|16th April 2020, 11:14||#1|
Tata Altroz : Official Review
The Tata Altroz is on sale in India at a price of between Rs. 5.29 - 9.29 lakhs.
What you'll like:
Looks absolutely stunning! Solid build too
Nice interior with good quality parts & adequate space
Accommodating 345-litre boot is among the biggest of the segment
Competent turbo-diesel engine. Good driveability, punchy & fuel-efficient
Mature on-road behaviour, including at highway speeds
5-star NCAP safety rating! Safety package includes dual airbags, CSC, break reminder etc.
Enjoyable Harman 6-speaker ICE. One of the better systems in this segment
Impressive kit (auto headlamps & wipers, cruise control, ambient lighting, adjustable armrest...)
Factory-fitted customisation packs available
What you won't:
Under-powered, lame & noisy 3-cylinder 1.2L petrol engine
Suspension has a firm edge at low speeds (16" rim variants). Bad roads will bother you
Diesel variant carries an insane premium! Works out to almost Rs. 2 lakhs on the road
Service visit every 6 months / 7,500 km (1 year / 10,000 km is the norm today)
Some missing features (auto-dimming IRVM, thinner spare tyre on top trims, split-folding rear seat...)
No automatic variant in a market that loves its ATs
Tata's after-sales service quality is a hit or miss. Remains a gamble
Concerns over niggles in a freshly-baked Tata product
Last edited by GTO : 16th April 2020 at 11:36.
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|16th April 2020, 11:14||#2|
Last edited by GTO : 16th April 2020 at 11:52.
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|16th April 2020, 11:14||#3|
A huge shoutout to Deepam Kothari & his dad Uttam for lending us their spanking new Altroz! Very grateful for the generosity! Tata couldn’t provide us a car for reviewing. Upon our asking the community for help, 16 owners reached out within a week! A heartfelt thank you to all of them.
Team-BHP’s sales charts show that in the Indian automobile market, the B2 hatchback segment is the largest among all. Cars like the Swift, Baleno, Grand i10 & Elite i20 regularly sell more than 10,000 units every month. Tata didn't have a strong contender in this space. The Bolt - its last entry in the segment - sank without a trace. Enter the Altroz.
The Altroz is a fabulous looking hatchback that features Tata's Impact 2.0 design language. It looks radically different from any Tata hatchback built before. Unlike the Vista or Bolt, no one will say there is an "Indica influence" on it. When the car was displayed at the 2018 Auto Expo as the 45X Concept, it drew a lot of attention. The production version looks equally good and manages to turn heads very easily.
The Altroz is based on a new platform called ALFA (Agile, Light, Flexible and Advanced). This platform will be used to underpin the production version of the upcoming Tata H2X concept / Hornbill as well. The car has a kerb weight of 1,036 kg (1,150 kg for the diesel) making it the heaviest car in its segment - whether that's good or bad depends on your perspective, but weight does blunt performance & efficiency. The Altroz's doors, tailgate and bonnet have a good deal of weight to them. There's very little flex if you press the metal with your thumb. The car feels solid & well-built throughout. Paint quality is good and the panel gaps, while not very tight, are even.
To power the Altroz, Tata Motors has used a 1.2L, 3-cylinder petrol (from the Tiago & Tigor) and a 1.5L, 4-cylinder diesel engine. Both engines are mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The car is available in five trim levels and four customization packages. We feel that Tata royally goofed up in the powertrain department. For one, the petrol is the weakest in the segment. Second, the diesel was "launched", but never made available as Tata decided to release it after BS6 fuel is rolled out. Lastly, there are no automatic gearboxes on offer. Sure, all of these might be fixed eventually, yet the impact is largest at launch. If sales figures of the initial months are anything to go by, the Altroz has had a lukewarm start in the market.
Coming to safety, the Altroz is equipped with dual front airbags, ABS + EBD, Cornering Stability Control, reverse parking sensors, ISOFIX child seat anchors & seatbelt reminders (for driver + front passenger, both) as standard. The top variant further gets a reversing camera, automatic headlamps & wipers and voice alerts. The ALFA architecture has been developed with advanced high strength steel and reinforcements. Tata Motors claims that it offers an energy-absorbing body structure, which provides a controlled crash load path for impact, and prevents the cabin from deformation with crumple zones and side intrusion beams. It's not just PR speak like other manufacturers = the Altroz has received a mighty 5-star rating in crash tests conducted by the Global NCAP .
Tata Motors is offering a standard warranty of 2 years / 75,000 km, which can be extended to 5 years / 125,000 km. We strongly recommend this warranty extension as brand-new Tata cars are known to suffer niggles & issues.
Without customization, the Altroz petrol costs between Rs. 5.29 - 7.69 lakhs while the diesel costs between Rs. 6.99 - 9.29 lakhs. This means the car is priced just under the Elite i20, but higher than the Baleno.
Sleek, smart & mature face features a slim grille and large bumper with a massive black air dam. Use of chrome is subtle - just the way we like it. See how high the foglamps are placed:
Equally chic rear features a large black applique on the hatch with chrome "ALTROZ" lettering. Rear windshield looks too small for the car though:
The Altroz measures 3,990 mm in length, 1,755 mm in width and 1,523 mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2,501 mm. This makes it the widest car in the B2 segment. Notice how the rear door handles are concealed:
Flared wheel arches & strong character lines give the Altroz a muscular appearance:
This is definitely among the best looking hatchbacks on our roads today. Tata says that the Altroz's design is inspired by the world of laser carving:
Blackened headlamp clusters have a thick piano black strip on top and some chrome around it. Auto headlamps are available in the XZ and XZ(O) variants. Foglamps are located high on the bumper. They have integrated LED DRLs and double up as cornering lights:
A look at how the headlamp cluster sticks out at the top:
A look at the headlamp cluster with all the lights in action. Low beam is excellent, while the high beam is just satisfactory. Headlights have a follow-me-home function, which can be operated by pressing a button on the key fob:
LED DRLs are bright and prominent, even under direct sunlight. They are small though, especially when compared to the big strips we see on so many cars. To switch them off, turn the light switch to the parking lamp position & back to the off position twice in quick succession. They also go off when the pilot lamps/headlamps are turned on:
Slim + wide black grille has a honeycomb mesh pattern. A thick piano black insert runs along the top border, while a slim chrome strip runs along the bottom:
Chrome inserts on this borrowed car are an extra accessory:
The wind deflector underneath:
Shockingly, no underbody protection at all! Not even a plastic cover below the engine. Couple that with the unladen ground clearance of just 165 mm, and it does get concerning:
Bonnet features a subtle center bulge and two creases:
Rain-sensing wipers have been provided on the XZ and XZ(O) variants. Sensor for the same is located on the windshield:
Frameless wipers look smart. Their spindles are concealed under a plastic cowl...
...and so are the windshield washers:
They squirt out effective sprays (rather than jets) of water. Wipers are long enough to cover a large portion of the windshield:
Shiny black ORVMs are standard on all variants. Chrome inserts are added in the XZ and XZ(O) variants. Unlike most modern cars, turn-indicators aren't integrated in the ORVMs:
Protrusion on the lower surface of the ORVM - provisioning for a 360-degree camera system in the future?
Turn-indicator sits flush on the front body panel:
Door handles feel solid. Request sensor and keyhole are provided only on the driver's side. IMHO, at least a request sensor should have been given on the passenger's side:
Shut lines are even for the most part:
However, in some places, they are wider than others. E.g. these gaps around the hatch:
Finishing could have been better in certain places. This chrome bit above the headlamp sticks out when you raise the bonnet. Looks bad:
Blackened window panes & B-pillar. Roof slopes down towards the rear, while the window line rises. Small quarter glasses are provided at the front. Overall glass area is sufficient to let enough light into the cabin:
Thick shiny black panel below the windows is an interesting design touch. Tata Motors calls it the "comet shoot belt". Fancy words aside, we think Tata's design is in the best form it's ever been!
Black panel on the C-pillar has a scooped out section from where you can access the door handle:
Flared wheel arches stick out prominently. Thankfully, the wheel-tyre combination does a fair job in filling them up:
A couple of strong character lines run across the doors:
16” black and silver laser cut alloy wheels shod with 195/55 MRF ZVTV tyres fill up the wheel wells. Alloy wheels are available only in the XZ and XZ(O) variants. XT variant gets 16" steel wheels. Diesel XT & XZ variants get 185/60 section tyres. XE and XM variants come with 14" steel wheels and 165/80 section tyres:
Aero flaps ahead of the front and rear wheels:
XZ(O) variant comes with a glossy black roof. Long and thin antenna sits at the front. On such a handsome car, Tata should have fitted a short stubby or shark-fin antenna instead of this outdated one:
Rear section of the roof is ribbed to increase rigidity and minimize material weight. The hatch gets a neatly integrated piano black spoiler that is shaped such that it merges with the design of the roof panel:
Notice how the thick black panel (on the side) makes it merge with the thick border of the rear windshield:
Slim HMSL with washer are housed in the rear spoiler. Sadly, only the XZ and XZ(O) variants get the (useful) rear washer/wiper:
Large tail-lamps with a thick black border. There is only one reversing light provided (in the left tail-lamp cluster):
We love how the tail-lamps stick out. Tata has really gone all out in terms of design with the Altroz:
With all the lights in action. When the brakes are applied, only the outermost red units come on:
Hatch features a glossy black panel which merges with the tail-lamps. Windshield's thick black borders restrict visibility. Small rear wiper just about does the job. Can't have a larger unit due to the windscreen's limited height:
With the smartkey in your pocket, simply press the black request sensor located under the "T" badge to open the tailgate. Reversing camera is smartly concealed on the piano black panel:
Rear bumper extends all the way up to the funky tail-lamps. The lower portion has a slim black insert which houses the rear foglamp (in the center) and a pair of slim reflectors (on the sides). Two parking sensors have been provided:
Tail-pipe & end can are blackened to minimize their visibility:
With one of the stronger players in the B2 segment. The Altroz looks far more modern, but the Elite i20 has a cleaner design:
Last edited by Aditya : 23rd May 2020 at 07:46.
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|16th April 2020, 11:14||#4|
Interior - Front
The front doors of the Altroz open & shut in a triple-stage action. As mentioned earlier, they have a good amount of weight to them. They feel robust and sound awesome when you shut them. The doors open at a 90 degree angle and the running board is not very thick. Thus, it's very easy to step in and out.
On the inside, the Altroz offers sufficient legroom & headroom at the front. The front windshield is large, although the roofline slopes downwards and I found the rear windshield to be on the shorter side. Still, the side windows allow enough light to enter the cabin.
The cabin is classy looking. The dashboard is black & whitish grey with a large silver insert. Tata calls it "classique satin chrome finish". We feel the choice of colour feels a generation too old though. The seats get full fabric 3D-embossed grey upholstery, which we feel goes with the interior. Mood lighting has been provided on the center fascia and in the foot wells.
Coming to the interior quality, it is very good. That said, the finish in certain areas is not as perfect as some of the car's competitors, while gaps between panels are wider than you expect. Still, they are even and no owner is likely to complain.
The dashboard looks classy!! It has a black & whitish grey theme with a large silver insert. The carpets are black and will do well to conceal any signs of soiling. Ergonomically, the cabin is sorted and all controls are easy to reach. The feel, quality and finish of most of the buttons / switches are good:
Plastic cowl on top of the instrument cluster feels sturdy. In this pic, also check out the funky hexagonal detailing on top of the dashboard:
Huge windscreen offers a good view of the road ahead:
Thick A-pillars (like most modern Tatas), so be careful on the bends. Tiny quarter glasses at the base of the A-pillars do little to reduce blind spots:
Leather-wrapped, flat bottom steering wheel with dark silver inserts is superbly thick and has a fantastic design too. The steering is lovely to hold and comes with contours for your thumbs:
Buttons for the infotainment system, telephony and voice commands are placed on the left spoke. Useful mute function has been provided (long press to mute).
Notice the small horn symbol (next to steering buttons on both sides). Press that for the nice-sounding horn! Convenient.
Cruise control and MID buttons are placed on the right:
Steering is only adjustable for height! Not cool in a car that has premium aspirations. If you prefer a laid-back driving position, you will find the steering to be too far away. Should've had telescopic adjustment:
Engine start/stop button has an illuminated border + silver ring around it. If you press the button without pressing the clutch, an orange light glows ("accessory" mode). Press it once again and a green light comes on ("ignition on" mode). When the engine is running, the green light stays on:
Instrument cluster consists of an analogue speedometer, a 7" LCD screen with a digital tachometer and an MID. The digital area has excellent quality graphics! The entire cluster should have been a size or two bigger though. Many of you will find it small (we've noticed this in other Tata cars too). The digital tachometer looks really cool, but the exact rpm level is rather difficult to read on the go. A digital engine temp gauge has been provided at the base:
MID has a digital fuel gauge, two trip meters with average fuel consumption + driving time + average speed (individual readings for each trip meter), instant fuel economy (graphical bar), distance to empty, time & outside temperature. Gimmicky power and torque meters have been provided - these undeniably have novelty value:
MID warning if the front passenger or driver haven't buckled up. It also warns you if the fuel level is low or if it detects that you have been driving for too long and need to take a break:
MID asks you to lower your speed whenever you cross 120 km/h with simple instructions = Slow Down. A small speed limit sign comes up in the MID when the speedometer crosses 80 km/h. It stays on till you slow down:
MID will warn you if a door or the tailgate has been left open. If one of the doors and the tailgate are open together, the door is shown as opened, with the tailgate highlighted in red. We respect this kind of attention-to-detail. There is no warning for the bonnet though:
The instrument cluster's colour theme can be changed via the infotainment head-unit. Here it is in magenta:
And in yellow:
Thick stalks feel durable. Auto headlamps and rain-sensing wipers work like a charm. A lane change indicator is present. Headlamp leveler is smartly placed on the stalk itself. Like in other Tatas, the DRLs can be turned OFF / ON by moving the light switch to the parking lamp position & back to the off position, twice in quick succession:
Air-con vents are symmetrical. They have a silver border and are housed on the silver panel of the dashboard. Nope, their air volume cannot be adjusted. The right vent can be shut by moving the controller to the extreme right and vice versa. Even in the shut position, there is some air coming out of them:
Buttons to operate the front + rear foglamps and to disable the engine start/stop function are located below:
Driver-side cubby hole is fairly deep. The base is slightly lowered in order to hold coins / loose items:
Fusebox & OBD port are located to the right of the dashboard. The cover is easy to remove & insert back:
Bonnet release isn't perfectly positioned in the dash cutout. That said, it is robust and feels long-lasting. Notice the lower edge of the dashboard. It is sharp and could have been finished better:
Just look at how wide the door opens!! The doorpads have a black and whitish grey theme, just like the dash:
Top of the doorpad gets the same, sweet design pattern as the dashboard:
Doors are thick and so are the doorpads:
Door handles are finished in silver and feel sturdy. Doors can be locked by pushing the handles inwards and vice versa. The grille next to it doesn't house a tweeter. It's there only for aesthetic purposes:
Fabric insert with padding on the armrest area:
Power window console is new for a Tata car. Red light on the 'window lock button' appears when all passenger windows are unlocked. Should have been the other way around. Driver's window gets one-touch-down convenience. Rotary ORVM adjuster on top. ORVMs can be retracted electrically as well:
Door pockets are deep, wide and useful. They can easily hold 1-liter bottles and some knick-knacks. The finishing of these edges is on the sharper side:
Both front doorpads have very useful umbrella holders! Yes, they have drainage holes too (we asked Tata):
Running board isn't too wide. No scuff plates provided:
Comfy front seats offer satisfactory support, both - lateral as well as under-thigh, for a person of a medium build and height. Larger users might find them a bit tight though. The adjustable headrests are soft. Cushioning has enough firmness to keep drivers from getting tired, even over long distances:
XZ and XZ(O) variants get a height-adjustable driver's seat. Lever to adjust the height is robust:
Sturdy metal lever for fore & aft adjustment too. Both adjustments have a good range:
Zooming in on the smart upholstery design:
Center armrest gets black fabric with white stitching. It is adjustable; can be slid forward for shorter drivers to use. A useful touch which many expensive cars don't offer:
Seatbelts are height-adjustable. They are soft and easy to pull. In this image, you can also see the lighter colour of the upper-half of the cabin:
Pedals are properly spaced out. However, they are placed too low for people with longer feet. As an example, I found myself pressing the brake with the arch of my foot rather than the ball of my foot. A very usable dead pedal has been provided:
The fuel flap opener is placed on the floor:
ORVMs are properly sized (height and width, both):
IRVM is wide enough, but the thick C-pillars and small rear windshield restrict visibility:
No automatic dimming for the IRVM. Manual day / night flick switch is provided. We are baffled as to how one can give cruise control (rarely used), but not an auto-dimming IRVM (daily use)???
Rearward view is very poor due to the short windscreen height & thick C-pillars. Thankfully, Tata has provided a reversing camera and 2 parking sensors, which make backing up easy:
Center fascia features a touchscreen that sticks out from the top of the dashboard. I quite like the silver trim around the gear console:
Harman-developed 7" touchscreen head-unit has a dark silver outline. Its functions are covered in detail in a separate post:
A look at how the head-unit sticks out from the dashboard:
These vents can be shut by moving the flow directors toward the centre. However, even if they are shut, there is some air coming out of them. Small buttons to control the infotainment system are located below:
Switches for the climate control system. Any changes to the climate control settings are shown on the infotainment screen. The air-con is powerful. Even on a hot day, it chills the cabin in seconds. The blower is always audible - you can hear it clearly even on level one. While it is tolerable till level two, it starts getting loud on levels three and up:
USB port and 12V power socket located at the base of the center fascia. The latter gets a cap with a chrome border. No Aux-in port provided:
Below that is this storage bin for your smartphone:
Bird's eye view of the center console. Handbrake is strangely on the passenger's side, as if in a left-hand-drive vehicle! Driver's hand will most likely touch the passenger's leg when using it. Will make or break that first date
Two usable cupholders on the driver's side of the center console:
See that key sign? You place the smartkey here to start the car (if the smartkey's battery goes dead):
Deep, but narrow storage bin under the driver's armrest:
Curves and a thick silver insert keep things interesting on the passenger's side of the dashboard:
Glovebox has a soft opening / closing lid. Press this well-hidden button to open:
15-liter glovebox is big and has a partition on top to hold a tablet / book:
Cooling vent, illumination and a ribbed floor!
The inside of the lid has a pen holder, card holder, wallet holder and uniquely - two cupholders (use only when the car is stationary please):
Upper tray can be removed:
Without the tray, larger items can be accommodated:
Peacock design inside the glovebox. It may be recalled that Tata has been putting such designs in most of its new cars since the past few years. This is the first time we've spent so many pictures on a glovebox, and we appreciate the many details here!
Super-useful foldable bag hook in the passenger's footwell. Can be nifty when you pick up groceries or takeaway food:
Fit of the glovebox lid is a letdown. We expected better in a car competing against the Elite i20, which has been around for a while now:
Look closely and you'll see that some plastic edges could be better finished:
Dual airbags are standard on all variants of the Altroz:
Sunvisors are economy-grade in design & feel. Driver-side unit merely gets a flap to hold tickets:
Passenger gets a vanity mirror, but there's no cover or light provided:
White LED cabin light is located at the front; has a theatre-dimming effect. If there's only one cabin lamp, it's best placed in the roof's center and not here at the front. Reason? A center-positioned light serves both seat rows:
Small storage compartment in the roof console can accommodate a pair of thin sunglasses. Bluetooth mic is carried over from other Tata vehicles:
While there are no loose wires dangling anywhere, Tata could have done a better job in the finishing department. There are exposed metal bits in the driver's footwell:
Things are neater & tidier in the passenger's footwell. What you see here is the mood lighting:
Spring-loaded grab handle above the passenger's door:
Last edited by GTO : 16th April 2020 at 11:29.
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|16th April 2020, 11:14||#5|
Interior - Rear
The rear doors of the Altroz open and close in a triple-stage action as well (rear doors usually open in a dual-stage action). They swing out at a 90 degree angle - just look at this image! Downside? Try shutting the door after being seated - it's a task! The seat is placed at a lower height than we would have liked. Taller people will have to "sit down" in it:
Rear door handles are concealed by placing them on the edges of the doors. We like this arrangement more than the one in the current-gen Swift (with door handles near the glass section), where the glass portion is cut-off well before the passenger's head area, making the interior more claustrophobic:
Gap between the B-pillar and seat is more than enough to comfortably move your feet in / out:
Like the front doorpads, the ones at the rear have a black & whitish grey theme. The rear speakers are housed on them:
Like the front, there is a fabric insert with padding on the armrest:
The door pockets, while not as big as the front ones, are still accommodating. Can carry a 1 liter bottle with some other knick-knacks:
The rear seat is wide enough to accommodate 3 average-sized adults. While the seatbase is largely flat, the seatbacks have some contours to hold you in place:
Legroom is healthy and two 6-footers can sit one behind the other in reasonable comfort (although I remember the Baleno to be more spacious overall). Tata never disappoints when it comes to rear seat space:
Cabin width is healthy. Three average-sized adults can sit quite comfortably on the rear seat. However, larger adults might find it a bit of a squeeze. Side occupants get soft & adjustable headrests. Nothing for the middle passenger though. Side occupants get three-point seatbelts, while the middle passenger gets a lap belt:
ISOFIX child seat anchors have been provided on both sides. This is a standard feature in all variants, including the base:
Seatbacks of the front seats are scooped, allowing for more knee room:
A look at the maximum and minimum legroom available:
With the front seat in my 5'10" driving position, I have about 3" of knee room to spare:
The seatback angle is a level or two too upright; Tata probably did this to increase boot capacity. There is enough thigh support for medium-height adults, but even 5'9" dudes will find it to be inadequate. Adjustable headrests are useful:
The surface at the base of the front seats is soft, so it won't hurt the shin area of your legs. There is enough room under this to tuck your feet in:
Headroom is adequate for most. For me @ 5'10", I had 1.5" of clearance. However, 6 footers will find their hair brushing against the roof liner:
The center armrest is positioned at a comfortable height:
It is wide & soft. No cupholders provided here though:
Rear glass area is restricted (remember the short rear windscreen?). The sloping roof line means it falls below the eye line of tall occupants. Shorter occupants are likely to complain about the rising window line. Still, there is enough light coming in and the cabin doesn't feel claustrophobic:
This is the max that the rear window will roll in:
The C-pillar is very thick:
Two seatback pockets provided. They are adequately deep and wide. These are the best to dump in miscellaneous items (even your house keys so they don't cause rattles & aren't easy to find):
Rear air-con vents are provided on the XZ & XZ(O) variants. While there is only one common air volume controller, their direction can be adjusted individually. A slot to keep a smartphone is provided just below the vents, as well as a 12v power socket (no USB port though):
Spring-loaded grab handles have been provided above all the passenger doors. Both the rear units have nifty coat / bag hooks:
XZ & XZ(O) variants get this whitish-grey knitted, soft roof liner. Its quality is excellent! No cabin light for the rear seat occupants though:
The floor hump is wide, but not high at all. Don't know why Tata is bragging about a "flat floor" in its marketing material when it's clearly not the case:
345-liter boot is big enough to accommodate luggage for those family trips. Bigger than the Baleno & i20, and only slightly smaller than the Jazz. Thanks to the split tail-lamps, the opening is wide:
Parcel tray comes with a recessed area and raised border to keep things from rolling onto the rear seat:
Removing the parcel tray makes the boot appear even more accommodating:
Loading lip is high, which makes it a bit inconvenient to add / remove luggage:
Boot light is located on the left:
Two baggage hooks (one on each side) with a carrying capacity of 3 kg each:
A well-finished button to fold the seat down. Looks upmarket:
Folding the seatback down gives you 665 liters of cargo capacity. No 60:40 split though:
Top tether for the child seat (there are two of them):
Tailgate is cladded on the inside. No ugly bits sticking out anywhere:
A tailgate emergency opener has been provided at its base:
Tools are neatly arranged in a Styrofoam casing in the spare wheel:
Spare wheel in all trim levels is a 14" steel unit with 165/80 section rubber. The higher variants should definitely have gotten a spare of the same 195 mm size as the regular wheels. When using a thinner space saver, remember to drive very cautiously (due to the varying tyre sizes & grip levels):
Last edited by GTO : 16th April 2020 at 11:20.
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|16th April 2020, 11:14||#6|
XT, XZ & XZ(O) variants get a Harman-developed ConnectNext infotainment system with a 7-inch floating touchscreen head-unit. It features a high-resolution display, voice recognition, the usual music inputs (USB, Bluetooth, iPod), image & video playback (via USB when the car is parked), on-screen WhatsApp / SMS display & readout, voice alerts and a reversing camera display. While there is no onboard navigation, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay integration are offered (just the way we prefer it). Lag is virtually non-existent.
It's a good sound system for an OEM unit. Owners will be happy with the sound quality:
You get a 100W sound system with 6 Harman speakers. Over & above the door speakers pictured earlier, Tata has provided tweeters on the A-pillars. These have subtle enclosures and look very classy:
If you prefer physical buttons (as most BHPians do!), the system can also be controlled using the buttons below the air-con vents. A useful "home" button has been provided, along with an equally handy "star" button which can be assigned to your favourite function. Don't miss the shortcut button to access the telephone:
The font size is fair and visibility is good, even under direct sunlight. Climate control details are on the top right; the touchscreen can further be used to control the air-con:
Current track is displayed on the MID too . This arrangement can be turned off (we love it):
The intensity of the ambient lighting can be adjusted from this screen. Ambient lighting can be turned off as well:
You can disable the DRLs (please don't, they look good and enhance safety)...
...and adjust the timeout for the approach lights:
The lighting adjustment function changes settings of the ICE as well as instrument cluster. Additionally, you can choose themes. While the blue theme is known as "Zen", the red one is named "Zing" and the yellow one is called "Zeal":
Apart from the preset themes, you can opt for a user defined theme. This theme allows you to choose the colour you want for the touchscreen. The colour of the instrument cluster changes according to the colour chosen for the touchscreen. Here's a look at the screen in red (there is also yellow & magenta):
There are two drag-out tabs on the display. The one on the left lets you control the audio & display settings. From this screen, you can turn the display off (if it is distracting you) or decide whether the song being played is cast on the MID or not (cast icon on the lower-right). Cool touch = if you switch off the display, a message first comes on saying "display is turning off" (it doesn't just go out abruptly):
Touching the icons on the right tab displays the climate control settings:
Many functions can be controlled via voice commands, including the audio, climate control & phone:
The Altroz gets Android Auto & Apple CarPlay:
Parking display has adaptive guidelines which move with steering input. Considering the poor rearward visibility, this & the parking sensors are very welcome. The camera quality is just average. Don't know why Tata struggles with camera quality as it should be a simple fix (new vendor or better camera!!!):
At night, the display quality is poor. We didn't get to test the camera in total darkness though:
The ICE can be synced with Tata's ConnectNext app. The app displays the meter readings & DTE. It serves as a remote control for the audio system + climate control and gives you insights on your driving behaviour:
Last edited by GTO : 16th April 2020 at 11:19.
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|16th April 2020, 11:15||#7|
There are two engine options available with the Altroz - a 1.2L petrol (tweaked version of the Tiago / Tigor engine) and a 1.5L diesel (detuned version of the Nexon power unit). The petrol is a 1199 cc, 3-cylinder, 12V DOHC, all-aluminium motor which churns out 85 BHP (@ 6,000 rpm) and 113 Nm torque (@ 3,300 rpm). The diesel is a 1497 cc, 4-cylinder, turbocharged engine producing 89 BHP (@ 4,000 rpm) and 200 Nm (@ 1,250-3,000 rpm). This is perhaps the first time in India that a variant (diesel) was “launched”, but not made “available” at all. Tata launched the diesel back in January, yet deliveries have not begun. Tata said it will wait until BS6 fuel is rolled out in the country. We sure don’t understand the point of “launching” the diesel then. Still, based on our earlier experiences with this diesel engine, it will be our pick. The normally aspirated petrol is lame.
Driving the 1.2L Petrol MT
Let me just say it upfront = the engine is the WEAKEST part of the package and Tata has royally goofed up in this department. In fact, besides the engine, there is no real deal-breaker with the Altroz. IMHO, it is quite a stupid decision to not give this car the Nexon’s engines from day 1. When you have the ammunition in-house, why not use it? We can’t believe that Tata spent all this effort on a sexy hatchback, then fell short in an area that matters the most. A turbo-petrol is poised to be coming soon. Why the heck wasn't it available from day 1? To give an analogy within the Tata Group, this is akin to being in a nice 5-star room at the Taj Hotel, albeit with a rock-hard mattress to sleep on.
1.2L naturally-aspirated petrol is shared with the Tigor & Tiago. Puts out 85 BHP & 113 Nm. Our recommendation = wait for the turbo petrol which was recently spotted by BHPian Bordeaux - link to post:
Fire her up and you will feel some vibrations seeping into the cabin. As the engine warms up, these vibes on touch points like the steering wheel & gear lever reduce, but they remain present in other areas (e.g. on the centre armrest and seats). There is no hiding the fact that it's a triple-cylinder under the hood.
Over & above the weak power delivery of this motor, what also blunts its performance is the car's kerb weight. When driving around in the city, the Altroz doesn't feel energetic like the Baleno. Power on tap is strictly "adequate". The talking point is its driveability, not power. You can easily potter around in 3rd gear at 40 km/h with the engine revving at ~1,750 rpm. Make no mistake = it has enough poke to carry you around town with few gear changes, albeit in a relaxed manner. You won't find the need to rev the Revotron hard as long as the driving style is sedate. However, if you need to quickly close a gap in traffic, you’ll have to drop a gear or two. Not really enjoyable as the engine gets noisy, with that classic 3-cylinder thrum too! Overall, the car is a practical point A->B commuter, but it is no scorcher at all. Like some other 3-cylinder engines, city driving can get a tad jerky, especially in stop & go traffic. One needs to be more careful with the accelerator & clutch pedal co-ordination to avoid jerks.
Highway performance is rather ordinary; on the open road, you'll need to work the engine hard to get any kind of pep out of it. Problem is, there isn't much "go" even when you do, hence we suggest you move out of the fast lane and stick to the middle ones. The engine starts losing steam beyond 5,000 rpm and it gets quite vocal too. Compared to the butter-smooth 1.2s of the i20 & Baleno, the Altroz's engine sounds harsh at high revs. If you insist & hit the rev limiter, the fuel doesn't cut off suddenly; it will hold onto ~6,250 rpm (~5,750 rpm in Eco mode). It's better to just drive in a calm manner & cruise instead. Why try making a car do something it cannot? In terms of cruisability, 100 km/h is seen in 5th gear at ~2,750 rpm and 120 km/h at ~3,250 rpm. We found the car running out of breath beyond the 100 km/h mark, and progress becomes slow thereafter. Do note that overtaking manoeuvres will require proper planning and lots of downshifting.
With a full load of passengers + cargo onboard, we are apprehensive about the Altroz's performance on the highway, as well as in stop & go traffic on steep hills. As if to make matters worse, there is an ECO mode which dulls the engine & throttle response. This mode is strictly for those who drive extremely sedately, are never in a hurry to get anywhere and very FE-conscious. We would recommend sticking to the regular "City" driving mode.
In terms of NVH, wind noise is controlled at 100 km/h, while road and tyre noise are average. Engine noise, however, is always present. At mid-level rpms, a very throaty sound filters through - it's almost diesel-like! And at high revs, it is annoyingly noisy.
The Altroz petrol uses the same TA65 gearbox (also seen in the Indica eV2) as the Tiago and Tigor. The 5-speed manual gearbox's throws aren't long and the shifter's operation is decent. Its gates are well-defined and we had no trouble slotting into the gear we wanted to engage. The gearbox isn't the slickest one out there, but it gets the job done. What you will appreciate is the clutch which is very light and has a short travel range. It is a boon in bumper-to-bumper traffic conditions. There's even a very usable dead pedal to rest your foot.
ARAI mileage rating? 19.05 km/l. For the FE-conscious, the XT, XZ and XZ(O) variants are equipped with an idling start/stop system, which switches off the engine when it's idling to save fuel.
Revotron unit does not get an engine cover. Surprising that Tata left it out, since the cheaper Tiago got one (image link)!!!
Transverse-mounted 3-cylinder petrol is an easy fit inside the engine bay. The eagle-eyed among you have already noticed that the air filter position has changed:
Bonnet has a good deal of weight to it. Insulation sheet provided under the bonnet. Notice the marked cutout on the left. Does that mean a sportier version is on the anvil?
There is some plastic underbody protection, but it's towards the firewall. Nothing under the front portion of the engine bay:
Gosh, look at how far the headlamp stretches!
The 5-speed gear shifter. Unlike our test Harrier (image), the text is properly aligned this time:
Gear lever gets a leather boot and silver insert. Looks great:
Press this button to engage ECO mode:
The selected drive mode is projected in the instrument cluster. While "City" is shown in white, "Eco" is in green. Additionally, a female voice prompt tells you which mode you have selected:
Gearshift suggesting tool has been provided. Newbies will appreciate this feature. However, it only shows the up or down arrow sign, next to the current gear engaged (some cars now show you the suggested gear number too):
With the idle start/stop function enabled, when the system senses that the cabin temperature is higher than the set temperature on the climate control system, the engine starts on its own after showing this message on the MID:
Last edited by ajmat : 17th April 2020 at 22:32. Reason: replacing n/a as normally aspirated
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|16th April 2020, 11:15||#8|
Ride & Handling
The Altroz is equipped with an independent McPherson strut dual-path front suspension and a twist beam rear. The dual-path strut has two separate paths for energy to be transferred from the springs & dampers, allowing it to be better tuned (it's a 2-cup system).
Tata cars are usually known for their absorbent ride quality. In the case of the Altroz, Tata has traded some ride comfort for a sportier / mature setup, which results in the suspension being firmer than we would like in a family hatchback. At low speeds, the ride has a distinctly firm edge to it. While you can live with it, the tune is far from what we can call "plush". The Altroz doesn't ride as well as some competitors on bad city roads. Big potholes will be prominently felt inside & bother you. Tata recommends a relatively high tyre pressure of 35 PSI which could be one of the reasons (30 - 32 PSI will definitely improve matters). Another contributor is the 16" wheel size that comes with the XT, XZ and XZ(O) variants. Lower variants with 14 wheels and taller rubber will ride better for sure. As speeds increase however, that mature suspension results in good ride quality. The suspension becomes compliant and on the expressway, there is no bounciness - she rides quite flat. Firmer suspension tunes also recover well from road undulations. On the highway, the Altroz handles broken roads decently and dismisses smaller potholes with aplomb. Larger bumps do filter through though. Most of the time, the suspension goes about its job silently and isn't clunky or loud (except when it hits large potholes).
Straight-line stability is very good for the segment. There is no floatiness or nervousness experienced. The car is well-planted with satisfactory high speed manners. The 195/55 R16 MRF ZVTV Ecotread tyres provide fair grip levels for an average Joe. Enthusiastic drivers might want to swap to grippier tyre models. The Altroz holds onto its line well and doesn't understeer easily. Body roll is controlled and the car never gets unnerving. But again, we felt that the Altroz lacks the sort of power to unsettle it in corners.
The electric power steering is one of the nicer units around. That thick steering wheel is a delight to hold. It is light at city speeds (one-finger-light at parking speeds) and weighs up sufficiently well as the speedometer needle climbs. The EPS isn't dead and does give you some feel of what the front wheels are up to. The only thing we didnt like with it was that it is too sensitive even at high speeds. While it is not as dangerous as what we saw in the Harrier, it still makes the car's front end twitchy. Hold it firmly at expressway speeds.
The Altrozs 165 mm of ground clearance is about average in this segment. While it is not as high as the Ford Figos 174 mm or the Baleno + Elite i20s 170 mm, we didn't scrape the car anywhere. Team-BHP ownership reports will tell the real-world story. The Altroz has a turning radius of 5.0 meters, which is slightly wider than the Baleno's 4.9 meters.
We found the brakes to be progressive and doing the job as expected. They have cornering stability control too (Tata says "CSC supports / stabilizes the vehicle during partial braking in curves by reducing pressure at the required inner wheel. This helps to reduce the probability of vehicle oversteer during cornering + braking"). From high speeds, the car stops in a straight line sans any drama.
McPherson dual-path strut suspension and coil springs in the front:
Twist beam suspension with coil springs at the rear. Must say, that's a clean & tidy underbody:
Last edited by GTO : 16th April 2020 at 11:18.
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|16th April 2020, 11:15||#9|
• A turbo-charged petrol version of the Altroz is being tested. We recommend waiting for that as the normally aspirated 1.2 is weak. A dual-clutch AT is also rumoured to be coming.
• Manufactured at Tata Motors’ Pune facility. The first car was rolled out on November 27, 2019.
• A sedan based on the Altroz is in the works. Thanks to BHPian RavenAvi for sharing this information.
• The Altroz is offered with factory-fitted customization options! This is done through an online platform called Imaginator. Customers are able to choose what extras they want & Tata will then create the car as per the choice of variant + features required. The customization would not affect the warranty of the car, as all the extra features would be factory-fitted. There are 4 customisation packages – Rhythm (for XE & XM), Style (for XM), Luxe (for XT) & Urban (for XZ). Click here to check it out, or watch the video here.
• Standard warranty of 2 years / 75,000 km. Extended warranty is available for an additional 1 year / 75,000 km, 2 years / 100,000 km or 3 years / 125,000 km. As always, we recommend the max available coverage, especially with any Tata / Mahindra car.
• Initial 3 services are free. 1st is at 1,000 - 2,000 km / 2 months, 2nd service is at 7,000 - 8,000 km / 6 months and 3rd at 14,500 - 15,500 km / 12 months. Post that, the scheduled service interval is 6 months / 7,500 km. This is short (competitors offer 1 year / 10,000 - 15,000 km intervals). Translated = Altroz owners will visit the workshop twice as much as owners of competing cars.
• ARAI-certified fuel efficiency: Petrol = 19.05 km/l; Diesel = 25.11 km/l.
• Doors auto-lock at 15 km/h as you move along. They also auto-unlock when you switch the car off. Over & above, there is an auto-relocking system (if no one enters the car for 30 seconds after unlocking).
• ORVMs are auto-folding (i.e. they fold out when you unlock the car & vice versa).
• Take the keyfob out of the car with the engine running & the horn sounds intermittently to warn you.
• XZ(O) gets a contrast black roof. However, it is available only with the High Street Gold, Avenue White & Downtown Red colours.
• The Tata Altroz brochure can be viewed here - Tata Altroz.pdf.
• Disclaimer: Tata invited Team-BHP for the Altroz test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event. Adding a clarification here due to lots of queries = we were indeed part of the Altroz media drives that were held in December. However, as is the usual practice, we call for the car in Bombay for 5 - 6 days for our detailed review + photoshoot. Tata was unable to provide us with a media car at our office, hence we had to borrow the white car from an owner.
Last edited by GTO : 20th April 2020 at 07:35.
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|16th April 2020, 11:15||#10|
The Smaller yet Significant Things
We absolutely love the High Street Gold colour (thanks to BHPian Leoshashi for this pic). Very unique:
Actually, this is one car that looks fabulous in any colour:
Remember the peacock design in the glovebox? There's one on the bottom-left corner of the windshield as well:
Subtle protrusion on the rear wheel arch acts as a splash guard:
Small fuel tank of 37L is only slightly larger than the Tiago's (35L). We would have liked something like the i20's 45-litre capacity:
The Altroz's dietary preference is marked thrice! In a country full of careless petrol-pump attendants (and owners too), this is a must-have:
Nice, premium sounding Hella dual-tone horn:
Front wheel well gets plastic cladding inside...
...but the rear gets very little of it:
Driver & front passenger - BOTH - get individual seatbelt reminders. The driver reminder comes on even if the car is stationary. Passenger seatbelt warning comes on only if the passenger hasn't buckled up when the car is moving. There are audible warnings, and a voice prompt as well:
Google Map directions are displayed on the MID (via Android Auto). Super cool!
In addition to the audible alerts and MID warnings, a small orange-coloured “speed limit” sign comes on (below the temp gauge) when you cross 80 km/h:
When cruise control is engaged, this image is momentarily displayed on the MID:
A peek at the cruise-control display. The function works at speeds above 35 km/h. Also notice the generosity of this gentleman who lent us his brand-new car with ~200 km on the clock
Ugly gap between the dashboard & steering console is neatly covered up:
Provisions to hold the driver's floor mat in place:
Blue ambient lighting is provided on the dashboard...
...storage bin (ahead of the gear lever)...
...and both footwells:
Tyre pressure of 35 PSI to be maintained at the front & rear, irrespective of the number of people in the car. We feel it's on the higher side. This is definitely a contributor to the firm ride quality we mentioned earlier (but not the only contributor). Lowering tyre pressure to 30 - 32 PSI should noticeably improve comfort levels:
Door's rubber beading is soft, of good quality and well-fitted. A felt-like layer of beading has been used as well. Wind noise is kept out well:
Rear seatback bolts are nicely concealed with carpet material. We really like this treatment:
As mentioned earlier, the finish of some plastics has room for improvement. This is the handbrake console:
Door ajar warning (in the instrument cluster) tells you specifically which door is open. It covers the tailgate too, but not the bonnet (about time all manufacturers add bonnet coverage IMHO):
This isn’t a watch or fitness band. It’s a key - like the one we saw in the Nexon! 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:
Smartkey is identical to other Tata cars. It is nicely finished and feels premium. Headlights can be activated by pressing a button on the smartkey (to help you find your way in the dark). Shiny black border looks tasteful:
Tata Motors & Google have launched the "Tata Altroz Voice BoT" - a personalized, interactive voice experience for the Tata Altroz, using the Google Assistant. Full details here:
Wow, this is indisputably the biggest, classiest & most impressive test-drive invitation we've ever received! PM GTO a link to your detailed Altroz test-drive post and the scale model will be shipped out to you!
Signing off with a wallpaper-worthy image of this sexy looking car:
Last edited by GTO : 17th April 2020 at 18:53. Reason: wearable key might have battery
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|16th April 2020, 12:00||#11|
Join Date: Feb 2004
Thanked: 156,013 Times
Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review
Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Official Reviews. Thanks for sharing! Rating thread a fully-deserved 5 stars.
Firstly, a BIG THANKS to the Kothari family for trusting us with their 200 km-run new car, and being super supportive all throughout! Very grateful, guys. Am glad that we borrowed the car and completed the review. Else, thanks to the inexplicable delays from Tata and then the lockdown, we’d still have been waiting for the media car.
Man, the Altroz looks absolutely stunning! This is easily among the best-looking hatchbacks on our roads today. Take a bow, Pratap Bose & team. You guys are truly taking things to the next level. Even otherwise, while proof-reading the review, I’m grinning & grinning all through the exterior, interior & ICE posts . Then I got to the engine post . The car appears to be kickass, except for what’s under the hood. I feel sad about the petrol motor ruining an otherwise competent package. Why this super-important car doesn’t have the Nexon’s engines from day 1 is beyond me to understand. @ Tata: you have amazing powertrains READY and in-house, why the heck won’t you use them? This was the simplest part = merely a cut + copy + paste from the Nexon’s bonnet to the Altroz's! It’s like going to a war, but leaving your AK-47s behind in the cupboard. When you have the ammunition READY, why not use them?
As I’d mentioned for the Harrier in 2019 (i.e. the 2020 car will be superior, and it was validated with the ’20 Harrier AT that got so many improvements), I say the same for the Altroz. Wait for a year for the better car / petrol-engine. Problem is, most customers won’t be waiting. The i20 is coming with all guns blazing; the existing competitors are strong too. Further, I cannot understand the insane premium for the diesel engine. 1.7 lakhs! That's almost 2 lakhs OTR. In comparison, Ford asks for a far more reasonable premium (look at the price chart here). There is no AdBlue system required for a small diesel, so this kind of a premium is abnormal. Heck, even higher-end cars like the MG Hector brought out BS6 versions at more reasonable prices.
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. See the Altroz & its lame petrol engine, or how the 2019 Harrier was launched unfinished, with flaws, niggles and no AT. Tata hurried up with the Harrier to beat the Hector & Seltos to the market = did it make any difference at all? Please take more time and launch it RIGHT from day 1. You've done it with cars like the Nexon, Hexa etc. so why not the Harrier & Altroz?
Last edited by GTO : 16th April 2020 at 12:20.
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|16th April 2020, 12:19||#12|
Join Date: Mar 2020
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Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review
What an absolutely brilliant review!
Hope this review makes Tata more receptive to the idea of sending Team-BHP their cars.
I really wish they had given this car a better petrol engine or a longer service interval (either one would have done). I'm too spoilt by 1 year/15000 KM on my VAGs.
And this car does look the best in White, or Silver. Understated and premium. The gold and the red are a little too bling.
|16th April 2020, 13:00||#13|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Nov 2006
Thanked: 1,523 Times
Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review
Looks like a very well made car. Tata is really put more and more effort into building us cars that can compete with any other in respective segments.
The car seems a bit shortchanged when it comes to engine options and AT options. Even when they have all the time, they dont seem to load them with right options.
One thing I have been observing with Tata vehicles is use of too many pieces(for ex the dash area, or the rear). Doesnt give the smooth, clean classy looks. Also adds to not being able to give a good finish to the many corners that show up.
Hope it will show up in customer's mindspace given the situation today.
Edit: I will however not mention the review quality ! Elaborate as ever and is very common to TBHP reviews
Last edited by srishiva : 16th April 2020 at 13:02.
|16th April 2020, 13:14||#14|
Join Date: Jan 2020
Thanked: 320 Times
Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review
This seems to be an amazing car. However, I am just thinking about the wonders JTP could have done with the Altroz.
|16th April 2020, 13:30||#15|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Feb 2005
Thanked: 1,137 Times
Re: Tata Altroz : Official Review
I absolutely loved this review and the car as well when i checked it in person. This is easily the best built and best looking premium hatchback in our market.
Tata has come a long way in terms of interiors, this is really a huge step up even from Zest/Bolt which lacked proper storage spaces inside cabin.
Maruti didnt have a diesel, but they borrowed one from FIAT and their cars sold well with it.Tata why cant you borrow one from Suzuki? K12B or maybe K14B Petrol especially since this engine seems to be the weakest link.
The only car which has sold well in Revotron is Tiago, to use the same engine on a car which weighs 100 kgs more is strange.
Seems like they feel this car will not be competitive in terms of pricing and fuel efficiency with Turbo petrol.
The biggest USP of this car is Safety, i hope TATA amplifies this one thing.
Last edited by silverado : 16th April 2020 at 13:46.