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Old 18th September 2010, 13:40   #1
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Default Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review

BACKGROUND:

I have been driving diesels for about 10 years. Starting from PREMIER 1.38D - The first car I ever drove. Still admire the amazing gear shift and suspension. My dad later upgraded to TATA INDIGO LS 2005. The car was amazing value for money, had loads of space and was very comfortable, not as much as the PREMIER though. I have been very interested in cars since my childhood, and was waiting to buy my own car. It was a tough decision to buy the CHEVROLET SPARK LS after having driven bigger diesels all through my life. NVH levels of petrol cars, especially the cute Chevy amazed me. I have been very happy with the car. But after about 6 months I realized I was doing about 3000-3500 km a month. I wanted to upgrade to a diesel. Thanks to a nice appraisal I lease transferred my Spark LS and started to research about all possible diesel hatchbacks. The list was FIGO TITANIUM, VISTA AURA ABS, GRANDE PUNTO ACTIVE, SWIFT VDI. Ritz was out of this list as I didn't like the way it looked (subjective). Different versions are evident as they fit into approximately the same price bracket. I wouldn’t cover details of the above as we have loads of information on all the models above. I did find a few requests floating around for the review of the DriveTech4.

I searched the forum for reviews of the Quadrajet Drivetech4 model, but couldn't find any. Vista Aura ABS test drive and review was present but no DriveTech4 reviews were present. My neighbor recently purchased a Vista Terra Drivetech4. I wanted to have a look at the car the car manual and knocked at his door. To y surprise, he offered me the keys and asked me to take my own time to review the car. I was happy as this was my first chance to spend good time with a car and in fact try my hand at reviews. I took some pictures of some finer details which I felt are significant.

EXTERIOR:
A lot has been said about the the exterior of the Vista. The only noticeable change was the badging at the rear which said Quadrajet BS4. In the newspaper ads Indica was in a reduced font size and the Vista was enlarged, but on the car it was quite the opposite.

INTERIOR:
Terra is the basic version of the Quadrajet stable, so no gizmos inside. The central IP console has minimal information and lacks a tachometer. The High Beam and Battery indicators have been placed in two semi circles instead. The speedometer is clear and easy to read. The fuel indicator is a bit smaller and placed quite far from the drivers eye (Left most end of the IP). The glovebox as mentioned in earlier posts is huge and I couldn't help notice two strange storage spots (Pics Attached). The one on the top of the glovebox, which I assumed was for the user manual and the second on the door of the glovebox which looked like it could hold another user manual. There is a visiting card holder along with a pen holder on the door of the glovebox. Also, rubber bits have been added to avoid rattles, which I felt was of decent quality. The seat adjustment levers were chunky and felt god to hold. The door window winders did feel a bit tight, may be because the car was new, and did require some effort to roll the window up/down. Not many storage spaces to look out for, except the two cup holders ahead of the gear lever and another quite surprising one near the 12v socket, don't know what can be stored there . The map pockets on the door were too small, good enough only to hold a folded news paper or a cleaning cloth, but no where close to holding a bottle. The rear legroom is best shown than spoken of. Pics attached.

The distance between the pedals is good enough. Even with my slippers being wide enough, they were not getting in the way of each other, which felt nice. The only thing to complain was there is not enough space to stretch your left foot on long drives.

The annoying thing about the sun visors was they blocked almost half of the windscreen which does trouble the view. With no drivers seat adjust it would be tough to drive with the sun visor on the drivers side down. Terra comes with steering adjust which is nice feature, but couldn't see any practicality in it as it was best in the least down mode. Pushing the steering to the max height felt as if I was driving a tractor. I am not so tall (5' 6" to be precise) so may be I couldn't find it that advantageous.

The overall plastics quality has improved by leaps and bound in comparison to the previous generation TATA cars. Having DRIVEN the INDIGO, I can definitely say that the interiors have a lot better feel. Only irritating things are the door handles and the horn tab, which still need some work on.

DRIVE:
This is where the car absolutely surprised me. The car was very silent in the inside. When I placed my hand on the gear lever at idling, I could hardly feel the slightest vibration. With the A.C blower at 2, the engine noise or vibrations is hardly felt in the inside. 5 *'s to NVH levels at idling.

The Quadrajet heart did impress me a lot. I absolutely love the noise of the turbo when it kicks in and the torque which comes in as a rush. The turbo lag is evident, but the turbo kicks in pretty fast, even without which the engine pulls without coughing. The car feel a lot quicker in metal than on paper. The gearshift is slick and not rubbery as compared to the previous generation TATA cars. The engine pulls effortlessly even at lower RPM's which combined with a light steering is a boon in the city.

Suspension was another attribute which amazed me again. The car was literally gliding over potholes. The ride was very comfortable in the city. I did take her out on the highway where it didn't feel confident at speeds above 120kmph. The steering is a little vague and the car sometimes feels like a boat (may be due to the softer suspension and height). Nevertheless, it would turn out to be a great mile muncher (at steady 100 - 110 kmph) on the highways.

With a decent powerhouse under the hood, the car does need ABS. The brakes felt spongy and lacked bite. ABS id definitely a must with this car.

Things which I liked:
1. Amazing FIAT heart.
2. Improved plastic quality, compared to previous gen TATA cars.
3. Good A.C.
4. Nice Suspension, amazing ride quality in the city.
5. Very Low NVH levels inside the cabin.
6. Height adjustable steering in the basic model.
7. Price point.

Not so good things:
1. Boot Space.
2. Niggles (which might/might not come up, the forum does have loads of users with issues, but couldn't find any BS4 versions with issues.
3. High speed stability and cornering ability.
4. Braking - Not so confident.

I am yet to test drive the Figo and take a decision on my next diesel hatchback.

PS: This is my very first attempt at writing a review. Any brickbats/feedback is most welcome.

MODS: I tried searching for a review on BS4 version of vista couldn't find any. So I attempted at posting one.
Attached Thumbnails
Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-tera-badging.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-bs4.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-drivetech4engine-bay.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-ac-details.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-ip.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-ac-knobs.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-terra-cup-holders-12v-socket.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-glovebox-rubber.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-glovebox.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-glovebox-2.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-chunky-seat-adjust-lever.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-closed-ac-vent.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-front-right-door.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-rear-right-door.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-pedals-feet.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-pedals.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-rear-max-legroom.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-rear-min-legroon.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-sunvisor.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-tyre-pressure.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-vista-terra-vanity-mirror.jpg  

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Old 18th September 2010, 16:48   #2
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Default Vista DriveTech4: why no enthusiasm?

Thanks eagle_bush, for the review. It is strange to note that there is no enthusiasm found on this forum for the Vista DriveTech4.
I would appreciate more information about the car with respect to the following:
1. The gear shift quality
2. The initial niggles ( if any )
3. Overall comparison between the Euro 3 and the Euro 4 ( DriveTech4 ) versions.
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Old 18th September 2010, 17:08   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auto-one View Post
Thanks eagle_bush, for the review. It is strange to note that there is no enthusiasm found on this forum for the Vista DriveTech4.
I would appreciate more information about the car with respect to the following:
1. The gear shift quality
2. The initial niggles ( if any )
3. Overall comparison between the Euro 3 and the Euro 4 ( DriveTech4 ) versions.
I have driven the Vista Aura, and also the latest petrol Drivetech4.

Both are amazing cars for the price its offered at.

You drive the Drivetech4 and the swift, actually the Vista Scores BIG on instant speed and pickup in comparision.

And about the Space and comfort in the Vista, Swift is 50% worse.

Can live with the build quality, which is improved.

A True VFM.

Last edited by PAVAN KADAM : 18th September 2010 at 17:10.
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Old 18th September 2010, 22:54   #4
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by auto-one View Post
Thanks eagle_bush, for the review. It is strange to note that there is no enthusiasm found on this forum for the Vista DriveTech4.
I would appreciate more information about the car with respect to the following:
1. The gear shift quality
2. The initial niggles ( if any )
3. Overall comparison between the Euro 3 and the Euro 4 ( DriveTech4 ) versions.
The gear shift quality is excellent when compared to the competition, short, slick and precise. I TD'ed the FIGO TDCi and GRANDE PUNTO in the evening, and I need to admit that the Vista's gearshift was the best among the lot. The Punto felt rubbery and does not encourage sporty shifts. The Figo on the other felt good if not better than the Vista, but I felt it was a bit on the tighter side.

My neighbor's car has done about 1200 kms so far, and he hasn;t faced any issues so far. Will update the thread if there are any.

I got a chance to test drive my colleagues Indica Vista Aura BS3. There was marginal improvement in the NVH levels (Very minute) which I could notice. However, could not make out much difference between the two versions.
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Old 19th September 2010, 05:03   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eagle_bush View Post

With a decent powerhouse under the hood, the car does need ABS. The brakes felt spongy and lacked bite. ABS id definitely a must with this car.
Nice Review Eagle, I doubt whether ABS has anything to do with "lacking bite feel" with the brakes. AFAIK, ABS helps you to steer your car better during skid by not locking wheels. I agree with your review and the "definitely a must" ABS for this car, for that matter, any car. Just a thought.

On the other hand, I am always under the impression that the TATA's have got an amazing boot space (when compared within the segment), do you feel the boot space on this is smaller than others in the same segment??
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Old 19th September 2010, 09:14   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balajird View Post
Nice Review Eagle, I doubt whether ABS has anything to do with "lacking bite feel" with the brakes. AFAIK, ABS helps you to steer your car better during skid by not locking wheels. I agree with your review and the "definitely a must" ABS for this car, for that matter, any car. Just a thought.
Even I was under the same impression till I drove the car with ABS. The improvement in the pedal feel and the 'bite' is huge. The ABS unit continuously monitors the speed of each wheel and I feel may the electronics of ABS are the reason for an improved brake feel. I am completely with you on the fact that the unit kicks in under emergency braking and does the extra work of keeping the wheels from locking. What I found interesting though was that the manual says EBD is only for the rear wheels. Can anyone throw some light on this topic? Attached is the literature from the manual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by balajird View Post
On the other hand, I am always under the impression that the TATA's have got an amazing boot space (when compared within the segment), do you feel the boot space on this is smaller than others in the same segment??
The boot space has been sacrificed in this version for the humongous legroom and rear bench. It is definitely smaller than the other in the same segment. Figo is a winner in this aspect across the segment. Vista is a winner in the rear legroom.
Attached Thumbnails
Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-image.jpg  

Indica Vista DriveTech4 Terra: Test Drive and Review-image-2.jpg  


Last edited by eagle_bush : 19th September 2010 at 09:17.
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