clutch and the car moves ahead with a sense of urgency.slot into second at 1500 rpm and press the throttle and the car moves ahead with the same urgency.The power and torque delivery is quite linear and not peaky like the DDiS.Turbo lag is not much and the car moves cleanly from low revs.Turbo boost can be slighly felt at 2500rpm. Keep the car between 2000 - 3000 rpm and you will find the engine to be quite responsive though NOT a scorcher by any means.

Go past 3000rpm and the engine gets quite boomy and clattery and can be annoying.

Driveabilty is good,thanks to the VGT.Slot the car in 3rd gear at 30kmph and it will happily move ahead without much strain.I could climb a incline in 2nd gear without pressing on the accelerator.

Top speed that i drove at was 80kmph.couldnt go beyond that because of the traffic.

Brakes are vaccum assisted,indipendent dual circuit,diagonal split hydraulic brakes through tandem master cylinder.
Front brakes are ventilated disc and rear brakes are drum.

Braking definitely isnt confidence inspiring and needs improvement.

RIDE AND HANDLING :

Tyres are 175/65 R14 radials .
Ride quality is much much better compared to the swift.Small potholes were swallowed easily and the larger ones were felt but they do not in anyway unsettle the car.The front and rear passengers wouldnt complain much.
Couldnt really test the handling but i feel there would be a bit of body roll but less compared to the larger indigo.

Price :

elx : 571000/-
els : 545000/-

Both figures are on-road Thane after discount ( insurance free )

It would make sense to go for the top end version as the price difference is not significant.
Top end would get additional features like body coloured ORVM'S with turn indicators,body coloured rub rails with chrome inserts,electrically adjustable ORVM's,heater,leather wrapped gear shift knob,both front and rear power windows,bluetooth ready music system with aux-in,two front and two rear speakers,rear de-fogger,audio warning for drivers seat belt,key in/out,door open.

So quite a lot features for a good price point.

what you will like :

1) comfortable spacious interiors
2) driveable engine
3) decent performance
4) loads of features in the top end
5) Fuel economy which could be in the range of the multijets and DDis
6) usable bootspace

What you wont like :

1) Brakes
2) NVH
3) test car had done just 81kms and still there were squeks and faint rattles
4) turning radius -5mts
5) steering feel
6) gear box
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Old 6th August 2010, 19:46   #2
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Neat review, shanty! I was just looking for a review of the eCS,and you turned this in.

Nice pics too. You covered all the points there, well done!

A few Qs:
Is the Bluetooth enabled stereo the same as the one in the Manza (with Blue5)? Is ABS available (even as an add-on option)? What changes has Tata mentioned in the CR4 engine wrt the old Dicor? And did the service people say whether the gear shift thing is a one-off or repairable or just one of the "features" of the car?
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Old 6th August 2010, 22:45   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
Neat review, shanty! I was just looking for a review of the eCS,and you turned this in.

Nice pics too. You covered all the points there, well done!

A few Qs:
Is the Bluetooth enabled stereo the same as the one in the Manza (with Blue5)? Is ABS available (even as an add-on option)? What changes has Tata mentioned in the CR4 engine wrt the old Dicor? And did the service people say whether the gear shift thing is a one-off or repairable or just one of the "features" of the car?
thanx velu

The bluetooth enabled stereo is NOT the one in manza.
The sales person said that TATA has slightly re tuned the engine as compared to the DICOR version.
The gear shift is one of the features of the car and is a real let down.The gear shift reminded me of my indica diesel.
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Old 7th August 2010, 12:35   #4
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As per the owner of an eCS LX who had come for his 1st service at Richard Garage, The car is very silent and easy to drive. He was very happy with the car.
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Old 7th August 2010, 13:10   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiren View Post
As per the owner of an eCS LX who had come for his 1st service at Richard Garage, The car is very silent and easy to drive. He was very happy with the car.
maybe the car does improve after running-in.
But i was not at all happy with the vibrations filtering into the cabin
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Old 21st November 2010, 12:56   #6
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I can assure you that the CR4 is much better than the TDi to drive. I loved the interiors, especially the wood finish printing on the dash and door panels, in the eLX version. The eLX I TD'd also had metal inserts on the pedals. I think that it is also avaiable now with optional alloys. I saw one being unloaded near a Tata dealership, and it was a dark brown shade, with the same alloys as on the Vista Safire90.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 19:11   #7
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the gearshift gets better with age (or you get used to it)
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Old 22nd November 2010, 21:39   #8
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To be fair, I think that the Indigo feels a lot different after PDI has been done and the fuel pump has been calibrated. Even the vibes were lesser in my new car compared to the one they brought over for TD. And I felt that the vibes on the eCS I drove were lesser even before the PDI. I think it will definitely get better.

As for the gearshift, I've heard that the quality of the gearshift gets better as the car is run in. My car has covered 6500 km and the gearshift is only marginally better than at delivery. But I drove a 60K old Indica rented car some weeks back, and its gearshift was butter smooth. I remember that it was even better on an old Indica V1 that I drove some years back. That car had more than 80K on the odo. So I assume that it does get better with age.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 22:43   #9
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hey..thats a nice review ! By the way, could anyone tell me whats the usual mileage that you get on this car? highway / city ?
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Old 23rd November 2010, 00:56   #10
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@shantyrocks - Nice review

I feel that TML should revamp all their Dicor engines and gearboxes with whatever they learned from the ARIA experience. Once the vibration is controlled, the cars would be much better to drive and some of the squeaks and rattles would disappear.
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Old 23rd November 2010, 07:08   #11
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the gear shift actually gets better with age. in my dad's DLG Turbo Indica v2, the gearshift was woolly as the blazes when it was bought over 4.5 years ago. it has smoothened and become far more comfortable over the last few years of use and now it is much much nicer.

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the gearshift gets better with age (or you get used to it)
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Old 23rd November 2010, 08:48   #12
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I got my E CS delivered on 3rd Nov - Dhanteras and have completed 900 kms today while driving to office. The vehicle was driven 148 km and fuel was bare low when it got delivered. Have filled in fuel worth Rs.2000/- and have driven 750 kms. a cool less than Rs.3.0/ km drive with A.C. ON.
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Old 23rd November 2010, 16:04   #13
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Thanks a lot guys!

Congratz piyush for your latest acquisition.
Do post ur driving experiance.
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