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Old 16th April 2020, 13:40   #16
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

Excellent review. Tata Altroz is definitely worth the premiumness as defined by the segment. In fact, the design, the build and the features list just confirm that. The way the doors closes with a solid thud, reminds me of the Skodas. And yes, the feather in the cap, 5 star rated safety. Tata has definitely come a loooong way! Altroz should definitely be in the top two considerations of any buyer in the segment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
This isnít a watch or fitness band. Itís a key - like the one we saw in the Nexon! Doesn't use batteries as it's just a passive RFID device that need not be charged. The Altroz can be opened & started with this wearable smartkey. Would've been cool if it showed the time (could've been worn as a watch then) and added some fitness features (e.g. counting steps which is the trend today). Tata says that it's waterproof too. Do note this is an official accessory (not standard with the car):
Also, the wearable key is a part of standard kit of the XZ and XZ(O) variants, not an optional accessory.
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Old 16th April 2020, 13:41   #17
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

Ever since I saw white one, I was so hoping to get a first Tata in my garage to replace Kwid for city errands. With weak 1.2L engine Tata has successfully killed my hopes! Tata has again managed to goof up the launch! Engine aside, the white Altroz has to be the best looking hatchback out there.

Quick query, opening post says the car for review was borrowed from an owner, however end of the post mentions " Disclaimer: Tata invited Team-BHP for the Altroz test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event". Am I missing something?

Last edited by PrideRed : 16th April 2020 at 13:57.
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Old 16th April 2020, 13:53   #18
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

Finally! 5 star review of a 5 star car, which it'll be, once the turbo petrol and AT variants arrive.

Like GTO said, Tata go all guns blazing and run out of gas in the final few kms.

I had personally checked out the Altroz back in January and felt it to be a winner, of course the useless petrol mill and lack of AT aside. It's on my list to be my first EV car later.

I understand Tata is making an effort. But they cannot expect overnight results. They'll have to sweat it out for the next couple of years. Plus the constant goof ups don't help. They cannot afford such new products to be forgotten.

IMO, only the engine/AT issues are a dealbreaker. Once these two are ironed out, Tata will have one of the most complete cars they've ever made.

Hope Tata tastes a lot of success with the Altroz. They deserve it.
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Old 16th April 2020, 13:58   #19
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
The Tata Altroz is on sale in India at a price of between Rs. 5.29 - 9.29 lakhs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Tata Motors is like a competition runner that prepares really hard, wears the right safety equipment, is fast & muscular, runs in the marathon and leads it all the way….but when just 10% of the race is left, the runner collapses of dehydration. He recovers later, but is no longer leading the race...ending up in the mid-pack.
What a smashing review guys. One of the best reviews of the decade IMO. Loved it. The wait & anticipation for it rewarded and how! Thank you so much. Rating it 5 stars for the lack of any more stars in that list!

The car really shows how far Tata has leaped since HorizoNext started. A true fruit of that project. While people consider Nexon a well designed car, open the engine bay and it still shows it's Vista roots. They are finally gone with Altroz. The good finishing, tight packaging & overall merger of design & engineering is fabulous with this car. Pleasant to look at even with the bonnet open. It is a big head turner. Not possible to miss it in the crowd. Even on divided highways with median having trees, an Altroz going in the opposite direction grabs attention. It is a very tightly designed car & not exactly the largest among the peers. Yet - thanks to its width and that menacing face - it looks very large & aggressive. First time I saw one coming towards me at speed, I skipped a couple of beats.

I have experienced the car personally. I like it a lot - but I'd buy only the diesel avatar of it. There was a poll recently where a BHPian was contemplating between the Nexon & Altroz. I am a Nexon owner & I was one of the very few folks who suggested going for the Altroz between the two. The car really is a big leap ahead in quality, build & overall comfort/features. A nice, safe & spacious place to be in along with nice sporty handling. Quality of materials & taste in design of the cabin is substantially better than the Nexon. These 2 cars - Nexon & Altroz are going to compete with each other for sales rather than with their peers from other brands IMO. Sales figures will show in a few months. Let's see.

Engine I'll not comment on, GTO has summed it up nicely. With the 1.2 Turbo petrol from the Nexon, this car would have costed probably the highest in the segment. But it would still have sold far higher than what it would sell now. The lack of common sense in decision making at this organization really is becoming boring. Its like they want only hard-core loyalists to buy the cars & not win over more customers who think with brains.

The other points after petrol engine I really don't like are these -
  1. The ORVMs are really pleasing to look at. However, there is a slight preference to style over utility. Look closely and right extreme of the mirror glass is too deep in the cowl & ends up showing the mirror housing itself rather than the view behind. Some wasted space there.
  2. A single reversing lamp? I'll even excuse the NA 1.2 petrol engine. But not this. Not in India, sorry. You give a cruise control but not 2 reverse lamps but a dummy on RHS? Especially for what is also the widest car in the segment? Indian roads / lanes are not safe & people don't really pay attention much. There are multiple angles from which a single reverse lamp is NOT visible. I hated the Polo, Punto, Tigor for this and now I dislike the Altroz for it. Its like a trend! Best looking cars goof up this item. Blasphemous.
  3. I never found cruise control of use (speed limit maybe yes, but now we have the beeper so its redundant). Why not a simple auto IRVM. It costs peanuts really. Really!
  4. I never thought Tata would go the way to skimp with a smaller spare wheel. Dayum!

Thanks again Aditya & Co + Kothari family for bringing this breath of fresh air during the lockdown! Stay safe all.

Last edited by Reinhard : 16th April 2020 at 14:13.
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Old 16th April 2020, 13:58   #20
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrideRed View Post
Quick query, opening post says team the car for review was borrowed from an owner, however end of the post mentions " Disclaimer: Tata invited Team-BHP for the Altroz test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event". Am I missing something?
Well, TATA did invite Team-BHP for the media drives. But the review team needed the car for a longer period for the kind of in depth reviews they do.

So, they would have got to experience the car both from TATA (for which any self respecting outlets put out disclaimers) and from amazing owners/enthusiasts out there (who trust Team-BHP enough to give brand new cars).
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Old 16th April 2020, 14:26   #21
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

It's time Tata motors redesigns its logo. It looks completely out of place in its beautifully designed cars. If they can't, due to generic group-wide branding, they should just delete it and replace it by lettering in the back, like Skoda.
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Old 16th April 2020, 14:35   #22
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

My guess is that this car was designed as a comprehensive class leader, but somewhere down the line - probably around the time the top Tata group management changed and there was a renewed focus on profitablity and portfolio optimization, and this car went underwent a surgical strike from the bean counters and emerged in this neutered form.

Alternately they might have heard the complaints here on team bhp about features being removed after launch, and decided to solve that problem by doing it before the launch.

I wish Tata develops a better gearbox for it's smaller cars. The TA65 has been bottlenecking performance of their entry level cars for over 10 years now, starting with the Indica dicor in 2008 to as recently as the Tiago jtp and now the altroz. When the nexon was launched, I was hopeful that it's gearbox would trickle down to at least the premium variants of the smaller cars, and the altroz was a prime candidate. Seems I'll have to keep waiting.
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Old 16th April 2020, 16:29   #23
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

Very detailed review as usual, gratitude to the Kothari family for their generosity. I still can’t understand why Tata is repeating the same mistakes from Harrier launch. I was looking forward to buy Altroz as a replacement for my Aspire because of the superior safety, but alas there is no Automatic option and I will have to look elsewhere if they are going to mate the automatic to current engine.

My Aspire 1.5 DCT is only let down by the build quality and the options left in my budget are Nexon and XUV 300 both having AMT which I hate and the tasteless interiors of XUV. Hope Altroz does eventually get automatic and 6 airbag options.
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Old 16th April 2020, 17:01   #24
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

Excellent review, and couldn't have come at a better time.
Pray there are atleast a couple of WIP official reviews for us to tide over this isolation.

Loved the styling, especially in the flesh. Personally the only gripe I had was the rear door handle. Trust that, at night, for 90% of people, even enthusiasts would be scratching the door for the 'handle'. Its so mid 2000s design, if it wasn't for the Swift, Tata wouldn't have gone for it I guess. I mean, no one's going to be fooled by the '2 door design'.

Don't particularly like the swooping black beltline piece too. Hope it doesn't make way to the sedan version.

Like the variant spread too, especially the different 'packs' and customisation options. Except for the rear wash/wipe, makes the lower variants VFM too.
The lower variants also get decent analogue meters, unlike the across the range stupid digital instrument cluster that Tiago/Tigor/Nexon has.

Mechanically enough has been said about the 1.2 petrol.
Not too much worried about the diesel detune it has relative to the Nexon, it's at par with the competition.
The only 'theoratical' gripe that I have is the 5 speed gearbox. Even the Nexon with 6th gear does 100kmph @ ~2000rpm.
Hope the Altroz diesel has a similar cruising ability with the 5 speed gearbox. It is Tata's lame excuse that gets me. 'The engine bay can't accommodate a 6 speeder.'

Wish the Altroz success , especially with the diesel and the new direct injection turbo petrol with DCT. Not to say, the EV which launched would be the the cheapest mainstream EV.

I would buy the Altroz diesel for my own use, but for family use, would have to go with the Nexon.
Dad was looking to change the Etios cause his health wasn't agreeing with sedan seats and the underbody used to scrap heavily with full load (actually it was the rear mudguard most of the time). The Altroz with its low set rear seat and low GC wouldn't be a good replacement. , which the Nexon with its all round good seats and excessive GC is.

Guess most potential buyers in Tata showrooms would have the same thought.

Last edited by DicKy : 16th April 2020 at 17:10.
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Old 16th April 2020, 17:12   #25
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

Thanks to the Kotharis, we have another brilliant review to read

I guess Petrol engines are Tata's Achilles' heel, right from the days of Indica, they haven't managed to make a good NA Petrol engine that can really compete with the Koreans and Japs. But wait, they had the turbo petrol from Nexon. Then what happened ? Some Shakuni must have advised them they keep the turbo petrol for later as a 'premium', but did not realize that the NA petrol is going to create the first impression. Somehow, I have a feeling that the Altroz might not take off, even if they launch the Turbo petrol, with DCT later because by this time, competition will come with better offerings (i20, 1.0 Polo TSi). They should have launched her with a better engine (which they already have) to start with.

The premium hatchback segment is hot and extremely competitive. You don't send an average batsman to open the innings with a new ball, it has to be someone explosive like Sehwag if you really want to make a point

Last edited by NiInJa : 16th April 2020 at 17:13.
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Old 16th April 2020, 19:04   #26
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

Such a brilliant review! Highlighting every nuance and bringing out a feel that the readers are reviewing the car personally, thank you for this splendid review! This shows TATA has improved leaps and bounds and this was quite evident when I went to see the car in the showroom. The plastics and fit & finish were much better than the Nexon, though yes there are a few more rough edges to be sorted. This is also the first time I believe the interior quality has not been mentioned in the 'Negatives' in a Tata car. Great job TATA. I have been really looking forward to the Altroz if I'm buying a car anytime soon, but for sure, I will wait for the Turbo Petrol and the Diesel to be launched as well.

And one thing that I wish existed in every car is the 3rd Headrest (centre headrest in the rear bench)! Why are manufacturers not providing such a basic safety (and comfort) feature is something I fail to understand. Only if the RTO insists a clause stating every passenger needs an individual headrest may we be able to see that being provided for every car registered as a '5 Seater'.

I also happened to check the soon-to-be launched i20 in a different thread and it looks really promising. I wish Tata does enough to promote the Altroz and position is correctly.

Once again, thank you T-BHP and the kind family for providing us this beautiful review. Cheers!
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Old 16th April 2020, 19:53   #27
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

White looks beautiful on the Altroz! Congratulations to the Kothari family, and thanks a ton for the vehicle.

As one of the rare lucky ones to get a short drive of the diesel - I strongly feel that the engine was definitely the pick of the two. The petrol motor was lame (should have at least had the convenience of an automatic), but the diesel felt adequate even though the detuned specs may suggest otherwise.

But - their pricing and sales strategy with the diesel has been baffling, to say the least! Too high a premium for the diesel even though they had it detuned and it is not even readily available since months after the launch. Wish this car had the Nexon spec petrol engine at least, right from the launch!

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 16th April 2020 at 19:57.
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Old 16th April 2020, 20:27   #28
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

A cracker of a review guys. A big thank you. I think this review has all the details one needs to understand the car.
I saw the car in flesh in Prerana Motors Bangalore in Feb. There was a Gold one and a Red one. Both looked very nice. The car feels very well put together. Doors are heavy and gives you confidence. As mentioned in the review the sheet metal also is very good and doesn't flex. In my opinion Tata can launch the petrol in two engine options at different price range. This will give proper options to a diverse set of buyers. And also spruce up the service experience. These days it's getting better but still some way to go.
One last point though, the new Tata cars are really good. The 2020 Nexon, Nexon EV, Altroz and even the Tiago twin refresh - all the cars really give you the feel good factor at their respective price point. Look forward to the SBX/Hornbill next.
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Old 16th April 2020, 20:51   #29
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

This is one sweet car. Tata better get the turbo petrol ready QUICKLY. It’s a simple copy paste exercise. Looking forward to the promised EV variant as well. Assuming they keep the batteries and motor identical to the Nexon EV, the Altroz EV can be a cracker at 11-12L
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Old 16th April 2020, 20:56   #30
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

I test drove the ALTROZ petrol, quite extensively, after it was launched in Calcutta.
The styling, overall packaging, contents and fitments, feeling of robustness were all fine.

However, I could not get rid of the nagging feeling that the ALTROZ will have its work cut out against the competition when it comes down to pure sales numbers.

Why?
After the novelty value of the styling wears off, owners will start digging deeper into the aggregates that make up the ALTROZ and that's where she'll have to put up a very strong fight to win against its talented competition, viz; the Hyundai i20, the Maruti Baleno, the Maruti SWIFT top variants and the Honda Jazz.

As has been discussed many times, in many forums, the gasoline powertrain in the ALTROZ cannot hold a candle, in terms of overall "feel" and peppiness to what Suzuki and Honda powertrains offer.
Again, like the TIAGO first gen, its not the absolute power output figures that falls short, (which can be masked by some clever gearing, just ask Renault what they did with the Triber and its puny heart!), but the way the power is delivered.

While the ALTROZ plays footsie on steady, part throttle application quite well, open her up in any gear, say a typical 40-80kmph overtaking manouevre in 3rd gear, on wide open throttle, and it falls flat on its face.

Apart from the vibrations, which are a constant tingle on the clutch pedal and the lovely steering wheel rim, the engine seems to pleading out to the driver, "Sir, enough, please don't spank me so hard, I cant run much faster".
The feel is rough, the wicked "Tiago petrol like flat-spot" peeps in for a while and the overall aural experience sounds so unrefined that anyone with a wee bit of mechanical sympathy will back off the throttle.
In the Rs 4 lakh bracket, potential customers may have forgiven such traits, but not in the Rs 8 lakh plus segment where expectations run very high.

I still remember when my cousin had purchased the first gen Tata Sumo, (the one with the dog-leg 1st gear gate), the seats were absolutely flat and basic. But for some strange reason, they gave good support on long highway runs. Cut to the Safari, whose seats still can cock a snook to luxury SUV's 5 times its price, the MANZA whose rear seats were lounge like, the Indica Vista and the ZEST whose seating comfort were again superior to the competition.

But what happened to the ALTROZ?
Its seating is neither good nor bad. The front seats are a tad undersized. Underthigh support is lacking and it is quite difficult for persons with long limbs and over 5ft11in to get comfortable behind the wheel. If you have sat in a SWIFT driver's seat, before you sat in the ALTROZ, you will be muttering sotto voce, to TML, all the expletives you know!
The rear is even mediocre. Lesser under-thigh support, and a hard upright backrest will not win it much favours, specially from our ageing parents.
In fact my father, who had accompanied me on the test drive, flatly told all, that our Zest rear seat was a far more comfortable place to be in compared to what the ALTROZ was dishing up.

The suspension passes muster. Again, it lacks the suppleness of the BOLT / ZEST setup and lacks the iron-fisted high speed body control of the NEXON. It's somewhere in the middle, trying its best to put up a brave face. Grip levels are very nice though with strong front end bite, good resistance to understeer and well controlled bodyroll. The calibration of the steering is spot on. Offers the right amount of feedback and feel, but possibly not as good as its cousin, the Nexon's helm.

Fit, finish, contents , fitments, tactile feel and haptics are good. Everything moves with a nice, well oiled feel without the perception of the controls snapping or falling off.

And that's the ALTROZ's problem. It's a very pretty looking Mr Average.

It excels in styling and that's about it. Dig a little deeper, draw the Japanese and Korean competition into perspective and the cracks in the beautifully made up face start showing.

And being mediocre in today's competitive world is not a good thing. If you are brilliant, you are already at the top, if you are a loser, you get another opportunity to prove to yourself to get to the top.
But if you are mediocre, you are stuck in the middle, dithering, vacillating, desperately trying to find the shortest path to brilliance.

I think, till date, the SAFARI STORME 400Nm, the ZEST, the HEXA and the NEXON were Tata's best attempts in their respective segments. While the first one was a swansong edition to a segment creator, the ZEST moved the goalposts in the compact sedan segment and showed the kind of engineering excellence that could be done on an ageing platform.

But, the best i feel, till date is the NEXON. Again, a generation old platform, backed up by solid engineering. Radical styling, excellent packaging, competitive performance, very good dynamics and attractive pricing. And now its even ushering in the future of mobility in its EV guise.

I feel bad for the ALTROZ. Not that the car is bad - but for the fact that it could have been way, way better.
In its present form, it will will slay the competition as far as looks are concerned but when it comes to comparing overall performance, refinement and the many other bits that make up a motor car, the competition will be breathing down its neck very heavily indeed.
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