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Old 21st April 2020, 12:29   #91
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

Brilliant review as always.

Tata goofed up big time on the Altroz's engine, which to me is its weakest link. Its a gorgeous looking and well packaged car but its petrol engine engine is horrible.

May be Tata thought they could do an i20 With the Altroz petrol (referring specifically to the i20's weakish 1.2 petrol engine) and still stack up high sales numbers. But the 1.2 Kappa is a 4-cylinder engine and leagues ahead in terms of refinement and driveability compared to Tata's 3-cylinder 1.2 Revotron. Tata should have got this right at the Altroz launch. Tata missed an opportunity to really dominate the segment right from launch.
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Old 21st April 2020, 16:32   #92
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

Recently my cousin got a tiago petrol for city use and I got oppurtunity to check it. Standstill, looked like a great car, well appointed interiors, solid build, decent kit etc. The moment the car was started, whoa that sounded crude, well as much as my Kwid. Whats worse, I can hear the 3 pot clatter of tiago from quite a distance. Now I see the Altroz has better insulation, but 3 pot unrefined motor on a premium car, simply not done.
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Old 21st April 2020, 17:21   #93
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Going slightly off topic, I'm grossly disappointed that absolutely nobody is even trying anymore to make a good 4 cylinder 1.2 NA engine to attempt challenging the Suzuki K12 variants. Even the other big ones are moving to GDI 3 cylinder mills already. Its not needed! A smooth, quick revving engine with moderate low end torque is what people want - its evident in all the Maruti car sales numbers.

Why isn't anybody looking at it? Personally I would rather have an 85-90PS 4 pot NA engine in the Altroz rather than a seemingly powerful 120 PS turbo 3 pot from the Nexon. The pleasure a 4 cylinder engine can give - is not something that can be compensated by higher power figures!

I don't think the power figures of the Altroz are disappointing. Its the lack of a whole cylinder - that is.
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Old 21st April 2020, 19:07   #94
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard
I don't think the power figures of the Altroz are disappointing. Its the lack of a whole cylinder - that is.
I think this car is the outcome when you let a bean counter decide what goes into a car. Some chart on some powerpoint somewhere on some computer inside the Tata offices is saying, release this car with an under powered 1.2L petrol. The people don't know the difference and they'll take it. The said bean counter must have decided, Baleno, i20, Figo, Jaaz all have similar Bhp and Torque output so this engine is fine and people will buy it. I understand the financials of the decision and most car buyers who don't think too much about these details will not bother either. Unfortunately, if you are on T-Bhp you aren't an ordinary buyer are you? Left to us, we'd take Bhishma MBTs to buy groceries simply because of the power output. In January I had a rather lengthy discussion with my friends on whether I should opt for the car. The XT(O) variant in all its glory at 9.13L was on offer with everything inclusive of cruise control. Very very attractive, but then I compare it with a people carrier like the Ertiga and lo and behold, same price, minus cruise control and 28 Bhp more and 25Nm torque more and a whole cylinder more and more space and more comfort. Why you do this Tata!

Last edited by confused.geek : 21st April 2020 at 19:11.
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Old 21st April 2020, 20:51   #95
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

I don't think having a 3-cylinder engine should be a deal breaker here. As we know, most manufacturers are offering 3-cylinder engines in their cars, even some premium brands do that. It helps them keep the car light and fuel efficient.

3-cylinders might sound different but not all of them suffer from vibrations or harshness as a lot of people here say.

Yes, a relatively free revving 4-cylinder would've been good. But for an average buyer who sees a car as just a mode of transport and is happy with it as long as it work and costs as less as possible, any engine should be fine.

Adding to that, Tata finds itself in a sort of a dilemma where the market and emission norms force manufacturers to produce fuel efficient engines and the buyers do not favor their cars as much as they do with other cars. Tata just has this one market for their passenger cars for now, especially for their smaller cars. It is easy to see why they have that 3-cylinder engine.

Even the critically acclaimed Ford Fiesta ST has a 1.5L, 3-cylinder engine with 200PS and Koenigsegg Gemera has a 600hp 3-cylinder. Not all is bad about these engines after all.

P.S.: I think everyone knows having a 4-cylinder is definitely not the reason why Baleno sells so much.
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Old 21st April 2020, 21:31   #96
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Yes, a relatively free revving 4-cylinder would've been good. But for an average buyer who sees a car as just a mode of transport and is happy with it as long as it work and costs as less as possible, any engine should be fine.
While your logic is mathematically 100% correct, I beg to slightly differ. For the average buyer you have mentioned - Celerio is the car.

Someone paying an amount as much as 9.1 L OTR (top trim petrol) - even if it is point A to point B, the "to" in it is vital. People pay that much for that driving experience. Otherwise Uber is far cheaper.
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Old 22nd April 2020, 11:53   #97
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

The next logical step for Tata is to bring in their turbo-charged petrol engine in the top variant of Altroz. Or an Altroz JTP. People are getting more and more discouraged from buying Diesel cars and a buyer with limited city usage shouldn't need to buy a diesel engine for performance.
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Old 22nd April 2020, 14:32   #98
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Someone paying an amount as much as 9.1 L OTR (top trim petrol) - even if it is point A to point B, the "to" in it is vital. People pay that much for that driving experience. Otherwise Uber is far cheaper.
I don't think others offer much better in terms of driving experience. It might hold true for a few people like me and you who care about steering feel, brake pedal feel, throttle response, overall pleasure of driving.

I still believe that a huge number of people just want something that looks good, has a lot of gadgets (gimmicks) and is cheaper on their pocket. People spend a lot more that 9 lakhs on cars and most of them hardly understand what the nuances of driving are. They just want the most bang for their buck. I am talking about the demographic that hardly ever uses the full 85 odd HP available.

The segment might be called premium, but it is still a budget segment which aims to please this huge demographic.

Last edited by puneeth2 : 22nd April 2020 at 14:35.
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Old 22nd April 2020, 17:09   #99
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

Honestly I feel that Tatas 1.2 NA gets a bit too much flak. During the lockdown I've been helping an old neighbor get groceries and stuff like that and also running his 3 year old Tiago.
The engine is pretty decent. I can compare the 1.2 from the Dzire, Beat, Jazz and Tiago.

Driveability is on par with the Beat which is a 4 cylinder and just about 10% lower than the K series and a lot better than Honda's 1.2. The gearbox and weight of the Altroz is the same as the Tiago so it should be fine.
In terms of NVH, it's definitely the highest but not obnoxiously so. The Altroz would have the new balancer shaft and better insulation so it will be quieter.
As for vibrations on the gearshift, steering, etc. I would say they can be lived with. Maybe a longer drive would change my opinion. But once again the Altroz would have the new balancer shaft so vibrations should reduced from 'liveable' to 'acceptable'
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Old 22nd April 2020, 17:42   #100
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Honestly I feel that Tatas 1.2 NA gets a bit too much flak. During the lockdown I've been helping an old neighbor get groceries and stuff like that and also running his 3 year old Tiago.
The engine is pretty decent. I can compare the 1.2 from the Dzire, Beat, Jazz and Tiago.
I think its not the engine that's getting the flak. Tata is getting the flak for the decision. Even I love this engine to be honest. It works perfectly in the Tiago/Tigor - I have driven it aplenty. I in-fact enjoy its rough throaty note when it revs. But then if I am going to get the same engine - I'd rather save some money and get the Tiago instead! The decision between a WagonR 1.2 and a Baleno 1.2 is easy since the Baleno brings a lot of difference over the WagonR and consumer base is well separated. In case of the Tiago and Altroz - Tiago gives you at least 85% of what the Altroz has to offer & doesn't have any obvious short comings over the Altroz that people can't live with. That's why a better differentiation in terms of engine was a must.

An engine of an entry level car going into what is called as the "Gold standard" is what just doesn't bode well. Yes generally Tata draws more flak than others for a similar decision. But in this case, they got what others are getting. Even Hyundai is getting bashed for the commuter grade 1.5 D engine in the new Elantra which simply makes the premium pricing unjustified. Here - Link to Elantra 1.5 D thread (Hyundai Elantra gets 1.5L BS6 diesel engine!)

And then - the face lifted Tiago also looks smoking hot in some shades. So it further dilutes the Altroz's Gold standard under the same showroom roof. With a pricing overlap also with the Nexon - people will pick the Nexon at some premium for its massive GC and practicality over hatchbacks.

Overall the flak here seems to be because people genuinely wanted Tata to succeed with this car to the fullest rather than being an "also ran". That in itself is quite an achievement for Tata. A car looking this good, deserved to have ticked the vital box of the engine surely. If they are aiming just to make 2000 cars per month as a target and be content with it for a critical product launch like this - its pretty suicidal in the long run. They needed to hit the ball out of the park to establish in this segment where they have never succeeded otherwise.

Last edited by Reinhard : 22nd April 2020 at 18:02.
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Old 22nd April 2020, 18:08   #101
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
Going slightly off topic, I'm grossly disappointed that absolutely nobody is even trying anymore to make a good 4 cylinder 1.2 NA engine to attempt challenging the Suzuki K12 variants. Even the other big ones are moving to GDI 3 cylinder mills already. Its not needed! A smooth, quick revving engine with moderate low end torque is what people want - its evident in all the Maruti car sales numbers.
Perhaps it isn't the engine.

Tata Altroz : Official Review-car-compare.jpg

The comparison is from Carwale.com - Baleno is quite a bit lighter while being a larger car overall.

Once the weight of the vehicle exceeds 1000 Kgs, it probably becomes difficult to handle with an NA 1.2 engine, ensuring drive-ability, fuel efficiency and more importantly emissions. The only way to go from here is Turbo if the displacement of 1.2 needs to be met for tax relief.

3 Cyl Turbo engine is cheaper, smaller and more fuel efficient than 4Cyl and after driving the XUV3OO petrol once, I could not fault their decision at all. XUV3OO is the heaviest Sub4M CSUV at around 1300 Kilos.
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Old 22nd April 2020, 18:09   #102
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
I think its not the engine that's getting the flak. Tata is getting the flak for the decision. Even I love this engine to be honest. It works perfectly in the Tiago/Tigor - I have driven it aplenty. I in-fact enjoy its rough throaty note when it revs. But then if I am going to get the same engine - I'd rather save some money and get the Tiago instead! The decision between a WagonR 1.2 and a Baleno 1.2 is easy since the Baleno brings a lot of difference over the WagonR and consumer base is well separated. In case of the Tiago and Altroz - Tiago gives you at least 85% of what the Altroz has to offer & doesn't have any obvious short comings over the Altroz that people can't live with. That's why a better differentiation in terms of engine was a must.

An engine of an entry level car going into what is called as the "Gold standard" is what just doesn't bode well. Yes generally Tata draws more flak than others for a similar decision. But in this case, they got what others are getting. Even Hyundai is getting bashed for the commuter grade 1.5 D engine in the new Elantra which simply makes the premium pricing unjustified. Here - Link to Elantra 1.5 D thread (Hyundai Elantra gets 1.5L BS6 diesel engine!)

And then - the face lifted Tiago also looks smoking hot in some shades. So it further dilutes the Altroz's Gold standard under the same showroom roof. With a pricing overlap also with the Nexon - people will pick the Nexon at some premium for its massive GC and practicality over hatchbacks.

Overall the flak here seems to be because people genuinely wanted Tata to succeed with this car to the fullest rather than being an "also ran". That in itself is quite an achievement for Tata. A car looking this good, deserved to have ticked the vital box of the engine surely. If they are aiming just to make 2000 cars per month as a target and be content with it for a critical product launch like this - its pretty suicidal in the long run. They needed to hit the ball out of the park to establish in this segment where they have never succeeded otherwise.
Me thinks this gentleman nailed it. He summarized it very succinctly. The problem isn't the engine. The problem is what Tata could have very easily delivered in the Altroz and isn't delivering. At the end of the day, all I am left with is a car with a name that sounds like a lozenge.
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Old 23rd April 2020, 10:31   #103
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

I was really looking forward to the Altroz with very high hopes after overseeing the Harrier fiasco. The reason? I want TATA to succeed. Harrier 2.0 is way better over the Harrier 1.0 and I was putting their old mishap as a history. TATA truly has the potential to make it big. But like many on the forum mentioned, they lack the geist while launching new cars. Altroz has everything going for it. But a puny 3 cylinder petrol on a premium hachback? No thanks. I can overlook the gizmos in a car, but the engine is the heart of the machine. There should be no compromise. Probably Altroz 2.0 is going to iron out all the issues and by then it will be too late.

On that note, I did try to reach out to Mr. Pratap Bose over Instagram, where he is pretty active to express my displeasure over the Altroz's engine and how TATA should come out all guns blazing at launch. I expressed my concerns that TATA should not wait for version 2.0 to get their cars right, but rather launch a superb machine right at the beginning. And, I was surprised to see that my feedback was completely ignored and I am blocked from following him on Instagram If consumer feedback on fixing the basics hurt their ego then I am at a loss of words here. I am still going to be be positive and hope they get their cars right when they launch the HBX and the upcoming sedan.
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Old 23rd April 2020, 14:37   #104
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Ah sorry I should have clarified in my post that I too feel that the Altroz deserves and should have launched with the Turbo 1.2 L or at the very least a good 48V hybrid system that could add a bit more lower end torque and would have been a USP even over Marutis do called hybrid system.

I was just speaking in general about the engine, I strongly feel that the engine is 'okay' or 'decent' at the very least and not 'terrible' as it is often claimed.
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Old 23rd April 2020, 16:19   #105
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Default Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review

I think people are expecting a VW 1.2 l 4 Cyl TSI engine in every car coming now. With improving roads, even I feel that what was adequate/powerful 5-6 years back isn't enough in today's terms.

I loved the Altroz, and being an Ex tata user (Indica(personal) /Manza/IndigoCS/Nano in our family) I am a fan of their Space & Ride and the way they tune it up for India (to the point I went all the way to convince my dad to buy the Storme over the Ciaz and being shot down at the showroom with no response for a booked test drive). I was hopeful for the Harrier but it's not on the horizon at the moment. I have tasted blood with VW GT Tsi, and the only Tata which I loved was the Tiago JTP (sadly closed).

Hoping, that we get a 120 HP hatch in India soon (apart from Abarth)
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